Saturday, 19 March 2011

The best kind of day.

I approached today with absolute unswerving optimism, which is usually a recipe for disaster, but somehow everything turned out just as delightful as I could have hoped for.

I decided it was time for a long overdue London trip, mainly to see the fabulous Pick Me Up (at Somerset House), but also Outline Editions 'Joy of Spring' show, and to have a general wonder around the Oxford Circus area. (Topshop trip inevitable)

Saturday dawned bright and beautiful, and I very much enjoyed my train journey up to London. Gliding past the traffic jams was particularly satisfying. (WHY would you take your car into London?!)
I headed straight over to Somerset House, which is delightfully easy to find. I didn't even have to get my map out.

I proceeded inside where I then experienced complete and utter graphic overstimulation. SO MUCH AWESOME. Pick Me Up is an excellent show at which picture taking is not at all frowned upon, so I've been able to capture a few of my favourite pieces. But a photo is absolutely no substitute for the real thing, and if you can make it over there before it closes on the 27th of March, I'd highly recommend it!

Kate Moross was first as you entered, excellent as always... I've had one of her 'Don't Panic' poster designs on my wall ever since my first year of uni.

Other highlights for me amongst the solo illustrators work were Jessica Hische (Whose 'Daily Drop Cap' side project is one of my favourite RSS feeds)... lovely letters.

I liked these huge banners. I'm afraid I didn't see who they were by though…

Lovely colourful prints from Gwenola Carrere...

Tom Gauld is definitely a favourite. I've seen his work quite a lot of times before, and it never fails to be brilliant.

That last one by Tom Gauld was a print - Pick Me Up commissioned every one of the illustrators exhibiting to produce an affordable print for sale at £20. I think this is a really good initiative for these kind of shows - it's great to see more affordable ways of buying art.

Talking of buying art... Nobrow were back again with their little corner.

It takes huge strength of will not to buy absolutely everything on that table - I'm particularly tempted by their Graphic Cosmogony, 'Rise and Fall' (Which I've had my eye on for AGES), and one of their newest releases, Hildafolk, by the supremely talented Luke Pearson.

Nobrow's corner wasn't limited to beautiful stuff I want to buy though... there was also giant sushi...

And the biggest wacom graphics tablet I've ever seen.

I headed downstairs after this, where It's Nice That and Themlot were residing.
Themlot had created an elaborate cardboard world, with all sorts of cunning lighting and hidden depths...

While It's Nice That had some live drawing action going on...

As well as the ever popular 'It's Nice That' cinema, showing a loop of 8 or 9 short films. My attention span is shamefully fleeting, but I was drawn in to sit on a bean bag by the lure of watching Thom Yorke dancing BIG SCREEN

However I stayed on after that for more amazing short film pieces... most notably the utterly beautiful 'Eagleman Stag', for which you can view a short trailer here:

The Eagleman Stag - Trailer from Michael Please on Vimeo.

After this nice sit in a darkened room, I headed upstairs where many more delights awaited...
Anthony Burrill had a whole room...

(I should try and live by those words...)

People creating their own photocopy collages! Results below...

In the next room there was live screen printing action courtesy of Print Club London.

A few rooms further were the excellent Evening Tweed Collective. I know I've basically just been talking about how awesome everything is, but... I think you all should know that Evening Tweed are SUPER awesome.

That last one is by Jez Burrows, who I have particular affection for...
At Brighton uni, if you get an interview for the Graphic Design or illustration courses, you get interviewed by a panel of two tutors and one second year student. I don't know if this is normal practice, but it sort of surprised and reassured me, having a current student there too. Anyway, my student was Jez Burrows, and upon finally seeing his work at his degree show, I was delighted that 'my' student interviewer was so great.
Since then I've always kept half an eye on his work, and am delighted to see him continuing to produce such great stuff. He happened to be at Pick Me Up this afternoon, producing limited edition Gocco prints, so it was nice to say hello, and I'm pleased he remembers my face! :)

Anyway, total and utter overstimulation done with, I headed to the Underground. While my journey over to Somerset house saw me jammed into a carriage with an entire Brownie pack and plentiful grumbling tourists, my District line train back was deserted. For the first time ever in my life, I found myself completely alone in a carriage. I felt like I should in some way take advantage of the situation, so I hung from the ceiling bars and swung my legs, span round the central pole, and then decided a more productive use of my solitary tube train time would be a panoramic shot.
Here's the result... (It's not perfect but it's difficult to align things when you're being jolted and shaken - most of these were taken whilst at a station)
Click for zoom!

Anyway, this tube train was ultimately taking me over to Outline Editions 'Joy of Spring' show.
Now after the majestic expanses of Somerset House, this did seem rather small by comparison, but it was worth a visit to see some more Kate Moross, Anthony Burrill, and one of my all time favourite illustrators, the very clever Noma Bar.

Now this was all pretty good.
Could my day possibly get any more exciting?
Oh hell yes it could. I totally saw Bill Nighy out shopping. Only one of my favourite actors of all time EVER! He looked lost, if I'm honest. I'd have liked to have gone and pointed him in the right direction, but it turned out I was lost at the time as well, so I wouldn't have been much help.

To conclude, it's been a good day, all helped by the fact that there has been blissful sunshine and I've eaten loads of super tasty food. Happy face. :)

I would also like to inform you that in the past week I've done some design work of my own that I'm very pleased with, but alas, I can't actually show you just yet. But soon! Soon! Come back soon!

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