Following on from my post on some of the best photography we’d seen at the recent graduate degree shows, we’ve now picked some of our favourite pieces of work shown by illustrators. As you’ll see, there were a huge range of techniques and styles on show, not to mention big differences in scale: from Sawa Tanaka’s delicate rice paper prints, to Samantha Briggs’ enormous drawn installation at Camberwell College of Arts. Shown above is a detail from Briggs’ piece, Understanding, an axonometric drawing examining the atmosphere and familiarity of structured space (a supermarket), which took up an entire wall at the college.
Dean Yongwattananun, a graphic design BA graduate from Central Saint Martins based these illustrations on personal experiences. The Rake series apparently illustrates “feelings of surprise, happiness, greed and obstruction” with the symbolic value of the “blue box” open to interpretation.
Caspar Williamson’s comic book sensibilities helped inform his striking poster and album sleeve work for band Prego’s release Cause & Resolve. “The idea behind the imagery for the project comes from a song of the same name and its lyrical content and theme,” says Williamson. “When briefed by the band to produce a full band identity to support their debut single – spanning from t-shirts and stickers through to vinyl 7″ records and digipak CDs – they told me they wanted a feeling of continuity that reflected the songs meaning: that of rectifying life’s mistakes in your dreams, only to wake up and in reality your problems are still there…”
“…This led me to look into themes of twilight, nightmare and escapism, through which I developed the imagery used for the bands apparel, records and posters. Strong and focused colour palletes and handmade techniques, such as relief press embossing, traditional letterpress and silkscreen printing where all key in the process of my final pieces.”
Nick Mott, a graduate from University College Falmouth, employs an unusual working method in producing his illustrations. “About nine months ago I stumbled upon my current way of rendering images,” he explains. “These images may look more digital than they actually are: I construct my illustrations manually by way of cutting up and collaging manipulated photocopies. These photocopies are derived from drawings and textures which I produce and assemble, which I then drag, twist and turn manually through the photocopier.
Then when I am searching for a particular texture or collection of marks for a section of an illustration I am working on, I look through my stash of manipulated photocopies for the piece that will fit. I then cut out and collage these various pieces and build up by hand and with glue, the illustration.”
“Each successive cut out piece is then drawn upon with black pencil,” Mott continues. “These collage drawings are then scanned into a computer where I can subtly change areas of colour, or add text if applicable. This method still feels that it is in its infancy, and I look forward to seeing where it leads me. I feel that a world is being built up, created and added to with each successive illustration. I see no reason why commercialy viable illustration cannot also be intensly unique and authorial.” Mott’s work is now up on agency Eastwing’s website at www.eastwing.co.uk.
Sawa Tanaka‘s charming screenprint illustrations of food on edible rice paper were exhibited at Central Saint Martins graphic design degree show. Yum.
Lotte Bristow graduates from the illustration course at Camberwell College of Art. The following images, she says, “were part of an investigation into the omnipresent structure residing in worldwide mythologies. I was heavily influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung and the work takes a surrealist slant on the subject, exploring links between storytelling and psychology. These works are digital collages of hand painted elements, photography and computer rendering.”
Hamamah Hanifiah’s deconstructed newspaper front pages really stood out at the London College of Communication degree show. Each page takes elements from a range of tabloid and broadsheet papers took create interesting, often more salacious, stories.
Elena Kalorkoti studied illlustration at Edinburgh College of Art and produced these book covers (two shown, below) for Nikolai Gogol’s play, The Government Inspector. More of her work is at www.elenikalorkoti.com.
Astrid Atihuta worked on a series of illustrations to Mick Jackson’s book, Ten Sorry Tales, and exhibited the work (three shown, below) as part of her degree show at the London College of Communication.
Check out the September issue of CR for the rest of our picks of the best degree show work (including a page of illustrators not featured here). Next up on the blog, some of our favourite pieces from the graphic design students.