Falmouth BA and MA Illustration students attend the Bologna Book Fair 2017

Sue Clarke and several BA and MA illustration students attended the Bologna Children’s Book Fair last week. As the most important annual international platform for children’s publishing it was an amazing opportunity for the students to show their portfolios to a range of publishers from different countries, to meet lots of other illustrators, to gain enormous insight into current trends and thinking in this field through the many talks and workshops, and to be inspired by the various illustration exhibitions.

Two BA illustration alumni won Bologna Ragazzi Awards this year. Will Grill won the Ragazzi Non Fiction Award for his book ‘The Wolves of Currumpaw’, published by Flying Eye Books, and Emma Lewis won the Ragazzi Opera Prima Award for her book ‘The Museum of Me’, by Tate Publishing. It was very exciting to see their work so celebrated at such an important and prestigious event and so prominently displayed on huge screens, banners and cabinets around the fair and in book shops around Bologna. It was also great to be able to attend the presentations of these awards and hear why the judges selected them.

With Will Grill’s book, in terms of the illustrations, the judges were drawn to the contemporary visual but traditional honest technique, the beautiful balance of art and non-fiction, and the rhythm of the book which they described as a ‘visual symphony’. In terms of his writing they applauded its intensity and the rare way that it doesn’t hide difficult emotions for children. Sam Arthur, co-founder of Flying Eye Books, took part in the discussion and was able to describe the lengths that Will went to in researching the book, including living in the wild, literally with wolves!

With Emma’s book the panel discussed how intriguing, personal and imaginative her illustrations are. They felt that the message behind the book is a really important one, in helping children learn how to look at the world around them. They described the book as a door to discovery, not just to art and artefacts, but to themselves. Holly Tonks, commissioning editor from Tate Publishing, discussed how the book really embraces the Tate’s ethos in that it is a vehicle to help break down the boundaries of children going into galleries. She discussed the integrity behind the book and how great it is that Emma made the book she wanted to make and for it to be so recognised and applauded Internationally. It is now due to be published in 11 countries.

Emma Lewis’s work for ‘The Museum of Me’ was also selected for the main exhibition at the fair, showcasing contemporary innovative work in this field. She was able to attend the ceremony at which all selected illustrators were applauded in turn by the huge jury panel and the very lively audience!
The whole awe inspiring (and slightly overwhelming) event was a real eye opening experience for our current students (and for several other falmouth illustration alumni who we unexpectedly bumped into there!). They did fantastically well to get 11 appointments with publishers over the week, from which they got really useful and positive feedback on their work. Having started the week with slight trepidation it was great to see them leaving the fair full of confidence and inspiration for their work (and great to have chance to celebrate such a potentially pivotal time over a few beers in hot sunny Bologna!)

2nd Year Falmouth Illustration Students Visit Bristol

On March 1st 2017, Natalie and Linda travelled up to Bristol with a group of 24 Level 2 students on a study group trip ,to reconnect and collaborate with Falmouth Alumni, headed by successful Illustrator / Drawn in Bristol founder and Studio Manager, Dave Bain. Dave is recognised nationally and internationally for his playful, vibrant and colourful illustrations.

On our first evening in the city, we headed out, En masse, towards the Bristol waterside for a hedonistic, multi – cultural feast at Za Za bazaar, organised by Teigan.

Falmouth Illustration Alumni and others working in Hamilton House and the Bristol area gave presentations of their work followed by Q and A’s. Our students were very excited to hear about the experiences of graduates working and living in Bristol and were shown around the Illustration studios in Hamilton House , including the space inhabited by the ‘ Drawn in Bristol ‘ collective and were guided through Artists and Illustrators studios in Jamaica Street close by. It was great to hear from our Falmouth Alumni, which included presentations by Harriet Merrion and Hannah Sunny Whaler and for students to be given tours of the studios and to be able to chat with former graduates, including Freya Hartas and Paula Bowles.

The students were excited by what they heard from the Alumni and others working in the field and by the edgy, youthful atmosphere of Stokes Croft, the creative area of Bristol in which Hamilton House is situated.

Inspired by the project theme of ‘Regeneration ‘, students had plenty of free time to explore this culturally and historically vibrant city and to gather and record visual and physical information which would be the catalyst for formulating artwork for their exhibition at the weekend.

One of the highlights of the week was the Light Projection workshop with Tom from Limbic Cinema, a group of Creative Practitioners with a range of skills who collaborate with a variety of clients, including theatres and music venues. Tom worked tirelessly with the students to digitally capture their drawings and project them onto 3D plinths and onto the surface of the gallery space. Students were very inspired by the workshop and it was very exciting for them to see how technologies might be utilised to transform their work.

It was also a great experience for our students to have access to and be able to work alongside Dave Bain and other Illustrators in his new studio, SPACE, which is situated in Old Market, another culturally rich up and coming area of Bristol and for them to have a place to develop their initial ideas into more consolidated artworks and 3D pieces.

The culmination of the trip was at SPACE gallery on Saturday evening and each of our students contributed to the exhibition, which was an exciting mix of 2D, 3D and animated work and included several collaborative outputs, including work produced with Limbic Cinema. The exhibition was well attended by staff, students, Alumni and student’s friends and families and was followed by an extended social get together a few doors down, in Dutch, a local Stokes Croft bar and music venue.

We would like to thanks all Level 2 students who participated, for their enthusiasm and spirit of adventure, in what was a novel and rich experience for all involved and we especially thank our main contact and collaborator in Bristol, Dave Bain, who went above and beyond what was expected, to ensure we all had a great experience.

Linda Scott, March 2017

Thanks to both Linda and Natalie for organising such a valuable trip.

Wunderkammer 2017 Book Launch

The book launch of ‘Wunderkammer 2017’ took place last week in the new Gallery area at the Falmouth Woodlane campus. This is the 2nd edition of ‘Wunderkammer’ otherwise known as The Cabinet of Curiosities and is the successor of our popular ‘Quotes & Sayings’ series. Wunderkammer was inspired by a project that a small number of Falmouth Illustration students developed about 4 years ago. This years edition has surpassed all expectations and provided a fantastic showcase for this years graduates and also given an insight into what our alumni have been up to since graduating.

The book launch was a big success and was the first opportunity for the contributors to get their hands on their own copy of the book. Pages from the book can be seen below. Many thanks to all staff that have contributed to this project, with a special mention for Keryn Bibby who did such an amazing job with the design and Sue Clarke who contributed much to the research and collation of the content.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy (£10/copy +pp) then contact Nigel Owen at: nowen@falmouth.ac.uk

 

 

 

Falmouth Illustration Students visit New York 2017

Falmouth Illustration students have once again visited New York to show their final year portfolios to some of the best art directors in the world. Companies that have been visited include amongst others; The New York Times, Harper Collins and Penguin Books. This study trip is an amazing opportunity for 3rd year students to gain really meaningful feedback on their work prior to graduating later this summer. The trip has been an amazing success and more feedback from the trip will be uploading in the coming days once the group has returned to the UK. Many thanks to all the staff that have been involved in the organisation of the trip. In the meantime here are a sample of photographs from this year’s trip…

Falmouth Alumni Successes

The last 12 months has seen yet another raft of major awards and award nominations for Falmouth Illustration students and alumni.

Will Grill was the winner of The Bologna Ragazzi Non-fiction Award ‘The Wolves of Currumpaw’, a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Will and published by Flying Eye Books. Will was again shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal having previously become the youngest to win it with ‘Shackleton’s Journey’.

Emma Lewis was this year’s winner of The Bologna Ragazzi Opera Prima Award. ‘The Museum of Me’, a children’s picture book both written and illustrated by former Falmouth Illustration graduate Emma, and published by Tate publishing:

Levi Pinfold, former Falmouth graduate, was longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal for his book ‘Greenling’, a children’s picture book written and illustrated by , published by Templar publishing,  Levi was also a previous winner of this prestigious award with ‘Blackdog’

Other successes for Falmouth Alumni and current students include:

Owen Davey: nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award (‘Mad About Monkeys’ published by Flying Eye Books)

Owen Davey: Shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards

Emma Yarlett: Winner of the Teach Primary Award (‘Nibbles the Book Monster’ published by Little Tiger Press)

Emma Yarlett: Highly Commended for the BBD & PA Awards (‘Nibbles the Book Monster’ published by Little Tiger Press)

Emma Yarlett: Shortlisted for the North Somerset CBG & Bash Awards (‘Nibbles the Book Monster’ published by Little Tiger Press)

Jemma Westing: Shortlisted for the Junior Science Book Prize  (Project Art Editor & Paper Engineer, ‘DK Braille Counting’ published by Dorling Kindersley)

Oscar Mitchell: winner of the Society of Artist Agents ‘Associate Prize, New Designers

Levi Pinfold: winner of the English Association’s 7-11 years Picture Book Award (‘Greenling’ published by Templar)

Kate Hindley: nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award (‘Oliver & Patch’ published by Simon & Schuster)

Rebecca Cobb: nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award (‘Snow Day’ published by Puffin Books)

Freddie Fuller: Winner of the ‘Absolut Vodka’ competition, New Designers 2016

Olivia Healy: winner of the BBH London, ‘She Lights Up The Night’ competition

 

Wednesday’s Visits

Thursday was a busy day with 33 students attending four visits all over London.

First of all Tom took students to ‘Human After All‘. Human After All’s team of curious, creative minds have worked together for over 10 years. They’ve built strategic relationships with companies including Facebook, the World Economic Forum and BAFTA.

They collaborate with brands of any size that have passion and purpose and pride themselves on providing the best service and crafting communication materials that bring together rich ideas and intelligent design. Overall a really insightful visit for our students.

Early in the afternoon Rachel took students to see The Folio Society. Founded in London in 1947, The Folio Society publishes carefully crafted editions of the world’s finest literature. They believe that great books deserve to be presented in a form worthy of their contents. For nearly 70 years The Folio Society have celebrated the unique joy to be derived from owning, holding and reading a beautiful printed edition.

A number of recent Falmouth Graduates have produced covers for this prestigious publisher, including James Boswell. Many thanks as ever go to Sheri Gee and Raquel who provided a really informative talk about the company and in particular how they commission illustrators. A valuable visit and a privilege to look at such beautiful books.

Also early in the afternoon Nigel made the trek out to Stratford, East London with 5 students to see our good friend Tamyln Francis and Caroline Thomson at Arena Illustration Agency. Arena is home to four Falmouth alumni: Emily Fox, Euan Cook, Levi Pinfold and Joe Lillington. It is always amazing to see how they operate such a successful internationally recognised agency from two reception rooms of a Victorian terraced house (a beautiful one mind!). Tamlyn and Caroline took students through the whole process of a job from the perspective of an agent. The students were picking up metaphorical gold dust in terms of the detailed knowledge that Tamlyn and Caroline were passing on to them. Thanks to Arena once again…

Finally Tom took a small group to see Dorling Kindersley, one of the giants of non-fiction publishing. Martin Wilson met the group and gave a great presentation on this  increasingly popular area of illustration…

Post Forum Pub Visit With Speakers and Students

After the Forum event held at Goldsmith on Tuesday evening staff, students and speakers adjourned for a drink and a draw’ at the ‘New Cross House’ (basically the nearest pub to the university. It was great to wind down after a full day of visits and gave to the students the opportunity to talk to the speakers a little more. Some impromptu drawing also took place…

1st Year London Illustration Forum 2016

This year’s 1st yr Illustration Forum was held for the 1st  time at Goldsmith’s University in East London. The three speakers this year were Neil McFarland (Ustwo), Pete Fowler and Alice Dunseath.

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.

Egmont Books visit

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.