Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lizzy Stewart lecture & workshop Monday 5th November

It's always a pleasure to get people to come into prestonillustration and talk about their work but when their work is as beautiful as Lizzy Stewart's we are very fortunate indeed. Then you discover that she is both down to earth and honest about the business of making pictures, and yet also very passionate about making her work. From her commissioned work for the New York Times or Folio Society to the self initiated and self published projects she is involved in we got an insight into her drive to create.

She uses quite everyday tools; pencils, paints etc. and she has books printed and loves the smell of ink and the turning of a page in her hand. At the same time she also utilises digital media with a delicate touch, uses the web in all its current guises, blog, website, tumblr as a publishing platform too, but manages to keep the digital elements in the background.

Lizzy strikes me as a very literate illustrator someone for whom reading and the book is prized. She produces zines, books, blogs, and collaborations with writers, illustrators and designers, and she is also studying for an MA at St Martin's. You can see more of her work at her website About Today (see the illustrator links to the right). She is also creating an illustrated diary Solo here.

Lizzy kindly set this short brief and worked with some of the students on it:

5th November 2012
“The real definition of illustration is a figurative art form based on storytelling”-Marshall Arisman.
Illustration is all about telling stories; using pictures to explain what might not be so neatly
summarised with words. Being able to tell a story clearly is a valuable skill and one that takes
Today you have a single page of A4 (210mm x 297mm) with which to tell any story you like. It
can be familiar (from a book, song or film) or from your own head. You might choose a news
story or a traditional children’s story perhaps. You can use your page however you want- split it
into comic strip style panels, divide it into two, fold it to make a book or stick to filling the page
with a single picture (but that picture must tell the entire story).
-Stick to something manageable- don’t try and draw a whole novel, just one scene or even a few
lines of dialogue will do!
- Think about time. Would working entirely by hand be quicker than using a computer?
-You may use a larger piece of paper if you like but please only fill an A4 space
-Check with one another that your image/images are communicating the story you’re trying to

I will publish some of the student's exploits in the near future, as the brief led to some very interesting solutions.
Here are a few examples of her work from her folio:
"The Men who built Magnitogorsk",

The zine "Nomads"above, and below the Folio Society's illustrated "Mrs Dalloway".

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