Sunday, 29 April 2012

The House That Tie-Dye Built.

This week I was involved in a tie-dye sale at university to raise money for the printing of upcoming publication 'Synthia'; a magazine to be filled by exemplary fine art, illustration and photography students at our university, along with details of local projects and features from professional practitioners. It is based around the fields of both art and science, the publication hoping to demonstrate and celebrate an effective crossover between the two disciplines.

And so, with a combination of alchemy and creativity wizardry, we set about dying a lot of bespoke tshirts in our customer's chosen colour combinations for just a few bob. Despite it being a very stormy week, the rain held off enough for us to do a good trade, and we even brought a little sunshine out too.

The project is the brain child of Laurie Ramsell and Synthia's first issue is set for release this summer. She will be pleased.

All photographs in this post are by Laurie Ramsell.

Friday, 20 April 2012

'The Secret Zine'

The following zine appeared first outside the offices of the AUCB Illustration department in sealed plastic sleeves on the morning of the illustration auction. No-one knew where they had come from or why, but Joel Lardner was quick to declare it the best thing he's seen this year.
The mysterious document depicts all the members of the illustration teaching staff, including visiting tutors such as Marcus Oakley, David Callow and Hayley Potter.

It went on to raise £60 at the silent auction, with the first run of copies selling out and a long list forming of people requesting extra copies to be printed. Various people's involvement has thought to have been identified, but the exact creator of many images still remains unknown. Some even say this fingerpainting of MO contains my fingerprints, but they'll never prove it.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Rain, Art, Snacks, Beer.

Today was the day of our silent auction, aiming to raise money for our course's external degree show in London by selling our illustration work and wares. Nibbles and napkins were laid on and initially the event resembled a children's party; in a good way.

Alongside our student work, we were lucky enough to have pieces donated by some kindly big names in illustration, including Rob Ryan, Holly Wales, Susie Wright, Amy Harris and Marcus Oakley.

The show was bustling, colourful and enjoyable, with the occasional bidding war. In the end it was just nice to relax with my class as for us this was where the hard work behind the show had come to an end. All in all we raised over £1,500, so a large thank you is owed to everyone who came, saw and bidded, including the Robert Newman. What an inspiring chap.

Surrounded by our own pictures and people there to see them I knew I wasn't alone in feeling a sense of pride, a sense that I desperately needed beer and the knowledge that I would sleep very very well tonight.

All photographs in this post are by Nathan Hackett.

Norman's Launderette.

This is the piece of work of mine that will be on sale at tomorrow's auction; an original pencil drawing of Norman's Launderette in Christchurch. I hope he finds a good home.

Bidding runs tomorrow from 3 - 7pm.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Despite being intensely busy beans in the midst of our final major degree projects, a task firmly in the mind of us third year illustrators at the moment is fundraising. Eyes have become pound signs thinking of ways we can raise the money we need to pay for everything that comes with our London degree show in July. Following a successful 90s themed event raising thousands of pounds our next move is a silent auction, and illustrators we admire have been contacted for donations of work to be sold alongside our own creations. Inevitably a lot of people don't reply or simply don't have anything they want to give, but two reactions that I have been particularly warmed by are illustrator and educator Holly Wales and recent graduate of AUCB, Amy Harris.

Not only did they generously send some wonderful illustration work for our auction, but both enclosed a little note wishing us the best with Holly kindly promoting our sale further on her blog and Amy scoring top marks for her expert packaging of one of these guys through the postal system. It's good to know that illustrators are such a kind bunch.

Our auction is on 18th April, so anyone wanting to see some illustration and have a beer should come to the illustration studio of The Arts University College at Bournemouth, distance permitting.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

SCRAPBOOK: a day in the capital.

Over Easter I took a trip to London to deliver my portfolio to the Prince's Trust Drawing School. In true candidate style I drew quite a lot of stuff throughout the day, including maps to find my way around. These scrawls are the secret to my ability to get to new places without hitch; once the route is drawn by my own hand it makes a lot more sense to me, so when I walk it for real it's like I've been there before. I imagine this trick must work for a lot of illustrators, although sometimes I still have to get 'inside the map' a la Joey Tribbiani.

Once the drop-off had been made, I took this welcome independent day as a chance to see the David Shrigley: Brain Activity & Jeremy Deller 'Joy In People' shows at the Hayward gallery:

Despite always being a fan of David Shrigley's idiosyncratic and scrawling commentary on existence, I must say I was surprised to favour Deller's offering. Knowing little about him, I was delighted to discover an incredibly intelligent voice, that showcased a power to connect people through art and pop culture. There was a cafe set up in the gallery serving free tea surrounded by attention-grabbing posters and flags; the show was a great environment to be in with a community feeling and I spent more hours in there than I realised. Many of his projects generated both huge smiles and lingering thought, such as the re-installation of a grease-covered pole as an art object in Egremont, Cumbria, that had previously lost this part of its tradition due to planning permission, a historical re-enactment of the Battle of Orgreave (part of the 1984 miner's strike), and a book of quotations made for people to read on the tube.

Shrigley's offering was very playful yet characteristically dark in places. The gallery was transformed into somewhere to explore with wonder, with a wall to crawl under and a peep hole into an installation hidden inside the walls. Some of the objects had the impressive power to make me laugh out loud, such as a tooth looking at itself in a mirror. However I didn't take much away from his show other than a confirmation of his reckless imagination.

I would strongly recommend experiencing both shows, and how they affect each other; an interesting combination of artists with completely different methods producing their own comment on life and our place with it.

In accordance with my project, I also used my trip to the busiest place in Britain to drew some people sitting still.

Monday, 9 April 2012


Some sketchbook drawings of the shoppers of Iceland, Wimborne Road, Bournemouth.

As my project on the phenomena of 'waiting' develops, I am becoming more interested in who is taking advantage of our waiting state. We are bombarded with advertisements and signage throughout the entire journey through this store, but particularly when we've decided what we want and that we want to leave. Alongside the tills are more things we never even knew we wanted, with signs telling us to shop more in order to save more.