This afternoon I went to visit the PCA Graduate Show 2018. I only had a chance to visit the Game Arts and Illustration exhibitions, but I plan to go again tomorrow (the last day!). I’ll try to post about the full exhibition later, but for now, below are some of my favourite pieces that I’ve seen so far.
Last year in November, I won a design competition for an art shop in Plymouth, The Art Side.
I was told that my design would be printed on bags that would be on sale in the shop. They have now been printed and are in stock!
It’s really exciting knowing that people are walking around holding something that I have designed (as well as wearing my badges)! The chance to create a design for a local company has been an immensely awesome experience, and the fact that an arts shop liked my design best out of all the entries is really flattering.
The bags are printed on both sides, and are pretty strong, even though they’re made of plastic. I hope that at some point they’ll print my design on a reusable cotton tote bag.
Today me and my colleagues at Plymouth College of Art Pre-Degree will be putting on a show with our final project work for our first year. It’s open from 4pm to 6pm, and all are welcome. Spread the word, come down to the Palace Court centre and have a look 🙂
Plymouth College of Art – Pre-Degree Campus
On the 7th December I had my own table at the Tiny Mart Xmas Fair, where local maker-sellers gathered to offer their zines, comics, art prints, and more. The event was organised by the Plymouth Drink and Draw team. Drink and Draw is a social drawing event which happens monthly on the first Thursday of every month in Boston Tea Party, Plymouth. This is the second Tiny Mart event they have organised this year, I went to the first in May as a visitor and was really excited to be able to take part in this one as a table holder myself.
There were lots of awesome illustrators there who I admire, including Alice Kensington, LJ Durose, Cath Garvey, Adam Endacott, and the 2 Plums collective. Check them out (the links are to their Instagram accounts). I wasn’t able to buy much this time as my funds were short and I was busy at my own table, but I did manage to get the newest zine from Alice Kensington, Casting Call. I really wanted to offer swaps at the other tables but was too shy, I really need to work on that next time! If you see me around and want to swap anything, please ask me because I’m really up for exchanges with other artists!
Make sure to take a look at the #tinymart and #drinkdrawplymouth tags to get a sense of what Tiny Mart is all about, hopefully there will be another one soon, and if you like to draw and illustrate then I really recommend coming along to Drink and Draw, it is a lot of fun and a really friendly environment.
My local art shop, The Art Side, opened a competition last month to find the new design for their shopping tote bags. After finding out all of the details I needed and what my limitations were, I drew some sketches for different ideas, mostly based around art supplies and local landmarks. From those sketches I chose to do a selection of artists materials because (a) their previous bag (by Diana Mazuru Hooper) was illustrated with a picture of Plymouth’s beloved turtle Snorkel so I didn’t want to do a lesser local-based idea and (b) because I’m always looking for accessories that are decorated with illustrations based on illustration as a topic.
Because I wanted to do illustration as the theme, I thought it would be great to use a hand-drawn rather than clean digital style. I drew lots (and I mean lots) of different individual materials, from spray cans and markers to sharpeners, erasers, paints and glue. Then I scanned and cleaned up my images a little, keeping the sketchy style. I played with my images and came up with different compositions, sketching thumbnails as I went along to find balance and a good assortment of items.
Finally I found an arrangement I was happy with, and I entered it into the competition. I waited for the results with excitement and nerves and guess what? I WON! (Slight spoiler in the title there..)
My prize, as well as being the designer of the shop’s new bags and getting to see my work being carried around by people (and I will definitely get one for myself!) was a Daler-Rowney Screenprinting kit. I have tried screenprinting before at a short Saturday Art & Design Club workshop and have wanted the chance to try it properly by myself for a while, and now I can play with my kit at home and learn more about the process.
I have also been wanting to get some of my designs screenprinted for a while but haven’t had the money to do it, so now I can practice and make test versions at home which will help me to make better decisions about whether to get any designs printed professionally. I have tried lino printing on bags before but the results didn’t last well through washing, unfortunately. Now I just need a couple of days in a row free to play with my new kit..
This is my last post on the Plymouth Uni BA (Hons) Illustration show, previous posts are here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. This post features eight more of the artists who had work on display at the show.
Natalia Pątkiewicz (Instagram) takes inspiration from fantasy and sci-fi themes to design characters, environments and worlds to illustrate short stories and games. Natalia thoroughly explores her ideas about a character’s background, story, costume and expression.
Failures of Felix was one of the game jam projects from a jam I participated in locally. The jam only went on over 48 hours but Natalia still made time to take a lot of care over her character design and his background story.
Natalia’s sketchbooks were fascinating to look through and alongside her sketches they contain written story and character ideas, as well as her research notes. As a young illustrator, being able to look at some of the artists’ sketchbooks is one of the biggest benefits of going to the Graduate Shows. On the wall above Natalia’s sketchbooks were prints of some of her Daily Speedpainting Studies which each took between 30 minutes and 1 1/2 hours.
James Robinson (Instagram) specialises in portrait and editorial illustration. I like his work’s cartoony, yet carefully detailed style. The contrasted colours give a great impression of opposite sides or enemies.
Darius Gilbey is an editorial designer inspired by music, politics, and science. His Plymtek Poster design reminds me of sailor-style tattoo designs and graffiti art. I like how bunched up the main illustration is.
Another piece on display by Darius, titled Visual Metaphor and Editorial design, has a soft and warm feeling to it because of the airbrush style of shading and highlighting and the colours chosen. I like the way that the bright illuminated colours bring your eyes to the centre of the picture.
Calum Hanchett specialises in caricature illustration and often incorporates humour into his work. I really like the oil painting style of his caricatures and how carefully detailed they are.
Calum’s piece INK Journal illustration on the theme of Night reminds me of the natural environments in Studio Ghibli movies like Princess Mononoke, the long winding branches or vines give it a mystical feeling and I can imagine hidden creatures just out of sight.
Amber Dunsford (Instagram) specialises in editorial illustration based around and inspired by genetics. Her illustrations on display had a muted colour scheme, and she uses collage and print in her work.