Pick Me Up was a pretty epic event this year, and while participants settle back into the comfort of their own studios, ARTS THREAD shines a spotlight on those involved in an exciting new element of the fair – the Daily Specials programme.
Daily Specials was established to get more well-known graphic artists involved in the fair, which is primarily a platform for emerging talent. For one day only, each participant set up shop in the upper gallery where visitors could pop by to pick their brains and get stuck in with the expert’s chosen project. From drawing projects to interactive workshops and the opportunity to create and take home bespoke artwork, the series turned out to be a bit of a winner with the public.
ARTS THREAD visited when illustrator James Jarvis was in residence. Founder of toy company Amos and creator of the iconic characters ‘Martin’ and ‘King Ken’, Jarvis was busy discussing his work with an impressive crowd, whilst two teenage boys happily occupied themselves with their very own Jarvis-style drawings.
Cult comic duo of The Guardian fame, Modern Toss, set up a portrait booth to sketch visitors’ faces on pre-drawn comic-style bodies, and Danish illustrator Jody Barton created personalised family crests. Multi-media designer and illustrator Anthony Burrill held a typographic sticker collage workshop, from which visitors could take home their own postcard memento, and self-confessed ‘Master of Pens’ and ‘Justin Bieber of Drawings’, Mr Bingo, staged a ‘Hate Mail Live’ session in which he wrote offensive messages on original signed drawings – visitors had the pleasure of taking these home for a tenner.
Other participants in the series included the brilliant Si Scott, famous for his illustrative work for Vogue, Nike and Tiffany & Co, who dedicated his day to a beautifully detailed one-off drawing project. Children’s illustrators Marion Deuchars and Bruce Ingman both ran family-friendly drawing workshops, and fashion illustrator Jason Brooks, perhaps best known for club label Hed Kandi’s visual identity, produced small drawings for sale. Lino-cut guru Jonny Hannah dedicated a day to a hands-on workshop with a typographic theme.
We liked the concept of ‘The Drawing Olympics’, which was run by collage artist Ian Wright and record sleeve illustrator George Hardie, who designed sleeves for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin records, no less. Various competitions were invented such as ‘Sychronised Drawing’ and ‘The Fastest Idea for a Drawing’.
The Daily Specials programme, which read like a who’s who of modern graphics, was a great hit with both the public and those who took part. We thought it provided a great lesson on the many possible applications for talent in illustration or graphic art, and showed how, actually, you can make a very successful living from such a creative ability.
Pick Me Up 2012 has now closed, but will return in 2013. Hopefully with more Daily Specials.