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.
No Falmouth Illustration London Study Visit would be the same without the traditional Thursday night drinks before everyone go their separate ways for the Christmas break. This year things tended to centre on the bar at the Generator as the Marquis of Cornwallis was too full (and too expensive now).
The evening kicked off with a few games of pool before a rather dodgy suited hustler turned up thinking he was the bees knees. Rachel Tom and Nigel really appreciated a bit of down time to relax and chat to students less formally, but of course it was only a matter of time before Nigel started his peculiar brand of magic. Well I wouldn’t call it ‘magic’, in fact I’m not quite sure what I’d call it. Anyway it seemed to fool some people and indeed inspire others to bring out their own tricks. Tom’s rolling cigarette trick was a highlight.
Anyway it was a great way to end the week and we can all now collapse after a really full on semester. Well done to all of the first years for working so hard this year. Hopefully it will all pay off next semester when all the knowledge that you have gathered starts to fall into place with the ‘Applied Illustration’ projects.
Many thanks go out to Tom Barwick and Rachel Dunn for organising such a successful and enjoyable trip. Thanks again to all staff back at Falmouth who stepped in at the last minute to help organise the venue for the Forum. Thanks to Goldsmith’s for the use of the Lecture theatre, also to all the companies that we visited during the week and to the speakers at the Forum Event on Tuesday. Thanks also go out to The Art Admin team Jane, Rachel and Anna for helping with the logistics. Until next year…….
Nigel and Rachel took students to see Macmillan art director Chris Inns and his design team in the morning. Chris was extremely generous with his time, giving us all a great insight into how children’s books are commissioned, designed and illustrated. Strong ideas and strong characters were the top of his wish list in an illustrator. Interestingly he was positive about the future of young audience illustration, saying that in his opinion “I think its a golden age for illustration” . Of course we live in a period of intense competition but it was reassuring for someone in Chris’s position to say this. He also was very complimentary about Falmouth Illustration. We will make sure that we get a good number of Macmillan prize entries in this year…
Tom took a group to see Julian Humphries at Harper Collins. Of course Harper Collins are one of the big publishers and so it was a very interesting visit for students. The parent company has many imprints, including 4th Estate, William Collins, Borough Press and more.
Today, HarperCollins UK publishes around 1,000 books a year. Their authors include worldwide bestsellers such as Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, George RR Martin, and perennial fiction favourites Bernard Cornwell, Wilbur Smith, Patricia Cornwell and Cecelia Ahern. In non-fiction, they publish such luminaries as Max Hastings, Nigel Slater, Professor Brian Cox, Lorraine Pascale and Lena Dunham.
Their award-winning children’s division publishes the most talented authors around, including Michael Morpurgo, David Walliams, Judith Kerr, Derek Landy, Oliver Jeffers and Holly Smale, alongside all-time classics such as Paddington Bear and Dr Seuss.
In the afternoon Nigel and Tom took around 25 students to visit Louise Power at Walker Books. Louise, as ever, gave a fantastic presentation that is borne from years of experience in the industry. She reiterated that Walker look for strong emotional connections with the reader and also highly value strong drawing skills. Once she had run through Chris Haughton’s brilliant book, ‘A Bit Lost’, she used theatre as an analogy for the presentation of narrative within a book where the characters are ‘actors on a set’. She also said to students, ‘don’t get obsessed with backgrounds, your characters are far more important’. Once a gain a great visit to round the week off with.
Neil McFarland framed his talk around the 11 careers that he has had since his early days being inspired by reading comics in the 1980’s. These phases include him working as a cartoonist, album artist, animator & promo director, painter, commercial artist, motion graphics, ‘granulator’, App creator, digital game artist, creative team director, VR designer. His explanation of the origins and development of the hugely successful Award winning game ‘Monument Valley‘ was fascinating and inspiring.
Pete Fowler is best known for his work with the Welsh band ‘Super Furry Animals‘, having consistently produced artwork since the 2nd album in the mid 90’s. Having been an associate of both Neil McFarland and our very own Tom Barwick in the early days it was no surprise to hear that his early inspirations were comics such as the Beano and 2000 AD. Having begun his career in his home town of Cardiff Pete finally pitched up in London via a Fine Art degree in Falmouth. Influenced by popular culture he began to make all manner of visual statements often using whatever came to hand. His work ranges from large scale paintings and sculptures to delicately hand carved miniature wooden figures. Although he studied Fine Art his work is strongly rooted in an illustrative tradition through his desire to communicate to as wide an audience as possible.
Alice Dunseath was the last of our speakers for the evening. She started her talk with a truly profound animated Vimeo message from Ira Glass that really set the tone for what she was about to show (this is highly recommended). Alice is an animator who has evolved her early commercial into a wonderfully experimental and aesthetically stunning visual language that is both beguiling and hypnotic. Having cut her teeth on stop motion through working on the hugely successful animated version of ‘The Fantastic Mr Fox’, Alice went onto organise the Sierra Leone Film Festival in 2012, before going onto study at the RCA. It was here that she began to develop a fascinating approach to working with ‘growing’ crystals and ice, literally enabling her to animate the creation of amazingly fantastic worlds. Her work gave our students a glimpse of what is possible if you open your eyes and push ideas and materials much further than you might normally do.
The final 15-20 minutes was handed over to a really interesting Q&A session that took in themes such as Virtual Reality and how to break into the world of visual communication. Many thanks to the speakers and to Goldsmith’s University.
Rachel took thirteen Falmouth Illustration students to meet a number of art directors at Egmont Books. This important children’s book publisher has become a regular visit for Falmouth students in recent years. It is a really valuable connection for which we are very grateful.
Falmouth students were treated to an extended 2 hour + series of generous and insightful talks by Tiffany Leeson, Laura and Sam (young audience) and Rebecca and Abby (Children’s picture books) that opened up the whole process of creating a book from sourcing an illustrator to the delivery of artwork.
Also good work from the students who asked great questions.
After something of a hiatus the Falmouth Illustration blogging season kicks off once again with the 1st year trip to London. This year there are some personnel changes to the first year with Tom Barwick taking over the reigns as head of 1st year from Sue Clarke who did such a great job developing the 1st year experience during her time as 1st year head.
Tom has put great programme of visits together with sterling support coming from Rachel Dunn. Visits this year include; The Artworks Illustration Agency, Us Two Games Ltd, Pete Fowler, Egmont Press, Human After All, The Folio Society, Arena Illustration Agency, Dorling Kindersley, Macmillan Childrens Books, Harper Collins, and Walker Books.
Also on Tuesday we are holding our 9th first year London Illustration Forum, this time at Goldsmiths University in East London. The speakers will be Alice Dunseath, Neil McFarland and Pete Fowler. Thanks to all staff back in Falmouth who helped make the last minute change of venue possible.
The day started off with a visit to Artworks Illustration. As ever Lucy And Alex were very welcoming and gave a great presentation, talking about the role that agents play in the life of illustrators. It was a really pleasant surprise to see our recent Falmouth Graduate Katie Ponder, who is currently working on a part-time basis at the agency.
I will keep you updated with photos from the study visit as it happens throughout the week.
A number of Falmouth Illustration students have been showcasing their work at the prestigious D&AD New Blood Graduate Showcase this week. Preparations had been underway back at Falmouth for the last 2-3 weeks Keryn and Sue have done a great job of designing the huge drop banners for the show. All of the show was packed up last Friday and driven down to London on Monday along with the New Designers boards (more of this in the next posting) and Sue, Cally and Nigel hung the show on Tuesday. It was hard work but well worth it. The show looked fantastic in time for the Private View on Tuesday night. The PV night was really crowded but there was a great atmosphere. A number of well known art directors, publishers, designers and agents have already begun to respond well to the Falmouth stand with really positive comments directed towards our graduates. Industry visitors have included Sam Arthur (NoBrow/FlyingEye), Louise Power (Walker Books) and art directors from Wired magazine and Andersen Press.
Students (and their websites) that have taken part in the show are:
Seekan Hui / Lizzie Houldsworth / Kim Meech / Harry Oelman / Jia Li Yu / Rachel Pinnock / Julia de Graaf / Freddie Fuller / Lucy Haslam / Kate Hickey / Jessica Meyrick / Oscar Mitchell / Robert Newberry / Eleanor Hardiman / Ben Flanagan / Sara Hougham-Slade
During the this years 3rd year degree show, we have decided to exhibit work from our talented 1st & 2nd year Illustration students. In previous years we have held this show at the Wellington Terrace foundation building but this year it was decided to run it in parallel with the 3rd year show to ensure that more people than ever get to see how talented our students are. The feedback that we have been getting has been tremendous. Well done to Natalie, Sue, Rachel, Linda, Nick, Cally, Rose and of course the students for doing such a good job of displaying the work.
Here are some examples of work from the show…..
Kickstarter is to fund the production and publishing of Falmouth College of Art alumni Tim Lane’s new bookwork Silent Quarter.
Silent Quarter is a short story told through a combination of writing and drawing. The playful structure is most akin to a concept album. It has short written passages that fit together in a loose story arch which are like the ‘lyrics’. The ‘music’ is then provided by the large images that literally ‘open-up’ on fold-out pages and augment the text – lending mood, symbolism and providing time for reflection. The idea is not a fixed narrative but instead something that is open and flexible to the reader. It is a project that Tim has been working on for over two years and exhibits his first foray into writing as part of his artistic practice.
Tim is a contemporary artist living and working in Bristol, UK. Originally from Cheltenham, Tim graduated from Falmouth College of Art in 2004 with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Illustration. Since then he has been exhibiting his paintings and drawings in galleries, most notably in: London, Bristol and San Francisco. The fine art market was a natural progression for him, as it provided a far greater creative freedom enjoyed in terms of style and subject matter. Tim’s degree – in which he concentrated mostly on authorial/ book illustration – helped give his art a rich narrative quality and a concern with character and environment; offering structure to his love for working directly from his imagination as well as strongly encouraging a passion for drawing (which is at the core of all his work).
Tim’s anachronistic style takes strong influence from reading literature, particularly Classic and World Mythologies. The consideration of myth for Tim, provides a multi-layered structure and open narrative that then inspires highly symbolic imagery which seeks to explain the world in a visceral, imaginative, often dark way – but which prompts the viewer to interpret these symbols for themselves.
You can support Tim’s project by visiting: