London Study Trip 2018: final post of the week

So finally, we’ve made it to the end of the week! 23 visits to top art directors, publishers and agents, one hugely informative Illustration Forum later and students and staff can now head back home for a well earned Christmas break.

The final evening involved a few well deserved drinks in the bar of the Generator. Once the disappointment of how bad Nigel’s amateur magic actually was, the students attention turned to the Karaoke, while the tutors beated a hasty retreat…..

The team would like to thank all of the creatives who have generously given their time to talk to us about the work that they do. It has been fantastically useful for our students who now have a much greater insight into the industry that they will be entering in 3 years time. Thanks too to the students who at the end of a long and intense semester conducted themselves really well, asking great questions and for putting up with Nigel’s bad magic tricks and crucially for not forcing the tutors to do the karaoke!

Special thanks go to Tilly and Nick for traipsing around a London to the numerous visits. Also Sarah Hayes for her invaluable help in getting the visits booked. Many thanks also go to Rachel, Anthea and Anna in the Art Admin team for liaising with the tour operator.


Falmouth Illustration London Study Trip: Day 4 (the final visits)

The final day kicked off with Nigel taking a group of students to see Sarah Habershon at The Guardian. Sarah has been championing illustrators for the last 17 years at The Guardian. She is a well known advocate for illustration and was referred to as such by Michael Kirkham in the previous days tal at the City Lit. She spent an hour of her valuable time to explain the process of commissioning an illustrator to our students.her presentation was hugely informative. Thanks to Tom Barwick for organising this visit.

Meanwhile Nick Mott took students to see the well known Children’s Book publisher Usborne. Mary Cartwright spent the best part of an hour discussing the children’s book publishing industry to our students.

Tilly McKerrow took a group to Bernstein & Andriulli for the 2nd visit of the week to this fantastic agency. Thanks once again to the team at B&A for their time. The students really appreciate it.

Debut Art was the next visit for students. Nick took 11 students to see Andrew Coningsby at this important illustration agency. Thanks to Andrew and his team for taking the time to see our students.

Finally Nigel took students for the last of the 23 visits during the week. Carlton Publishing stands out in that it’s range of publications is particularly broad and diverse. It was really exciting to see how they approach the production of a book. They are unashamedly commercial in their intentions but nevertheless produce very high quality books. both Emily and Clare spent around an hour with out students. Their clear passion for working with Illustrators shone through. There description of the Bologna Book Fair has I am sure whetted the students appetite for a visit in the 3rd year of the course.

All that is left of the week now is to relax with a long tall glass of beer and maybe a few ‘magic’ tricks………..

Until next year…..

London Study Trip: Day 3- The Forum

Wednesday was the day of the Illustration Forum at The City Literary Institute but before that, in the morning Tilly took a group of students t see the long established illustration Agency, ‘Folio’ just of the Kingsway near Holborn. Former Falmouth illustration graduate Kim Meech now works as a rep at Folio and met our students for this visit. Folio agency has a long history of representing successful and interesting commercial illustrators. Former Falmouth graduate Illustrator Owen Davey is currently on their books. Folio agents talked to students about freelancing, the role of an agent, different types of commissions, how to put together a commercial portfolio and much more. The advice was invaluable and gave students a real insight into a career in illustration.

While Tilly and the students were at Folio Nigel and Nick met at The City Literary Institute to get ready for the afternoon’s Illustration Forum. The City Lit is a fantastic Adult Education Institution that has been providing learning opportunities for the people of London for many years. It is also the first place that Nigel ever taught and so was something of a trip down memory lane for him. students began filing into the small but atmospheric lecture theatre just before 1pm. Much to Nigel’s relief all three speakers arrived in time for the start of the afternoon.

First to speak was Viviane Schwarz. Viv is an alumni of Falmouth University having studied on both BA and MA courses. Her talk was both hugely entertaining and informative. Her unique take on life shone through and her ability to cut through and communicate to subtle details of life that we often miss was clear. Her development of characters through a joyous engagement with media and the tools that she has developed was fascinating. Her ‘ghost’ installation project caught everybody’s eye.

Second to speak was the inspirational reportage illustrator, Olivier Kugler. Olivier is well known for his work with the Guardian but this is the tip of the ice berg in terms of his career, having worked extensively in the U.S. and also Europe. He is an award winning illustrator whose approach to illustration is founded in a desire to connect with social issues, such as homelessness and more recently the Syrian refugee crisis. His wide ranging talk encompassed his early career working in New York and the influence that his American tutors such as Marshall Arisman had on his work. His more recent work has been based upon his direct experiences of meeting Syrian refugees and telling their stories in a unique a compelling montage of journalism and illustration. We are really looking forward to seeing the outcome of his most recent project to document the UK fishing industry.

Finally the third speaker shone a light on the work of the editorial illustrator. Michael Kirkham had travelled down from Edinburgh for this Forum for which we are extremely grateful. Michael perfectly outlined the process of editorial illustration. He has worked for some of the best known editorial clients including most notably The Guardian and knows a thing or two about the ptressures of working in this sector of the industry. He discussed his approach to the figure and also his focus on searching for personality rather than style within his work. Most tellingly he opened up on the ideas process. His focus is on avoiding searching for an idea but instead champions the notion of just pushing the process of just ‘drawing’ around the core theme of a text. Essentially just keeping the search field for ideas as open for as long as possible before committing to the final concept. Judging by the work that he was showing us he has got the formula just right.. A really great end to to a fantastic afternoon of talks.



London Study Trip: 2018 DAY 2

Day Two of this year’s 1st year Illustration study trip to London began with a trip to see former Falmouth Illustration Graduate, Richard Bravery, who is now a senior cover designer at PenguinBooks. Richard outlined the process of commissioning illustrators for book covers and focussed on the need for the illustrator to contribute in the ideas generation process rather than being simply a technician who applies their style to an idea developed by the design team. It was really refreshing to see how designers still value the skills that illustrators can bring to the table. It was also interesting to hear about his own career path.

Nick Mott took 10 students to see the Ryan Claydon at the Illustration Agency JSR. This was a new visit For the course but proved to be really valuable.

Meanwhile Tilly McKerrow took a group of students to visit the creative agency ‘Lovers’. This is a rally innovative creative agency who really value illustration. Many thanks to Lisa Armstrong for agreeing to see our students.

Hot on the heals of the Penguin visit Nigel rushed over to Somerset House to meet up with 9 students for a meeting Stuart and Amy of the Illustration Agency known as ‘HandsomeFrank’. This relatively young agency is making waves in the industry and it was great to hear about their approach to representing their roster of artists. Stuart and Amy gave the students an hour of their valuable time and delivered huge insights that will prove to be invaluable to them in the future. Thanks to the AOI for their help in organising the fantastic venue.

11 student met Tilly ahead of their meeting with Illustrator PeteFowler at his studio in the east end of London early in the afternoon. Pete has generously offered his time to talk to Falmouth students over the last couple of years. He talked at length about his career, including his work with the ‘Super Furry Animals’ and his current projects. Many thanks to Pete and also Tom Barwick for organising this visit.

Nigel took 4 students on the long track to Stratford to see ArenaIllustrationAgency. Tamlyn Francis and Caroline Thomson are long standing friends of the course and have been seeing students from Falmouth on this study visit for many years. Every year they give a great presentation of what they do as agents discussing individual projects that their artists have been recently involved in. This is hugely inspirational for students making them aware of where Illustration as an industry can take them.

At the same time Nick was taking a group to see Creative consultancy ‘POCKO’. POCKO are an artist Agency and creative consultancy whose services include brand activation, Illustration, animation, and photography. Their objective is to curate and create innovative content through collaboration. They represent the trend towards multidisciplinary within the visual communication industry.

Finally, Nigel took a group of students to see Art Director/designer Gary Cochran at The Economist/1843. These two magazines epitomise what editorial illustration is about and it was fascinating to hear Gary talk about the process of commissioning illustrators and why he is so keen on illustrators as ideas generators. Gary’ significant experience within the field of magazine design was of huge value to the students that were on the visit. It was also great to be given a tour of the Economist offices and to see the amazing roof terrace views.

London Study Visit: Monday’s Visits

The day kicked off with a great visit to Thames & Hudson. Art Directors Anna Ridley and Aaron Hayden spent over an hour talking to students about the process of putting a high quality Children’s Picture Book together. Their talk was hugely informative. Thames & Hudson are fairly new to Young Audience Picture Books but have developed an enviable reputation. Aaron particularly focussed on illustrators needing to have a good knowledge of reprographic processes.

Nick Mott took 5 students to visit Jo Cochran at The Guardian/Observer. The Guardian and Observer have always championed Illustration and it was really refreshing to hear Jo be so positive with students, with possible connections through projects in the future. It was interesting that she chose one our most successful recent graduates, Harriet Lee Merrion to use as a case study when explaining the editorial process to students.

Lipstick of London is an international Illustration Agency that connects a select range of illustrators to clients in a large range of fields such as fashion, advertising, live drawing, and animation. Tilly took 6 students to see this Agency in the morning. Marie-Claire Westover was really generous with her time, sharing her insights into freelance illustration including how to approach self promotion, current trends, working with different clients and the benefits of having an agent.

Because there have been so many visits made this year it has been impossible for tutors to attend every visit. the trip to Scriberia as a result was student led. Scriberia are an slightly unusual left field visit for our students. Their focus in on providing ‘live scribing’ services to industry whether visually recording a conference event or visual problem solving sessions. This is really relevant to our students and by all accounts the visit was a great success. Thanks to the students for managing this visit on their own….

Nick took 8 students to visit the well known children’s book publisher, Simon & Schuster. Art Director Jane Buckley was able to provide really useful insight into the process of putting a Picture Book together.

In the afternoon Nigel took 8 students to see his former agent Bernstein & Andriulli at Borough Market. After a minor panic trying to find their offices, Matthew, Karrie and Sam spent an hour passing on their in-depth knowledge of the industry to students. They talked at length about the need to maintain a level of professionalism when dealing with clients in order to build your reputation as an illustrator that can ‘deliver’. They cited former Falmouth Graduate and B&A artist, David Dorian as the perfect example of this philosophy. Many thanks to Matthew, Sam and Karrie who have also agreed to see a 2nd group of Falmouth Students on Thursday (if they have recovered from their Xmas party!)

Hachette were the next visit of the day. Tilly took a group of students to see art director Sophie Stericker who spent a good amount of time talking about how they work with illustrators and also aoutlined the Carmelite Picture Book prize which Falmouth alumni Riki Sekiguchi won last year.

Nick then travelled over to the other side of the city with a group of 14 students to visit Laura Bird at Egmont. Egmont are a long-standing contact who have provided great insight into the business of Children’s Picture Book publishing. this year was no exception.

Finally at the end of the day Nigel took a group students to see Sara Marafini at Hodder. Hodder produce high quality adult fiction and non fiction books,. The art directors that we saw predominantly focussed on fiction covers. Really interesting discussions about the relationship between text and image and how Illustration functions on a cover were followed by some great questions from the students.

Many thanks to all the art directors and designers involved in today’s visits…..

1st Year Illustration London Study Visit: December 2018

It’s that time of year again when 1st year Falmouth Illustration students descend on London. This year just over 100 students have made the trip to visit art directors and designers at some of the city’s most prestigious publishing and design companies. This year we have managed to arrange more visits than ever before (23 in total) alongside the much anticipated London Illustration Forum. The visits this year are:

Thames & Hudson / The Guardian & Observer / Lipstick of London / Scriberia / Simon & Schuster / Bernstein & Andriulli / Hachette / Egmont Children’s Books / Hodder / Penguin Books / JSR Illustration Agency / Lovers Creative Agency / Handsome Frank Illustration Agency / Pete Fowler / Arena Illustration Agency / Pocko / The Economist & 1843 / Folio Illustration Agency / Usborne / Debut Art / Carlton Books

This year’s Illustration Forum will again be held at The City Literary Institute and will feature talks by former Falmouth Graduate and now successful Children’s author and Illustrator Viviana Schwarz. Also speaking will be renowned Reportage Illustrator Olivier Kugler aswell as prodigious editorial Illustrator Michael Kirkham (Heart Agency)

The following posts will hopefully update you on the visits as they happen throughout the week……