Archive for December, 2016

Arrest All Mimics interviews Lauren Goodland

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

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

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

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

Monday, December 19th, 2016

by Søren Mosdal

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

Review by Peter Allen


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.


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.”


“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.


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.”


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.”


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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The Marionette Unit


John Burningham – An illustrator for all ages

Friday, December 16th, 2016

From Avocado Baby to Granpa

11 December 2016 – 07 January 2017

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

Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 15.44.37

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.

Reportager films

Friday, December 16th, 2016

(top left clockwise: Chloe Regan, Jenny Soep, Rachel Gannon, Louis Netter )

Over the last six months has been working on a series of films looking at the practice and methodologies of reportage artists. There are currently three short films available, Rachel Gannon, Jenny Soep, and Chloe Regan, with several others complete and due for release in the next few weeks on the film section of the Reportager website.

This is an on going project looking at the diverse ways in which illustrators and artists respond to their surroundings through drawing and the made image. The film section will grow into an important resource for artists and researchers interested in drawing practice, reportage and documentary illustration.

Rachel Gannon from Reportager on Vimeo.

Chloe Regan from Reportager on Vimeo.

Jenny Soep from Reportager on Vimeo.

Arrest All Mimics interviews Malika Favre

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016


It’s the 50th episode, a major milestone for Arrest All Mimics! This time Ben is joined by World Illustration Awards 2015 winner Malika Favre.

Malika’s distinct style, utilising beautiful colour palettes and digital techniques to their fullest, has been seen in The New Yorker, Penguin Books, Vogue, The BAFTAs among many other high profile clients. But as ever, Arrest All Mimics is built on insights and storytelling, pulling back the curtain to show that every person has a unique journey and set of life experiences that can be drawn upon to form an individual and striking creative identity.

Obsession, sexuality, openness and fantasy are just a few of the topics covered with a lady who continues to build a well-earned reputation as one of the best in the business!

Do not miss. Listen to the newest episode now as it gears up for another 50 episodes of creative innovation and original thinking.

Get your thoughts and feedback over to @arrestallmimics on Twitter!

FAB Prize 2017

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Faber & Faber and the Andlyn Literary Agency launch a new prize to find Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers and illustrators for children.


Faber Children’s has teamed up with the Andlyn Literary Agency to create the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize to help discover new writers and illustrators from BAME backgrounds, and to provide a year-long mentoring scheme for one author and one illustrator. Last dates for entry 06 April 2017 with winner announcement 1 June 2017.


For illustration: £500 (or £300 and a one year portfolio membership for the Association of Illustrators worth £200), plus a private consultation with Donna Payne, Emma Eldridge and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, followed by a year of regular mentoring, plus a selection of Faber books.

For text: £500, plus a private consultation with Leah Thaxton and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, followed by a year of regular mentoring, plus a selection of Faber books

Judging panel: Faber Children’s Publisher Leah Thaxton, Andlyn Literary Agent Davinia Andrew- Lynch, Faber Creative Director Donna Payne, Faber Children’s Art Director Emma Eldridge.

Judging panel: Faber Children’s Publisher Leah Thaxton, Andlyn Literary Agent Davinia Andrew- Lynch, Faber Creative Director Donna Payne, Faber Children’s Art Director Emma Eldridge.


Consultation with Leah Thaxton, Donna Payne, Emma Eldridge and Davinia Andrew-Lynch, plus a selection of Faber books.


Entrants must be of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background Entrants must be previously unpublished

Entries must be text or artwork for children (i.e. 1–18 years), not for adults

Entries must be text or artwork for children (i.e. 1–18 years), not for adults UK and Ireland residents only

Applicants must be over 18

Applicants can apply for both prizes – text and illustration – but can only submit one entry per text or art category. All email entries will be acknowledged on receipt, but only winners will be contacted directly, so please watch out for the announcement in June 2017!

For more information go here

Davinia Andrew-Lynch says: ‘We know that young readers greatly benefit from books which reflect the society in which they live, and that such books provide a clearer understanding of the world around them. To meaningfully change the output of our market we need to reach out beyond the usual publishing spheres and directly find those writers and illustrators who may, for whatever reason, have not been given a voice within our industry.’

Sound and Vision – book review

Monday, December 12th, 2016

By John Riordan

Published by Dog ‘n’ Bone ISBN 978-1-909313-98-9

Reviewed by Spencer Hill


This book promises a great deal from the moment you pick it up and hold it. It is a hardback with black edged pages, and the cover is lively, colourful and very well drawn. Then when you quickly flick through the contents before reading it properly, you can see that it is well designed, well constructed and packed full of gorgeous illustrations and information.


Sound and Vision was written and illustrated by AOI award winning John Riordan, and is a guide to 100 musicians and bands across five decades, from the 1970s through to the present day. Each artist is illustrated with a skillful and accurate caricature, the style and content of which have been very creatively considered. There are also a number of comic strips, and of course each artist also has a background including origin stories, career information, albums and hits and trivia. I contacted John and asked him to share his experiences of creating the book.

Spencer: How did this book begin?

John: Like many good things in life, this book began as a joke. I’ve illustrated a few books for the publisher Dog ’n’ Bone, on subjects as diverse as booze and poo. They asked if I’d be interested in creating a book on a different subject, and after thinking about it for a while I decided that the subject wasn’t really my thing, so reluctantly said no. Explaining this to my editor, Pete, I mentioned in passing a deliberately stupid idea that I had while doing my Illustration MA at Camberwell in 2012. The idea, which I didn’t end up pursuing at the time, was to do a book in the vein of Robert Crumb’s Heroes of Blues but instead to do John Riordan’s Heroes of Indie 1991 to 1994, drawing and describing the obscure pre-Britpop bands who got me into music when I was a teenager and who rarely bothered the lower reaches of the charts. Pete laughed and said “You know, it couldn’t be that niche but there might actually be something in that”, and it snowballed from there, becoming along the way an illustrated guide to all sorts of ‘alternative’ pop music from the 70s to the present day.


Spencer: What was your process?

John: The book’s divided up into five decades so I tackled the illustrations and then the writing for each decade in order. This meant that Pete and the designer, Eoghan, could put together each section while I was working on the next one. The whole book took just shy of six months, but I had a month off in the middle when I got married and went on honeymoon! I definitely didn’t realise how much work I was taking on when I agreed to write as well as draw the book.

Generally speaking the illustrations started off as pen, ink and paint and then got tarted up in Photoshop. What was particularly fun was to vary the style to reflect the image of each band or musician, sometimes aping the visual tone of their record covers or even riffing on one iconic image. For example, my illustration of The Smiths mimics the melancholy monochrome of their sleeves and my picture for the Super Furry Animals nods to their regular illustrator Pete Fowler.

I’m a comic artist as well as an illustrator and Pete was keen to use this side of my work as well. So there’s a smattering of comic strips throughout the book, poking fun at the artists and weaving daft tales out of their biographies.


Spencer: What part of the book are you most pleased with?

John: There are particular illustrations that I’m really pleased with and they’re not necessarily the most ‘show-offy’ ones. Because of the volume of work there wasn’t an enormous amount of time to revise or rethink illustrations so the ones I really like are the ones that came together particularly well on the day. The picture for The Specials is probably my favourite. There are little bits of writing that I’m particularly pleased with as well. It became clear early on that quoting lyrics was a legal no-no but I did get permission to include my favourite Super Furry Animals lyric, and the entry on Tame Impala includes a gratuitous reference to the ‘Bouncer’s Dream’ episode of Neighbours.

Overall though, I’m just really pleased with how it looks. Pete and Eoghan have done a brilliant job turning my scribbles and daubing into a beautiful book, and I hope that it communicates something of my geeky enthusiasm for music and the strange, brilliant people who make it. I didn’t get into music until friends started giving me compilation tapes in my early teens and my whole cultural landscape was transformed for the better.


Spencer: Will this be the first in a series?

John: I’d love to do another book like this but it would be difficult to do a sequel. There were some tough decisions on who we included and who we didn’t, so there are plenty of musicians still to cover. But the really big names, your Bowies, Lou Reeds etc we’ve already done. So I think we could possibly do an expanded version but not a second volume. The format would lend itself to other subjects (a friend suggested classical composers) but I think they’d have to be written by someone else – weird pop music is the only subject that I know enough about to pull it off!

In conclusion this is clearly a project of passion, and it shines through in all aspects of the book. If you are a music fan then this is a must buy, as the information alone makes this a handy reference guide. What elevates it above finding the same information through internet searches is not only that the hard work has already been done for you, but also the illustrations included on every page. My particular favourite is The Smiths on page 46 (although I admit their music never grabbed me). A feast for the eyes, reference nutrition for the mind, and to round the experience off the author even created playlists on Spotify and Deezer to introduce you to the artists featured within. I recommend it.

Spencer Hill’s new book Yellow Monkey Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine is out now.

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Unique illustrations & Artworks auctioned to benefit House of Illustration

Friday, December 9th, 2016

On 13th December, Sotheby’s London will offer for sale over 40 original illustrations by leading artists, designers, and musicians to benefit House of Illustration.

The pieces offered for sale fall into a number of different sections including “What Are You Like?” (autobiographical drawings by leading cultural figures), Quentin Blake’s illustrations of Sophie and the BFG at St Pancras International station, and original drawings of the Famous Five commissioned to celebrate the series’ 70th anniversary.

David Shrigley

David Shrigley

Artists include Quentin Blake, Brian Eno, Eric Clapton, Oliver Jeffers, Emma Chichester Clark, Peter Capaldi, David Shrigley, Sara Fanelli, Peter Brooks, Peter Blake, Paul Smith, and Margaret Howell.

Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake

A registered charity, House of Illustration is the UK’s only public gallery dedicated solely to illustration, with a creative programme of exhibitions, talks and events. Founded by Sir Quentin Blake and opened in July 2014 at the heart of the King’s Cross regeneration area, it is the place to see, learn about and enjoy illustration in all its forms.

Ahead of the sale, all the works will be on display at Sotheby’s 34-35 New Bond Street from 9-12 December 2016.

Doctor Who script illustrated by Peter Capaldi low res

Peter Capaldi

Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City – Shortlist

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Thank you once again to everyone who entered the Prize for Illustration and submitted their fantastic work to the theme of “Sounds of the City”. The jury had a difficult job selecting only 100!
Congratulations to the selected illustrators whose work will feature in the exhibition at the London Transport Museum next year. The winners will be selected once the exhibition is up on the walls.

Here are the names and titles of the selected works:

Dalia Adillon The city, soundboard of the citizens
Julia Allum Suprise City Sounds
David Audenaert The beat goes on
Alexander Beeching The Parakeets of St. James’ Park
Butcher Billy The Sound And The Speed
Teresa Katharina Binder XYLONDOPHON
Sam Bridge London Noise
Manuel Bu Dominguez The singers of London
Jove Broadcasting House
Michela Buttignol Urban Melody
Cinyee Chiu City Player
Johnny Cobalto Phonopoly
Izhar Cohen City vox
Antoine Corbineau Music Ville
Christopher Corr Sounds of Saturday Night
Rob Cowan Saturday 3 o’clock
David Cutts Under the Bridge
Andy Davies The Sounds of Worcester
Anna Doherty All At Once
James Edler The Underground Sound
Daniyal Farhani Translated
Beata Filipowicz Imagine the sounds
Joanna Flint Sound Flows and Blocks – Depths and Perspectives
Sherri Frye Let it Rain
Paul Garland Sound of the Underground
Egle Gelaziute-Petrauskiene Who made me stop in the city rain
Chiara Ghigliazza Solo
Daniel Gilmartin Step Step
Fossil Glanville Lyrical London
Jonny Glover An Oasis In The City
Lydie Greco Nocturne op.9 No.2
Kate Greenslade Night Owl
Cristina Guitian Stories
Sam Hadley Sound of the Underground
Stefania Hajsakova lines of sounds
Eleanor Hardiman Columbia Road
Jessica Hargraves The Hustle and Bustle
Jessica Henley-Price Noise & Solitude
Amy Higgins Midnight in London
Lisa Holdcroft Olympic Park, Stratford
Summer House Street Echoes
Lucy Irving Fox’s Travelling Band
Elly Jahnz Billingsgate Fish Market
Chuan Jia the bay of sounds
Lin Jiang Sounds of London
Jari Johannes City in the Setting Sun
Lucie Julliat Mind the Step!
Laura Kerridge Specific Sounds
Yeni Kim Mind the Gap
Jerzy Kozien The Sound of Thunder
Joanna Layla As if a giant’s fingers swept its keys’
Amanda Lenig Tangled
Yijing Li Pieces of Sound
Zijun Li The Sound of London
Yi Hong Lim Sound of Plymouth
Tracey Long Groovy Bus Queue
David Lymburn Broken Tranquility
Ryan Mason-Bevan Reversing into place
Georgie McAusland Count the bongs to tell the time
Fausto Montanari Harmonic city
Kate Morgan The Sound of Kew Gardens
Ian Murray Reynard’s Riddim
Ian Murray A New Day
Alesya Nesolenova Disturbance
Sarah Perkins Tuning In
Daniel Perry Ode to a lonely busker.
Olesia Polupan Rhythms of the city
Andrei Popov Rain melody
Jane Porter Stamping Ground
Andy Potts Sonic City
Vàclav Pruner Layers as waves
Sabina Radeva City Visual Frequencies
Angel Reid Million Pointed Sky
Ignjat Reljic Djuric Voices Through Time
Jake Richardson Sound System
Paula Rivas A portrait of London sounds
Ignacia Ruiz Columbia flower market
Kate Sampson Dawn Chorus
Gus Scott 24 hours
Andrew Selby Summer Vibes 2
Victoria Semykina Red evening
Violeta Serratosa Same place, different music
Nozomi Shah Interconnected city
Eleanor Shakespeare Diverse City
Dean Smith Shadows of the Sound
Emilie Smith THE city SOUND frequency bar OF all THE CITY sound frequency bars
Natasha Smith Urban Sound
Ileana Soon A Rainy Day in London
Jacob Stack The Foxes
Amanda Summers The Mysterious Hum
Fredrik Swahn Subway Song
Phoebe Swan Borough Market
Shin Wah Gloria Tsang listen
Nikita Vlasov First snow
Lucy Waldman London Pop-up
Bill Walsh Ding, ding’
Joe Windsor Waterloo Sunset
Hsin-Chih Wu The Pleased Rhythm
Hila Zwergel City talk