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
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…..
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.
Tom, Neil and Pete in the ‘old days’
Pete Fowler’s woodcarving
The Q&A with Alice, Neil and Pete
Falmouth University 1st yr Illustration Forum held for the 1st time at Goldsmith’s University, East London