World Illustration Awards at THESIF: The Seoul Illustration Fair 2017

January 16th, 2017 by Special Projects

20 July – 23 July 2017
COEX Hall D, Seoul, South Korea
www.seoulillustrationfair.co.kr

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We are pleased to announce that the World Illustration Awards will tour internationally for the first time this year, and we will kickstart the tour at one of the hottest Illustration Fairs in the East: The Seoul Illustration Fair 2017 (THESIF).

Welcoming over 250 participating artists from all over the world and 37000 visitors in last year’s edition, THESIF is one of the biggest professional fairs in the illustration industry in South Korea. Bursting with high quality graphic work of all styles and mediums, it’s the perfect hub to discover and get inspired by work showcased not only by professionals but also by emerging talent.

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The AOI will not only bring the World Illustration Awards exhibition over to South Korea, but we will also participate as International partners and become a part of the fair’s many activities, all to be announced soon!

For more information please visit THESIF’s website, and follow us over on twitter, facebook and instagram to keep in touch about all future AOI communications.

We welcome proposals to keep showing the World Illustration Awards in more exciting destinations around the globe! If you are interested to host the exhibition, please contact Sabine at [email protected].

Arrest All Mimics Interviews Lisa Maltby

January 13th, 2017 by Special Projects

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Sheffield based graphic designer, illustrator and AOI Member Lisa Maltby has set a great example of how we can turn negative experiences into great creative source material. Collating a number of put downs from both her professional and personal life, Lisa has created a hilarious series of typographic artworks from them!

Whilst some defy belief and others are more naive than malicious, Lisa’s project won her a great deal of plaudits, creative industry press and new awareness of her work. It’s an example of how we can channel our unique journeys and experiences into our output, forging our own identity and attracting the right kind of attention.

Listen now and give your own examples of negative experiences transformed into positive creative work at @arrestallmimics on Twitter!

‘Britishness’ Chronicle Residency Programme Exhibition

January 12th, 2017 by Special Projects

Tuesday 17th – 20th January

UWE F Block Gallery, Bristol – Private View Monday 16th from 6pm

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Between the years of 1953 and 1982, Feliks Topolski published his Chronicles of the Century.

Continuing the legacy of Topolski, six young artists have documented events, people and places in London over the autumn of 2016 through reportage drawing. The residents have been examining what Britishness means today through the shifting politics, people and landscapes of London.

Locations such as Millwall Oktoberfest contrast against London Fashion Week, Elephant and Castle stares over at Drag Queens at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, while Pearly Kings and Queens sit beside drawings of the Jungle in Calais. Three months of location drawing will be on show, and a lithographic printed newspaper – the Chronicle – will be displayed and available to buy.

In this new age of social media journalism and post-truth, perhaps we need to explore issues in new ways? Or perhaps by going back to the way stories would be reported in the past? In-situ drawings and conversations have been the focus of this residency, and we invite you to engage with current issues of 2016 through these images, as well as consider the role of the artist as reporter.

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The Lion and The Bird – book review

January 5th, 2017 by Special Projects

Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc

Published by Book Island ISBN: 9780994109873

Reviewed by Rachel Morris

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Stepping through the door of the Québec Government Office on a rainy, grime-streaked London night into a warm welcome was a bit like being the bird sheltering in the lion’s mane. This was the UK launch of The Lion and The Bird.

Marianne Dubuc, Canadian author/illustrator of this and a sizeable catalogue of other picture books, was interviewed by Children’s Book Editor for The Times, Nicolette Jones who describes the book as; “a story about friendship, but also about kindness to strangers, about loss and grief, about the seasons, about memory and loyalty, about solitude and companionship.”  She went on to say, “There’s a lot going on in a book with so few words.” Marianne agrees – she has always enjoyed telling a story, but most of all telling a story through drawing, which naturally grows into a picture book. After all, the idea for this story was partly sparked by the very visual notion of a bird nestled in a lion’s mane.

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When Marianne was 10 years old, she was interviewed for a TV programme in Canada. The question was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. At 10 years old, being grown up seemed too far away to make that big decision, so she told them what she liked doing at the time… which was drawing! The encouraging message for the group of school children at the launch was that you can do anything and become anything you want to be. Unless you want to be a unicorn. That, says Marianne, would be more difficult.

The children asked some great questions: “Why are there only two characters in the book?” Being an only child, Marianne says that friendships have always been very important to her. So, the themes of friendship and solitude are emphasised by there only being two characters in the book.

This led to the next question, “What inspired you to choose the themes of migration and change?” Marianne told us about a friendship from her own childhood that had drifted apart in their teenage years. Her mother had told her not to worry, that one day they would meet in the street and be friends again – which turned out to be true. So Marianne says that the story is about accepting that things change and people leave, but they may come back. It’s a story wide open to interpretation. A woman living in a different country to her grandchildren had drawn parallels between the story and her own trips to spend time with family; like a bird migrating back and forth!

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Marianne told us about the changes made to The Lion and The Bird when the rights were bought by a publisher in the US. The creative freedom given to her by the original publisher in Canada, allowed her to leave a double page spread completely blank, signifying the quiet companionship between the lion and bird through the long Winter. After some respectful to-ing and fro-ing, the US publisher removed the blank pages, worried that people would wrongly assume there had been a printing error.

Fortunately for readers in the UK, Book Island have kept the snowy blank pages, affording the reader that beautiful space to reflect and enjoy the pace of a peaceful Winter, woven into the story. It reminds me of the “Have a break for a minute to talk (about it)” scene  (words on the screen, in the style of a silent movie) in Michel Ocelot’s 2003 animation, Princes and Princesses. Or, as Nicolette Jones said – the blank page to signify the atomic bomb’s explosion in Raymond Briggs’s When the Wind Blows. That clever change of pace has a different purpose in each instance, but what a lovely, visual way to give the reader a bit of time.

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There’s a gentle and very natural rhythm to The Lion and the Bird, and also a flexibility in the way the two characters and narrator speak. Marianne says that the idea was that the dialogue could be interchangeable between the Lion and Bird. Specifically, “Oh, they’re gone” spoken by either character, depending on your mood, as we see Bird’s flock fly away for the Winter at the start of the story.

The UK edition has been sensitively translated by Sarah Ardizzone from the original French. They have managed to capture the sparse nature of the text even though, as Marianne points out, there are some ideas you can convey using two words in French but in English it may take a few more.  There’s a nice parallel there too with the friendship in the book between the Bird and Lion that transcends language. (Without ruining the plot!) at one point in the story the Bird says “cheep!” And the Lion simply replies, “Yes, I know”.

So poignant and hopeful, this is a perfect story to start a new year.

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Arrest All Mimics interviews Rabble Studio’s founder Dan Spain

January 4th, 2017 by Special Projects

AAM AOI Rabble

Happy 2017 to you all!

We kickstart our blog in 2017 with a brand new Arrest All Mimics podcast just launched yesterday. This episode showcases Rabble Studios, just launched earlier in 2016. At a time when property developers are gobbling up creative spaces for fun, Ben Tallon meets with founder and designer Dan Spain. Rabble houses 24 creative professionals and also functions as a creative events, talks, hub and function space in Cardiff. Dan talks about finding a place to work to stave off the cabin fever, and also taking one step further to self-finance and open a much bigger co-working set up.

What challenges has he faced and how has he linked up with other independent businesses in the area? This episode is is a great piece of enterprising and a valuable insight into what creatives need to do to turn the tide against the property virus in order to safeguard a creative business presence in our towns and cities.

Tuck in and listen now. As always, get your thoughts and feedback over to @arrestallmimics on Twitter.

2s, 3s & 4s by Natsko Seki

January 3rd, 2017 by Special Projects

13 January – 22 February 2017

Monday–Friday 9.30am–5pm , Admission free

Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London NW1 4QP

Artist Talk: Tuesday 14 February 2017, 6pm The artist will be joined in conversation by Olivia Ahmad, Curator, House of Illustration.

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2s, 3s & 4s is the first London solo exhibition of Natsko Seki, an established freelance illustrator known for her bright and playful style. For Seki, each project is an opportunity to take up a challenge and discover more – experimenting with new techniques in the pursuit of a new language. Exploring the role of the narrative in her artwork is her most recent obsession and is at the core of her work in this show.

Comparison, a process which encourages you to search for similarities and differences in equal measure, is central to Seki’s practice. Her work is focused on discovering analogies and correlations between things made in different times and places, and different countries, cultures, colour combinations, costumes and buildings.

Arrest All Mimics interviews Lauren Goodland

December 23rd, 2016 by Special Projects

aam lauren AOI

It’s a very tenuous Christmas special episode and the last of 2016 as Lauren Goodland, aka Dorkfeatures is on great form. The Newport based designer discusses her alternate range of greetings cards, Christmas and non-festive. The range has been very successful early in their existence and Laura talks about why there is a market for personal, off-beat humour and why her cards have hit the mark thanks to a dash of pop-culture sensibility.

The episodes also touches upon how it feels to be in the immediate graduation fall out months, how Lauren is currently balancing a full-time design role with her greetings cards work, Bebo skins, the origin of the title Dorkfeatures and her effective use of social media.

Do not miss it! Listen now and get your thoughts and feedback over to @arrestallmimics on Twitter.

Merry Christmas!

Applications for New Designers One Year On are open

December 21st, 2016 by Special Projects

Are you an Illustrator in your first year of business? Then you can apply to be part of New Designers One Year On 2017.

New Designers One Year On 2016 (14)

One Year On is an exclusive curated exhibition within New Designers, showcasing designers with an entrepreneurial flair. There is no application fee to apply, and those who are chosen to exhibit are selected by a panel of industry specialists on the strength and ambition demonstrated through their work.

This is a fantastic chance to get your work in front of press, buyers and industry trend setters. One Year On welcomes all applications from designers showing jewellery and fashion, to furniture and film. Benefits of the show include:

  • Preparation day to give guidance and advice before the event
  • Design Trust webinars giving you vital skills when entering the commercial world
  • Access to the New Designers PR team and the opportunity to gain priceless exposure

Application Deadline is January 30st 2017.

Apply here.

Erik the Red, King of Winter – book review

December 19th, 2016 by Special Projects

by Søren Mosdal

Published by Centrala ISBN: 978-0-9933951-4-7

Review by Peter Allen

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Upon reading Erik the Red, King of Winter by Søren Mosdal I was plunged back into a world I that I knew from books, half fantasy, half historical fiction, that ranged from The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books to Stig of the Dump and onto the Eagle of the Ninth, Warrior Scarlet and Vikings Sunset.

My visual memory of these stories is inseparable from the artwork on their covers by, most notably, illustrators such as Charles Keeping, Pauline Baynes, Tolkien himself and also Alan Sorrell (whose archaeological illustrations were to be found in every Ancient Monument guidebook at that time).

Their representations of these other worlds share many common stylistic features: the people that inhabit these places are heroic, broad-shouldered figures or else weak and full of deception. The landscapes are full of dramatic contrasts: strong light/deep shadows, night/day, high summer/deep winter. They were visual interpretations of the stylised form of writing that paid homage to the ancient tales and myths, the sagas, the Norse precursors of the novel and the modern day soap. Strongly descriptive of the landscape and the natural forces that hold power over them.

Observant too, rich in significant detail, allegory, decorative and during rare moments of inattention, even comical. Emotions were held in check, until they explode when the characters were pushed too hard towards the edge. Søren’s work shows how much he has mastered this tradition and as I read (and reread) his graphic novel over several dark November evenings, it captivated the adult me with all the force of those children’s books.

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In contact with a publisher and looking for a suitable historic figure on which to base his project for a graphic novel, Erik the Red was the first name to pop into Søren’s head.

“I figured, being a Dane, it would be easy to do something about Vikings. The deal fell through though, but at that point I had already researched quite a bit, and had quickly realised I really didn’t know as much about the history of Vikings as I had thought. I discovered a wealth of great material, especially in the Icelandic sagas, and decided to do the comic anyway.

Erik The Red originates in one of those original sagas, but a fairly short one, so I decided to base my book on that, but also bring in/steal any idea from the other sagas and Viking myths, I saw fit.”

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“So, my book isn’t completely historically correct, but everything in it has roots in historical “facts”. Of course much of the sagas are just stories and myths, but much of it based in historical events.”

Erik the Red in Søren’s account is a psychopathic killer and makes for a powerful story, set in a cold, desolate location where nobody can help you get out of your mess – and messy it is too. Following the bloody killing of his neighbours in a feud Erik is exiled to the arctic wastes of Greenland from the comparative comfort of his native Iceland. He is lord of all his domain until the return of his son from a long voyage bearing as passenger a missionary priest sent by the king of Norway to convert Erik’s people. The pagan Erik vows to serve his ancestral god’s and by whatever means necessary to ensure their continued worship.

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It is also broody, malevolant, desperate, a psychological thriller like Beowulf the Old English epic poem that coincidentally has its beginnings in Denmark. Its warrior hero has to stand up to Grendel, a monster from the foul waters of the marshlands who carries off his sleeping victims in the dead of night. Man as prey before his predator, the source of his greatest, most primeval fear. In Søren’s saga, Erik the Red is a monster of a man who embodies the combined forces of both man and beast. A great hulk of a man built to resist and rule over such a harsh kingdom, a mass of raw muscle, swarthed by layer upon layer of cloak and fur to protect him from the bitter cold. Held aloft by terribly undersized legs, a man among a people who live under the constant threat of being toppled, overturned, to be brought crashing down to the ground and their bloody end.

Yet this is only part of the story, maybe the most visually obvious, for as Søren explains there is a more subtler narrative revealed over several readings that makes this story so fascinating.

“Well, apart from the aformentioned sagas and myths, I was greatly inspired by The Sopranos.

My version of Erik the Red is essentially a story about a man in power, who makes a lot of very bad decisions, which end up alienating him from pretty much everyone close to him, not unlike Tony Soprano. Another similarity is that Erik, like Tony, is an old school guy, who’s not too impressed by the next generation. In short, you could say my comic essentially deals with the shortcomings of an exaggerated macho culture, that I’m both fascinated and repelled by.”

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Another inspiration is what you might call anti-inspiration, because there’s a lot of comics about Vikings out there, but many of them done in a certain “hero” like style, with horned helmets, heros, and half naked women, and I wanted to do the exact opposite, and try and make a more “realistic” version of the Vikings. Graphically, I tried for a kind of raw drawing style, that I felt matched the raw nature of the environment of the Greenland in those days and conditions.”

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Originally joint-published in 2014 by Aben Maler, Denmark and Castermann, France, this edition has been published in the UK, with support from the Danish Arts Foundation, by Centrala who have been specialising in comics since 2007. Originally based in Poland they are now run between Poznan, Berlin and London and are dedicated to producing “beautifully published, well written and exceptionally drawn literature”. The resulting book is a slightly oversized format that gives more room for the spreads to reveal their richly detailed narrative. This has the added advantage of lending greater force to the larger full page and double page spreads as does the printing on heavy, matt paper stock that gives rich, dense depth to the colours, which further intensifies this emotionally charged account of Erik the Red, King of Greenland. As a Centrala publication it is every bit the book they champion: A picture of life in a solid frame.

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John Burningham – An illustrator for all ages

December 16th, 2016 by Special Projects

From Avocado Baby to Granpa

11 December 2016 – 07 January 2017

Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 & 10 Ryder Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y 6QB

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The exhibition includes over 200 works spanning the artist’s entire career, from Cannonball Simp in the mid 1960s through Mr Gumpy’s Outing, to his latest achievement, Motor Miles.