The final day kicked off with Nigel taking a group of students to see Sarah Habershon at TheGuardian. 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.
DebutArt 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. CarltonPublishing 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………..
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 TheCityLiteraryInstitute 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 VivianeSchwarz. 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, OlivierKugler. 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.
Falmouth Illustration students at the London Illustration Forum
viv Schwarz talking at the London Illustration Forum
Michael Kirkham talking at the 2018 forum
Students at the Folio visit
viv Schwarz talking at the London Illustration Forum
Olivier Kugler talking at the London Illustration Forum
Michael Kirkham talking at the London Illustration Forum
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.
Last week’s Falmouth Illustration trip was a huge success with around 40 students making the trip to the Big Apple. Numerous visits took place during the week and included some of the world’s top art directors. As with the trip that was happening simultaneously in London students had done a great job of securing some really stellar visits that amongst others included:
Mendola Illustration Agency
Bernstein & Andriulli
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
It is a major challenge to secure visits of this calibre for even a professional illustrator and so the students should be applauded for their success.
The purpose of these visits is to get feedback on their portfolios of work at the end of the course with a view to fine tuning just before they enter the ‘real world’ of illustration. This year however, one student, went one further and was commissioned by The iconic New York Times. Tom Paterson showed his portfolio to the art directors at the NYT and before the end of the afternoon was commissioned to produce an illustration for the online version of the newspaper. The deadline was the next day for the rough and the end of the week for the artwork. With a borrowed iPad and a quick run through ProCreate he got to work, eventually delivering the artwork on time. This is a first for any student on this study trip and congratulations go to Tom for doing such a great job with the illustration.
Another highlight was meeting up with Beth Wheatley and fellow Falmouth alumni Sophie at Vault 49. Former Falmouth Illustration graduate Beth now works at this well known Brand Design Agency that originated in the UK but is now based in midtown Manhattan. The story of her journey from Falmouth to New York was an inspiration to the students on that visit. It was also great to meet up with senior designers Jonathan and Richard for a drink afterwards.
Thanks to the students for making the trip such an enjoyable and successful one. I am sure that they have learnt a great deal about their work and the industry from the week. Thanks also go to all of the designers and art directors that were visited during the week for making time available to see our students. Much appreciated. Thanks also go out to Sue Clarke and Keryn Bibby and the Arta dmin team for organising such a successful trip. Here are the photos that I have at the moment. I will try and post more as they come in….
While their fellow students were visiting New York Art directors a number of Falmouth 3rd year illustration students visited London to get their work in front of some of the top art directors in the world as part of their professional practice submission. Included in these visits was feedback from some very established alumni and also significant friends of the course, including Chloe Luxford, Lauren Humphrey, Jamie Edler, Amy Kitcherside and of course Sam Arthur from Nobrow and Flying Eye Books.
The students did an incredibly professional job of securing some great visits that included amongst others:
Wide Eyed Editions (Quarto)
St James Park Squirrel
Paul Gravett Talk at the House of Illustration
Many thanks to all of the professionals that gave their time to give such insightful feedback to the students. Here are some photographs from the week…..
The New Designers 2017 show comes to an end later today. Sophie Melissa Walker won one of the main ND awards following in the footsteps of Falmouth Graduate Oscar Mitchell who won the same award last year. She also joins Olivia Healy who was presented with her coveted D&AD Yellow Pencil earlier in the week.
The Private View was well attended with a good number of art directors present. These graduate showcases are an important opportunity for students to start networking with industry. The New Blood event came down yesterday. Lots of interest was expressed by visitors to the Falmouth stand throughout the three days of the show, with the comments book full of business cards and potential contacts. The staff at Falmouth will endeavour to make these contacts available to Falmouth students very soon.
Many thanks to all students and staff that worked extremely hard to make both of these showcases so successful. We now look forward to seeing the students at the graduation ceremony in Falmouth in just under two weeks time…
It’s amazing how quickly a year passes. Here we are again in London with the work of our talented illustration graduates of 2017. It has been a big effort on the part of both staff and students to get work ready for both shows but it has been worth it. The work for both shows was driven up from Falmouth on Monday. Both shows were put up on the Tuesday. Although staff are well seasoned in getting the work up on the wall there is still a nervous tension in the air as the clock ticks down to the point where we have to get out and let the judges in. Big thanks go out to Sue Clarke and Nick Mott for the New Blood build while Keryn Bibby, Tilly McKerrow, Francisco Sousa Lobo and Lydia Hopwood focussed on the larger New Designers Show.
The D&AD New Blood Private View took place last night (Tuesday 4th July). As always seems to happen, the weather seemed to improve on the rain that we left in Cornwall resulting in a hot and sticky Truman Brewery. The PV was well attended with a good number of industry people in attendance. As often happens at Private Views the real business of ‘looking’ at work became more difficult as the space got more and more crowded but it became pretty clear that the Falmouth stand was beginning to attract interest from the likes of the Guardian, Dorling Kindersley, Egmont and others and it was great to see the graduates using the knowledge gained over the three years of the course to engage in networking with these potential future clients. Olivia Healy was recognised for her yellow Pencil win while Calum Heath received a coveted ‘one to watch’ sticker on his work. The work looked amazing on the wall with a great array of dummy books in evidence. Thanks to Keryn and Sue for their hard work in designing the drop banners and the books for the show.
While the New Blood show was going up, across town, Keryn, Tilly, Francisco and Lydia were putting up the New Designers show ahead of tonight’s Private View (Wednesday 5th). This is a much bigger show held in the Business Design centre. The Falmouth Graduates have done a great job of preparing their individual boards and this show is also looking amazing. If you are in London then come along to either or both shows and say hello. More photos and news will follow over the next few days…..
Last month 1st year Falmouth Illustration students worked on ‘Project X’. This project has a long history and go back many years. Essentially it is a challenge to tackle an hypothetical editorial commission in a couple of days to test the ideas generation skills that they have been developing throughout the 1st semester. Here are some samples of the outcomes….
‘Clingfilm’ is the brainchild of new Falmouth Illustration lecturer, Francisco Sousa Lobo. Francisco has brought both his love of film and comics into the third year studio through art directing this new innovative zine with a range of third year Falmouth Illustration students contributing interpretations of their favourite films to this first risograph project. The limitations of the risograph printing process has brought the best out of students as has the challenge of distilling the films into short narrative sequences. Samples of the spreads can be seen here. The book is currently in production with an edition of 50 planned. Many thanks to Dion in the Graphic Design department, the illustration students involved and of course Francisco.