Best of the Grad Shows 2017: Middlesex University

5 incredible illustrators we saw at Middlesex University's School of Art and Design grad show last night, with work including comics, risograph prints and a lot of cats.

We were hugely impressed by the illustrative talent on show at Middlesex University's School of Art and Design grad show last night.

Walking through London's Old Truman Brewery, the work of more than 500 students was on display – everything from animation to fine art. The event has been organised in conjunction with Free Range, and is open to the public from today until Monday.

Here we feature the striking, bold and bizarre work of five illustration students that caught our eye, including Shazleen Khan’s diverse range of comics, Yurina Shimoju’s joyful and heartbreaking narratives, Molly Howard Foster’s popping risograph prints and Magda Kacalak’s scenes based on H. Murakami novels.

Last month we spoke to BA (Hons) illustration programme leader at Middlesex University Nancy Slonims about how to nail your grad show.

Shazleen Khan

Shazleen works primarily in narrative illustration, but her variation in style is impressive.

This is a sketchbook Zine, based on statues displayed at the British Museum.

Shazleen Khan

Shazleen says she creates novels to communicate "difficult topics in an immediate fashion" – topics of which include race politics, introspection and plants.

She has been publishing her comics for a while now, working with the likes of BBC and Time Out on graphic novels and editorial pieces.

Yurina Shimoju

We were immediately drawn to Yurina’s bold illustrations.

Her captivating work, which includes animation, ranges from bright coloured illustrations of sushi to very personal, emotional projects (of which she has openly explained) such as an animation using paint on glass.

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Yurina Shimoju

This narrative illustration (linked to Yurina's animation using paint on glass) is about her sister.

Magda Kacalak

Magda’s illustrations include a lot of cats, and are inspired by the novels by Japanese writer H. Murakami.

Magda Kacalak

She works primarily in illustration and concept design.

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Molly Howard Foster

We love Molly's vibrant prints, which display such fluorescent colours because they are printed using a risograph purchased by the university a few years ago. It's essentially a digital duplicator for printing that we saw many of the students take advantage of in their work.

Molly has produced work for Time Out Magazine's 'Punk London: 40 years of subversive culture' campaign, and for BBC iWonder, the online learning platform.

Molly enjoys narrative illustration and has used digital and traditional processes to produce zines, comics and children books.

Kristy Leung

Kirsty’s eccentric illustrations, featuring a lot of cats and cheeky creatures, are a perfect representation of her larger-than-life personality.

Kirsty mainly works in digital and printmaking, and loves "anything that’s glitchy and will mess with your eyes".

Helen Green

Helen primarily focuses on print mediums, but also dabbles in reportage drawing.

Her next move is to transition into freelance work, but the ultimate goal is to publish an illustrated novel.

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