t felt like old times, just recently when I was invited to spend some time back at the Primary School I used to volunteer in when I first became interested in running Art and Design Workshops. I had a fabulous morning with year 5 creating colourful chameleons, whilst they inadvertently learned techniques of shading and creating light and dark using various media, as well as experimenting with new techniques such as adding salt to their watercolours. A lovely, fun session was had by all and some beautiful work was produced. Well done to all the brilliant young artists involved! It was a privilege as ever, to witness the joy and enthusiasm young children demonstrate when allowed to be truly creative. (And messy!)
Wishing all my clients, past, present and future, a very happy and successful New Year! 2015 was such a busy year, filled with new challenges and exciting projects. I can only hope for even more of the same for 2016 and am looking forward with enthusiasm as to what we will create in the next 12 months.
Last year saw continued growth and development, of my workshops for young people with learning disabilities. I was delighted to increase the number of regular weekly workshops to include 'Quiet Art' sessions for those who were unable to participate in our usual, more boisterous sessions, and we have had remarkable success with many new artisists now able to join in and really fulfil their potential. It has been a delight to work with them and I'm looking forward to welcoming new faces over the coming year. The Graphic Design workshops have been so successful throughout our first year that we are now ready to put our learnt skills into practise and this year will see us producing a range of new designed products for the POST19 online shop, including a range of Greetings Cards and our very own book! Watch this space for more details...
Wallop continued a happy alliance with Alton College throughout 2015, producing a range of design materials from educational and promotional flyers, posters, billboards and banners through to events marketing and invites. The college have gone from strength to strength of late, achieving a top ranking in the prestigious Sunday Times list of best UK Colleges and it's a pleasure to be able to play a tiny part in their continuing success story.
Aside from education, Wallop has enjoyed a range of diverse bespoke graphic design projects this year, from marketing and promotional materials for local events, to branding and logo design for fantastic new and emerging businesses to creating Cover designs and internal illustrations for new authors publishing their books. It has been a whirlwind and a pleasure and I've met so many creative and lovely folk along the way, who I do hope will continue to be a part of Wallop's future.
During 2015 I was lucky to have had the opportunity to learn some new skills to add to the Wallop 'bow strings' - metalsmithing and learning to create in 3D was a huge learning curve but one which will hopefully open many new doors and I will be indulging in again in the future. (Blow torches are fun! Who Knew?) I'll be adding to my materials list this year, having booked myself onto courses to work with glass this time around. From stained glass panels through to fused glass with silver clay... a material I have been interested in working with for such a long time, its ridiculous that I've not got round to it yet. But new years tend to give one that kick up the butt to go for it, so here we go! The future is bright and looks.... transparent... :-)
SO. Here's to another happy, successful, creative year and a big THANKYOU to everybody who has joined me along the way over the last 12 months
It's that time of year again with a New Year looming on the horizon, when thoughts turn to calendars. Its no different at Post19, where I run regular Graphic Design and Art workshops for young adults with learning disabilities. The calendar is a fantastic teaching tool and has become an annual project for our Autumn term. The students all play an active role in its production, learning many production skills along the way which will always prove useful in projects we will be embarking on during the rest of the school year. We create an awful lot of artwork in our various art based classes throughout the year and so this is an ideal opportunity to discuss with our graphic designers the importance of the editors role in a project. It's such a difficult task to select just 12 pieces of artwork that are representative of the wide range of artists we have attending our classes. We also study typography skills, layout, the printing process itself and that's before we've even begun on budget and costings and covering our costs whilst making a very small profit in order to be able to replace the materials we have used during the year.
I am thrilled, as ever, with the enthusiasm and dedication of my young designers and artists who never fail to make me grin. They have been inspired by existing artists and have worked hard to create their own interpretations of artistic styles, and as I'm sure you will agree have created between them, a beautiful and vibrant range of pieces that'll be a pleasure to see hanging on any kitchen wall throughout the coming year.
The Post19 Calendar will be available to purchase at their online shop very soon :-)
Its half term again and as a family made up of of arty types including tweens, teens and aging graphic designers, living within an easy commute of the Big Smoke, we tend to habitually gravitate towards London looking for downtime adventures and our fix of cool stuff. This week has been no different, however I was particularly pleased to discover this time, the delights of some fantastic freebies to fill our entire day and leave us grinning from ear to ear.
Our day involved free transportation. Comfy boots a necessity. We began amongst the street art and funky wall mounted moose heads of hipster Bermondsey coffee shops and headed up to the Thames and Tower Bridge, simply because we love the entire stretch of The Southbank and in Autumn it's looking particularly fantastic. Crossing the bridge on foot, of course, is always a thrill however many times you happen to have done it... and there began our day searching out Art on the 2015 Sculpture In The City Trail.
Now in its fifth year, Sculpture in the City aims to enhance our urban environment with cutting-edge contemporary works from leading artists sited in both busy thoroughfares and quieter, green spaces and is a public exhibition including pieces from fantastic artists as: Ekkehard Altenburger, Bruce Beasley, Adam Chodzko, Laura Ford, Damien Hirst, Shan Hur, Folkert de Jong, Sigalit Landau, Kris Martin, Keita Miyazaki, Tomoaki Suzuki, Xavier Veilhan, and Ai Weiwei. A map of all the sculptures locations can be found here.
If you have only time for one or two, Our favourites were most definitely Forever by Ai Weiwei and the bizarre and huge Charity by Damien Hirst probably helped a little by their resplendent location so close to the inspiring Gherkin building. A very good spot to sit and ponder, photograph (and eat sarnies)
As fabulous as Sculpture trails are, the main event of our freebie itinerary turned out to be calling in to The Sky Garden, otherwise known as the top of the Walkie Talkie Building, or 20 Fenchurch Street. Access to the Sky Garden is free of charge but only a limited number of tickets are available each day so you must book ahead. Its worth it though for magnificent views across the whole of London while enjoying coffee amongst trees and shrubbery... in the sky! Trees! In the Sky I say! What a thing.
An hour slot is all you get, but what an hour it is. You can leave with a brain full of scenery that you will remember for a long time. Handily also, is the location from which you can continue a walk, passing by The Bank of England and St Pauls Cathedral, (should you not have had enough of London's awesomeness already), which leads perfectly to the Wobbly bridge and back across the river to finish our day at our favourite London destination. Time for tea. At the bar at the top of the TATE modern, looking out at the city before looking merrily inwards again at the art.
A truly fantastic arty day. All for freeeeeee. And awaiting you right now. Enjoy.
This summer I have been working on a design and illustration project for an emerging new author, Kul Mahay whose book "Smash The Habit, 16 Steps to a new life" is being published imminently through CreateSpace. Kul approached me, requiring a cover design and several interior pages created.
We settled on a simple illustrative style that didn't distract from the text, combined well with simple flat coloured graphics and friendly, contemporary, hand drawn styled typography. The overall look of the book needed to be approachable, easy to read and familiar whilst communicating Kul's professionalism and expertise.
The book is very close to completion and so will be available via Amazon and other online book stores after it's launch this Autumn and I'm sure will be a huge success! Congratulations to Kul.
I was pretty sad this week to 'graduate' from the metalsmithing course I have been enjoying for the last 6 months. It's been a lot of fun spending evenings with such creative people, learning new skills. I have become quite adept at wielding a blowtorch and sawing metal - even in straight lines! But now, equipped with my box of begged, borrowed, brought and inherited, tools and a head crammed with words of wisdom, I'm pleased to be able to add the basics of working with silver and copper to my 'artists skills' and am excited to be planning several new sketching with silver projects at home. Luckily I have the support of the fabulous teachers at 318 Ceramics, who run the evening courses and I hope will not mind my popping back every now and again and asking lots of questions, as I'm sure all metalsmiths out there would agree, a 6 months stint of tuition is just dipping a toe into the possibilities of working with these fantastic and adaptable materials.
Most of this term, our graphic design sessions at Post19 (Special Needs Art and Design Education) have been dedicated to creating an In Flight Magazine. So far we have used this as a conduit to exploring everything from magazine layouts, menu design, typography and cover photography. Today I added a new challenge. The students were asked to research imagery from their favourite movie and bring in some examples of posters they liked to discuss with the class. Their brief for this workshop was to create a full page advert for their favourite movie to go into their magazine.
I have already begun some basic one-on-one tuition on photoshop skills with the students attending this workshop so their artwork was split into two stages. The first session involved creating an image from scratch by hand. Paints, pastels, crayons, water colours, graphite and colour pencils were provided and the artists selected their favourite medium. These were then photographed using our school iPads and layers of type, and any requested 'special effects were then added on in Photoshop. A full gallery of the final printed posters will be exhibited at our end of term show.
The students are very proud of their work and rightly so!
I was recently commissioned by Chawton Events to create some promotional materials for their annual event "Chawton Open Gardens". I worked from a brief to create a contemporary, yet subtle flyer, poster and banner featuring Jane Austen, the famous and iconic figurehead who lived and wrote her books, in Chawton and is widely celebrated there by locals and visitors alike. Her silhouette is regularly used and widely recognisable and so I decided to combine its use on this occasion with a variety of flora and fauna to represent the range to be discovered during the event. The simple backdrop symbolises the perfect striped lawns of the gardens to be visited. The designs have been very well received and I am looking forward to seeing the posters and flyers out and about as well of course, as attending the event itself!