BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS

From now until March 12th the Illustration BA will be exhibiting work from their new show ‘Beginnings and Endings’  with The Poetry Society  at their Covent Garden Poetry Cafe. This year the exhibition features illustrations and imagery inspired by literature’s greatest opening and closing lines. Drawing from writing by the likes of Sylvia Plath, Thomas Pynchon, Ray Bradbury and J.G. Ballard our students and staff have created an eclectic body of work featuring lino prints, watercolour paintings and more. Scroll down to see just a sample of what’s on show.

Chloe Smith

‘Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden.’

CHLOE SMITH

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Ben Hendy

‘Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes.’

George Orwell, Animal Farm

BEN HENDY  (GAA)

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Antria Sofroniou

‘He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.’

-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

ANTRIA SOFRONIOU

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Charlie Johnston

 ‘It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was.’

– Oscar Wilde,  The Picture of Dorian Grey

CHARLIE JOHNSTON

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Valentina Parmiggiano

‘It was a pleasure to burn.’

-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

VALENTINA PARMIGGIANO

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Summer Du Plessis

‘It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.’

-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

SUMMER DU PLESSIS

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Daniel Haskett

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.’

-A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

DANIEL HASKETT (print tutor)

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Wiktoria Radkiewicz

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.’

-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

WIKTORIA RADKIEWICZ

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Imogen Dale

‘We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long.’

-Stephen King, The Green Mile

IMOGEN DALE

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Nicole Cowan

‘A screaming comes across the sky.’

-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

NICOLE COWAN

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Matt Ingram

‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’

-George Orwell, 1984

MATT INGRAM

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Kate Simpson

‘Crossing frontiers is my profession.’

-J.G. Ballard, Cocaine Nights

KATE SIMPSON

Paul Barritt

‘For a long time I used to go to bed early.’

-Proust, Remembrance of Things Past

PAUL BARRITT (animation tutor)

Website

molly howard-foster

‘When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts…’

-James Crumley, The Last Good Kiss

MOLLY HOWARD-FOSTER

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Robyn Foreman

‘It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.’

-J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

ROBYN FORMAN

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Alexandra Surugiu‘The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.’

-George Orwell, Animal Farm

ALEXANDRA SURUGIU

Shazleen Kahn‘There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.’

-C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

SHAZLEEN KHAN

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‘There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.’

-C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

WIKTORIA RADKIEWICZ

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‘Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger’

-Yann Martel, Life of Pi

ALEX MOORE (GAA)

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Jamie Pryor

‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen’

-George Orwell, 1984

JAMIE PRYOR

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Yurina Shimoju

‘The old man was dreaming about the lions’

-Earnest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

YURINA SHIMOJU

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(Photos courtesy of the Poetry Society)

 

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GRADUATE WORK: JOHN FRANKLIN

AQUILA is a monthly magazine for curious children that explores scientific discovery, world history and general knowledge. Each issue is beautifully illustrated and has included work by a number of Middlesex graduates.

The latest issue features illustration by BEN HENDY for an article looking at John Franklin’s ill-fated final expedition to the Artic. Ben graduated in 2012 and is currently working  with the course as both a Graduate Academic Assistant and print technician.

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Find more of Ben’s work online;

Website | Twitter | Blog | Instagram

GRADUATE WORK: DAVID BOWIE

Since his passing in January hundreds of creatives have used their craft to pay homage to the late, great David Bowie. The students and alumni of the Middlesex Illustration BA are no exception. This Friday (February 28th) graduates JASMINE BRADY and SALOME PAPADOPOULLOUS will be part of the THE SHACKLEWELL ARMS’ tribute night, selling limited edition Bowie postcards. Check them out below;

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JASMINE BRADY

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SALOME PAPADPOULLOS

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Here are just a few of the other pieces created in response to Bowie’s passing;

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JASMINE BRADY

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SUMMER DU PLESSIS

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SALOME PAPADPOULLOS

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ALEX FOSTER

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DANIEL HASKETT (print tutor)

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GRADUATE WORK: THE NUTCRACKER

Having graduated from Middlesex’s Illustration BA in 2012, EILEEN KAI HING KWAN has gone on to exhibit her work in a number of exhibitions- both at home and abroad- and has become a staple of the Walthamstow’s vibrant art scene. Eileen was also shertlisted for an AOI Award in 2013.
Recently she collaborated with fellow local Walthamstow artist Carl Harris (CatBoy) to create ‘The Nutcracker’, an exhibition of drawings inspired by  Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet. For this Eileen chose to explore the magic and delight of the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker; from their first meeting on Christmas Eve to their journey to The Land of Sweets following their victory over the Mouse King- all intricately illustrated in pencil and gouache;
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Find more of Eileen’s work online;

EDINBURGH SKETCHBOOKS

This year the Illustration cohort went to Edinburgh for our annual drawing trip. Although this was a shorter outing than usual, it was certainly one of our most productive!  Here’s just some of the sketches produced by students and staff on the course while we were away;

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MATT INGRAM

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NICOLE COWAN

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ANNIE ROYAL

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DANIEL HASKETT (print tutor)

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MIA OLSNES TØRRESDAL

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HELEN GREEN

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MARTIN URSELL (2nd year tutor)

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WIKTORIA RADKIEWICZ

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JACK SINNOTT

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BEN HENDY  (GAA)

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ROBB HICKS

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SHAZLEEN KHAN

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ALDOUS EVELEIGH (drawing tutor)

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KRISTY LEUNG

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ROBYN FORMAN

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SUMMER DU PLESSIS

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ALEX MOORE (GAA)

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MAGDA KACALAK

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CHARLIE JOHNSTON

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GRADUATE NEWS: THREADNEEDLE PRIZE

The Columbia Threadneedle Prize showcases the very best in new figurative and representational art. This year graduate ELLIOT STEELE‘s etching ‘Amanda’ has been selected for the prize;

Amanda

Elliot graduate from Middlesex’s Illustration BA last year and we wish him all the best for the competition. The Exhibition runs from the 3rd-20th of February at the Mall Galleries.

Find more of Elliot’s work online:

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GRADUATE PROFILE: JAMES OSES

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JAMES OSES graduated from Middlesex’s Illustration BA in 2010. During his time on the course he discovered a love for drawing on location which has directly translated into his practice. Since graduating James has worked on projects for Borough Market, Marks & Spencers, The Sunday Telegraph, J.D Weatherspoons and more. As well as his client work he also sells original artwork, prints, and work on commissions, drawing street scenes of London and other places.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve been up to since graduating from Middlesex?

I’ve been working as an Artist and Illustrator, selling original art and prints of places I like to draw on site; mostly in London, but also in other locations when I get the opportunity to travel. In terms of illustration, I’ve been fortunate to work on  a series of commissions for Borough Market, as well as projects for Ritzy Cinema, The Telegraph, M&S, J.D. Wetherspoon, BMI Voyager, Sipsmith Distillery and others.View-from-Waterloo-Bridge-James-Oses

2. Describe your practice- how do you go about produce your images? Are there any parts of the process you particularly enjoy?

The most important part about the way I work for me is drawing directly on location. I’ve found that this is the way I feel most comfortable putting pen to paper. I think this is because its quite a spontaneous way of working, I like how certain things can come into your view momentarily like an interesting person or a particular event, so it forces you to draw quickly and pick the most important aspects of what you’re trying to depict.

The main materials which I use are a dip pen with a flexible nib, black indian ink, and watercolours. I gravitated to dip pens because I like how you can manipulate a line to be thick or thin by varying your hand pressure, which makes them very expressive to work with. Watercolours are great for many reasons; their transparency, and the ability to use them in a quick way is what I like most about them. They also work well in combination with pen & ink.

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3. What is a typical day of working as an illustrator like for you?

For working on most illustrations it’s usually a slightly different process to when I’m drawing on location. I find that for a lot of illustration there’s a particular composition in mind upfront, so this usually means that I’m making the final image at home. The way I try to keep a loose, reportage feel is through using small sketchbooks, and then drawing the reference material I need from life. I use Faber brush pens, for speed and practicality. I also like that they give a flexible line.

I usually scan these sketches, print them, and use the copies on a lightbox under watercolour paper for the final image. I can just about see the sketch this way, so when I use the dip pen over the top to draw the finished illustration, I’m really trying to get a similar feel to the original sketch. I saw a short film with Quentin Blake doing this when I was a student and it’s something I’ve found really useful.

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4. While working as an illustrator sounds like a dream job, some days can be harder than others. Do you have any tips for keeping on top of it all and staying motivated?

I think it varies from person to person but I would say the most important thing is to keep creating your own work and making it available however you can – not just going after commissions. I’ve found that often work I’ve done on my own steam is what attracts more interest from potential clients.

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5. A major part of your illustration process involves working on location. What drew you to reportage and what are the challenges that come with working on site?

I got really into sketching at Middlesex early on, and one of the first things that drew me to reportage was Ronald Searle’s ‘Paris Sketchbook’. Its a pretty old book, and quite hard to come by, although there should be examples on the internet if people want to look it up. What I really liked about it was that it showed how location drawing could be used in the context of illustration, not just something you do in a sketchbook.

One of the most challenging times I’ve drawn somewhere was on Record Store Day in Soho last year. There was a music stage in Berwick Street, and I’d been sketching bands nearby. I eventually got talking to one of the organisers who asked if I would like to draw from the photographers pit in front of the stage. It was pretty bizarre and exciting to draw in that environment. I was sitting on a metal security step with loud speakers in front, with a crowd of music fans behind. By chance the headliner was Gang of Four – a really influential post-punk band – and the guitarist, Andy Gill, was directly in front of me. I found trying to capture a moving band at that proximity was quite difficult, and I think I lost focus in an attempt to try and get it all down. It didn’t help that there was a sound issue early on, and the band actually walked off stage! It’s certainly something I’d like to have a go at again though.

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6. Are there any projects that have felt like milestones for your career as an illustrator?

Borough Market’s 1000th anniversary was a lot of fun to illustrate. The premise was that there had been a food market in some form or another around the area since 1014, so I was asked to draw a scene reflecting Medieval London to present day, using local architecture and other things to do with the Market. This was for different purposes including banners, flyers, bags, online material, and other applications, so it was nice to see the illustration being used in a lot of different design contexts.

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7. How did you find the transition from student to practicing illustrator? Do you have any words of advice for any recent graduates who might be in that position right now?

I’m not sure how often it gets mentioned, but I think actual word-of-mouth is still very important – though its gradual, and means you have to keep at whatever you’re doing. Being friendly and meeting potential clients face to face where possible goes a long way to establishing this I think. If anyone is interested specifically in reportage, then I would say business cards, out in plain sight on your drawing board/sketchbook, are important. Put a few out at a time and keep the rest in your bag. Don’t snub people if they take an interest while you’re drawing. At least say hello. A lot of the work I’ve had is from interactions like this. At the same time don’t be afraid to say you’re busy if you really need to get on.

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8. What are you currently working on? Are there any projects coming up that you can talk about?

I’ve got a few illustration projects which are scheduled for a little later in the year around Spring. Right now I’m working on a series of small Brixton drawings to sell as original pieces and making a new website with an integrated shop. I’m also intending to take my favourites from the Brixton drawings and produce a giclée print which should be available soon.

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Find more of Jame’s work online:

Website | Etsy | Instagram | Twitter |Facebook