Archive for May, 2017

Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City – all shortlisted works

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Congratulations to the creators of the 100 selected artworks to feature at the London Transport Museum in the Prize for Illustration – Sounds of the City exhibition from 24 May until 3 September 2017.

Please note the name of the artist can be seen when you hover over each image and in the info window in the browser address bar when you click on each image.

More information here: http://www.theaoi.com/events/prize-for-illustration-info.php

Virginia Wolf – book review

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Written by Kyo Maclear Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

Published by Book Island ISBN: 978-1-911496-038

Review by Rachel Morris

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The roots of this story sit loosely in the relationship between Virginia Woolf, 20th century Author and central figure in the Bloomsbury group, and her sister, the Artist Vanessa Bell.

Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault delve back into an imagined childhood as Vanessa struggles with her sister’s “Wolfish mood” – a reference to the real Virginia Woolf’s life long battle with depression. It’s a beautifully illustrated and sensitive, dreamlike story about what it could be like for a child to see a loved one suffering. While it doesn’t go deeply into the complexities and tragedy associated with mental illness, what it does do is lend a light touch and fairytale quality to those themes. For older readers, it opens up those ideas for deeper thought.

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Isabelle Arsenault’s muted colour palette takes us straight into the pervasively dark mood of Vanessa’s sister. Pencil marks are used to lay the drawing process bare, with the blemishes left by erased and re-drawn lines making up an important and beautiful part of the over all texture of the illustration.

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As the book progresses we see Vanessa’s glorious imagined world of “Bloomsberry” unfold. She literally and figuratively draws her sister out of her “wolfish mood” by drawing, painting and making a beautiful, imaginary place. The contrast between the grey and muted reality for the sisters and the colour bursting from their imagination heightens the difference as Virginia’s mood begins to change.

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The way in which Virginia is drawn also changes. She becomes more human, with the wolfish characteristics we’ve seen when she’s drawn in silhouette and shadow melting away. Those pointy ears are, in fact, the loops of a bow in her hair: Another lovely, visual tool to link the “wolfish” Virginia with the girl emerging from the “doldrums”.

In essence, this is a sensitive story about overcoming darkness with creativity, time, love and empathy.

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Pictoplasma Festival 2017 – A Report

Friday, May 26th, 2017
Fruit fruit, by Peter Millard

BOOGODOBIEGODONGOGOGODINGODONGBO, by Peter Millard

by Marianna Madriz, Illustrator and AOI Membership Assistant

This spring, Berlin was the proud host of an eclectic and unique arrangement of characters: from creatures coming together and parading down into the sea, to monks assembling to chant and praise their god, to a girl suffering from growing hot dog hands… literally. Characters in all shapes, sizes, styles and mediums converged once more in Pictoplasma 2017 to become an intense explosion of inspiration

Babylon Theatre

From its inception as an online encyclopaedia of contemporary character design in 1999, Pictoplasma has now grown into a world-renowned hub dedicated to bring emerging and established international artists into the public eye through conferences, workshops, screenings, publications and exhibitions (and parties). Organisers Peter Thaler and Lars Denicke are some of the main masterminds responsible for inviting outstanding Illustrators, Animators and Game Designers from all over the globe year after year, and this edition was no exception: Miss Lotion (aka Louise Rosenkrands), Jack SachsPooya Abbasian, Nathan Jurevicius and Eran Hilleli graced the stage and also filled the city with their unique works as part of the festival’s traditional Character Walk.

One of the most outstanding (and spooky) exhibition spaces was AG Cemetery Museum, which included speakers Peter Millard (displayed above) and most notably Pooya Abbasian, who exhibited a collection varying ink drawings inspired on superstition which fitted perfectly in the burial site.

Talisman, by Pooya Abbasian,

Talisman, by Pooya Abbasian

The 13th edition this year was all about ‘Character Upload’, a great name as projects become ever more detached from their creators once released onto the worldwide web. Relevantly, Ton Mak reflected on her own experiences with her Flabjacks work being plagiarised, and Sean Charmatz and Kirsten Lepore shared on their reactions when their respective creations ‘The Secret World of Stuff” and “Hi Stranger” suddenly encountered global viral stardom. In both cases all creators highlighted how difficult it is to tackle something that is beyond your control (a theme which resonated with all creative attendees in the audience), but they also emphasised how you can protect yourself from the beginning and learn from these happenings.

Virtual Reality was also more present in this year’s festival, featuring exclusive opportunities for attendees to experience new projects by the speakers. Examples included the absurdist puzzle exploration game Pikuniku and “Little Earth” by children’s book Illustrator Chris HaugtonAs much as we were sucked in, wowed and/or frightened by the digital world though, we also found comfort and appeal in handmade forms. Haugton’s fair trade rugs, Nathalie Choux’s ceramic creatures and DXTR’s tapestries were certainly big highlights in this matter.

The 25th Hour, by DXTR

The 25th Hour, by DXTR

Of course, the festival was all about play too. Attendees had the chance to get involved in workshops where they could try bringing their characters to life via live drawing, story boarding and/or animation; and after all note-taking and creative exercises were done, there was plenty of opportunity to relax, drink and further socialise in any of the many gatherings and parties organised. A great highlight of these parties was a hilarious live performance by John Daker, a new musical project by speaker Sophie Koko Gate; and with no intention of sounding too provoking, you kind of needed to be there. Everyone had a good boogie.

John Daker gig, live at ACHUD

John Daker gig, live at ACUD

As previously mentioned in my 2015 report, Pictoplasma isn’t only a fantastic festival to discover new work, but also to meet new people from all over the world and to re-encounter old friends from previous years. Even a few AOI friends and members were there, between them Rob Barrett (from Yo Illo), John Bond, Jenni Saarenkyla and Massimo Fenati (who was the lucky winner of our Pictoplasma ticket giveaway).

I went to Pictoplasma prepared to learn from artists, watch fantastic animations, meet excellent creative people and have fun, and once again I was not disappointed. It was intense, but it was incredibly worth it! I would encourage everyone to get involved with Pictoplasma in one way of another. They are currently taking applications for their Pictoplasma Academies both in Mexico and Berlin, so if you are interested in Character Design take advantage of this opportunity and find out more.

It was incredible to be able to share this experience with everyone. Hopefully we’ll be able to repeat it next year!

Ton Mak

Flabjacks bean bag, by Ton Mak

For more information about Pictoplasma International Conference and Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art, visit their website.

Pictoplasma 2015 Report
Pictoplasma NY 2016 by Yinfan Huang


Winners announced for Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

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We are delighted to announce the winners of the prestigious Prize for Illustration 2017 awards on 24 May 2017. The competition, which is open to illustrators and students of illustration throughout the world, is organized by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) and London Transport Museum.
Artists were invited to respond to the theme of Sounds of the City and capture sounds heard in our UK cities in a single illustration – from loud and frenetic urban noise to the more quiet and relaxing sounds of nature.
100 illustrations, which were shortlisted from over 2,000 entries by an independent panel of judges, will be on display at London Transport Museum until 3 September 2017. Visitors will be able to enjoy a breadth of interpretations of Sounds of the City including lyrics and language; hubbub and stillness; heritage and science; wildlife and nightlife; transport and sport. Each of the illustrations is accompanied by a short description about the inspiration behind their work.
The winning illustrations will be displayed on London Underground poster sites during the summer and each winner will a cash prize:
• Third Prize was Awarded to: Paul Garland, for Sound of the Underground (left)
• Second Prize was awarded to: Julia Allum,  for Surprise City Sounds (middle)
• First Prize was awarded to: Chiara Ghigliazza, for Solo (right)
Sam Mullins, Director of London Transport Museum, said: “We are delighted with the incredible variety of interpretations of the Sounds of the City brief which together make a lively and varied exhibition. The Prize for Illustration is important as it helps us to continue Transport for London’s legacy of art and design that dates back over 100 years. London Transport Museum’s collection of graphic art is one of the most important in the world and includes over 5,000 posters and artworks by famous artists including Man Ray, Paul Nash and Edward McKnight Kauffer.”
Ren Renwick, Managing Director of the AOI, said: “We received over 2,000 entries from across the world. I’m grateful to all the judges who had to select work which was generally of a very high standard.   The interest in the Prize for Illustration and the quality of work submitted, demonstrates the rude health of the illustration industry and this exhibition helps us reflect on the significance of Illustration and the relevance it has on our lives.”
The Prize for Illustration 2017: Sounds of the City is on display in the Exterion Media gallery at London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB.  Tickets cost £17.50 (£15 concessions) and allow unlimited daytime entry to the Museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year. Visitors can save money with advance online booking £16 (concessions £13.50) at www.ltmuseum.co.uk
http://www.theaoi.com/blog/?p=13211

We are delighted to announce the winners of the prestigious Prize for Illustration 2017 awards on 24 May 2017. The competition, which is open to illustrators and students of illustration throughout the world, is organized by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) and London Transport Museum.

Artists were invited to respond to the theme of Sounds of the City and capture sounds heard in our UK cities in a single illustration – from loud and frenetic urban noise to the more quiet and relaxing sounds of nature.

100 illustrations, which were shortlisted from over 2,000 entries by an independent panel of judges, will be on display at London Transport Museum until 3 September 2017. Visitors will be able to enjoy a breadth of interpretations of Sounds of the City including lyrics and language; hubbub and stillness; heritage and science; wildlife and nightlife; transport and sport. Each of the illustrations is accompanied by a short description about the inspiration behind their work.

The winning illustrations will be displayed on London Underground poster sites during the summer and each winner will a cash prize:

• Bronze Prize was awarded to: Paul Garland, for Sound of the Underground (right) Find out more about Sounds of the Underground here
• Silver Prize was awarded to: Julia Allum, for Surprise City Sounds (left) Find out more about Julia’s work.
• Gold Prize was awarded to: Chiara Ghigliazza, for Solo (below) Find out more about the Gold Winner here.

Sam Mullins, Director of London Transport Museum, said: “We are delighted with the incredible variety of interpretations of the Sounds of the City brief which together make a lively and varied exhibition. The Prize for Illustration is important as it helps us to continue Transport for London’s legacy of art and design that dates back over 100 years. London Transport Museum’s collection of graphic art is one of the most important in the world and includes over 5,000 posters and artworks by famous artists including Man Ray, Paul Nash and Edward McKnight Kauffer.”

Ren Renwick, Managing Director of the AOI, said: “We received over 2,000 entries from across the world. I’m grateful to all the judges who had to select work which was generally of a very high standard. The interest in the Prize for Illustration and the quality of work submitted, demonstrates the rude health of the illustration industry and this exhibition helps us reflect on the significance of Illustration and the relevance it has on our lives.”

The Prize for Illustration 2017: Sounds of the City is on display in the Exterion Media gallery at London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. Tickets cost £17.50 (£15 concessions) and allow unlimited daytime entry to the Museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year. Visitors can save money with advance online booking £16 (concessions £13.50) at www.ltmuseum.co.uk

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More on the exhibition events programme: http://www.theaoi.com/blog/?p=13211

Gold Winner: Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City: Chiara Ghigliazza

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Artist: Chiara Ghigliazza for Illustration: Solo

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Prize: £2,000

Medium: Digital painting

Artist’s summary
You just need to turn the corner to move from chaos to silence and change familiar noises into unexpected melodies.

Judges’ rationale
The judges loved the idea that this could be virtually any city, and the calming nature of the illustration. They also loved the concept of playing the railings and how the eye is drawn all around the image.

Artist’s background
Chiara is a freelance illustrator based in Milan. After graduating in Printmaking Design at Brera Fine Art Academy, she undertook a Masters in Editorial Illustration. She usually works with periodical and communication agencies. Chiara loves using visual metaphors and playing with free association.

www.chiaraghigliazza.com

Bronze Winner: Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City Paul Garland

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Artist: Paul Garland for Illustration: Sound of the Underground

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Prize: £750

Medium: Mixed / Digital

Artist’s summary
A homage to our city’s buskers and street performers.

Judges’ rationale
This image combines London’s iconic Tube roundel logo and line colours into a musical instrument symbolising two of the most famous characteristics of the city. It was credited for its strength in its simplicity.

Artist’s background
Paul lives and works in the Northern UK countryside. He describes his style as figurative in a very fresh, graphic and colourful way, whilst his conceptual work relies on bold imagery and metaphor to communicate. Paul is a strong believer that the simpler the concept, the more effective the solution becomes. Paul has gained many International Awards for his work with numerous clients over a 25 year career as an Illustrator.Prize: £750

www.paul-garland.com

Silver Winner: Prize for Illustration 2017 – Sounds of the City: Julia Allum

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Artist: Julia Allum for Illustration: Surprise City Sounds

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Prize: £1,000

Medium: Digital / Vector

Artist’s summary
Inspired by unexpected urban sounds. A parakeet’s squawk can often be heard in London above the usual hum of traffic. Simple shapes incorporating the Roundel logo illustrate these two contrasting sounds.

Judges’ rationale
The illustration immediately demands the viewer’s attention because of its graphic simplicity, elegance and subtlety.

Artist’s background
Julia Allum is a freelance illustrator based in Norfolk. She is influenced by her love of poster art from the first half of the 20th century. The bold shapes found in Art Deco design and the decorative flourishes of Art Nouveau inspire her colourful, eye catching illustrations. To date her work has been used in advertising, publishing and packaging both in the UK and abroad.

www. juliaallum.co.uk

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Julia Allum with her artwork.

photo courtesy of Sabine Reimer / AOI

Sam Scales: Boat Builder – exhibition

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Until 31 July 2017

TheGallery’s Off-Site Arts Programme, Westbeach, Pier Approach, Bournemouth

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Freelancer Illustrator, printmaker and photographer, Sam Scales graduated from Arts University Bournemouth with a BA (Hons) Illustration in 2016.

In his practice Sam works closely with local craft and tradesman, taking inspiration from visiting workshops and studios he documents these tradesmen’s craft. He tells the story of each individual and explores their journey and the passion that drives their work.

In this project Sam has worked in collaboration with Martine Loubser to focus on the theme of “The Tradesman”. His work explores the history behind the craft, documenting the tools used and conveying the story of the individual while also exploring the relationship between the illustrator and the tradesman.

The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers – book review

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Second Edition

Written by Alison Branagan

Published by: Bloomsbury Academic ISBN: 978-1-4742-5055-9

Reviewed by Andy Robert Davies

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There are several good publications on the market that offer guidance in the production of a professional illustration portfolio. This book offers something different; it focuses on the craft of turning artwork into money and therefore a viable career. Fees, invoicing and tax are not, usually, the topics that creative individuals relish, but it is not only talent that is needed to maintain a career, it is a mix of artistic ability and a good knowledge of running a business that will often lead to success.

Branagan unravels the complexities of subjects such as taxation using several examples, which should hopefully help to give confidence to those who are yet to experience the joys of a self-assessment tax return. The text is written in a friendly and supportive manner that recent graduates will be accustomed to. Information is delivered in digestible sections, which allows this book to be used as a reference manual as well as an introduction to the potential ways of developing one’s business.

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The list of resources and further reading at the end of each chapter is extensive and the author has considered almost every eventuality within the day-to-day running of businesses of various sizes. Some readers (with a leaning towards Illustration) may prefer to see some more case studies of Illustrators, but it is worth remembering that this book is not exclusively for Illustrators, it aims to help Artists, Designers, Illustrators and those practising in many other different crafts. Given the multifaceted nature of contemporary Illustration practice, where the individual can be originator, maker and distributor, a broad knowledge of different business practices is essential.

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Both newly graduated and seasoned freelancer will benefit from reading this book. There are many examples of ‘common sense’ advice, such as how to interact with potential clients, but it is these little details that might be overlooked, and being politely reminded of the importance of one’s conduct, may make the difference between a commission and unemployment. As professional practice is now a key aspect of all good Illustration degree programmes, this book will continue to feature on many reading lists and when used alongside, The Illustrator’s Guide to Law and Business Practice, published by the AOI (mentioned in this book), the reader will be extremely well informed on how to succeed as an Illustrator.

You may also be interested in these book reviews:

Becoming a Successful Illustrator

Illustration: Meeting the Brief

Illustrator of the Year 2017 V&A Illustration Awards

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

A. Richard Allen is announced as winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize at the 2017 V&A Illustration Awards

V&A Illustration Awards 2017 display

17th May – 20th August 2017, NAL Library Landing, Room 85

Admission Free

A. Richard Allen has been announced as the winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize, and winner of the Best Editorial Illustration, for Trump Wave, a satirical homage to Katsushika Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa, in a ceremony hosted by V&A Director Tristram Hunt at the V&A Museum. Based in Bournemouth, Allen studied at Central Saint Martin’s College and practices as an illustrator and painter with clients including The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian and The New Yorker. The judging panel praised his use of Hokusai in a contemporary context “to invoke echoes of the past to reinforce the reality that history matters”.

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Winners of the 4 categories of the 2017 V&A Illustration Awards:

1. Best Editorial Illustration and overall winner: A. Richard Allen for ‘Trump Wave’, in The Sunday Telegraph Money

2. Best Illustrated Book: JARVIS for Alan’s Big Scary Teeth (London: Walker Books, 2016)

3. Best Book Cover Design: Aino-Maija Metsola Virginia Woolf Series (London: Vintage Classics, 2016)

4. 2017 Student Illustrator of the Year: Beatriz Lostalé Seijo ‘The Odyssey’ (Anglia Ruskin University – Cambridge School of Art, MA Book Illustration)

Student Runner-Up: Tom Spooner ‘Towards an Infinite Place’ (Royal College of Art, Visual Communications)

The prize money for each of the four awards categories is £3,000, and the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize is worth an additional £5,000. The student runner-up prize is worth £2000. All the winning artworks will be displayed on the landing outside the National Art Library from 17th May – 20th August 2017.

Speaking after the ceremony, V&A Director Tristram Hunt said: “The V&A’s Illustration Awards is rooted in the V&A’s founding purpose, to celebrate and promote the highest standards of creativity. This prize shines a light on our illustration industry and supports the emerging talent of tomorrow through the Student Illustrator of the year prize. The extraordinary response to our competition is testament to the buoyancy of the creative talent we have here in the UK, so I’m delighted that the V&A will display all the winning artworks in the Museum for everyone to enjoy.”

This year’s shortlist was drawn from over 800 submissions. The competition has been running since 1972. Previous winners of the Illustration Awards include Sir Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman, Posy Simmonds, Sara Fanelli, and Yasmeen Ismail.

Supported by the Enid Linder Foundation and the Moira Gemmill Memorial Fund