From emerging artists to a massive exhibition dedicated to Alan Kitching's incredible typographic design, ceramics to printmaking, needs-no-introduction Jean Jullien to up-&-coming illustrator and animator Jack Sachs (above), the festival's seventh year is a truly glowing celebration of the best work across a dizzying range of disciplines and talent.
And it has the bonkers, fun atmosphere to match: you can never quite guess what's around the (literal) corner. Whatever your personal taste, you’re bound to pick up enough stuff to transform your house into a crazy, bright illustration treasure trove at Somerset House's Pick Me Up graphics design festival.
You can buy from the massive, amazing bunch of collectives, galleries and studios in pop-up stores and shops brimming with all sorts of pretty goodies that'll catch your eye, whether you're in the mood for a good book or an attention-grabbing tee. At the heart of the festival is the diverse, exciting programme of daily talks and workshops. Not just a festival - Pick Me Up is like an incredible design village (if only we could move there...).
It was a tough task but we've selected our favourite artists from the festival. Click through to see their brilliant work and what they're all about.
Image: courtesy of Kevin Meredith
We fell in love with Bath School of Art graduate Alice Bowsher’s warm, funny and wonderfully simple book Curious (shown), which is on sale at Pick Me Up and online. Alice works quickly, spontaneously and freely, and pushes her work in many directions – from prints to books to fashion. Along with her book, Alice is also showing large monochrome lithographic prints at Pick Me Up. Alice is pretty busy so finds little time to update her website – but you can check out her Instagram, which she keeps in check.
We couldn’t resist including another of Alice’s catty creations. Be honest – what is your eye drawn to first: Jean Jullien’s Vote for Change or the cat’s arse by Alice Bowsher? It really seems to follow you around the room. We just love it. Buy online at Hato Press or at Pick Me Up (where you can also buy Jean Jullien’s print).
Brighton-based illustrator Camilla Perkins has created her uniquely patterned, bright works for an incredible range of clients, from incredible, vibrant Penguin covers to Good Food made to look even better for the BBC. Her work combines both digital and hand painted elements, using a variety of imaginative methods to create her defining texture. For Pick Me Up 2016, Camilla was inspired by the fashion of African sub-cultures (shown).
London-based illustrator and designer Claire Powell is pretty cool. Not only has she designed countless characters and illustrations for kiddy (and embarrassed adult) fans of CBBC, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks, but she animated and directed The Scapegoat (aka the Best Short winner at the British Animation festival 2015). Not bad. For Pick Me Up, she recreated the cutesy, endearing greeting cards she created for The Art File as gorgeous prints.
Illustrator and Central Saint Martins Daisy Emerson (and she really does seem to draw on anything she can - whether it's a window or a wall) has created these funny, clever and actually life-affirming signs you can hang up in your studio for some self-satisfaction. Sometimes 'adequate' is enough. We love Daisy's eye for type and gorgeous hand lettering, which she can pull off at any scale. Head down to Pick Me Up to see just how big her signs are.
South East London based illustrator and printmaker Dan Singer has combined the bright, happy child’s art tool Hama with the skill of a runaway talent from Kingston University in these three large-scale eye-grabbing pieces (shown above). Check out the sketches too (shown below) for a little more insight into Dan’s creative process. We just wish they revealed how many beads he used to create his fun characters.
Another Central Saint Martins graduate and far-from-emerging-artist Danny Sangra has created this gorgeous print of birds and bananas which Niki Best recently picked up after falling in love with. Simple, elegant and cheery, it makes sense that Danny's work has been picked up by clients including the BBC, Marc Jacobs and Mulberry.
Just before his final year at Camberwell, London born and bred illustrator Jack Sachs seriously injured his drawing hand. Far from let it stop him creating, the injury actually pushed his work in new directions: now it’s healed, he combines the 3D animation software he learnt during his injury to enhance his drawing. His work at Pick Me Up, a goofy and fun look at the body, was inspired by his injury.
We’re a big fan of USA based illustrator Julian Glander here at Digital Arts. Though we think his work is best in GIF form, we loved the goofy lenticular prints on show at Pick Me Up that bring a little bit of internet magic to real life – and his 3D floam models of his trademark characters that would look beautifully bizarre on any mantelpiece aren’t half bad either.
You'll have heard of design great Margaret Calvert before (you know, she only designed the whole British road sign system and made life easier for all of us), but have you heard that you can get her and Jock Kinneir's designs blown-up to put on your wall. We promise you: it's better than stealing a road sign off a motorway and trying to explain it to your house guests.
Cartoonist Paul Thomas has created a truly hilarious book on tattoos. He was previously political cartoonist for the Daily Express, cartoonist of the year in 2005, and has a brilliant, fruitful career of funny, clever illustrations - and it shows in this clever, satirical and beautifully illustrated story that really stood out for us among the books at Pick Me Up.