This week i attended Pick Me Up- London for the first time, its actually its 6th year of being held and it was at Somerset House. Its an illustrators and graphic designers festival showing both established and emerging talented designers and illustrators. Particularly interesting to me was the introducing of 12 New Emerging talents and a showcase of their work and there were demonstrations from artists and showing some print processes too.
I was particularly interested in this event because i went to meet an illustrator i admire named Alice Bowsher, and her collective The Niles Collective, where her and her colleagues gave me tips and advice as a new illustrator and how to contact potential clients like how to write cover letters, what sort of promotional materials to send and tips like finding out art directors names and sending work directly to them with personalised but short cover letters.
I saw lots of different collectives on the opening day on Thursday, an interesting print process with metallic effects and also everyone had work for sale and it was really interesting to see how it was priced and what individual imagery was worth. This gave me a good insight into selling work, how it should be priced and this event looked an excellent method of self promotion. Although superficial because there was very little content to the work i really enjoyed the environment because you got to talk to the creators themselves and thats how you learnt about the content, they also had tables set up where you could create your own work after being shown some of the designers/illustrators techniques. I also came across a really interesting magazine there called WRAP magazine that showcases illustration work and i’m going to look on their website further because i saw some really interesting work from there!
I really enjoyed pick me up, and i got some postcards of some really interesting work by the emerging illustrators and there were 3 that really stoof out to me, one of which i had already been looking at relating to my own FMP! This was Hattie Newman who creates and photographs 3D paper sculpture and i got to see her cutting mat and how she begins her work and it was amazingly detailed and interesting! i also got to see some of her 3D paper props she makes on display with prints of the finished work and the props by themselves are great!
she starts her work in her sketchbook with little paper collages and then makes miniature versions on her smaller cutting mat before moving onto the larger scale work! Hattie is known for her inimitable creations in set design and papercraft. Growing up in the countryside, Hattie obsessively drew and constructed towns and cities, and to this day continues to create scenes of busy mini worlds. Energetic colours, playfulness, patience and a lot of glue make up the foundations of her work, and she finds “kebab and cocktail sticks very useful when making tiny lampposts and benches.” Drawing and collaging every day, these abstract notes are translated into 3-dimensional sculptures made from paper, wood and plaster.
Laura, originally from Ireland, now lives and works in South East London, since graduating from an MA in Illustration at Kingston University in 2010. Her work is largely hand-painted using watercolour, Indian ink and isograph pen, and depicts fearless women in colourful, maximalist environments. These bright and beautiful images cultivate some sense of mystery or unease – filling the page with minute detail, narrative clues and objects, Laura invites the viewer to create their own story for her characters. Laura will be exhibiting nine new pieces at Pick Me Up, each a tongue-in-cheek, modern take of the nine circles of hell described in Dante’s Inferno.
French artist Thomas has developed several projects, two of which will be showcased at Pick Me Up, Sky Art and Sky Design. Now living and working in Marbourg, Germany, Thomas travels to places such as Belgium, France and Hong Kong, photographing the environment, seasonal changes and, most importantly, urban architecture, into which he slots his imaginary characters. Taking lots of photographs, Thomas then makes a selection and uses low-fi software such as Paint to add designs into the negative spaces of the image, either following his designs from tracing paper attached to the computer screen, or inputting directly into the computer.
This was a really interesting event, and it was less stuffy than a traditional exhibition and it was great to be able to talk to the artists/ collectives about the work and ask real questions to emerging illustrators who provided some very useful advice and stories of personal experience that i can use to help me pursue my career.