Friday, 23 July 2010

Ian Bilbey

A very graphic illustrator Ian Bilbey (who incidentally might also be the children's illustrator William Bee? Have a look at "Whatever" published by Walker).
He is best known for his Paul Smith work but has a nice line in British cultural icons and eccentricity - and these sandcastle flags made me pine for a small plastic bucket and spade.
He is clearly a busy man too as there are hundreds of pieces of work on his website - click the title link.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Eduardo Recife

Not looked at Eduardo Recife's work for a while but still find plenty to inspire and excite.
Like these drawings on vintage paper courtesy of Mr Recife's website misprinted type. Click the link!
There are also some very nice freeware, and commercial typefaces available.

Are You Together?

Friday, 16 July 2010

Delphine Durand est fantastique!

I was beginning to get a bit bored with a lot of the children's books I have seen recently (yawn) but I was looking at in Waterstones on Bold Street in Liverpool on Thursday (research you understand not shopping nooo....) and I found this by Delphine Durand who I have admired since she illustrated The Snoops!
She has this book out and its one you can pore over for ages... she also has a really interesting blog! Click the title link you might even get to learn a bit of french.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


The window of a closed down shop in Preston this morning.
I like the wholly abstract use of white paint here nice mark making skills!

Kirsty White of LJMU and her winning entry for the Penguin Book Cover Competition

A really nice idea for the Penguin Book cover project there is more about her process on her website.
Click the title link to have a look at her stuff - which will be familiar to those who went down to Mr Thomas' Chop House Art Fair!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Creative Weaving by Glenn Tutssel Design Week Nov 09

"Maybe we are being over-generous in praise for our design graduates? Should we be tougher with them?
Should we be more honest?
I see a lot of design students' work, from foundation to graduation, and most of it isn't good enough to carry on our country's creative legacy. Maybe it's the tutors fault. Let's blame them. Or is it the students who are not pushing boundaries and challenging the way we solve problems in a new and innovative way?
The truth is we are turning out too many design graduates with only a small number getting work. The recession hasn't helped any graduates, but is it the way we prepare them for the real world at fault?
It has always worried me that art colleges are rapidly becoming universities. While I welcome academic status and a degree at the end of it, too much emphasis has been on revenue generation. instead we should start with skills our industry is looking for and how to best educate students to fill that need. It's the way we are structuring our design courses that needs questioning.They are run too much by administrators rather than people who understand our business.

..The art colleges are producing specialists too early in the student's development and what the industry is looking for is more of a "Renaissance man" approach...

Our industry needs more of the modern art of weaving creativity together, based on sound craft skills. For example drawing is disappearing from our skill base. It is not being taught as the fundamental basis to everything we do...

Iron Man
There is too much style over substance and a lack of great ideas. The idea that the late John Gillard had for a school of communication arts was ahead of its time, but is now so needed. The concept was like that of the Bauhaus, of different skill-based designers working together, which must be the future.

Our three year specialist degree course needs to become a three year Foundation course, allowing students to flourish, experimenting and making mistakes, to find new avenues of creativity. Designers who can deliver the big idea beautifully crafted, with multi disciplined applications of problem solving, will be our legacy to the economic upturn."

What do you think?

This is edited from an article by Glenn Tutssel Creative Director of the Brand Union published in November 09 Design Week.

Grayson Perry on Creativity and Imagination

What does creativity mean exactly? In this Radio Four programme (available until 13th July) Grayson Perry goes in search of some of the myths of creativity and seeks what creativity really is?
Have a listen. Click on the title link to go to BBC i player.

"creativity is mistakes"

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

BBC Imagine Documentary

This piece of work is a recreation of his childhood bedroom by Damien Hirst. It is one of a number of  Shoe Box Art pieces featured in a BBC Imagine documentary about the influence of play on art. How creative play can open up the imagination, and the importance and influence of childhood play on contemporary artists. I found the documentary really interesting click the title link to see the film on BBC i-player.

You can see more of the shoebox art pieces that were made by contemporary artists including Tracy Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, David Bailey, Gavin Turk, Rob Ryan, Kate Moross and many others here :

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Guardian Guide - live brief

Waaay back in April (I think) I organised a live project for Year 3 illustration students with the very generous help of Sara Ramsbottom art editor at the Guardian Guide. Sara very kindly set a project that followed the timescale of a real cover commission for the Guide's Election Special, and she kindly gave up her time to critique the roughs and finished artwork produced.

Stu Madden was selected as the winning entry for his "very Guide" tribute to pacman he will be invited down to see the Guardian folks with his folio soon. Rob Gill was runner up with a lovely 3d specs idea.
Here is Rob's original rough:

Well done us!!! Stu Madden and Andy Thomson selected for Mr Thomas' Art Fair

Both Andy and Stu's prints sold in the auction held on Thursday 1st July at Mr Thomas Chop House. A staggering £10000 + was raised on the night. So thanks to all the students who contributed artwork for the Fair and auction.

Andy Thomson and Stu Madden have been shortlisted for a new Illustration Prize called Mr Thomas' Art Fair. Held at Mr Thomas Chop House in Manchester, 160 Illustrations have been selected from illustration courses throughout the north of England.

It is hoped that the Prize and Show will become an annual event.

Preston illustration selected 20 of our best images for the selling show that finishes tonight in a gala auction. Stu and Andy's prints are to be sold in the auction and stand to win a prize as well so good luck for tonight!

Everything in the show is for sale and half the proceeds of all sales will be donated to North West Air Ambulance so follow the title link to the website and have a look at the catalogue and buy some work.

Well done us!!! Rosie Pearson YCN commendation

Well done to Rosie Pearson for her commendation for the McArthur Glen brief for the Young Creative Network Student Awards.

Rosie has really produced some beautifully observed and rich stencilled fashion work for the project.

There is a title link above to her site and you can see more of her work there.

Well done us!!! Kayleigh O Mara - Macmillan Prize commendation

I know its been a while since these prizes were announced but we have not had a lot of time to keep this blog up now! But did you know that Kayleigh O Mara was highly commended in the Macmillan Prize for Children's Book Illustration 2010 for the second year running. This was for her book " A Big Surprise".
We really should make more of our prize winners!!!
Kayleigh's work was exhibited at Foyles - lets hope it leads to work and recognition! Kayleigh has already had some interest from publishers so fingers crossed.
Well done Kayleigh!

Well done us!!! Chris Arrowsmith D&AD Student Awards

Massive congratulations to Chris Arrowsmith who has won a yellow pencil second prize at this year's D&AD Student Design Awards 2010 in the illustration category for his illustration for the Don't Panic brief entitled "Resist".
Shame we couldn't make it down to the awards! We owe you a pint!

Faber Poetry Hardback covers

Here are some of the beautiful hardback covers for Faber's Poetry books. The print quality is very nice indeed, and the endpapers are equally lovely.
Really retro colour and hand-made printmaking used throughout, I may have to buy them after all?
Illustrations are by Charles Shearer, Michael Kirkman, Jonathan Gibb, Sarah Young, Peter Clayton and Ed Kluz. There is a link here to the Faber blog where the designer Miriam Rosenbloom discusses the design process in more detail:

Creative Review Illustration Annual 2010

This month's Creative Review has a special illustration feature:
Illustration Annual 2010
With some really fascinating work from the likes of Nigel Peake, ilovedust, Sophia Augusta, Christine Berrie,
Kate Gibb, Noma Bar, Chrissie Macdonald, and many more...

Do grab a copy, buy or nick one whatever but get a look.

There are a series of beautiful faber and faber poetry covers pg 42 and43 which has saved me a fortune in having to buy them all...

And our Preston Illustration's very own Rachel Goslin graduated in ooh when was it again Rachel? Anyway Rachel is featured on pages 48 and 49 for her work for The Twisted Originals comic featured in the Levi's store in Carnaby Street. The comic strip is also animated and Rachel has retrained in animation at St Martins.

Find more of her work at: where you can also find links to some of her animated stuff.

Northern Source at CUBE Manchester

Twenty two illustrators from the recently graduated third year at UCLAN Preston can be seen in an exhibition at CUBE Gallery, Portland Street Manchester all this week! It closes on Saturday at 5pm so scoot!
I think the show looks absolutely fantastic so well done and a big thank you to all those who helped out.
An especially big thank you to Ali Graney who gave up her free time to come and help out, also the lovely people at Cube who were extra helpful ta!
Click on the title link to see the Northern Source blog with some photos of the build up to the show.
More to follow hopefully?