Level 5 students Wendy Mallas and Sana Hanif have had their submissions for Manchester and Salford Illustrated 2013 accepted for a larger exhibition. The brief was simply ‘Everyday Manchester and Salford’. Wendy's piece of work is titled "Panpipers & Pigeons in Piccadilly". Sana's entry is based on iconic features of the city, showing aspects of its history in vibrant colours and using shapes that connect to one another. Their work will be in an exhibition in Manchester with the opportunity for it to be sold to raise money for The Wood Street Mission. Wood Street Mission is a registered charity based in the centre of Manchester. They help children and families living in poverty in the Manchester & Salford area. Congratulation Wendy & Sana.
Level 4 Illustration students were treated
to a 2 day workshop with the wonderful Ian Douglas. Ian is a storyteller who is
based in West Cumbria. He has over 15 years
experience of telling stories, performing and creating street theatre. He works
in schools and at festivals all over Britain.
Ian is full of energy and
captivated the group with his dynamic and lively personality. He uses games and
performing activities to coax people out of themselves. Level 4 were fully engaged
and he took them through a series of processes connected to communicating a
story with a clear message. This culminated in each student being able to
invent a story of their own based upon certain ‘truths’ within themselves or
other members of the group. These stories will later be illustrated in the
awareness of the aesthetic of the work of Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939),
I had never really appreciated it fully, until I saw it at The Mucha Museum in
Prague. The work seen at scale is truly breathtaking, he was a struggling Czech
born artist living in Paris, he then achieved overnight success when in 1894,
he accepted a commission to create a poster for one of the greatest actresses
of this time, Sarah Bernhardt. The public response was very strong and Art
Nouveau was born. The success of that first poster brought a 6 years working
relationship between Sarah Bernhardt and Mucha and in the following years his
work for her and others extended to include costumes, stage decorations,
designs for magazines, book covers, jewellery, furniture and more
His work is
united by the subtle yet bold colour palette, organic motifs from nature, such
flowers, flowing hair and ornate frames. The balance between flat areas of
colour, contrasted by areas of highly detailed forms really captivated me. The
most striking thing to see was some of the original artwork, pencil sketches of
leaves and berries from observation, photographs from his studio of the model
posed, where you could see the frame that he used in his posters was taken from
a mirror and pastel drawings on coloured paper. His influence is still very
strong in contemporary illustration.
Illustration students, interested in figurative, feminine and delicate work.,
attended a 3 hour water-colour workshop hosted by fashion illustrator, Irina Kaygorodova. We met at Irina’s
basement studio near the river. She welcomed us and we sat around a small table
and told us about her work and career. Irina is Russian born and loved to draw
as a child. She studied art at University of Omsk.
worked in publishing, which included work as the Senior Designer for a fashion
magazine. She later moved to Prague, where she has a studio and draws daily.
She is inspired by fashion and lifestyle - creating patterns for fashion
fabrics (in collaboration with a designer) jewellery, food, historical
buildings and calligraphy. Her main focus though is the figure and beautiful
fashion illustrations reminiscent of the 1950’s era.
did a demonstration for us, using reference from a fashion magazine. She used
beautiful brushes and explained how she likes to create a certain ambiance
before starting to paint. She let the brush, water-colour and water dance over
the page with grace and feeling. You could not hear a pin drop whilst she was
working, the students were mesmerised. You could see how quickly she reacted to
the unpredictability of the water on paper, made decisions intuitively and knew
precisely when to stop and the drawing was finished.
provided the students with reference pictures and water-colour paper to let
them do their own fashion illustrations. The atmosphere was quite tense, as everyone
wanted to do a good job for Irina. Irina gave advice to individuals as the
grappled with aspects of proportion (use the end of the brush to measure),
colour mixing, the right consistency of water, the details such as eyes or
mouth, which really give the painting life. The group made about 3 / 4 drawings
each. This was a unique experience to have tuition from Irina, the really
enjoyed talking their time over making work and the studio offered a tranquil
environment to do so. Photographs of the workshop to follow.
treated to an absolute gem of a visit, arranged for us by Lucy and Rad, we
visited the Terry’s Posters
Shop and the Svetozor art cinema. We were given a tour of the
archive, which was an Aladdin’s cave of the most striking posters. As with our
love of Polish and Cuban posters, we were eager to see some Czech posters in
the flesh. Many of these were originals that the owner Jan is trying hard to
archive and scan. There is a brilliant collection also available online 10 000
graphic posters from the Terry Posters‘ collection from Czechoslovakia in the
period of 1930 – 1989.
A lecture was then given to
the group explaining that during the Communist era film-making did thrive,
although it was regulated. There were some reasonable films made but people
craved things that were western. However, there was one interesting
difference, the movies did not come with their original posters. The Czech
distributors could make their own. They did not have to adhere to the strict
guidelines of Hollywood, showing a scene, the famous actors / actresses,
instead they had an open door to work with motifs, symbols and strong
metaphors. They were all made by hand and are truly wonderful pieces of graphic
design. We were shown a historical timeline of Czech film posters and then
visual comparisons were made of the Hollywood film posters next to the Czech
Last week on 30.10.13, students from
Stockport College BA(hons) Illustration and MMU’s Creative Writing Course,
gathered together to launch this years ‘8 x 8’ Book. The event was held at the
new Manchester School of Art in a plush lecture theatre. This is the fifth
annual collaboration between the two courses and is the result of the bringing
together of two student projects. Firstly the writers at MMU are asked to write
short fiction, these stories are then handed over to the illustrators at
Stockport to bring to life visually. This creative partnership is then
showcased in a book and sold.
The evening was introduced by tutors Robert
Graham (MMU Cheshire) and Joanna Spicer (Stockport College). The writers then
took turns to read extracts of their stories and also interview the illustrator
who responded to their story about the thinking behind they image they created.
The audience could follow the story in their purchased books and the illustrators
artwork was projected at a large scale. It was a wonderful occasion with both
writers and illustrators feeling very proud that their hard work had been
celebrated and brought together in a publication.