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.”

Advertisements

A BA(Hons) Illustration study visit to snowy Bristol!

Our second and third year BA(Hons) Illustration students recently enjoyed a study visit to snowy Bristol.  The focus of the trip included studio visits to two artist/illustration studios; Hamilton House and The Island.

The students enjoyed tours of both venues, at Hamilton House they met with practicing illustrators including Lara Hawthorne, Paula Bowles and Freya Hartas who spoke with the students about their experiences as illustrators since graduating.  At The Island studios, students met with collective ‘Sad Ghost Club‘, a small team working hard to make comics, apparel and merchandise to spread positive awareness of mental health.

Students also had presentations from Lara Hawthorne, Joe Roberts and Laurie Stansfield, who have been working together to develop a mentoring scheme called ‘CAP’ which involves meeting up regularly to support one another with business, including developing projects and setting schedules.  

Falmouth alumni Dave Bain, who graduated from BA(Hons) Illustration in 2006 coordinated all the activities that students participated in whilst visiting Bristol.  Dave also gave students a presentation about his own experiences since graduating. As well as being a successful illustrator, Dave is responsible for setting up illustration studios in Hamilton House and an illustration collective ‘Drawn In Bristol‘, formed in 2011 which supports and profiles Bristol based illustrators.

Before travelling to Bristol, students were given a brief to work too, focusing on the themes of ‘regeneration and collaboration’ and the culmination of their primary research was to formulate visual outputs which were exhibited in the SPACE (Sound-Performance-Art-Community-Engagement) Gallery.

Prior to the exhibition Private View, Tom Newell of Limbic Cinema, provided workshops with the students; Tom digitized drawings from student’s sketchbooks and mapped and projected these onto plinths and walls – he also taught students how to do the same and the outcome was several visual collages projected onto 2D and 3D spaces.

For the exhibition, students created a range of work in response to the brief, from 3D objects, to customised shirts, a video and a 3D mobile.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First Year BA(Hons) Drawing – A Pop Up Exhibition.

The first year BA(Hons) Drawing students transformed their studio to create a pop up exhibition, curated by John Howard, Associate Lecturer. The exhibition was held in the drawing studios and featured over 100 drawings from the students’ first term of work and covered a wide range of subjects and artistic techniques.

The students worked together to prepare the space for the exhibition. First year student Maria Meekings felt that this process shifted the collective vision from viewing their work as practice pieces, to viewing the pieces in their own right and she was excited to get feedback on her work. “Being able to present work to fellow practitioners and the wider public is gratifying in that it helps you understand that as an artist you are part of a community and that your work exists in a context of both other pieces of art and as something which others can take pleasure or interest in, and not merely as art for its own sake.”

The exhibition also prompted discussion among the students about what they had learnt during this first term of immersion, their response to each-others’ pieces and the aspects of the course that they had most enjoyed so far. Maria says “Being able to explore a variety of techniques and viewpoints has been quite fascinating and useful I feel to understand myself as an artist and the work I want to produce. I think that the understanding in many ways is just as important as the work I’ve produced, if not more, as that is part of my future while each piece finished is automatically assigned to my past.

Reflecting on the process of drawing, Senior Lecturer Peter Skerrett considers that it can be a very introspective activity. “Having the opportunity to share this practice with a wider audience enables the students to see their work from a critical distance, almost like encountering it for the first time. This increases their ability to understand their own and their colleagues work from a more critical and reflective viewpoint.”

Isolde Pullum, Course Coordinator for BA(Hons) Drawing, was impressed with the students’ professional manner and the way in which they worked together to put the show up in a very short space of time. She was also delighted with the quality of the drawings produced so early in the course, during which time they have created work on location during study visits to Tresco on the Isles of Scilly, The National Trust’s Trelissick, Trebah Garden and Paradise Park wildlife sanctuary. They also visited ShelterBox in Truro to prepare for an upcoming project for next term.

There will be more opportunities for the students to develop their professional practice and to exhibit their work, as future exhibitions are planned for the Fox Café on the Falmouth Campus.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Student exhibition responds to Venice Biennale…

BA(Hons) Drawing and BA(Hons) Fine Art students recently returned from a study visit together to the Venice Biennale, and responded by creating a student-led pop-up exhibition in the attic of Falmouth Campus’s Belmont Studios. Work included drawing, painting, print, photography, sculpture and installation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Highlights of a visit to the Venice Biennale

 

Venice Biennale, Hew Locke – photo: Richard Christensen

BA(Hons) Fine Art and BA(Hons) Drawing students recently returned from a study visit to the Venice Biennale.

The visit gave students from the two courses an opportunity to spend time with those on a different course at Falmouth, and the group fit much into their time. 2017 graduate Abbie Hunt, who was supported by Falmouth School of Art and the British Council to undertake a British Council Venice Fellowship, had been in touch with the students to make recommendations based on her experience of working at the Biennale for a month. And exhibiting in this year’s  Diaspora Pavilion were Falmouth Visiting Professor of Fine Art, Hew Locke and fellow Falmouth alumna Libita Clayton.

BA(Hons) Fine Art student Richard Christensen provided his response to some of the highlights, and some great images of the visit:

Venice Arsenale, photo: Richard Christensen

‘Our arrival in Venice was inauspicious, late on Monday evening with a biting wind which made for an uncomfortable ride in the vaporetto to San Marco.  The wind continued into Tuesday, together with plenty of rain, and found its way into the exhibition spaces of the Arsenale, where there were few warm spots for retreat.  But by Wednesday the wind had gone, and for the rest of our stay the city was pleasantly autumnal.

Much of the Arsenale site consists of a long series of halls which must once have been the dockyard workshops.  The exhibitions here were organised into loosely defined themes (‘the Common’, ‘the Earth’, etc)…the openness of the themed pavilions created both variety and dynamism, with a multitude of thought-provoking and visually arresting works in all media.

Venice, British Pavilion, Phyllida Barlow – photo: Richard Christensen

The British pavilion had a painting-sculptural installation by Phyllida Barlow called ‘folly’.  Energetic, exuberant, more than filling its space and spilling outside the building, it was certainly not lacking in ambition.

An area of undoubted strength at the Biennale was the consistently high standard of video art.  Video is now clearly in an age of maturity, with professional production values and themes which speak to their audiences with clarity.  Several works at Venice are operating at the boundary with cinema in terms of the scope of their ambition and their technical standards.

Although there was little live performance art at the Biennale, the one piece which I saw was remarkable for its power and intensity.  The German pavilion was an almost empty space apart from a raised glass floor and glass panels separating some of the rooms.  The audience, on entering the building, hardly knew what to expect.  The four performers, initially positioned around the main exhibition hall, moved together and then separated in successive bursts of energy and slow deliberation, in a loosely structured narrative of encounters and separations.

Venice, German Pavilion, photo: Richard Christensen

At times there was intimacy, at others the threat of violence.  Even though much of the performance took place in and among the audience, at no time was there any interaction with it.  And despite the intensity of the piece the expressions of the performers were impassive throughout – indeed, this impassivity was what gave it much of its power.  And at the end, when the four performers disappeared, their wordless drama, maintained over an hour and a quarter, left the audience exhausted by what they had seen and experienced.

Two and a half days in Venice could never provide much more than a taster of what the Biennale had to offer.  I could easily have spent a whole week or more there taking in the art.  And as for the city… I’m sure I could devote a whole year there just to exploring its endless maze of alleyways and canals.’

 

The Venice study visit is one of a number of optional overseas trips offered to undergraduate students of Falmouth School of Art during their studies. BA(Hons) Drawing have also in recent years visited Amsterdam, and BA(Hons) Fine Art have previously visited Berlin.

BA(Hons) Drawing on Tresco

First year students from BA(Hons) Drawing enjoyed a memorable week on Tresco, Isles of Scilly, as guests of Lucy and Robert Dorrien-Smith. 

The week started with Hurricane Ophelia and ended with Storm Brian, so air and sea travel was exciting. The students made drawings in the Abbey Gardens, did a project in the Five Islands School and enjoyed the hospitality of Gallery Tresco at the private view of Drawing Show, an exhibition of work by Falmouth BA(Hons) Drawing students who have previously visited the Island. You can view the brochure for Drawing Show online here.

Once again the magic of Scilly was inspirational, and students can’t wait to return.