Friday, 22 July 2011

Images 36 Call for Entries

The only jury selected illustration annual in the UK. With a category for students and unpublished / self promo work.
Created or commissioned a piece of illustration you are proud of? 
Want other professionals working in illustration and design to know about it?

Then enter your best work into the Association of Illustrators' Images competition, the most comprehensive and prestigious illustration award in the UK. Click on the title link for details!

Kate Pankhurst illustrations for the Museum of Liverpool

Preston illustrator Kate Pankhurst has had a very nice commission for the children's signage and Little Liverpool learning gallery at the newly opened Museum of Liverpool. As she outlined in her visit to the course earlier this year, the spider character will be used across the Museum, which is the largest purpose built museum in the UK for a hundred years. It opened on the 19th July.
The character concept was a reference to the banana spiders that occasionally made the trip to Liverpool from the Caribbean along with the cargo. I think Kate has done a really excellent job of making a spider character engaging and child friendly.

The museum is certainly an interesting  building sitting on the waterfront near the Albert Dock and the "Three Graces". Designed in the main by Danish architects 3xn (three architects named Neilsen). It looks like an amazing building, the Jury is out on its impact on the waterfront, I saw it under construction and was not sure? But hope to visit soon and make up my mind.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Time for a new Manifesto and Program? Bauhaus 1919

The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building! To embellish buildings was once the noblest function of the fine arts; they were the indispensable components of great architecture. Today the arts exist in isolation, from which they can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as “salon art.”

The old schools of art were unable to produce this unity; how could they, since art cannot be taught. They must be merged once more with the workshop. The mere drawing and painting world of the pattern designer and the applied artist must become a world that builds again. When young people who take a joy in artistic creation once more begin their life's work by learning a trade, then the unproductive “artist” will no longer be condemned to deficient artistry, for their skill will now be preserved for the crafts, in which they will be able to achieve excellence.

Architects, sculptors, painters, we all must return to the crafts! For art is not a “profession.” There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, transcending the consciousness of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in a craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies the prime source of creative imagination.

Let us then create a new guild of craftsmen without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist! Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith.
Walter Gropius

Aims of the Bauhaus
The Bauhaus strives to bring together all creative effort into one whole, to reunify all the disciplines of practical art-sculpture, painting, handicrafts, and the crafts-as inseparable components of a new architecture. The ultimate, if distant, aim of the Bauhaus is the unified work of art-the great structure-in which there is no distinction between monumental and decorative art.
The Bauhaus wants to educate architects, painters, and sculptors of all levels, according to their capabilities, to become competent craftsmen or independent creative artists and to form a working community of leading and future artist-craftsmen. These men, of kindred spirit, will know how to design buildings harmoniously in their entirety-structure, finishing, ornamentation, and furnishing.

Principles of the Bauhaus

  • Art rises above all methods; in itself it cannot be taught, but the crafts certainly can be. Architects, painters, and sculptors are craftsmen in the true sense of the word; hence, a thoroughtraining in the crafts, acquired in workshops and in experimental and practical sites, is required of all students as the indispensable basis for all artistic production. Our own workshops are to be gradually built up, and apprenticeship agreements with outside workshops will be concluded.
  • The school is the servant of the workshop, and will one day be absorbed in it. Therefore there will be no teachers or pupils in the Bauhaus but masters, journeymen, and apprentices.
  • The manner of teaching arises from the character of the workshop: Organic forms developed from manual skills.
  • Avoidance of all rigidity; priority of creativity; freedom of individuality, but strict study discipline.
  • Master and journeyman examinations, according to the Guild Statutes, held before the Council of Masters of the Bauhaus or before outside masters.
  • Collaboration by the students in the work of the masters. Securing of commissions, also for students.
  • Constant contact with the leaders of the crafts and industries of the country.
  • Contact with public life, with the people, through exhibitions and other activities.
  • New research into the nature of the exhibitions, to solve the problem of displaying visual work and sculpture within the framework of architecture.
  • Encouragement of friendly relations between masters and students outside of work; therefore plays. lectures, poetry, music, costume parties. Establishment of a cheerful ceremonial at these gatherings.

Range of Instruction
Instruction at the Bauhaus includes all practical and scientific areas of creative work. A. Architecture, B. Painting, C. Sculpture
including all branches of the crafts.
Students are trained in a craft (1) as well as in drawing and painting (2) and science and theory (3).
1. Craft training-either in our own, gradually enlarging workshops or in outside workshops to which the student is bound by apprenticeship agreement-includes:
a) sculptors, stonemasons, stucco workers, woodcarvers, ceramic workers, plaster casters, b) blacksmiths, locksmiths, founders, metal turners, c) cabinetmakers, d) painter-and-decorators, glass painters, mosaic workers, enamelers,
e) etchers. wood engravers, lithographers, art printers, enchasers,
f) weavers. Craft training forms the basis of all teaching at the Bauhaus. Every student must learn a craft.
2. Training in drawing and painting includes: a) free-hand sketching from memory and imagination, b) drawing and painting of heads, live models. and animals, c) drawing and painting of landscapes, figures, plants, and still lives, d) composition, e) execution of murals, panel pictures, and religious shrines,
f) design of ornaments, g) lettering, h) construction and projection drawing, i) design of exteriors, gardens, and interiors, j) design of furniture and practical articles.
3. Training in science and theory includes: a) art history-not presented in the sense of a history of styles, but rather to further active understanding of historical working methods and techniques, b) science of materials, c) anatomy-from the living model, d) physical and chemical theory of color, e) rational painting methods, f) basic concepts of bookkeeping, contract negotiations, personnel, g) individual lectures on subjects of general interest in all areas of art and science.

Any person of good repute, without regard to age or sex, whose previous education is deemed adequate by the Council of Masters, will be admitted, as far as space permits. The tuition fee is 180 marks per year (It will gradually disappear entirely with increasing earnings of the Bauhaus). A nonrecurring admission fee of 20 marks is also to be paid. Foreign students pay double fees. Address inquiries to the Secretariat of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar.
April 1919. The administration of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar: 

Walter Gropius.
1919 Bauhaus Manifesto

"Content Drawing Making and Context"

Excerpts from Robert Mason's "Mere Illustration"2005

"It sometimes seems as if the nouns "illustration" and "illustrator" were never meant to be used alone so often do we read them prefaced by a qualifying adjective or phrase.

"Its mere illustration". " He or she is just an illustrator".

"Perhaps its important to identify illustration's unique strengths";

Illustration's paramount quality is perhaps it's hardest to define. Idea...subject matter...concept...content
I would contend that drawing in its many forms and irrespective of medium is the second constant among illustration's strengths...whether formal, informal, serious, funny, observational, imaginative, experimental, compositional, technical, or investigative, developmental doodle or meticulous masterpiece it remains the keystone of illustration.
Commitment to making - the process of working on an image until it's right.
And context...

" So content, drawing, making and context -  a quartet of factors that might be useful in defining illustration, historically and in the present. Though imperfect and slippery, they seem useful since they can describe illustrators of different times and cultures; they are relevant if you like to Bewick and Fanelli. They certainly seem central to the business of learning to be an illustrator, though there are other aspects of that process-ability, tenacity, flair, imagination, luck - that you can't put on any curriculum.

From a tutor's point of view, however, perhaps the best thing about this quartet of factors is that their relevance is not limited to illustration, even though they seem to happily define it.

No illustration course can guarantee success for all of its graduates, as freelance illustrators; and any course that claims it can has a rosily delusional take on reality.
However if you see education as education, not as training, this is as much a virtue, as a problem.
Variety really is the spice of life, and students' routes beyond education should vary. If one has an eye to graduate's futures, those four factors should underpin almost any direction they may choose.

There are similarities, within illustration's academic recipe, to many other areas of art and design education. But there are few areas that offer the same degree of rigour and reflection, and of professional and personal concerns, while having an open attitude to the forms which the work produced can take...
Illustration can involve any medium that can be produced on a screen or a printed page.

Does an image have enough content even to merit coming into existence?
Have I been smart enough in 'finding' the basic drawing?
Have I spent long enough, or if its a quicker piece, have I been rigorous enough about its final form (commitment to making the process of working on an image until it's right)...
The last factor concerns the eventual context in which the work appears.

At its best mere illustration offers a positive means of combining personal and professional achievement, as any other area of creative activity. This should be the belief of all aspiring illustrators, as well as their tutors - and especially of those who employ them.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Unleashed 2011 - well done to Naomi Jones

We had a (very!) enjoyable evening at the Unleashed Best in the North Illustration Gala event and auction on Thursday. Well done to preston illustrators Naomi Jones whose "Bull in a China Shop" print won the sponsors award at the event, and also to Imogen Wood whose shortlisted work "Tea Dog" sold in the charity auction. Both raised over £300 for the charity North West Air Ambulance! So that's Fantastic. Well done both. An enjoyable evening all round!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Congratulations to Stavros Siamptanis D&AD Student Design Awards Winner

Congratulations to Stavros Siamptanis on his second place in the Illustration category in the D&AD Student Design Awards 2011 for his Pink Floyd sundial ideas - this is a fantastic achievement and well deserved for all his hard work this year. This is the second year in a row that BA(Hons) Illustration at UCLAN has won the second prize in illustration in the D&AD Awards (Chris Arrowsmith won second place last year). Stavros has just graduated and we wish him all the best for the future, his intention is to study on an MA in digital arts somewhere in the UK so good luck!

Stylesight blog spots UCLAN at D&AD New Blood

"Stylesight’s Graphics team visited this year’s D&AD New Blood show last week. The show exhibited a mass of creative talent from the U.K.’s graphic and visual communication graduates. Here’s a small selection of the projects that stood out most for us...UCLAN was yet another great showcase of graduate talent, with Naomi Jones‘ paper pressed relief illustrations offering up some powerful visual impact."

Cy Twombly 1928-2011

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The subversive Tomi Ungerer

The French illustrator Tomi Ungerer born in Strasbourg France in 1931 is 80 this year: The most famous illustrator you have never heard of. He was somebody I remember from my student days as one of Tony Ross' heroes? But it was difficult to find his work back then except perhaps in European Poster annuals in Manchester Poly library.

Subversive children's books, erotic drawings, political work, and the Dr Strangelove poster this illustrator is worth listening to!

Phaidon are republishing his book "Far Out Isn't Far Enough" here is a trailer link - watch this! He definitely has a twinkle in his eye? My God a political poster maker in the sixties, whose anti war and anti racist posters were well known, who then illustrated childrens' books, who published erotic art, I don't know the full story but it sounds like a documentary I would like to watch?

There is also a good interview with Tomi Ungerer here at Design Observer:

Monday, 4 July 2011

Unleashed Best in the North

The shortlist for the Unleashed Best in the North Competition was announced a few days ago and we are pleased to say that out of the 25 shortlisted students from nearly 200 pieces of work exhibited at Mr Thomas' Chop House in Manchester that Naomi Jones and Imogen Wood have been selected.

Unleashed 2011is an exhibition, auction and sale of the best student artwork in the North, 2011
Your chance to buy from the future stars of the art world. 
Support the first steps in their professional careers and help raise much-needed funds for the North West Air Ambulance.
At Mr Thomas' Chop House from Thursday 23rd June
Three weeks of public display, private viewings, auction previews and creative industry nights.

Awards Night, Gala Dinner and Charity Auction – featuring the judges’ top-ranked work will be on 
Thursday 14th July.

Exhibition continues at Mr Thomas’s Chop House, 52 Cross Street, Manchester M2 7AR.