School of Art – Book Review

September 4th, 2015 by Special Projects

Written by Teal Triggs, Illustrated by Daniel Frost

Published by Wide Eyed ISBN: 9781847806116

Review by Priya Bual

front-coverNow kids can gain a degree from The School of Art! This activity book takes kids through lessons which students would learn from art school, starting from ‘Lesson One: How does a line begin?’ all the way to ‘Lesson 40: What do we mean by ‘aesthetics?’

The School of Art is set out as if you are taking on an academic year, with three terms and a final exhibition at the end. The reader acts as the student and learns lessons from the five professors – ‘Professor of Ideas’ who personifies your imagination (her studio is literally in the clouds!); ‘Professor of Form’ who personifies structure and what the Bauhaus movement has done for art (he looks like Johannes Itten with a beard); ‘Professor of Senses’ helps create experiences and meanings with art; ‘Professor of Making’ introduces kids to different materials and how to make things into virtual or structural objects and lastly ‘Professor of the Planet’ who is the newest professor (as thinking about the environment is an issue which is increasingly spreading to art), he helps create eco friendly meanings in art.

image3In a very creative and imaginative storyline, the ‘professors’ help each other and the reader to learn everything you would learn in art school. Each lesson follows on from the other and there is a running composition of the storyline; an activity cloud with instructions for the ‘student’ to fulfil as well as larger, bold writing which summaries or explains more about the lessons.

Some words and sentences within the book are challenging for younger readers. There is a glossary at the back, however terms in there can be too advanced for younger children, for example ‘Cross Hatch Marks – (also: crosshatching) – a kind of shading made from intersecting parallel lines’. Therefore this main audience would be ideal for older kids, roughly in Year 7 to 9, who can independently find out meanings and learn for themselves. As a result The School of Art becomes a very interactive read for kids, with activities including researching artists such as Andy Warhol and Bridget Riley, painting, collaging and creating your own mini comic.

image-2The illustrations, by the up and coming Daniel Frost, aid the reader’s imagination by simplifying terms learnt in the lessons. The fun and bubbly illustrations exemplify characteristics in the professors, and the bold block colours help the composition become balanced and still feel light and fun to read. Throughout the book there is a mixture of double page colour spreads and white backgrounds with smaller colour illustrations, Frost composed each page to compliment the writing and the structure of the book without the reading becoming too light or too heavy, keeping it engaging to the reader. Frost follows the rules that are taught within The School of Art, having proportioned figures, harmonious colours and rhythm with each illustration, this subtly helps the reader understand the lessons better.

As an art student myself I found The School of Art a funny and entertaining read. I caught myself analysing my own work to see if I use all the right structures and techniques that, as you get older and become more experienced, come naturally. It was fascinating and entertaining the way The School of Art incorporated famous movements such as Bauhaus by mentioning it as another art school in Germany or famous artist such as Leonardo Da Vinci to teach ‘Lesson 22: How do we draw realistic human proportions?’

image1The Art School doesn’t just teach kids about how to draw but how to use art in life, such as solving problems by visualising them, also keeping in mind the environmental issues, channelling art towards thinking about recycling and water usage. Frost succeeded in creating light and engaging illustrations with bold colours and characteristics to keep the story flowing.

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Imagining Kings Cross

September 3rd, 2015 by Special Projects

Venue – Cross Street Gallery, 40 Cross Street, London, N1 2BA

Thursday 17 September – Thursday 1 October 2015

Opening times Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 6pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm

0207 226 8600

Imagining Kings Cross is Anne Howeson’s solo exhibition. Howeson’s drawings turns Kings Cross/St Pancras into a palimpsest. Places and fragments are appropriated from imagery hidden in London print archives – including the London Metropolitan Archives, Museum of London and the Foundling Museum – and subverted in scale, context and content. The digitally reprinted images are rubbed out and re drawn, becoming new works evoking a sense of passing time through memory and invention. The unbuilt places of the future and disappeared buildings from the past are imagined and revisited. Part document, part fiction, the work presents architectural regeneration, while considering its effects on the environment and communities of today.

King's cross railway Shed

Kings Cross Railway Shed

Anne Howeson is a lecturer at the Royal College of Art and a Jerwood Drawing Prize winner. She works on self-initiated drawing projects in including the solo exhibition ‘Remember Me’, at the Guardian News Media October 2009 and ‘Present in the Past’ at Collyer Bristow 2015. She was an exhibitor in the Derwent Art prize and National Open Art Award 2014 and an invited artist in the Discerning Eye at the Mall Galleries 2011. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of London.

St Pancras in the Fields 1752

St Pancras in the Fields 1752

Drawing in Silver and Gold

September 3rd, 2015 by Special Projects

Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns

Room 90, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Thursday 10 September – Sunday 6 December 2015

Booking strongly recommended 0207 323 8181

Opening times Monday to Thursday 10am to 5:30pm, Friday’s 10am to 8:30pm, Saturday to Sunday 10am to 5:30pm

0207 323 8299

Explore the development of the artistic technique of metalpoint from the Renaissance to the present, and discover how the technical challenge of the medium has inspired generations of artists.

Metalpoint is a drawing technique where the artist uses a metal stylus, usually made of silver, on an abrasive preparation so that traces of the metal are left on the surface, resulting in a visible drawing. In the hands of great artists, metalpoint can also be used more freely for creating rapid sketches.

The exhibition includes 100 drawings created using metalpoint technique. It features works by some of the greatest artists from the 14th century to the presents, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Petrus Christus, Jasper Johns, Bruce Nauman and many more. The exhibition is the first to explore the development of metalpoint through 6 centuries and showcases the great variety of artistic styles it has encompassed.

'Bust of a Warrior' Leonardo da Vinci

'Bust of a Warrior' Leonardo da Vinci

London Places and Spaces final weeks

August 28th, 2015 by Special Projects

The Prize for Illustration - until 6 September 2015 at London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB.

Tickets cost £16.00 (£13.50 concessions) and allow unlimited daytime entry to the Museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year.

AOI members get a special 2for1 deal when you show your membership card.

Eleanor Taylor’s winning image has appeared on London Underground as a poster. Here it is at Covent Garden tube station.


The Gold Prize was awarded to Eleanor Taylor for The Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Silver Prize was awarded to Carly Allen-Fletcher for Compound City
The Bronze Prize was awarded to Eliza Southwood for Parkour At The South Bank

Gold, Silver and Bronze winning images

Gold, Silver and Bronze winning images

MA2015 exhibition

August 28th, 2015 by Special Projects

MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Arts and Design by Independent Project

19 – 25 September 2015 Times:10 am – 5 pm. Closed Sundays.

University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY

Private View – Friday 18 September 2015, 5:30 – 9 pm

MA2015 showcases diverse new work by students graduating from the MA courses in Sequential Design/Illustration, and Arts and Design by Independent Project, at the University of Brighton. These postgraduate courses support a wide range of self-initiated individual projects.


Work featured in the exhibition includes a mixed-media exploration of the impact of ‘disordered’ thinking on creative cognition, a history of cutlery through time and space, and a day in the life of footballer Ashley Barnes illustrated by the Dewey decimal system. Children’s book projects are also included.

Exhibitors: Sarah Arnold, Baozi Chen, Christine Chester, Lee Christien, Richard Clarke, Mark Daniels, Sheena Dawson, Joe Evans, Fang Liu, Adrian Gauci, Ruby Hermon, Hyeeun Kwon, Joe Lau, Byounghak Lee, Olym Lee, Julian Mallia, Lucy Mazhari, Alba Peris Rueda, Dagmara Rudkin, Xing Song, Madeleine Swift, Louise Wishart, Min-I Yen.

For information on participating artists contact the course leader Margaret Huber at

Migloo’s Day – Book Review

August 27th, 2015 by Special Projects

By William Bee

Published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406339307

Review by Priya Bual


Migloo’s Day is a puzzling yet truly entertaining search and find book, designed for young children. William Bee has created a brand new series featuring ‘Migloo – everyone’s favourite dog’ and his adventure through Sunnytown, meeting all his friends in town and eventually saving the day!

The story follows Migloo going through town and being invited to accompany the school children to a surprise musical concert. Unfortunately, along the way the bus breaks down and Migloo could be the only one who can save the day. Along with this story line, Migloo gets lifts off his friends to different locations in town. The character William Bee holds up a ‘question time’ sign on each search and find page, instructing the reader to spot certain objects or people on the double page spreads. At the back of the book there is a ‘William Bee’s Busy Page’ where Bee has created more fun activities for the reader to discover throughout the book.

image2The illustrations throughout the book are bright and bold, with a soft and bubbly feel to the characters (from the round heads and block primary and secondary colours) that invites the reader in and encourages the book to be interactive. On the story pages, the pastel bubbles help the young readers to stay interested, while the pages are less cluttered than the search and find pages, the colours and characters help keep the flow of the book. The search and find pages are overflowing with colours, shapes and characters! There is so much information to the scene that Bee’s simple block colours and minimal detail to characters helps to keep your mind focused. Digitally created, Bee makes you feel you are a part of the book, searching in Sunnytown for ‘Red Squirrel’ or ‘Little White Owl’.

image-1Bee has created a search and find book that is overflowing in every creative possible way, there is drama, characters, colours, shapes and layers! However the illustrations are rather flat and there is no depth to the search and find pages, therefore the search is challenging and eye watering at times. I found trying to read this book with younger children difficult, as once the search becomes hard the attention goes and it is only you left trying to search for a ‘tiny mouse’ in a maze. Migloo’s Day is a perfect read for children who are travelling or on holiday and need to be entertained over a long period of time and have no other distractions around!


With over 70 different characters to meet, Migloo’s Day will become a much loved series, gripping children and parents for hours!

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To Draw is to be Human

August 27th, 2015 by Special Projects

South Square Gallery, South Square, Thornton, Bradford, BD13 3LD

Saturday 5 September – Sunday 25 October 2015

Opening times Tuesday to Sunday 12pm until 3pm

01274 834 747

South Square Gallery presents an exhibition bringing together the work of five artists that use drawing as the centre of their practice.

Sally Taylor Gesture “My drawings affirm a desire to understand more about human relationships, specifically my own interaction with others”

Lucy O’Donnell – Wonder as a poetic mode of enquiry to re-evaluate how descriptive syntactical grammars can be employed.

Andy Black – Construction “In making the drawings the forms’ contrasts of shape, tone, texture and ambiguity of scale demand my attention”

Kate Black – Narrative “My drawings illustrate an internal world depicting scenes from  an invented, strange soap opera”

Tracy Himsworth – The Geometry of Movement Tracy uses drawing as a form of discovery and documentation.

Andy Black 'Field' 2015

Andy Black 'Field' 2015

‘An Artist Once Said’ An Inspiration Book for Artists – Book Review

August 21st, 2015 by Special Projects

By Hannah Rollings

Published by Michael O’Mara Books ISBN 9781910552018

Review by Priya Bual


‘An Artist Once Said’ An Inspiration Book for Artists is aimed for adults, teens, artists or anyone with a large and creative imagination. It is a colouring book that lets your imagination take over. Each spread consists of a quote from a famous artist, for example ‘one eye sees, the other feels – Paul Klee’ , then a mixture of large and small illustrations from Hannah Rollings to give the reader visual inspiration to create their own work.


There is a wide mixture of artists included in An Artist Once Said, from Michelangelo to Georgia O’Keeffe and most make reoccurrences throughout such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Rollings balanced the artists by using quotes to describe key features in their work, not repeating the same theme or technique. Unlike most colouring books, Rollings created this book to let the reader’s creative process become more in control and therefore I can imagine everyone’s work to be unique and full of their own personality and characteristics. There is no set drawing that Rollings wants you to draw or paint, the quote and illustrations on the page are merely a guide to help the reader explore different themes and techniques as well as gaining an insight to famous and influential artists.


Rollings visual explains the quotes in her illustrations by using gouache and ink washes, leaving space for the reader to leave notes, doodle, or create their own paintings. By using gouache and ink the illustrations are bright and vibrant in colour yet light to the page, making the space left for the reader the priority throughout the book. As a result Rolling’s illustrations do not intimidate the reader, they have a simplistic feel to inspire without telling the reader exactly what to create.

image3The paper is thick enough for there not to be worry in ruining the next page and the flow to the quotes generate inspiration and encourages exploration of how creative the reader can be. An Artist Once Said will definitely boost an artist’s imagination, however may be a little more challenging for people who do not see themselves as creatives.

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dpi magazine issue 196 features World Illustration Awards 2015

August 20th, 2015 by Special Projects

A while ago our Awards Manager, Sabine Reimer, was approached by dpi magazine from Taiwan about being interviewed for issue 196 on the World Illustration Awards 2015 (WIA2015) and she happily obliged.

As well as featuring details and a questionnaire on the current awards, they also separately profile shortlisted illustrators Sarah Wilkins and Mattias Adolfsson, previous AOI Award winning illustrators Chris Corr (Images 27) and Katie Ponder (IA2014), as well as the AOI Illustration Awards 2014 New Talent Overall Winner William Grill’s book “Shackleton’s Journey” in a feature on publisher Nobrow/Flying Eye Books.


cover of dpi magazine issue 196

Question 1: Would you share the story behind the World Illustration Awards to our readers? We know it has been founded nearly 4 decades, what is the intention in the very beginning? What the World Illustration Awards have achieved now?

Answer 1: The World Illustration Awards and Exhibition is the most prestigious international industry event and continues the AOI’s 40 years’ history of running illustration Awards, previously known as ‘Images’, and now, for the first time as the WIA’s, in partnership with an international partner, the Directory of Illustration. The award and touring exhibition promotes contemporary illustration and provides a showcase of the greatest established and up-and-coming talent published around the world. The aim is to promote great illustration and to allow commissioners to easily find inspiration and spot new talent for their projects. 40 years ago the AOI Awards were the first of its kind to have an independent jury select featured work and to publish and distribute a comprehensive annual to commissioners of illustration. These days we publish a brochure with the highlights and Award winners, and promote the shortlist mainly via an online catalogue and social media channels.

The touring exhibition brings illustration to the general public and educates young and old about the creative process behind art that surround us in our everyday life.

The Awards have successfully launched the careers of young illustrators and inspired generations to follow their creative instincts.


inside spread on WIA2015

Q2: We know there are works in 8 categories (Advertising, Books, Children’s Books, Design, Editorial, Public Realm, Research and Knowledge Communication and Self Initiated Work) being chosen. What are the requirements to each entries?

A2: Works can be entered into each of the eight categories by either professional or student artists. Advertising work would perhaps be used in a print campaign on billboards or on television; Editorial work featured alongside an article in a paper; Design work could be packaging; Self-Initiated covers projects developed by the artist and not in response to an external brief.

Professional work has to be commissioned except for the Self-Initiated category, but students or recent graduates  – we call this group New Talent – can enter uncommissioned projects into all categories. This results in more experimental work being featured with the entries as commercial requirements – such as legal guidelines for packaging for example – sometimes limit creative output. We believe that this keeps the categories fresh for the jury and often results in New Talent or Self-Initiated work being commissioned by the judges for upcoming projects.


inside spread on WIA2015 shortlist

Q3: How should the participants submit their project? Is there any detailed part should be most aware? How do you define New Talent and Professional?

A3: All projects have to be entered via the online portal at It is important to prepare the images properly and submit high quality files that show either the strongest image of a whole project or a series of images in its variety. Along with the image we request information on the entry, such as usage, what was the brief, who commissioned it etc and it is important to add this information in a short but precise way so that the jury can quickly decide how well the work fulfills the brief, which is one of the shortlisting criteria.

Professional illustrators are practicing artists who make a living out of their craft and specifically with the awards, commissioned illustrators. New Talent is categorized as students or recent graduates (within 2 years of leaving education) who are just starting out.


AOI Illustration Awards 2014 winner Katie Ponder

Q4: How will the jury of each year be decided? What are the criteria of judgment each year?

A4: We invite the jury from all over the world to reflect the new global aspect of the Awards. They are industry insiders, usually either high profile commissioners or illustrators themselves. We often take inspiration from the previous Award and invite winning commissioners onto the panel.

We ask the jury to mark each work according to how well it fulfils the brief, technical ability and skill. All work the jury agrees on will be shortlisted and each judge has a few “favourites” they can select, which will then be in contention to win an Award.


Previous AOI Images 27 Award winner Chris Corr

Q5: What are the benefits of entering the World Illustration Awards?

A5: All entrants will have their work judged by industry professionals and often get picked up for upcoming projects.

Should work be selected, it will featured on the AOI’s website which currently receives an average of 98,000 hits from around 19,000 visitors per month. We provide contact details if their work is highlighted in the archive, which is permanently featured on the site, work will be promoted across the AOI’s significant industry networks and there’s the opportunity to be selected for a touring exhibition which receives over 40,000 visitors every year.

There is also the opportunity to be selected and featured in an accompanying publication, which will be distributed to major commissioners across the globe.


AOI IA14 Overall New Talent Award winner William Grill

Q6: In 2015, how many works the World Illustration Awards receive? How will the World Illustration Awards arrange the participants/winner’s project after the competition?

A6: In 2015 the WIA’s received a record amount of just over 2000 submissions. Out of these 180 were shortlisted by the jury and can now be seen online:

There will be an exhibition in October 2015 at London’s famous cultural hub, Somerset House, where we will announce the category winners and launch the brochure before the exhibition tours the UK for a year.


WIA2015 shortlisted artist Sarah Wilkins

Q7: What is the most different part between the World Illustration Awards and other illustration competition?

A7: What sets the WIA’s apart from others is that they are judged by an independent jury from across the globe, but also that they receive entries from all over the world as well. By partnering with the Directory of Illustration we have combined the AOI’s 40 year history and standing as the UK premier Illustration Awards with the leading marketing program for illustrators in the United States, which gives us a brilliant scope for promotion. Anyone featured under the WIA umbrella is recognized to be of high quality and professional standard, even if you are just starting out.

Q8: What does the World Illustration Awards want to specify/suggest to all the illustrators who want to submit their work?

A8: The next call for entries will open in October 2015 and we can only encourage every artist who is serious about their career in illustration to enter. Competition might be tough but to be featured or possibly even win one of the 16 Awards might just make your career.


WIA2015 featured artist Mattias Adolfsson

Drawn to the Future

August 20th, 2015 by Special Projects

The Building Centre, Store Street, London, WC1E 7BT

Until 3 October 2015

Opening times Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm. Free Admission

0207 692 4000

Drawn to the Future explores innovations in visualisation. The exhibition brings together the work of digital artists, data visualisation teams, academics, architects, engineers, programmers, game designers and model makers to show how buildings and landscapes are being designed and demonstrated differently. Find out how building maintenance teams might see through walls to determine what repairs needs to be done, experience gaming technology used by architects to ‘live specify’ interior design with a client. Our very own Varoom editor John O’Reilly, helped curate the show!