For her FMP 3rd year student HOLLY ARNELL-THORPE has creates a large scale lino print exploring Winter Solstice rituals practiced around the world;






“The characters I included are all based on real costumes still worn today in various ceremonies throughout Europe, the scene I have depicted  is an imagined interpretation of a cross cultural  gathering to signify the changing of the seasons and celebrate the circle of life.”

Find more of Holly’s work online;

Tumblr | Instagram | Website





As part of his Final Major Project recent graduate CHARLES JOHNSTON  created ‘Smoke and Mirrors’; an illustrated graphic novel about the life-ending acts of some of history’s less fortunate stage magicians. Below are just some of the spreads from the book;






Find more of Charles’ work online;

Tumblr | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Summer Du Plessis – Visualisation

Art and design blog SOAPBOX PRESS recently interviewed one of this year’s graduates SUMMER DU PLESSIS which you can read below. Be sure to check out soapbox press for more fantastic coverage of what’s fresh and new on the scene!

You can find more of Summer’s work online;

Porfolio | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Soapbox Press

Summer Du Plessis (who is part of the Drawn Chorus Collective publish and sell their work in London) is an illustrator, print-maker and writer. Let’s hand over to the one and only Summer herself!

Summer-Du-Plessis-Visualsation-BowieComic Bowie Comic

I was born in the desert.

Well, not exactly. I was born in a hospital in a city of little light and many stars; Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. The main visual experiences of my childhood were vast empty spaces, big skies, dramatic thunderstorms and harsh desert light. Every Sunday my mum would set me down to paint on newspaper spread out on the concrete floor and I have been creating visual work in one way or another ever since.

Summer-Du-Plessis-Visualsation-Budapest Budapest

I moved to London with my family when I was 16 and have been here seven years. I recently graduated from a BA in Illustration at Middlesex University. My current work is colourful…

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Since graduating from Middlesex’s Illustration BA, SACHIKO OGURI has been working on a series of illustrations celebrating the different days of celebration in Japan (plush occasional world event).

Below are just some of the illustrations from the project. Read on to learn more about it as we talk to Sachiko about her inspirations, process and where she’s going to take it from here;


fathers day

(Father’s Day)

1. Part of the fun of this project is learning about all the different days in Japan. Is this part of what inspired you start doing these drawings? If not, what did?

When I was a first year student, I made a calendar book that focus on Japanese national holiday for my final project. At that time, I knew that every day has a memorial day in Japan. When I finished this project, I really wanted to try to make the artwork of national holiday and memorial day again.  Also, when I studied illustration at Middlesex University in the three years, I usually treated of the theme from Japanese culture, story and history. I think I  wanted to know and show to people about what is there in Japan while studying in London.

After graduation Middlesex University, I started to make illustration and gif animation of memorial day in Japan. It is a challenge project for myself.


bread day

(Bread Day)

hamburger day

(Hamburger Day)

2. What do you feel is the importance of self initiated projects like this?

There are a lot of interesting memorial days in Japan. For example, July 20th is Hamburger Day because McDonald’s Japan opened  in Ginza that is one of famous cities in Tokyo at the day in 1971. I find out a lot of memorial days and pick up it that I am really interested in it and I want to introduce it to people. I think it is really important in this project that people and I can enjoy same thing and theme. I attach weight to reaction of people and growing my expressiveness in this project.

June 16th is Japanese Sweets (Wagashi) Day

(Wagashi Day)

marine day

(Marine Day)

3. We’ve seen a number of recurring characters feature in the series. Who are they and are we likely to see more?

Does that character have a mustache? 

If you say that character, it is me but it is not me. For example, I usually use this character for my animation because my animation work shows my feeling, so she or he is a voice of me.

You will see she or he again if I want to say and show my mind. 

pokemon go(release day for Pokemon Go)

4. It’s been really exciting to see animation become a part of this project. What inspired you to start including this?

When I was a third year student, I made a silkscreen and animation work for my final major project. From that time, I like a combination of still image and moving image that has a same theme because it is really exciting to see my illustration and character’s action.

In this project, I think illustration make the imagination of viewer, and animation can share the story and show my mind; how I think and feel about it.


pencil day

(pencil day)


(Star Festival)


5. Do you have any plans for the series?

If I can make a lot of images of memorial day or get a lovely idea, I want to try to make a tiny zine or book for each month. I will continue to do this project, so please keep on your eye on my artwork!


(Sumo Day)

Find more of Sachiko’s work online (including more from ‘What is the Day…) online;

Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram



For her Final Major project, recent graduate SOPHIE CARTER chose to explore the life of modern day hermit, Christopher Knight. For almost 30 years Knight lived in the woods of Central Maine, surviving on what he could scavenge stealing from homes in the dead of night. Sophie transformed his story into a paper-cut tent which you can see below;


“…it was actually a friend who told me about [Christoper] and I think instantly I could see a lot of potential visually, but then after more research he became such an intriguing character. Twenty-seven years worth of burglaries aside, he was a highly intelligent and introverted man who was content in the solitude  of his forest camp. 
I wanted to tell Knight’s story whilst combing that with my favoured medium of paper cutting, and creating the tent structure allowed me to do that in a way which was both challenging and visually appealing.”


See more of Sophie’s work online;

Website | Instagram | Twitter


EMMA BLOCK graduated from Middlesex’s BA in 2011. Since then she’s been working as a full time freelancer and has produced illustrations for books, greetings cards as well as live  drawing at numerous events. In her latest blog post she shares some tips for the latest crop of graduates- Check it out below;


emma block illustration

emma block homemaker magazineGraduation is always a scary time, and after the degree show comes down it’s easy to feel a little bit lost. Here are 10 little nuggets of advice to hopefully get you through this transition period.

1. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it
When I was preparing for my degree show a lot of people were saying things like ‘well obviously I don’t expect to work as an illustrator’ and ‘everyone knows there’s no work in the illustration industry’. These things aren’t true. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible, and somebody’s got to take the photos, design the clothes and draw the pictures we all enjoy, so why shouldn’t you be the one to do it. I have made my living solely as a freelance illustrator since graduating 5 years a go.

2. Stay passionate and keep producing work
If you’re passionate about your, work…

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