Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award

Well done to Preston Illustration's Craig Atkinson for winning the UCLAN Vice Chancellor's award for excellence in learning and teaching on Friday 7th December 2012.
This was the second annual Vice Chancellor's awards for excellence in teaching and learning. Each School submitted the names of their Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ETL)award winners to the selection panel for the 2012 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Practice in Teaching and Learning.This year a total of nine awards were made in the five categories. In addition to the title, all category awards will receive £1,500 to use for their development.

The award was given for excellence in teaching delivery and intellectual stimulation of students:
Craig facilitates UCLan students’ annual participation at the Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow international arts events which provide opportunities and experience of: working in a professional industrial context; networking with artists, galleries and collectors; and, selling work to major international gallery and museum collections, including the Tate Library Special Collection.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

V&A Illustration Awards 2013

Entries are now being accepted for the V&A Illustration Awards the deadline is 10th December.

The V&A Illustration Awards celebrate the best illustration published over the last year. Original artwork from the best illustrated book, book cover, editorial illustration and student illustrator of the year are recognised.
There are three published categories: Book Cover, Book Illustration and Editorial.
The winner in each category receives £2,000 and a trophy and the judges select an overall winner of the V&A Illustration Awards who will receive an additional £2,000.

There is separate Student Category: Student Illustrator Award 2013 - Student Illustrator of the Year entries are welcomed from anyone who has attended an illustration course in the UK at any time during 2011or 2012. The brief is open. Students may submit material set as coursework by their tutors or they may define their own brief.

Third Year students should have a look at the students entries as each stduent entry has a brief alongside it!

The Student Illustrator of the Year will receive £2,000 and a trophy.
The runner-up will receive £1,000.
How to enter Entrants may submit up to three images of their work.
Entry into all categories of the V&A Illustration Awards is via online entry only.

Student category online entry
Please read the Terms and Conditions of Entry carefully.

The closing date is 10 December 2012
Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 3 June 2013

AOI Images 36

The new Association of Illustrators annual Images 36 is out, and out on tour. The show is in Blackpool at the moment at Blackpool College until the 14th of December. The work selected for the annual this year includes five former Preston illustrators Liam Derbyshire, Nick Brokenshire, John Hamilton, Andy Thomson, and Jay Taylor. The distinguished Judges of Images 36 were Noma Bar, international Illustrator, Sue Buswell, Deputy Publisher Picture Books, Random House Children’s Publishing, Lisa Dickinson, Director, The Art Buying Company who judged the Advertising, Children’s Books and New Talent categories; Anrick Bregman, Director, Unit 9, Jo Cochrane, Art Director, G2 at the Guardian; Gareth Howat, Creative Director, Hat- trick Design who judged the Design, Editorial and New Media categories; David Foldvari, Illustrator, Alasdair Oliver, Art Director, Hodder and Stoughton General, and Michael Salu, Artistic Director, Granta Publications who judged the Books and Self-promotion categories.  Well done to all of our alumni for their selection in the best of British Illustration annual. One day soon the AOI might even send us our copy so we can see them!

Liam Derbyshire

Nickolas Brokenshire

John Hamilton
Andy Thomson
Jay Taylor

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lizzy Stewart lecture & workshop Monday 5th November

It's always a pleasure to get people to come into prestonillustration and talk about their work but when their work is as beautiful as Lizzy Stewart's we are very fortunate indeed. Then you discover that she is both down to earth and honest about the business of making pictures, and yet also very passionate about making her work. From her commissioned work for the New York Times or Folio Society to the self initiated and self published projects she is involved in we got an insight into her drive to create.

She uses quite everyday tools; pencils, paints etc. and she has books printed and loves the smell of ink and the turning of a page in her hand. At the same time she also utilises digital media with a delicate touch, uses the web in all its current guises, blog, website, tumblr as a publishing platform too, but manages to keep the digital elements in the background.

Lizzy strikes me as a very literate illustrator someone for whom reading and the book is prized. She produces zines, books, blogs, and collaborations with writers, illustrators and designers, and she is also studying for an MA at St Martin's. You can see more of her work at her website About Today (see the illustrator links to the right). She is also creating an illustrated diary Solo here.

Lizzy kindly set this short brief and worked with some of the students on it:

5th November 2012
“The real definition of illustration is a figurative art form based on storytelling”-Marshall Arisman.
Illustration is all about telling stories; using pictures to explain what might not be so neatly
summarised with words. Being able to tell a story clearly is a valuable skill and one that takes
Today you have a single page of A4 (210mm x 297mm) with which to tell any story you like. It
can be familiar (from a book, song or film) or from your own head. You might choose a news
story or a traditional children’s story perhaps. You can use your page however you want- split it
into comic strip style panels, divide it into two, fold it to make a book or stick to filling the page
with a single picture (but that picture must tell the entire story).
-Stick to something manageable- don’t try and draw a whole novel, just one scene or even a few
lines of dialogue will do!
- Think about time. Would working entirely by hand be quicker than using a computer?
-You may use a larger piece of paper if you like but please only fill an A4 space
-Check with one another that your image/images are communicating the story you’re trying to

I will publish some of the student's exploits in the near future, as the brief led to some very interesting solutions.
Here are a few examples of her work from her folio:
"The Men who built Magnitogorsk",

The zine "Nomads"above, and below the Folio Society's illustrated "Mrs Dalloway".

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Creative Thinking - A4 paper brief?

On Thursday we had a Year One crit looking at responses to the second Creative Thinking brief this year; we asked students can you illustrate a word beginning with the letter A using only one sheet of A4 photocopy paper?

Below are a few of the better solutions. There were of course several things people could do to improve their solutions even some of these below? Research; some students did not go far enough to seek out the words they wanted to illustrate and stuck to the sample words given at the start. Others selected words that caused headaches because they were difficult to make visual connections to - This led to some overcomplicated solutions. Some did not go far enough in making connections to their chosen words, or think laterally enough which led to very literal solutions. Some concentrated on technique over the idea leading to some lovely paper cuts that did not communicate the idea very clearly. Some had the potential to go much further than they did, and take risks.

However it must be said that overall we were impressed and cheered by some of the thinking on display .

Answers from top to bottom: A for Acrobatic, America, Ape, Asian, Acorn, Aztec, Anthology, Adventure.

Boneface in Juxtapoz September Issue

Former UCLAN student "Boneface" who graduated in 2010 has just been featured in the September issue of Juxtapoz. As the magazine puts it:

"everything that's right with the action-gore work of Boneface just might be the same things that make him perfectly wrong for any other creative endeavor. The titles of his humorously brutal illustrations, like 'Actionfu*kers' or 'Over My Dead Body' are so perfectly matched with the bloody, gruesome rendered narratives he creates."

Influenced by computer games, superheroes, nose bleeds, horror and B- movies. Boneface sports a natty line in headgear in the article? You can if you like such things buy lots of his work from
Society 6.

Boneface's work sits alongside articles about Daniel Clowes and David Shrigley click on the title link to find out more about Juxtapoz. 

Macmillan Cancer Support World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Preston Illustration was recently asked to help out on the PR for the Macmillan Cancer Support's World's Biggest Coffee Morning which was held on Friday 28th September. They were looking for someone to help by stirring up celebrity interest in the coffee morning. Recent graduate Rik Das hand painted 25 coffee cups to be handed to some very well known celebrities, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry being a couple of the 25 recipients. It's lead to quite a buzz on twitter, as you can imagine, so as the idea was that on the coffee morning these celebs would create a twitter buzz about receiving their personalised coffee cups. It worked.

Well done to Rik for getting involved and doing such a brilliant job of personalising these take away mugs to a very tight deadline.
The event has raised over £600 000 so for Macmillan. However I am sure that if you wanted to you could raise even more money or add your financial support to the project click the title link to see more information or to donate.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Secret 7"

In Spring I managed to overlook the Secret 7" project for Teenage Cancer Trust. Moreover the fact that several preston illustrators had been included in the Show also passed me by. Well we were supposed to keep it a secret, then forgot.

The event took place back in April so it's well over for this year. However the Idea Generation gallery in Shoreditch exhibited about 700 seven inch sleeve designs inspired by tracks donated by The Cure, Florence + The Machine, Bombay Bicycle Club, CSS, DJ Shadow, Noah & The Whale and Ben Howard. The exhibition had an added air of mystery as no-one knew who designed each sleeve, or which of the seven tracks was housed inside. On the 21st April each of the one-of-a-kind 7'' records were available to take home for a minimum donation to Teenage Cancer Trust of £40.

Recent graduate Jake Tyas whose piece of work we used for our publicity posters during the Summer show was one such secret sleeve.

As was this from Andy Thomson

and this by Chris Arrowsmith. 

If you click on the title link you can view the Secret Seven Inch site look at the artwork and also if you keep an eye on the site the event might happen again and you might be able to take part next year?
You can also find out about the work that the Teenage Cancer Trust do by following the link.

Secrets by Ben Tallon

Preston illustration's Ben Tallon has collaborated with animator Ross Phillips on this video Ben's first foray into music video animation for Secrets by Byron featuring Dot Rotten and Ghetts. As well as working independently as a freelance illustrator Ben is a part of a team of people collaborating on music design and art direction called Quenched including several former Preston illustration graduates - check out the video. Sounded a bit Smashy and Nicey then?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Ali Graney

It is with huge sadness that I have to inform you that our colleague and friend Ali Graney has died after a short illness.

Ali came to work part time with us on the Illustration course at Preston Illustration about ten years ago. She was always great fun to work with, always got stuck in and enjoyed the practical, messy stuff; drawing and cutting out a speciality with the students - who loved having Ali around. She became a fixture as part time tutor in recent years and students loved her good humour and no nonsense attitude. She loved the students in return and always took great pride in their achievements.

Ali shared an office with me, and her patience at putting up with, and sharing the mess that I make was quite astonishing. I will miss her personally as a friend, the course will miss her as a true creative spark and the students will miss her as their caring guide and mentor.

She met her partner Lee when they both worked on the course. We send our sincere condolences to Lee and also to her family at this awful time.

Alison Clare Graney - who sadly died July 12th 2012.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Take Five Illustrators - National Gallery Scotland

There is an exhibition of children's illustration at the The National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh from the 11th June − 30th October 2012. The display showcases the work of five artists who illustrate books for children, including; Alice Melvin, Cate James, Barroux, Bruce Ingman and Sara Ogilvie. Many of our students will remember Sara's visit to Preston a few years ago? Sara was recipient of the Booktrust Best New Illustrator Award in 2011.

Also in the exhibition is Bruce Ingman whose successful partnership with author Allan Ahlberg includes "The Pencil" and "The Runaway Dinner". Whilst Alice Melvin was also recipient of the Book Trust Best New Illustrators Award in 2011 for her work with Tate publishing such as "Counting Birds".

Barroux introduces his home country in "Mr Leon’s Paris". Whilst Cate James illustrates the Lollipop and Grandpa series written by Penelope Harper.
Three of the illustrators will be appearing at The Edinburgh International Book Festival this summer but you can meet all five of them in person at monthly master classes held at the Scottish National Gallery during the Summer.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Interview with Debbie Greenaway

Here is an interview with Debbie Greenaway who graduated from preston illustration in 2008 I found it on the Business Boom Bolton website. It's interesting to hear Debbie's stories of life after graduation working as an illustrator / craft / maker.

Make a start – doesn’t have to be big but a start in the right direction will do. Make sure you organise yourself and your time. Remember to continue being creative as time can run away from you if you don’t make yourself sit down and do what it is you are supposed, to actually be doing... After that, if needs be, register as self- employed, start a blog, join twitter/facebook and make sure you have a website, business cards and an online shop or two.

Most of the online platforms are free to join and there is a whole community out there to get involved in. Ask questions at any time, no matter how silly they sound, people will always try and help or point you in the direction of someone else who may know."

Read the whole interview along with other creative business stories here:


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Unleashed: The Best in the North at Mr Thomas' Chop House Manchester

29 June 2012 - 31 August 2012

Now open at Mr Thomas' Chop House in Manchester - the third Unleashed: The Best in the North 2012 Exhibition 
Unleashed: The Best in the North is a competition and exhibition of final year illustration students from all over the North(ish) of England shown at Mr Thomas’s Chop House in Manchester City Centre on Cross Street. They hold a competition where they ask art students from around the north to submit their final year illustration work. The exhibition is judged by industry professionals and 25 pieces are shortlisted for a final gala charity auction held on the evening of Thursday 19th July.

This year Preston Illustration students have had four pieces selected two each from 2012 graduates Tim Hall for the movies Super Eight and Tinker Tailor, and two by Rik Das of comedians Benny Hill and Tommy Cooper.

The exhibition runs until August and customers can buy the non-shortlisted pieces of artwork. There is a gala dinner for an invited audience where the 25 shortlisted pieces of artwork are auctioned off; the money raised through the sale of work and the gala dinner is split between the students and the North West Air Ambulance.
So if you're in Manchester pop in and have look?
You can also see more about the show on the facebook page:


Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Monster Calls

I have just finished reading "A Monster Calls" By Patrick Ness based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd (who died before she could write her book). It is published by Walker books. The story is a moving one about a boy who's mother is suffering from cancer.

Jim Kay who illustrated the book has just been awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration for his beautiful and sensitive depiction of "A Monster Calls". Not only that but Patrick Ness was awarded his second consecutive Carnegie Medal by CILIP for the story as well.
Jim Kay's images are dark and beautifully composed with a huge variety of marks as the publicity describes him printing from old chopping boards "Old bread boards are wonderful - they have a whole history of cuts and marks. When you make a print with one you get an abstract piece of art"and living with marks; "I put thousands of abstract marks and splatters all round the flat. As I went about my daily life I started to see things in them - maybe an arm or a hedgerow. Things took on their own little life", to achieve the sort of visual effects he wanted.  You can find out more about Jim Kay's work here: http://www.jimkay.co.uk

It is one of the few book objects I have seen for some years where the consideration of the subject matter, and the quality of the images, and design is such that it justifies being described as an illustrated book for both adults and children and I heartily recommend it!