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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Save Our Souls: Camberwell College of Arts Illustration Degree Show Review Part 2

My second round up of the Camberwell Illustration Degree Show - this is what I like to call the Best of the Rest... including work by Myrto Williams, Andrew Thorpe, Paddy Jone, Nina Malysheva and a display by Sprouting 56

Written by Amelia Gregory

For the launch of Amelia Gregory’s (Editor: Amelia’s Magazine) wonderful illustration anthology in which illustrators illustrated the range of alternative energy sources. The artists were asked to illustrate the walls of Concrete Hermit. Two of the participants Liv and Jess have subsequently formed an interesting project called Pencil Chit Chat in which their conversations happen entirely through their drawings. Culminating in an exhibition soon to occur at the Front Room in Cambridge. Liv and Jess will each have a side of the room in which to draw their conversations live. Part of the remit of the project is that in real life Liv and Jess have barely met and the illustrations arrive in the post.

Liv:It was at the drawing on the walls day at Concrete Hermit back in December. But I don’t think we even had an extensive chat at all. We were getting into the scribble zones. I was really impressed with Jess’ wall. It looked so bold and vibrant.

Jess: I remember Liv commented on my good use of type and I watched her slowly throughout the day and thought “wow”

How did you become to be involved in Amelia’s Anthology?

Jess: I’d already done some stuff for Amelia and thought it was a fantastic opportunity to get involved in.

Liv: My local toon is intrinsically involved in environmental policies and it has positively rubbed onto me. I feel strongly about 4×4 vehicles. I have a pencil. I can draw stink lines.

Explain Pencil Chit Chat please…

Jess: I had the idea for a while and was just waiting for the right person to come along. I thought Liv’s type was different enough in style to mine but still had hand rendered qualities which helps fuse the project together.

Liv: It was Jess’ idea. I was bowled over and really excited by her email asking me to take part and be the other shoe to walk along a meandering little journey into scribbledom.

Where do you see Pencil Chit Chat developing?

Liv: Into print and to keep going. The whole idea of the Chit Chat is personal work but not self-indulgent. Maybe other illustrators could do the same. It’s like the Slow food movement, pilule pigeon post, back to the old writing desk days of yore.

Jess: Really I see it as a creative outlet where I can experiment and discover. I get many projects where people want a illustration which looks like a previous one. This is a chance for me to explore new techniques and avenues. Where do I see Pencil Chit Chat developing…….where it wants to really. Possibly I’d like a better website, but it have to be idiot proof for me and liv! Me and Liv where thinking we’d published the first years illustrations in a book by Christmas.

What are your plans?

Liv: Make a wee book, possibly in time for Crimbletime. Make up more words and infiltrate them into society. I’d like to see it passed onto others designers. Illustrators possibly sometimes feel like doodle hermits cooped up in their sheds or ships.

How did you become involved in front room?

Liv: This was also through Jess. As you can tell she is the brainchild of the operation- an extremely prolific and hardworking dude she is.

Jess: I came across there website whilst browsing on the internet. I got in touch! Originally I was going to do a solo exhibition. But I thought it be funnier and better with Liv.

How will the exhibition unfold? Will you take over the gallery walls again as at Concrete Hermit?

Jess: Pretty much! There going to be two different conversations unfolding, so we are both working all the time. “busy bees”

Liv: We will have two starting points i.e. two conversations will be underway, and we will swap over when one has finished their reply. It will be different I’m sure.

What is it that interests you about type, particularly hand rendered typography?

Liv: It’s really cathartic to draw letters and take your time over something that people do everyday, scribbling a note on a napkin or by the side of a crossword. It’s pure communication and you can be witty or stupid. I like like illustrations that educate you too. I was alwys pouring over my encyclopaedia when I wes a younger.

Jess I like the expression and extra meaning you can give to a word when its hand rendered type. I have always done it really it’s just natural.

What is your relationship between text and the illustration or is there no separation between the two?

Liv: Definitely the educational slant and informing an audience directly. I’d be more than happy to make versions in different languages, as that is a downside to hand rendered type if one doesn’t understand English. Maybe I should go and research in Japan..
I feel letterforms make my work look better! It’s an extra graphic detail, but it also has substance.

Jess: I see it as all part of my work. Sometimes the type can give extra meaning to the illustration

How did you develop as an illustrator?

Jess: I always really enjoyed drawing and being creative and it just seemed a natural progression for me. I like working to a brief also which is something illustrators seem to do often.

Liv: I decided it was the path for me when I realized it was in between fine art and graphic design. I didn’t want to be either of those. Illustration is for the people (as is Comic Sans- that’s a font for the people, but that’s another story) as it bridges gaps between understanding and informing one of a text or an idea, rather than alienating and putting something on a pedestal.

Favourite Illustrators?

Jess: Recently Cristina Guitian is doing brilliant stuff, and Adam Hayes. I really like the big shows that Le Gun put on. I saw there one at Pick Me Up I thought it was ace.

Liv: Old cookery books- the kitsch photography is joyous. Ren and Stimpy and other fifties-esque cartoons. Dirty edges and bits you get out of photocopiers, collaging Victorian style, Blists Hill museum, music pumping into my earlugs- plenty of textures and bleeps, Books books and more books. The music video ‘The Tain’.

In your interview in the Anthology your (Jess) use of Lightbox is mentioned, what and how does this work?

Liv: I hope this isn’t some new software everyone is in on. It’s a tracing cube with a switch and electricity, powered by a lemon battery used on the old spice ships to help sailors navigate in the lower decks. I think the Lumiere brothers invented it.

Jess: It’s a errrrrrrrr..(this is hard). Right!

It’s a box which you can draw on to copy the images underneath. So I draw all my roughs first, to get the alignments and proportions and then trace the images in color.

What were your thoughts about your respective technologies?

Jess: Why isn’t being used!

Liv: The sea serpent, The Anaconda- what a beast. It stays tethered to the seabed and gathers the power of the waves in its rubber body. A fantastical piece of engineering I want to see in our high seas.

For the launch of Amelia Gregory’s (Editor: Amelia’s Magazine) wonderful illustration anthology in which illustrators illustrated the range of alternative energy sources. The artists were asked to illustrate the walls of Concrete Hermit. Two of the participants Liv and Jess have subsequently formed an interesting project called Pencil Chit Chat in which their conversations happen entirely through their drawings. Culminating in an exhibition soon to occur at the Front Room in Cambridge. Liv and Jess will each have a side of the room in which to draw their conversations live. Part of the remit of the project is that in real life Liv and Jess have barely met and the illustrations arrive in the post.

Liv:It was at the drawing on the walls day at Concrete Hermit back in December. But I don’t think we even had an extensive chat at all. We were getting into the scribble zones. I was really impressed with Jess’ wall. It looked so bold and vibrant.

Jess: I remember Liv commented on my good use of type and I watched her slowly throughout the day and thought “wow”

How did you become to be involved in Amelia’s Anthology?

Jess: I’d already done some stuff for Amelia and thought it was a fantastic opportunity to get involved in.

Liv: My local toon is intrinsically involved in environmental policies and it has positively rubbed onto me. I feel strongly about 4×4 vehicles. I have a pencil. I can draw stink lines.

Explain Pencil Chit Chat please…

Jess: I had the idea for a while and was just waiting for the right person to come along. I thought Liv’s type was different enough in style to mine but still had hand rendered qualities which helps fuse the project together.

Liv: It was Jess’ idea. I was bowled over and really excited by her email asking me to take part and be the other shoe to walk along a meandering little journey into scribbledom.

Where do you see Pencil Chit Chat developing?

Liv: Into print and to keep going. The whole idea of the Chit Chat is personal work but not self-indulgent. Maybe other illustrators could do the same. It’s like the Slow food movement, patient pigeon post, this back to the old writing desk days of yore.

Jess: Really I see it as a creative outlet where I can experiment and discover. I get many projects where people want a illustration which looks like a previous one. This is a chance for me to explore new techniques and avenues. Where do I see Pencil Chit Chat developing…….where it wants to really. Possibly I’d like a better website, pill but it have to be idiot proof for me and liv! Me and Liv where thinking we’d published the first years illustrations in a book by Christmas.

What are your plans?

Liv: Make a wee book, possibly in time for Crimbletime. Make up more words and infiltrate them into society. I’d like to see it passed onto others designers. Illustrators possibly sometimes feel like doodle hermits cooped up in their sheds or ships.

How did you become involved in front room?

Liv: This was also through Jess. As you can tell she is the brainchild of the operation- an extremely prolific and hardworking dude she is.

Jess: I came across there website whilst browsing on the internet. I got in touch! Originally I was going to do a solo exhibition. But I thought it be funnier and better with Liv.

How will the exhibition unfold? Will you take over the gallery walls again as at Concrete Hermit?

Jess: Pretty much! There going to be two different conversations unfolding, so we are both working all the time. “busy bees”

Liv: We will have two starting points i.e. two conversations will be underway, and we will swap over when one has finished their reply. It will be different I’m sure.

What is it that interests you about type, particularly hand rendered typography?

Liv: It’s really cathartic to draw letters and take your time over something that people do everyday, scribbling a note on a napkin or by the side of a crossword. It’s pure communication and you can be witty or stupid. I like like illustrations that educate you too. I was alwys pouring over my encyclopaedia when I wes a younger.

Jess I like the expression and extra meaning you can give to a word when its hand rendered type. I have always done it really it’s just natural.

What is your relationship between text and the illustration or is there no separation between the two?

Liv: Definitely the educational slant and informing an audience directly. I’d be more than happy to make versions in different languages, as that is a downside to hand rendered type if one doesn’t understand English. Maybe I should go and research in Japan..
I feel letterforms make my work look better! It’s an extra graphic detail, but it also has substance.

Jess: I see it as all part of my work. Sometimes the type can give extra meaning to the illustration

How did you develop as an illustrator?

Jess: I always really enjoyed drawing and being creative and it just seemed a natural progression for me. I like working to a brief also which is something illustrators seem to do often.

Liv: I decided it was the path for me when I realized it was in between fine art and graphic design. I didn’t want to be either of those. Illustration is for the people (as is Comic Sans- that’s a font for the people, but that’s another story) as it bridges gaps between understanding and informing one of a text or an idea, rather than alienating and putting something on a pedestal.

Favourite Illustrators?

Jess: Recently Cristina Guitian is doing brilliant stuff, and Adam Hayes. I really like the big shows that Le Gun put on. I saw there one at Pick Me Up I thought it was ace.

Liv: Old cookery books- the kitsch photography is joyous. Ren and Stimpy and other fifties-esque cartoons. Dirty edges and bits you get out of photocopiers, collaging Victorian style, Blists Hill museum, music pumping into my earlugs- plenty of textures and bleeps, Books books and more books. The music video ‘The Tain’.

In your interview in the Anthology your (Jess) use of Lightbox is mentioned, what and how does this work?

Liv: I hope this isn’t some new software everyone is in on. It’s a tracing cube with a switch and electricity, powered by a lemon battery used on the old spice ships to help sailors navigate in the lower decks. I think the Lumiere brothers invented it.

Jess: It’s a errrrrrrrr..(this is hard). Right!

It’s a box which you can draw on to copy the images underneath. So I draw all my roughs first, to get the alignments and proportions and then trace the images in color.

What were your thoughts about your respective technologies?

Jess: Why isn’t being used!

Liv: The sea serpent, The Anaconda- what a beast. It stays tethered to the seabed and gathers the power of the waves in its rubber body. A fantastical piece of engineering I want to see in our high seas.

I’ve already blogged about my absolute favourite illustrators from the Camberwell College of Arts Illustration Degree Show Save Our Souls, ask but because there was so much good stuff to see here is a compilation of my Best of the Rest: and apologies to any absolute wonders that somehow slipped from my gaze as I hurried around the exhibition.

Andrew Thorpe
I liked Andrew Thorpe‘s strange targets and squirrels etched onto wood.

Camberwell degree show2010Andrewthorpe

Jamie Peter Hall
Jamie Peter Hall‘s Germanscape used household paint on wood. His work has an appealing real fine art feel to it.

Jamie Peter Hall

Myrto Williams
For some reason I found this work from Myrto Williams extremely unsettling. But the combination of hyperreal style and unusual subject matter certainly drew me in.

Camberwell Degree2010 Myrto Williams

Nina Malysheva
This clever collaged paperwork to illustrate The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from Nina Malysheva had great appeal.

Nina Malysheva Mariner
Nina Malysheva

Paddy Jones
Paddy Jones takes cue from comic books, cure Andrew James Jones, prostate Modern Toss and ilk to produce fun characters, often with an accompanying storyline. I liked his large wooden cutouts.

Camberwell degree show2010Paddy Jones

Emily Brown
Does some very nice woodcut animals, but other than that I can tell you no more because she barely has an online presence. In fact this image was all I could find.

EMILY-BROWN

Imogen Kirk-Reynolds
Imogen Kirk-Reynolds played around with found imagery and type.

Imogen kirk reynolds

Rochu Chiu
A nice bit of nonsensical fun from Rochu Chiu, who had stuck a load of postcards spilling out of a fake letterbox onto the floor. Illustration or installation? You decide.

Camberwell Degree2010rochuchiu

Christie Corbally
I liked some of Christie Corbally‘s very trendy crystal influenced printed textile designs, but again, no website and no way to find more of her work. Even her link on the Save Our Souls website doesn’t work.

Camberwell degree show2010ChristieCorbally

Pete Willis
I liked Pete Willis‘s strange family portrait in coloured pencils and the similar scratchy pencil style of Feronia Parker-Thomas, who was reviewed in Matt Bramford’s earlier blog.

Pete Willis

On a bit of a tangent, I was most intrigued by the work of Sprouting 56… which appears to be a collective of “co-facilitators of edible related projects” that blurs into the Transition Town Brixton and Peckham food groups and takes into account a bit of guerilla gardening… quite what it has to do with illustration or any other artistic discipline I’m not sure, and will need further investigation. But it’s great to see artists tackling these kind of projects as part of their degree work. Very exciting stuff. With apologies for the shite photograph below but it’s all I have.

Camberwell Degree sprouting 56

Finally, I have to say that I continue to be massively surprised by the lack of online engagement from the majority of graduating illustrators. I suppose what irks me most is that I actually lectured most of these particular illustrators when I visited Camberwell during their second year, and I distinctly remember devoting a large part of my lecture to the importance of online networking – and especially the importance of being on Twitter. I’ve yet to find one of these illustrators proactively on there.

I suppose that what I take from this is that unless I actually sit down and spend significant amounts of time helping illustrators (or other artists and designers) to set up their online presence, then it simply goes straight over their heads. But then, that’s completely down to whether the art colleges will employ me to do so. I don’t think they can afford not to. Tutors, if you’re reading this, you know where to find me….

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2 Responses to “Save Our Souls: Camberwell College of Arts Illustration Degree Show Review Part 2”

  1. Faye West says:

    Could have done with that kind of lecture when I studied Fashion Promotion and Illustration at Epsom, there was barely any help or advice when it came to getting your work out there, have had to slowly find my own way through error and stumbling, and I blimmin graduated 5 years ago!!

  2. Boy did a tinkle says:

    I think the description and review of each artist work is terrible, really poor.

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