Falmouth Illustrators Create Mural for Penryn Primary Academy

Second year BA(Hons) Illustration students Elleanna Bird, Sophie Freestone and Amelia Brooks recently completed  work on a mural to transform some of the interior space at Penryn Primary Academy.

The project, carried out at the school over three weeks, was a voluntary commission, enthusiastically taken up by the three friends. Elleanna commented, “We were all very keen to get started and we had lots of ideas to share. Our ideas encouraged the Head Teacher, who seemed very pleased and excited about what we had planned”. Elleanna says she feels grateful to have been involved, describing an atmosphere of encouragement and motivation; she feels that their enthusiasm in creating the work was kept high by the positive reactions of members of the school community who popped in to see how the project was coming along.

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Sophie reflects on the process of creating the pieces: “The three of us were working together on one painting, which meant all of our bizarre and strange ideas were multiplied by three! The murals happened in quite an organic way; although we had developed plans to work from, a lot of the visual elements came to life in the moment when we were drawing and painting straight onto the boards”.

Elleanna, Sophie and Amelia with Penryn Primary Academy Head Teacher James Hitchens, at the unveiling of the mural panels.

The result is a feast for the eyes – a vibrant panorama depicting creatures of land and sea, as well as Cornish motifs and legends. Sophie says, “I really enjoyed this project because of the unlimited amounts of colour and creativity we were permitted to use. In the paintings, if you look hard enough, you can spot a sea monster, a sloth playing the drums, a pair of feet belonging to a giant and a couple of dinosaurs wearing high heels!”.

The murals received a fantastic response from pupils when unveiled by the artists at a school assembly. Of the experience, Sophie said, “We had a fantastic few weeks painting the murals, and I would recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to get involved in a project such as this – local or afar – to say yes!”.

BA(Hons) Illustration Course Coordinators Natalie Hayes and Keryn Bibby have since met with Head Teacher James Hitchens and Assistant Head Chris Lee, to discuss possible future projects. They were shown around the school and discussed opportunities to involve Illustration students; from the possibility of murals for the walls of the swimming pool, production of inspirational imagery to enliven library spaces, or Illustration students working with Penryn Primary pupils on a series of creative workshops. Natalie commented, “Developing the bonds between Falmouth’s Illustration course and Penryn Primary Academy will provide our students with further excellent professional practice opportunities, and we hope will enhance the school experience for the primary pupils”.

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New York Commission for 3rd year Illustrator

Securing multiple appointments with editorial giants such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal is one thing. Receiving commissions from such renowned companies whilst still a student, immediately after showcasing your work to the directors, is quite another.

After a hectic day in New York pitching portfolios to art directors from a broad range of companies, Illustration students prepared to wind down for the evening. But one student, Tom Paterson, secured an opportunity that could be the first step into a successful editorial career.

On the strength of his portfolio presentation, Tom was offered the chance to create an illustration for a New York Times online article, the deadline for which was the next day.

Tom explained: “The article I was sent had a lot of great imagery. When creating editorial illustrations, I always tend to lean towards conceptual illustrations rather than literal interpretations of the text, as the image has to speak on its own but also must reflect the core ideas of the text.”

The piece, entitled ‘The Soul-Crushing Student Essay’, explores the dissolution of university students’ ability to write in a subjective format, the private “I”. On his creation, Tom reflected: “I had a few ideas in mind, most of which pictured the student chiselling themselves out of a block of paper. The final illustration has a more refined version of this concept, as the essay the student writes is being stacked into a shape resembling their head.”

Our undergraduate illustrators have the opportunity in their third year to attend the New York agencies study visit; after returning home, Tom was notified of another exciting prospect requiring his particular skills. The Wall Street Journal needed an illustration for their upcoming Off-Duty summer issue. He said: “In the space of three weeks I’ve worked for two of my favourite publications. I’m going to be constantly networking with more art directors and sending work out to potential clients.

“I can’t emphasise enough how well the tutors on the course have prepared us all for the real world of illustration. I’ve also found that the focus on conceptual thinking and strategies has changed the way I think about creating images. I now spend 70% of the time sketching and generating ideas, instead of focusing all my time on just creating a pretty picture.”

BA(Hons) Illustration Collaborative Project in Bristol

BA(Hons) Illustration Senior Lecturers Linda Scott and Natalie Hayes recently accompanied a group of second and third year students to Bristol, for a week-long trip focused on studio visits, professional practice talks and workshops, as well as an exhibition of work produced by them during their visit in response to a brief.

Dave Bain talking about his projects

Falmouth Alumni Dave Bain, who graduated in 2006, as established himself in Bristol as a lynchpin of the thriving Illustration scene. As well as being a successful Illustrator, Dave is responsible for setting up illustration studios in Hamilton House (in the Stokes Croft area of the city) and the Illustration Collective, ‘Drawn In Bristol‘.

A good number of Falmouth Illustration alumni have relocated to Bristol, as an alternative to London; many have studio space in Hamilton House, which Dave modeled on the Falmouth course’s studio set up. Our students were given a tour of Hamilton House, and also The Island, a converted police station on Nelson Street.

At Hamilton House, Illustrators Lara Hawthorne, Paula Bowles, Freya Hartas and others talked informally about their experiences as Illustrators since graduating; at The Island, collective Sad Ghost Club talked about collaboration, the merchandise they produce and what brought them together as a group.

Coordinating the visit for us, Dave Bain booked The Square Club as a meeting space for us, and as venue for speakers Lara Hawthorne, Joe Roberts and Laurie Stansfield, who are working together and have developed a mentoring scheme suitable for graduates who are unable to work in studio spaces and who might otherwise be subject to isolation. Joe and Laurie meet monthly to support one another with projects and business, holding one another accountable for developing projects and setting schedules. Dave talked about his experience setting up the studios and working collaboratively, and spoke about his role as a ‘connector’ of people, bringing them together to develop public realm projects which directly benefit the local community.

Before their trip, students had been given a brief, focusing on themes of Regeneration and Collaboration. The culmination of their research was the formulation of visual outputs for exhibition in the Space Gallery, in the Old Market area of Bristol. Student exhibits ranged from 3D objects to customised shirts, a video and a 3D mobile.

Limbic Cinema workshop

A private view of the exhibition followed a final day of workshops, from Tom Newell of Limbic Cinema. Tom digitised drawings from students’ sketchbooks and mapped and projected these onto plinths and walls; he taught students how to do the same, with the outcome being several visual collages projected onto 2D and 3D spaces.

We commend our students for their high level of engagement throughout this intensive professional practice study visit, and for their participation even when treacherous weather threatened to impact heavily their activities.

 

Coming Soon…Falmouth School of Art Degree Shows

The studios are cleared, third years have moved in with paint, tools and the labours of their final year and are already transforming the spaces into what promises to be a diverse and vibrant degree show from Falmouth School of Art this year.

Students of BA(Hons) Drawing, BA(Hons) Fine Art and BA(Hons) Illustration will open their shows to the public on Friday 25 May, including a launch that evening, 6-9pm, all welcome. As well as final degree work from our third years, separate exhibitions will showcase work from our first and second year BA(Hons) Illustration and BA(Hons) Drawing students.

The shows will be open as follows:

  • Friday 25 May, 10-4pm
  • Friday 25 May 6-9pm exhibition launch, all welcome
  • Saturday 26 May 10-4pm
  • Sunday 27 May 10-4pm
  • Monday 28 May (bank holiday) 10-4pm
  • Tuesday 29 May 10-4pm
  • Wednesday 30 May 10-4pm

Get the dates in your diaries and we’ll see you in three weeks!

For details of all Falmouth University summer shows, see the website.

Wunderkammer 2018: Hot off the Presses!

This year’s much anticipated edition of Wunderkammer flew off the presses literally a day before both London and New York study trips. This year’s cover has been illustrated by Falmouth Illustration alumna and rising star Ana Jaks.


The standard of work in this year’s book is extremely high, showing the full range of talent that is about to graduate from the BA(Hons) Illustration course here at Falmouth. All staff that have taught the current final year students through the course can, alongside the students, take a share in the high quality of the work published in the book. Particular credit goes to the third year staff for the huge effort that they have made to research, design co-ordinate the production of this book.

Thanks also go out to the alumni who have contributed insightful interviews. These include: Calum Heath, Beth Wheatley, Owen Gent and Hugh Cowling (Uncle Ginger), Jamie Edler, Thomas Pullin.

Here’s a sample of spreads from the book.

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MA Illustration: Authorial practice graduates win Laydeez do Comics Graphic Novel Prizes

The Laydeez do Comics Prize exists to provide “recognition and celebration of the wealth of comics work currently being produced by female-identifying people based in the UK”.

 

Emma Burleigh, a recent graduate of MA Illustration: Authorial Practice has won the first £2K Laydeez do Comics; Women’s Prize for Unpublished Graphic Novels in Progress for her graphic novel My Other Mother, My Other Self .

Emma is an artist and art teacher who is passionate about the vibrant, glowing and mercurial qualities of water-colour and mixed media. ” I’m interested in everyday life, the inner life and the layers of life in between.”  In 2015, she completed an MA in ‘Authorial Illustration’ at Falmouth University, with Distinction and My Other Mother, My Other Self is a development of her MA graphic novel, Birth Mother.

Birth Mother was an exploration in words and painting about her journey … Emma says ” It’s about tracing my birth mother who I traced about ten years ago, and it’s really just the story of how I found her and how our relationship unfolded. It actually becomes more about my relationship with myself.”

Emma was thrilled to be shortlisted for the prize as she has been working on her book for many years.

 

Rebecca Jones, a 2012 graduate also from MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, came fourth.

She said about her entry into the competition… “I’ve been making comics properly for about five years – cat zines that are a little bit fantastical and a bit silly. I’ve been trying to make something new by moving into social issues and doing something that’s a bit more personal. It’s called Boomerang and it’s about an unemployed psychology graduate who’s moved back home after graduation and it’s an exploration of issues around the 2008 recession and the following economic crash. It’s about a rite of passage of a few months of not knowing what to do and what it means to be an adult.”

Falmouth School of Art Drawing Forum 2018

The Falmouth School of Art Drawing Forum 2018 posed the question ‘What Does Drawing Do?

It has been a long established assumption that drawing underpins most disciplines within the creative sector, but what drawing does, and how it functions for different practitioners, is probably an ever-changing and essential component.

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By asking a series of speakers to talk about what drawing does for them, this forum hoped to develop a better understanding of the possibilities and functions of drawing. As well as Falmouth-based researchers, the event welcomed guest speakers of national and international standing, including:

Storyboard Artist Jay Clarke worked on the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit & the Curse of the WereRabbit and other projects with Aardman and was lead storyboard artist for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Production Design. He is currently storyboarding Universal’s The Voyage of Dr Dolittle and creating an illustrated children’s novel.

Multi-disciplinary artist Solveig Settemsdal lives and works in London and Bristol; she won the Jerwood Drawing Prize for her video work Singularity in 2016.

Ed Eva and George Baldwin formed the drawing research partnership eegb after graduating from Falmouth’s BA(Hons) Drawing in 2014. eegb’s practice lies at the intersection of drawing and technology; they build machines that draw, have been awarded a number of residencies and grants and have exhibited in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA.

This video shares sections of the eight short talks on how drawing is used in contemporary creative practice: