Archive for June, 2017

MARCH – book review

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

Illustrated by Nate Powell

Published by Top Shelf Productions an imprint of IDW Publishing

Reviewed by Karl Andy Foster


Sometimes there are two Americas. This has been said many times.

The American politician John Lewis was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington, played many key roles in the Civil Rights Movement and its actions to end racial segregation in the United States. Today he is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, serving since 1987.

Published in three parts this graphic novel helps the reader to understand the distinct phases of John Lewis’ career in activism:

– Book One: Lunch counter sit ins
– Book Two: Freedom Rides and the March on Washington (including Lewis’ most famous speech)
– Book Three: Voter Rights, 1964 US Election (The election of L.B. Johnson) and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery


The novel begins with the Inauguration of Barack Obama’s as the 44th US President. This is used as a counterpoint for Lewis’ activities in his earlier life linked to desegregation and emancipation. These events take place from 1940 – 2009 during possibly the most extraordinary period of US history.

John Lewis as a young man is called to seek justice by the voice of God. He believes in non-violent protest at a time where universal hostility towards black people by the US system and the white population was the order of the day. It was a radical departure. Living by the simple notion that he must engage peacefully with people who feared change and denied the possibility that African Americans could ever be their equal. He and many others challenged the segregation of the American South that had existed since the abolition of slavery. The further South he travels the more he is drawn into the heart of darkness.


It is a tale of bravery and conviction at a time when one’s courage and beliefs could mean the loss of one’s job, personal injury, imprisonment or death. At this time the death of an African American was not a priority for investigators. The South was a place littered with victims of hatred and white supremacist ideology. It took the murders of white activists in Mississippi to bring the media running. It’s a story that suggests that things can improve, that ignorance can be overcome, that Government can make concessions and enforce the law.


The black and white illustrations capture the period and the intensity of the movements in their desire for progressive change. The scenes of the Church bombing in Birmingham are vivid, and the expression of the dignity of oppressed peaceful protestors comes across well. These images set the scene for a world that revolved around the actions of CORE, NAACP, SCLC and SNCC. There were natural rivalries and divisions but these were mostly generational. All agreed that change was necessary – it was the speed of the change that fueled the debates.

John Lewis survived this tumultuous period despite others close to him paying the ultimate price. The message from the novel asks “What would you be prepared to do or risk for what is right?” The leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., opposites who became social activists rather than purely racial champions, both died for the same ideal.

It is said that the trilogy was given extra coverage and sales thanks to John Lewis’ spat with the 45th US President. For many the current US situation demands a return to the protests that shaped our present and may protect our future.

You may also be interested in these book reviews:


Ronald Searle’s America

Visions of Colour – exhibition

Friday, June 30th, 2017

29 June – 16 August 2017

TheGallery, AUB, Wallisdown, Poole, Dorset BH12 5HH

Wallisdown, Poole, Dorset
BH12 5HH

Curated by Lisa Richardson


Work created by MA Illustration students in response to the Matisse: Drawing with Scissors exhibition, shown at TheGallery, Arts University Bournemouth.

Through this exhibition these illustrators explore and celebrate flatness, colour, pattern and form. They have considered the motifs and the subject matter that are fundamental to their own illustration practice and related these to the ‘paper cut-outs’

Exhibiting Artists

Katie Andrews/Alexandros Andrianopoulos/Gideon Bohannon/Lana Charara/Yu-Ting Cheng/Laura Huartson/ Rebecca Janeb (Becky)/Rosan Magar/Ryoko Matsukura/ Nahyung Park/Yan Qinyuan/Jenni Saarenkyla/Daniel Shen/ Terry Stimpson-Peay/Nicola Stockley/Olga Waller/Graham Wood/Jiaqi Wu/Ran You

Jason Ford at Seven Stories

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Studio Takeover with Jason Ford

Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 2PQ

Seven Stories welcomes talented illustrator and cartoonist Jason Ford as he takes over our Studio for a weekend residency! Join Jason as he live draws the famous Newcastle skyline onto the wall of our Studio, and put yourself into a comic strip with a very special Comics Photobooth.

Screenshot 2017-06-27 12.39.57

Jason will also host events for all ages over the weekend.

World Illustration Awards 2017 Category Winners Announced

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Association of Illustrators, in partnership with the Directory of Illustration in California, is excited to announce category winners of the World Illustration Awards.

Tony Rodriguez 'Billy Murray | Mark Twain Prize' for the Washington Post

Tony Rodriguez 'Billy Murray | Mark Twain Prize' for the Washington Post

This year’s winning entries were selected by a panel of international judges from all aspects of the industry including commissioners, publishers and artists, such as Alexandra Zsigmond, Designer at the New York Times, Matt Smith, Creative at Australian public broadcaster SBS and London-based Jonathan Hubbard, Creative Director and Founder of The Clearing.

Zan Boag, Editor-in-Chief of New Philosopher and Editorial Director of Womankind magazine said after the initial shortlisting: “A wonderful bunch of entries, I look forward to discussing the favourites with the other judges. I think these are all excellent artworks – I would commission all of these artists in an instant.”

Category winners include a characterful portrait of Bill Murray for the Washington Post by US-based artist Tony Rodriguez, which was lauded by the jury for its strong composition and well executed traditional technique that captures the subject perfectly and in a unique style. Claudine O’Sullivan’s complex digital illustrations for the Apple Pencil Campaign were commended by the jury for their superb technique: “Flawlessly executed: can’t stop myself from staring at the pencil’s mesmerizing effect, it’s quite original” – judge Gabe Usadel. Lizzy Stewart’s playful and vibrant illustrations for children’s book ‘There’s a Tiger in the Garden’ were an immediate favourite with the category jury thanks to their full texture and character which reflect the key scenes from the book. Up-and-coming British talent Bethan Woollvin’s college projectLittle Red’ delighted the jury with its simple yet powerful imagery, portraying a contemporary retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with an androgynous protagonist, who could be seen as a relatable role model to all children.

Environmental themes are addressed with works by Chen Winner, whose educational animation made for CNN titled ‘Econundrum’ shows the consequences of buying bottled water, while the imaginative series of illustrations titled ‘Yen Town – The Last Unpolluted Territory’ by Sam Ki, depict a unity of humanity and the natural world.

Also of note is Marguerite Carnec’s series ‘Lieu de Vie’ which documents the artist’s time spent volunteering in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais and was skillfully created using a monoprint technique.

All category winners will feature in an exhibition at Somerset House from 31 July to 28 August. With over 2,300 entries from 64 countries for this year’s World Illustration Awards, the exhibition will showcase 50 shortlisted projects across the eight categories, from Advertising and Design to Books and Editorial, offering an accessible introduction to illustration in its many forms, and demonstrating the importance of visual communication in everyday life. Original exhibited works on display will include animations, posters, packaging and children’s books by artists from the UK, USA, Italy, The Netherlands, South Korea, Hong Kong and Israel.

This year, The World Illustration Awards is teaming up with Walker Books, the world’s leading independent publisher of English-language children’s books, to offer the Walker Books Family Programme. A series of free family workshops will take place throughout August in the exhibition space at Somerset House. These include workshops with debut author-illustrator Alice Tait, award-winning author-illustrator of the ‘Julius Zebra’ series Gary Northfield, upcoming artist and illustrator Elissa Elwick, and debut graffiti illustrator Sav Akyuz.

Read about the winners here:

Arrest All Mimics interview with Sir John Hegarty on creativity

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

by Ben Tallon

He emerges from the right corridor, grinning his way into the Garage Soho’s meeting room where I sit, awaiting my first Arrest All Mimics podcast interview with a Knight. “Is that Ben?” Sir John Hegarty deserves his title.


There’s endearing warmth and immediate authenticity about him that I’m certain has played a huge role in his success. Within moments of shaking hands, we’ve plunged feet first into the vast topic of creativity. For just over an hour, Hegarty (an AOI Patron) manages to take me down his rabbit hole and when I return, gasping for air, I feel like we’ve come pretty close to understanding everything there is to know about it.

“All my work stems from the belief that creativity is an expression of self,” he explains to me. “People say music is the greatest art form, but I say it’s second, behind life.” I feel like the kid who brought his homework in on time. I’ve become more and more obsessed with understanding the unique journey we all have and its symbiotic relationship with creativity. To hear it validated by a man with five times my professional experience, a founding partner of BBH, one of the world’s greatest advertising agencies, gives me a great rush of confidence.

John Hegarty

John Hegarty

Expression of self is not simply doing what you want to do, more bringing yourself, that utterly unique and most powerful creative weapon to the work you choose to do in order to make it truly stand out. So many people in the creative industry spend too much time pandering to trends and a vague notion of what is expected of them by a client, lecturer or audience, when they need not. The greatest solutions to the identity riddle are always within. Sometimes they come so naturally, we miss them altogether.

Hegarty and I share the opinion that there is not enough risk in today’s creative industry. “With Flat Eric, they really thought I’d gone mad…” He tells me as he smirks, revealing the defined laughter lines of one who has had fun. Flat Eric, the yellow puppet he cast as the new hero of Levis commercials in 1999 was an act of irreverence, something John feels is essential to creativity. He admits it was a gamble, but one he had faith in. It paid off.


Flat Eric Levi's commercial

As he recounts this amongst other instances where he had to fight for an idea, I sit back and bask in his glow. If we’re not enjoying our work, looking to be remembered and refusing to settle for tired, safe ideas, why are we in this dog-eat-dog industry? I doubt many of us arrived at college fantasizing about working on something we do not care about only to pay the bills.

“You’ve got to be prepared to challenge your own thinking, what you’ve done before. That’s the harshness of a creative career,” he tells me, looking slightly more serious now. “You’ve got to be fearless! You have to have faith in the creative work you’re doing.” He’s right, but it takes a certain tenacity to break through the fear of those holding the cards.

I think back to posters that felt just as epic as the film they promoted, adventurous album covers from my youth that broke from what had gone before and captured a piece of time and culture, perhaps missing from mainstream music today, and of course, bold advertising campaigns that got people talking in the street, becoming a part of pop culture.

Subservience and gentle existence do not breed that kind of impact. These were the acts of raw creativity that attracted me to art-college and then a career as an illustrator. Now, it’s the reason I host a podcast, wrote Champagne and Wax Crayons, continue to assign myself a daunting schedule in order to stay sharp, challenged and progressing.

Hegarty perfectly articulates the instinctive beliefs. “Without being enthusiastic, you won’t be truly great at something,” he states and don’t I know it. It’s often a long, winding road, filled with obstacles and things we’d rather not do, but the enthusiasm and drive to get past them has to be self-made, a by-product of leading fiercely with the things that speak to us, awakening the inner child. We all need to make money, but to become trapped by necessity is catastrophic.

BBH website

BBH website

I need to feel my hairs stand on end, a pure desire to get out of bed in the morning. Everything I’ve done that I consider an achievement in the arts has happened to some degree because I wanted to create the magic that John speaks of. Even in the busiest of weeks, I made time for attempted wizardry.

In front of me sits a man interested only in ideas, creativity, a maverick who is not afraid of ruffling a few feathers. Even now, after decades of hard work, the passion with which he speaks is infectious. It’s hard to imagine the man retiring, an idea that is also alien to me. “My son says I’m more like a mascot these days…” he laughs, suggesting his role at BBH is less involved than it once was. The example of creative thinking John Hegarty has set down for me is a giant one, but it’s important I don’t stand back in awe too long. It’s up to my generation to make sure we pick it up and harness the spirit to challenge conventional thinking.

To hear the full exclusive Arrest All Mimics interview with Sir John Hegarty on creativity, visit here

Ben Tallon is a freelance illustrator, author of Champagne and Wax Crayons: Riding the Madness of the Creative Industries and host of Arrest All Mimics, the Original Thinking and Creative Innovation podcast.

He works with WWE, EMI, Channel 4, The Guardian and The Premier League among others.

Art Out of the Bloodlands: A Century of Polish Artists in Britain

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

28 June – 17 September 2017

Ben Uri Gallery and Museum

108a Boundary Road, London, NW8 0RH Mon–Fri 10 am–5.30 pm, Sat–Sun 11am–5 pm

Marek Zulawski, Poland First to Fight, 1939, poster, Private Collection, courtesy the artist's estate

Marek Zulawski, Poland First to Fight, 1939, poster, Private Collection, courtesy the artist's estate

This is the second exhibition in Ben Uri’s series on refugee and migrant artists, highlighting the Polish contribution in Britain over the last century. This focus is particularly apt as the community approaches its millionth citizen, the largest migrant group in Britain, and as Poland celebrates its centenary in 2018 as an independent nation state.

The exhibition will tell aspects of the story of the Polish community in Britain, and Poland’s recent turbulent history, through the lens of art. It will trace the complex stories of Polish-born artists who fled successive regimes, were variously persecuted, imprisoned and interned, crossed continents – or, today, have made positive choices to come to Britain to study or to develop professionally.

The exhibition brings together a century of artworks and archival material by both celebrated and lesser-known Polish-born artists selected from the Ben Uri Collection and from Polish institutions, galleries and private collections.

Arrest All Mimics interviews Claudine O’Sullivan

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017


Claudine O’Sullivan has picked up the prize for the advertising category in the World Illustration Awards 2017. Her distinct, vibrantly coloured illustration crosses many contexts and platforms and her stunning Apple iPad campaign work has landed her the big prize only one year into her full-time freelance career.

The Dublin born illustrator joins Ben Tallon to discuss how her organic style translated to digital, why she’s enjoying learning new things on the job and the importance of learning from good art-directors and clients.

Claudine also muses on the benefits of taking your time when taking on professional agency representation.

Listen now! What is creativity to you? Discuss with @arrestallmimics on Twitter.

Kate Greenaway Medal 2017

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration in a book for children has been declared – and it’s Lane Smith for There is a Tribe of Kids.

AOI member, Francesca Sanna is the winner of the Amnesty CILIP Honour for The Journey.


Here’s the shortlist for 2017:

2017 Shortlist2 copy

Previous winners include Levi Pinfold, Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes, former Children’s Laureates Quentin Blake and Anthony Brown, and recent Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.

Face-Off – Pictoplasma

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Reveal Your True Self with a Character Selfie!

Back in 2013—when ‘selfie’ was the Oxford English Dictionary’s freshly nominated word-of-the-year and the first Oscar celebrity group selfies went viral, no-one saw this as a harbinger of headshot hell. Then, just as we had become accustomed to the world wide spread of selfie sticks, blurry duck faces, and underexposed narcism, a new explosion of filters, stickers, and face-swapping began taking things to unprecedented levels of silliness.

Jon Burgerman

Jon Burgerman

What do the multiple trillions of photos now in circulation say about our identities?

Perfect time for Pictoplasma, the world’s leading festival of character design and art, to issue a call for entries that puts creativity back in focus. Pictoplasma has teamed up with Adobe Project 1324 to invite all global youth (aged 18—24) to express their personalities in an artistically ‘characterized’ self portrait.

Starting with a regular photograph like a headshot or profile picture and overlaying it with a graphical rendition of their true identity, entrants are invited to express their personality with a self-portrait that lets their inner character shine!

Amandine Urruty

Amandine Urruty

Five winners will be awarded with a full-blown Character Design Fellowship, including travel costs and participation at the Pictoplasma Academy masterclass in Mexico City October 2017, six-months of online mentoring, and attendance at the Pictoplasma Berlin Conference May 2018—including the opportunity to exhibit in an exclusive group show.

Any medium or tool may be used, from drawing, collage or digital painting, vector illustration, 3D graphics, masks, costume design or a mix of them all…

Guillaume Kashima

Guillaume Kashima

The Face-Off Challenge is open now, deadline for submissions is August 15, 2017. The first 100 submissions have been eligible to win one of ten year-long Creative Cloud subscriptions, donated by Adobe.

Show Character! #CharacterFaceOff

Process Special: The Little Mermaid with Metaphrog

Friday, June 16th, 2017

1 Berwick Street, Soho, London W1F ODR
June 28th 7.30-9pm

Award-winning graphic novelists Metaphrog discuss their latest adaptation The Little Mermaid


Metaphrog are Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, graphic novelists and winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 Best Visual Artist. Their work is highly-acclaimed internationally, has received multiple award nominations, including three for the Eisner Awards, and Louis – Night Salad was Highly Commended for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2011. Metaphrog tirelessly promote the medium of comics and travel regularly to talk about their work in schools, libraries and at festivals. They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy, the first graphic novelists ever to fill such a role, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (2015). Their adaptations of fairy tales, The Red Shoes and Other Tales and The Little Mermaid, are published by Papercutz/NBM.

The event follows on from their north American tour in support of the release.