Varoom 36: the Rhythm issue

September 4th, 2017 by Special Projects
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Cover by Jonathon Calugi

Rhythm is present in the way creatives work, our stance before the page or screen and the ebb and flow of a career as an illustrator. In this new issue AOI members discuss their thoughts on Career Rhythms and the tools and materials they use in Material Rhythms.

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Interview with Jean-Philippe Delhomme

The wit and style of visual social commentator Jean-Philippe Delhomme is explored in a profile where he covers the demise of blogs, taking on photography and how Hockney liberated his use of colour.

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Image by Jay Cover (featured in 'The Innovators')

Innovators across the fields of advertising, children’s books, street art and more are selected by our industry experts, including Luke Choice’s striking, swirling work for the Rugby World Cup and Anna Haifischm’s new graphic novel, The Artist.

Outstanding work from an international selection of Emerging Image Makers is showcased in this issue, from Norway to South Korea via the UK and Australia graduates also reveal their thoughts on what illustration means to them.

In The Commission, The Client, The Creative animator Stephen McNally, Iranian filmmaker Majid Adin and production company Blinkink reflect on the making of the new Rocket Man animation for Elton John’s classic song which draws on Adin’s experience as a refugee.

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Image by Phoebe Halstead (featured in 'Rhythm Roundtable')

All this and an intriguing Rhythm Roundtable discussing how new technology is rapidly changing the rhythms of image-making, of collaboration, and how we manage the rhythm of everyday life.

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Image by Seunghan Choi (featured in ‘Emerging Image Makers’)

Varoom 36 – feel the rhythm

Available in the AOI Shop!

Cover illustration by Jonathan Calugi


Christy Burdock announced as House of Illustration’s fourth Illustrator in Residence

September 1st, 2017 by Special Projects

The annual residency at House of Illustration is the UK’s only residency for illustrators and graphic artists.

Burdock, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, describes her drawings as reflecting ‘the narrative of the everyday’. She works by immersing herself in micro-societies, observing individuals and the relationships between them, and then layering this observation with metaphor and imagination to create new worlds.

Burdock’s previous work has focused on an Amish group travelling between Southampton and New York on the QM2, and a private members club in St James’ Square.

Tin Can

Tin Can

Over a period of six months, beginning on 1 September, Burdock will document and then recreate the world within House of Illustration, capturing its artists, staff and visitors.

The resulting artworks will be exhibited at House of Illustration in March 2017.

The judges – House of Illustration curator Olivia Ahmad, Eye Magazine editor John Walters and last year’s residents Nous Vous Collective – said: “From a field of outstanding candidates, we are delighted to have awarded House of Illustration’s 2017 residency to Christy Burdock. We were struck by Christy’s intrepid and sensitive exploration of closed communities and her drawn accounts that layer observation, memory and metaphor. For the next six months, Christy will immerse herself in the ‘micro-societies’ emerging from House of Illustration – we very much look forward to the outcome.”

Christy Burdock said: “I am delighted to have been chosen for the residency. I am a visual communicator working within a gallery setting, looking at how wider emerging ideologies ripple through society. An opportunity to make, test and show a new body of work responding to an institution with such a unique remit is a rare opportunity and a privilege.”

The annual residency supports an innovative illustrator, graphic artist or collective to create an ambitious body of work that challenges public opinion about what illustration can be.

House of Illustration’s residency programme is supported by The Barbara and Philip Denny Charitable Trust.

Arrest All Mimics: Laurence King + Nina Chakrabarti

August 30th, 2017 by Special Projects

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Ben Tallon brings us an incredibly insightful 2-parter, all about the world of creative book publishing!

The first episode focuses on Laurence King, one of the world’s leading publishers in the creative arts. Laurence and head of children’s books, Elizabeth Jenner, discuss the origins of Laurence King Publishing, the market today, what makes for a great book, advice for artists wishing to work with the publisher and much more! This is definitely a must listen for anyone with aspirations of publishing their artwork in book form.

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The second part in this series sees Ben speaking to Illustrator Nina Chakrabarti (Winner of the Professional Book category in the World Illustration Awards 2017), who recently published her 5th book Hello Nature with Laurence King.

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Nina discusses her route into the illustration industry and her five published, illustrated books. How did the book deal come about? What was it like working with a major publisher and how have the books been received?

Nina’s loose, fun style is seen in bookstores worldwide and she gives us a great insight into what it takes to follow suit.

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Give both episodes a listen now and tell us what you think! What would you make your book about?
Tweet to @arrestallmimics and @theaoi

In The Darkness Of The Night – book review

August 29th, 2017 by Special Projects

By Emily Rand

Tate Publishing ISBN: 9781849764810 Published on 7 Sept 2017

Age 3+

Review by Ren Renwick

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If you love peeking into warmly lit windows as dusk descends on a city – glimpsing the lives that go on therein – this is an unavoidably alluring book for you. Emily Rand takes us from a little girl’s bedtime through the noises and activities of the night through to a bleary eyed morning. Late night revellers, workers, nocturnal animals, postmen and fast food delivery – it’s the cosy version of urban night life.

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Each page has details that my five and three year old loved – foxes, mice, vacuum cleaners and mopeds. On every page there was something to talk about – from what night shift workers do through to why aeroplanes fly at night. (I now also know that my kids can hear us clinking glasses as we eat our dinner downstairs.) I imagine that for children it at once makes you feel safely snuggled in your bed away from the teeming life outside, and a little bit intrigued as to what adult world goes on when you are asleep.

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The words are entirely secondary to the images – I wonder if they are needed at all, so strong and rich is the visual narrative. Both five and three year old seemed less interested in what I was reading, than in pointing things out to me, though my three year old decided that it ‘sounded nice too’.

Dark_7_1250_550You know a book is a winner when there is a flight about who gets to take it to read in bed – but most importantly it’s something that I want to look at over and over again.

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Alan Berry Rhys: Carnada Viva – exhibition

August 25th, 2017 by Special Projects

29 August 2017– 9 September 2017

9am – 6pm Monday – Friday

Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 4RJ

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Alan Berry Rhys is a graphic artist and illustrator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is also a Professor of Graphic Design, and has taught at Buenos Aires University for 8 years.

‘In Spanish, Carnada Viva means ‘live bait’. Ever since I was a boy I have been drawn to fishing, and to this day remain fascinated by the variety of the sport.’

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Alan cites vintage graphic advertising as his main inspiration. Alan’s commercial work has seen him collaborate with a wide range of brands and agencies, including Jack Daniel’s, Miller Lite, Nike, Puma, Sol Beer, Cinzano, Vans and Oreo.

Dead or Alive: Gangster Trump Cards – book review

August 23rd, 2017 by Special Projects

By Stephen Ellcock and Adriana Bellett (JeezVanilla)

Published by Laurence King ISBN 978-1-78627-028-3

Review by Spencer Hill

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I am as obsessed with board and card games as I am illustrations and cartoons, so when I was asked to review Dead or Alive: Gangster Trump Cards I got very, very excited. Dead or Alive is effectively a game of Top Trumps using famous (or should that be infamous?) gangsters, gunslingers, goodfellas, felons, folk heroes and bad girls.

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There are 34 cards in the box, 32 of which contain a unique villain to use in the game. If you have intercepted this blog from another planet other than Earth you may not be familiar with the concept of Top Trumps. Quite simply, each card contains a group of statistics and on your turn you take the top card from your pile, pick what you think is the most impressive statistic and read it out loud. Everyone compares statistics, and the player with the card containing the highest value of the statistic read out wins all the cards in play at the time, and so on and so forth. In this game there are some interesting facts about the infamous person, then six statistics to use in the game, including Body Count, Firepower and $$$$$.

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The cards are well made and of a standard size with a pleasing satin finish and rounded corners, all packed in a neat little tray inside an illustrated sleeve. However, it is the artwork which elevates this from a typical game of Top Trumps, to something akin to a shuffleable portfolio for the illustrator Adriana Bellet aka JeezVanilla. Each card has been lavishly illustrated with a portrait of the featured villain, and they have all been drawn and coloured very stylishly. Pinks and yellows are used in profusion, and the style has a combination of tight line and both flat and washed out colour to create a really effective result. This should not be a surprise when you consider that JeezVanilla has a very impressive portfolio and has already got a growing list of accomplishments under her belt.

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In this deck you will find villains of international renown such as the Kray brothers and Ned Kelly, along with many more I admit I had never heard of. It is an interesting and closely researched game, and will appeal to students of criminology as well as students of illustration. The likenesses are stylised but close enough to recognise who they are if you are familiar with them, although I expect my favourite Harukichi Yamaguchi never sported a blue hairdo in reality. He does have a Firepower rating of 93 out of 100 though, so I reckon that if he did nobody would laugh at him for it!

If you are a fan of Top Trumps, contemporary illustration or bad guys then this is well worth checking out. It is a well researched, well designed and beautifully illustrated product and a worthy addition to both my game and illustrators’ portfolios collections.

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There and Back Again – exhibition

August 22nd, 2017 by Special Projects

29 August – 3 September

Espacio Gallery 159 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG

The show will feature work by 30 illustrators and artists inspired by adventure, exploration and discovery in a range of mediums from traditional print, collage digital art, as well a virtual reality installation.

Nadine Schere

Nadine Schere

The diverse line up of artists include AOI Illustration Awards nominees Andrew Baker and Amber Cooper-Davies, Folio Society shortlister Zanna Allen, Threadneedle shorlister Ben Hendy, D&AD winner Nicole Cowan as well as Children’s book illustrators Martin Ursell, Ellie Snowdon and Daniel Duncan

Artists from the Drawn Chorus Collective will be taking part

Alex Moore

Alex Moore

Alongside the show there is a series of themed creative workshops such as bookbinding and lino printing which includes a complimentary glass of prosecco and a chance to visit the show after hours.

Lino printed tote bags Wednesday 30 August 2017 6:30-9pm – Learn to carve a vintage botanical design into lino and hand print your very own tote bag with Summer Du Plessis. Get inspired by vintage botanical illustrations to make a personalised tote bag, perfect for shopping or giving as a gorgeous and thoughtful gift.

Bookbinding with maps Friday 1 September 2017 6:30-9pm – Learn to make beautiful hand-stitched hardback notebooks with Amber Cooper-Davies. In this two and a half hour workshop, you’ll be guided through the process of building and stitching your very own unique hardback notebook, or giving as a gift.

Alice Parsons

Alice Parsons

Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction

August 20th, 2017 by Special Projects

Until 1 September 2017

Barbican Centre, London

From the 19th century cabinet of curiosities, to the vastness of space. Through future cities, into the inner landscapes of human perception.

This exhibition uncovers the mysterious lands of Jules Verne and Ray Harryhausen where Science Fiction narratives first took root, and displays a wealth of illustration including vintage artwork promoting Soviet visions of space,  alongside immersive work by Soda_Jerk.

Courtesy of The British Interplanetary Society

Courtesy of The British Interplanetary Society

There’s also a gallery of aliens, alongside iconic spacesuits from a galaxy of blockbusters including Star Trek and Interstellar.

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Women Who Kill – book review

August 16th, 2017 by Special Projects

Written by Anna Davies Illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones

Published by Cicada Books ISBN: 978-1-908714-41-1

Reviewed by Karl Andy Foster

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Occidendum ex hominibus is an international past time that dates back centuries.

The title of this book is still shocking even by today’s standards. We are still convinced that killing is something women shouldn’t do if they wish to remain feminine. However, as this book shows, in 54AD it was all the rage for Roman nobility, and it’s a reminder that serial killers come in all shapes and sizes.

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It’s a hardback book with a cover that nods at the direct graphic approach used by the great Sue Coe. The end papers are unusual as they cover three pages instead of two, each depicting the tools of killing against a red background – there will be blood! The format is also reminiscent of chapbooks.

The structure is simple, opposite the portrait of the murderess is a short explanation of the crime and in some cases the reason for it. I do like the inclusion of the penalty as a warning to all transgressors; unless you are the Roman Aristocrat Agrippina whose political connections saved her from punishment.

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The illustrations are seductive and the women featured seem elevated by virtue of their destructive force. Tanat-Jones is working with a limited palette of blue, dark blue, black and red. She cleverly uses the white of the paper as a fifth colour. There is good variety in the portraits, each one depicting the location, weapon or poison of choice. Notable images for me are those of Ma Barker, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, Phoolan Devi, Julia Fazekas and Pauline Parker and her friend Juliet Hulme.

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The psychopathic killers disturb me, but those seeking revenge are more sympathetic. I think the pursuit of power is at the heart of most of the crimes, the power over life and death. The killings are treated in a matter of fact way without much bluster or sensationalism.

Now remember murder is very rare – don’t have nightmares…

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Arrest All Mimics interviews Creative Review

August 15th, 2017 by Special Projects

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Creative Review has been a mainstay of the creative industry for a long time. Undeniably a beautiful magazine with great journalism, where do we find them in 2017?

Ben Tallon meets with editor Patrick Burgoyne to talk about their transition into a bi-monthly print publication, why that decision was made and how digital plays an important role in them staying on top of the abundance of great work in all disciplines.

They also talk about their first ever course, ‘Mastering Creativity’ and everything you can expect from it.

Patrick provides many valuable insights and ideas, so hit Ben up over with your thoughts on @arrestallmimics now!

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