The embankment galleries at somerset house have been, for the fourth year, transformed into this vibrant art and design event. Pick me up is a 11-day festival of contemporary graphic art, design and illustration from around the world. It runs until the 28th april and i popped in last thursday for an hour or so to take a peek and get you the lowdown.
As you enter you immediately see ‘pick me up selects’, featuring 17 international up-and-coming illustrators and graphic artists that have been specially selected by a distinguished panel from the graphics world. The designers range in experience, style, and focus and i’ve selected some of my favourites for you.
Wild cats by tom edwards. I particularly liked the lion.
Some doodle-bombing by hattie stewart (self-professed professional doodler), where she draws over the covers of influential fashion publications.
American born ping zhu works primarily with gouache on paper and cites charles harper and henri matisse as stylistic and colour inspiration for her work. I found her illustration style exciting with expressive brushstrokes that bring so much life to each image. Judge for yourselves.
Daniel frost graduated from the royal college of art in 2012. I really loved the imaginary worlds and characters inspired by the strangeness of everyday life. The mix of originals and 3d creations are from his forthcoming children’s book ‘a day in frostville’.
Damien florébert cuypers graduated in 2006 in lyon, france. His small format crayon illustrations appear weekly in the french grazia magazine, as well as the new york times t magazine. For the past 2 years damien has been producing one minute portraits in crayons.
Damien will be available on thursdays, saturdays and sundays from 2-5pm throughout the event to create live one minute portraits. To commission a portrait, book a slot with damien. £25 per portrait. Aren’t these great?
Damien in action.
Upstairs you’ll find art collectives and galleries, my favourite part. It’s vibrant, alive and interactive and you need to check out the daily events that are on offer. Walking through, it feels more like visiting their art studios. It has this lived-in feel that lends the event this vibrant atmosphere. There’s food, drink and people get involved in printing, gaming and talking to the artists and designers. In the past years i did spent much more time and really enjoyed it. There was far too much to photograph and write about, so here’s just a snippet of what you’ll find!
Loved this bus by charlotte mei. A worthy addition to any ceramics collection!
Human After All presents #FaceStamp, an ink-teractive art experience that lets you create faces using ink stamps. Participants can choose their favourite stamps from the face stamp! collection and create their own unique works of art.
A highlight for me was meeting some of the girls that belong to the zombie collective. For this event they came up with this rather ingenius ideas machine. The collective is made out of joely brammer, rebecca jay, alice lickens, maggie li, frann preston-gannon.
How much fun is this? Once you spinned, this draw would open and you can pick up your present. Fab!
Every year there’s a studio in residency for the whole event. This year they’ve invited back print club london. This year, it’s all about the graphic designer bob gill. They’ve invited 10 illustrators to use bobs hand coloured screenprints as inspiration and produce new pieces in their own styles. You can get involved and print and colour-in your own. Magic!
See nelly duff‘s area. A series of pablo delgado originals and screen-printed editions, as well as unique paste-ups created especially for the exhibition are currently on display.
This is the first year there’s a online shop. Apart from that you can buy pretty much everything on display. Prints, limited-editions, one-offs, everything can be ordered at various checkpoints and picked up when you exit. A lot of the art is very affordable which makes this a popular event to go to.
In the gallery shop you’ll find everything from books to magazines to prints, artefacts et cetera.Here i’ve picked 2 pieces that caught my eye but are more expensive. Mark ward is a graphic artist & art director living and working in london. His work is fuelled by an adoration of americana that is fragmented through his british perspective. These cost £1500 each.
I hope that some of you have already been or are maybe planning a visit. There’s a lot to see, a lot to buy and you’ll come away with tons of inspiration.
I seriously could get used to the weather we had over the weekend. It was just magical. I’m also glad that the marathon was incident free and that they paid tribute to the lives lost in the boston bombing. I hope you have a good start to the week and will see you back here on thursday.