30 Jun 2011

Ganbare Nippon: No. 54

All the links to the Japan tsunami charities

Paint it! Make it! Zine available for sale

A feature now on one of the stars of our Paint it! Make it! event, our charity zine! 

The idea behind the zine was to bring together a wide range of top illustrators and create something fun and uplifting that would not only send a great message of support and love but a tactile object packed full of amazing illos from some of your favourite illustrators. At the event people had the opportunity to customise their own personal zine so they could have fun and try something new.

The best bit is, now the event is over, we can share it with everyone in our community all over the world. So you can grab a piece of the action and treasure something created by artists at the top of their game with love, that will not only give you a smile but help people who still really need it!

So what better way to whet your appetite than with a look inside and a run down of the contributors:

So now you we have you hooked please take a look at some of the work these wonderful artists served us up!

Lou Lou & Tummie and Fon The Pern
If you would like to buy a copy, please just use the button below, the minimum donation for the zine is £3, postage and packing costs £1.50 for UK shipping, £2.50 rest of the world.

All proceeds from our GANBARE NIPPON appeal go to The Japan Tsunami Appal on JustGiving, see http://www.justgiving.com/ganbarenippon for more info.

29 Jun 2011

Paint it! Make it! artist feature: Stephen Chan

A real treat for you guys now, the fantastic Stephen Chan. Not only a great artist but hardcore organiser at the helm of both our recent live event Paint it! Make it! and mover at shaker at the epic Thunder Chunky responsible in part for the superb charitable Renmen Project, in aid of Haiti.

Stephen's work is visually the most consumable work you can imagine. It has a really great blend of sweetness, humour and downright well thought out design, that makes it very sticky and appealing. His work has a real class about it. His characters and compositions both well proportioned and well assembled. The real class is in the extra layer of graphical finish, using texture pattern, historical and eastern imagery to create a wonderfully classical paradox. Both unashamedly cute but executed with the kind of effort that makes it worthwhile.

He uses characters superbly, not only well designed but memorable and full of life. He has that real combination of a designers flair for the cool and the eye-catching, the illustrators care and subtlety and an animators grasp of movement and proportion. His work will win you over in an instant and his self effacing attitude is something to be commended, here's to one of the good guys, Stephen Chan!

Who are you / What do you do?
I'm not very good at interviews, so I asked Karolina, my 'Polish on the outside / Japanese on the inside' friend for a little help. The answer for the first question 'Who are you / What do you do?' is:

"...I wish I knew that myself..." - I might be slightly weird (even mad), so maybe that's why she said that. I also like to put things in brackets (yes, I do), which reflect those voices in my head (hello). What I do, in a 'Nutshell' (not a real Nutshell, they're really small) is document all those creatures I meet in the artistic style of Realism. Mainly of large headed characters, often in isometric detailed landscapes and scenery.

My work covers a variety of media and products including Character design and Illustration for magazines, children's books, posters and games; branding and designs for fashion and apparel; patterns for wallpapers and fabrics: maps and diagrams.

How did you start?
"...I just wanted to do something cool to attract attention..." - which is kind of true, haha. I think during my primary school life, because my lack of communicational skills, the only way I can convey myself is with pictures. I remember endless hours drawing Inspector Gadget, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Samurai Pizza Cats, Sonic the Hedgehog, Megaman and Dragon Ball, just to name a few. I kind of stood out (even if I didn't want to), being the only Chinese boy in 'THE WHOLE' of primary and secondary school. I was 'that Chinese boy that draws quite well'.

What are your thoughts about the event / zine?
"...As long as I will be there it will be a great event..." - haha, yes... maybe... but this is what I also think. Natsuki and the other girls at Illustration Rally has really put a lot of effort in to organising this event, and you can tell they really care a lot for this cause. It's going to be a lot of fun because of everyone's participation, and I hope deeply that you will love the Zine for Japan we've put together. I want to thank all our Illustrator friends for making it possible, helping to create a wonderful, warm and sincere Zine.

A personal statement about you and your work
"...I am too lazy to think about it..." - I think she really hates me (we're not really friends), but here's the generic part :)

He is one of the founding members of design portal ‘ Thunder Chunky’, a Tiger AKA (Asian Kinetic Artist) a part of the International Tiger Translate project, and an Artist at Blood Sweat Vectors, a renowned vector artist collective with the likes of 123 Klan, J3 Concepts and Niark1.

His works have been in several magazines and books, exhibited nationally and internationally, in London, Berlin, Boston, Tokyo, Melbourne, Wellington and several other cities.

Stephen's links:

Ice Cream Dilemma Short comic for 'Paper Cub' website, fun and games for children
For Good For Evil Wall Mural for Wallpaper Republic
Totummy Zine Cover Cover for 'The Publisher's Club's first Totem themed Zine / Inkygoodness exhibition
Diver Tshirt 1 of 3 Illustrations / Tshirts for Inkygoodness 'Play' exhibition
Screenadelica Tshirt Tshirt design for 'Liverpool Sound City' festival / Screenadelica gig poster exhibition

Retrospective: Paint it! Make it!

Well I'm almost sad to write this as it means all the cakes have been eaten, the origami folded and the live drawing has met the fate of the vast majority of its ephemeral brothers. Though saying that it, the whole day was an epic win for the rally and our appeal netting us a massive £300.16 pounds, on a day when the tube was down Glastonbury was on, and the whole world was conspiring to keep us out of London!

Preparation time...
So the train broke down on the way, the weatherman lied to us through his teeth but we made it and turned up to find the most beautiful sight of hard working friends and artists coming together to put on a kick ass event. The book club probably has never been subjected to so much colour and verve, what with stunning kimonos and yukatas, zine binding, our origami zoo, hundreds of pen, papers and crafty bits, two massive cardboard trees, portraits, cakes and not forgetting the awesome live drawing by Messrs Millerchip, Jones, Fiddle and Chan.(which would be literally the best name for a law firm in history)

Prizes from ToDryFor, No Guts No Glory and Kuretake UK!
Beautiful Emma Block and Kim Roberts in Yukatas!
The event kicked of with absconding temporary DJ who set up the sound and simultaneously startled pigeons as far as Toxteth. Some light furniture moving, unpacking wrapping, cutting, sticking, glueing, taping, re-taping later the scene was set with epic paper chains and bunting, more balloons than you could shake a stick at and possibly the best craft area in the history of creation. Well at least Shoreditch anyway.

The whole event flew by as we drew in and tempted friends and ordinary slightly worried londoners into our den and gave what could only be described as an old school kids party meets high end art event. Many a cake was sold, portrait painted and kimono donned. and in the end there was the raffle, which I personally fixed... Well as it turned out lucky and tiny seems to go hand in hand, with our diminutive first winner taking not only the first signed towel but Millerchip's ticket, and his shirt (raffle prize, not his actual shirt!)

Origami workshop by Erica Sharp and Kuretake UK pen trial!
Zine making workshop by Lea Wade!
Live portrait drawing by Jenny Robins and June Sees!
Live drawing in morning!
Completed live drawing by Mr Millerchip, Kristian Jones, Seb Burnett and Stephen Chan!
So a massive thanks to all those who came and to all those who helped out tirelessly, giving us the first of what we hope will be many Illustration Rally live art events!

We have some fantastic pictures both here and on our flickr page, so please check them out. So till the next time we invade London with a cheeky swagger and a bag full of pens, we couldn't have done it without you!

23 Jun 2011

Artist 95: Gareth Arrowsmith

Feature time again everyone! And we have a real straight to the point illustrator now with Gareth Arrowsmith. The first things that grab you about Gareth's work is that great bounce of colour, bold clean lines and bright red converse shoes. The next thing that grabs you is the fixed expression of his characters, poised between determination, mischief and pure malice. I am a bunny but I will also shiv you. Gareth's work has that joyful touch of  evil about it, like that house party full of colourful characters and the usual suspects, amazing to look at, an overload to the senses but sooner or later of the guests known for his habit of "flipping out" will start setting about anything that looks in his general direction. That's what I like about Gareth's work. It has an honesty and a Beano like charm but doesn't speak down to the audience. It's one of those things you can just get. His house style is well developed and useful in so many ways, but his real strength is in his composition and palette which is almost acid house bright but is put together in a way that makes sense. Gareth does well when combining his characters with really busy kaleidoscopic scenes, and playing to his strengths he will certainly do incredibly well. Just makes you think nowadays Gnasher would be a Staffy, and Dennis wouldn't leave survivors. Wishing him all the best for the future it's Gareth Arrowsmith.

Who are you:
Hello, my name is Gareth Arrowsmith, I am 23 years of age and I come from the North West of the UK. I have a BA (hons) Degree in Graphic Arts: Illustration from Liverpool John Moores University.

What do you do:
I am an Illustrator.

How did you start:
Like a lot of people, from the love of drawing, then school doing my GCSE’s in art then A levels then on to do an Art Foundation, and then Degree, and now trying to make a living out of it.

A Personal statement about you or your work:
My style is often placed in the category of cartoon with a nice dose of humour to go with it. The inspiration for much of my artwork comes from different things such as, the everyday goings on, my own personal likes and dislikes, issues that are happening globally and general issues I deemed suitable to draw about.

Gareth's links:

Ganbare Nippon: No. 53

A little story about Rukmunal's illustration, this is his interpretation of what happened in Japan. The woman symbolizes Japan itself, and the man is tattooing people's pray and hope for Japan.

Thank you so much Rakmunal, this is beautiful!

All the links to the Japan tsunami charities

22 Jun 2011

Ganbare Nippon: No. 52

'We're here kaiju!'

Live drawing artist feature: Kristian Jones

It's another fantastic artist here on the Rally for you now, Kristian Jones one of the live artists for our inaugural event Paint it! Make it! Kristian will be showing off his amazing skills on Saturday so come down and check him out. With work like this you can't help yourselves to a slice of art pie. Kristian has a delicate touch. That is not to say his work is in any way light, it's more to say that his work is deftly and carefully executed. He has a great eye for composition and detail, providing the viewer with a visual feast from a few basic fundamental ingredients. Skill, style and artistry all combine to give that rich developed feeling from pared down and concise practice. His work has that meaty feel of something with a flow and a meaning. Each image drips with stories waiting to unfold. I truly appreciate the sense of suspense that his work generates. To observe his work is to be in a state of transition, almost as if, were you to look away the whole scene would play out until frozen by your observation, much like the Schroedinger's cat of illustration, to measure it is to destroy it. So instead just soak it in. Well worth your eye time and in the full knowledge of successes to come it's Kristian Jones.

Who are you:
Kristian Jones an aspiring artist / illustrator living in Birmingham creating weird and wonderful drawings from inside my head. What is it about live drawing that gets you going: In this case the chance to collaborate with an awesome illustrator! In general the freedom to cover large areas with lots of your work, without getting into trouble with the council.

What are your thoughts about the event:
Very excited! I think its a really well crafted event with some really great artists involved, that is all for a great great cause. If it weren't for Japanese art and culture I would probably never picked up a pen.

Kristian Jones is a freelance illustrator / artist living in the centre of the UK just outside of sunny Birmingham, producing work for magazines, clothing ranges and working for various bands and clubnights on the Birmingham music scene crafting posters and artwork of an alternative nature. His style preys on the innocence of childhood imagination, surreal worlds and fictional creatures, addled by fast food and modern culture.

Kristian's links:

20 Jun 2011

Artist 94: Emily Shaw

Artist feature time here on the rally and another up and coming artist with the right attitude and a grafters body of work. Impressive to say the least, Emily Shaw is a fine artist with a penchant for detail and that rarest of commodities in fine art, real true mechanical skill. She has a sharp keen eye, and can render with accuracy and delicacy. Her work is at once strong, with a depth and warmth brought through the detailed and caring shading, but also it is delicate with a gentleness that is often surprising. Her work is much more considered than standard technique heavy fine art as she has broken into the realm of the real, where her work is, and can be translated for mass consumption. She is erudite in her expression, yet not not introverted which is important to making a successful career in the commercial art space. I like her methods of communicating with her viewer. It's almost conversational, like a shared dialogue between you and her work. It's also worth noting that this work is constructed with considerable effort and her progress is already astounding with her career already on its way and this is before her graduation. Wishing her the best in all her endeavours it's Emily Shaw.

Who are you:
My name is Emily Shaw.

What do you do:
I am a fine artist that primarily focuses on illustration and I am currently in my third and final year at Kingston University, London. I'm setting up a collaborated project when I leave University where any artist, from any discipline, can create work and exhibit together from a quarterly brief. I also sell illustrated t-shirt designs to raise money for this project and any other artistic endeavours.

How did you start:
I originally went to college to study Fashion/Textiles but quickly realised I had more patience for illustrating people and drawing patterns than I did for actually making garments. So in my second year I took up fine art as well as continuing with the textiles course and eventually went on to do a foundation where my focus remained with fine art, mainly drawing and sculpture. Now at university and having almost completed my three years I want to focus on my drawing and become an illustrator.

A Personal statement about you or your work:
At the moment my illustrations derive from fragmented anecdotes recollected from childhood and pieced together to create characters, I wanted my drawings to hold more of an identity and ensure that the anecdotes would be remembered. With a lot of the story's I am not sure they are 100% true, manly my granddad telling tales...but who knows...maybe he really did find a taranchula spider in a crate of bananas, named him Fred and gave him to the zoo! This is one of the many story's I keep in my sketchbook ready to be illustrated.

For now all my illustrations are created using biro pens and inks, I love mark making and creating patterns within a drawing.

Emily's Links: 

19 Jun 2011

News: I Didn't See It Coming directed by Lesley Barnes

Watch this magical and beautiful music video directed by one of my good illustrator friends and zine contributor for Paint it! Make it! Lesley Barnes! This animation is for the Richard X remix of "I Didn't See It Coming" by Belle and Sebastian, read about the project on their blog here! This awesome tune will be available on the Come on Sister 12" from Rough Trade Records, on the 18th July 2011.

18 Jun 2011

Paint it! Make it! Updates

Hello guys! Thank you all for plugging us tirelessly and we are going to make damn sure those plugs and mentions wont go to waste! Here are some updates to let you know a little bit more about what is going down, including a sneaky peak at our zine cover!

Paint it! Make it! party for Japan on the 25th June at The Book Club

Zine Making: Our zine making is the most interactive collaborative event we can make it so feel free to bring your own bits and bobs to share, from coloured paper ribbons and pens you can bring anything you like to add to your customisation. We will be providing plenty of extra cute bits and bobs too. Our zine is going to be A5 so if you want to, you can bring along your own artwork for people to bind, feel free to sign it or even just bind it into your own zine, the zine is BW so even photocopies would be fun.

Music: Music has been careful chosen for your listening pleasure by DJ halwo SAKAMOTO, DJ CHINEN and DJ 柳 (Yanagi). It is an ecxclectic mix of Jpop, Jelectro and techno all mixed by Japanese DJ's to keep you in the mood for a party.

How to wear Kimono and tea ceremony: Details to be confirmed yet, but yes! Kimono!!

T-shirt Available from No Guts No Glory: Designed by the event live artist Mr Millerchip! The T-shirt "Dunkun - Organic White T" will be available at the event and if you want to learn a little more about the wonderful Millerchip you can read about him in our live artist feature.

Charity raffle part two: We have just announced the winners of our online pre-event charity raffle with ToDryFor and if you missed out you have one last chance to bag an exclusive signed tea towel of extraordinary awesomeness! So see you there and bag yourself a real designer exclusive!

Tea Time
Size: Approx 48cm x 76cm
Material: 100% cotton
With 2 post cards and 2 small badges designed by Gemma

Keep On Truggin
Size: Approx 76cm x 48cm 
Material: 100% cotton

 By Peter Slight 
Size: Approx 76cm x 48cm 
Material: 100% cotton

Size: Approx 48cm x 76cm
Material: 100% cotton 

Storm in a Teacup
Size: Approx 48cm x 76cm
Material: 100% cotto
Read her interview on our blog here!