Pick Me Up is the annual Graphic Arts Festival, hosted at London’s famous, Somerset House. This year me and my class went together on a class trip, which was a really nice experience. It was interesting to see how my peers were inspired in different ways and by different artists. I personally went looking for inspiration for my FMP (Final Major Project).
After attending last year, I had a good idea of what to expect, like what type of artists would be exhibiting at the festival. When arriving I could see an obvious difference in this year’s overall look. The deco was a little more low-key and I could see that the festival was set up in a little more stylistic manner. Compared to last years, more student-y, make-shift look, this year was a little subtler with bold graphic lettering, and black and white colour theme.
When entering the exhibition, just as the following year we firstly entered the ‘Selects’ room. This is where we got to view this year’s new, up and coming artists and illustrators. The ‘Selects’ room was my favourite part of the show, not just because I got to see some really interesting art, but because it also enabled me to have a peek at their sketchbooks and the thought process behind the work. This is the reasoning for enjoying Pick Me Up so much. Again just like the VM&D Show, I was able to see a journey of where I could possibly be in a few years’ time, and relate myself to the artists behind the work.
At the end of the ‘Selects’ room, I followed the spiral staircase upstairs leading to the fair/workshop space. With a slightly more interactive feel, we were able to take part in small drawing/printing workshops. Peso Press was there allowing visitors to print their own graphic letters. Grey Jam were also there with an interactive wall, that visitors could create their own drawn illustrative stickers to stick on the wall. This was a lovely idea as not only was it very entertaining to see other visitor’s stickers, it also created a really vibrant graphical wall that connected everyone’s individual visits together.
At the end of the festival, there was a huge exhibition of Alan Kitchens: A Life in a Letterpress, containing a remarkable number of graphic typographic prints. It was amazing to be able to learn about his own personal story, as well as view a huge and varied collection of work. His bold colour prints were hugely inspiring and has made a huge impact on my current FMP (Final Major Project).
Overall this year was a really enjoyable experience. I took away a lot of inspiration and as always was able to see some amazing art from a number of up and coming artists. (My favourite artists I will be mentioning in future posts)