Review: Pick Me Up 2015
Pick Me Up has established itself as a must-see event for anyone with an interest in illustration and graphic art.
Fresh work by established names and rising stars, interactive workshops to get stuck into, and lots of prints to see – any buy! Pick Me Up offers something for everyone – and this year there’s even more in store!
Pick Me Up raised its game this year by shaking up the usual formula: the introduction of Pick Me Up Platform; a jam-packed roster of daily talks and debates from the most interesting voices in the field is one addition we’re rather excited about. The schedule features V&A Curator Catherine Flood discussing activist graphics, NoBrow Press co-founder Sam Arthur explaining how they started out in publishing and and daily demos by London Graphic Centre.
Upon entering Somerset House, visitors first encounter Pick Me Up Selects, a hand-picked collection of 12 up and coming names representing a wide diversity of styles and techniques. Work ranges from organic, painterly pieces by Zoë Taylor and Rop van Mierlo, to 3D papercut creations by Hattie Newman, to meticulous technicolour and darkly humorous work by Laura Callaghan and Sara Andreasson. Sketchbooks and tools are on display, and for further insight into their methods you can catch each of the 12 artists discussing their processes at Show and Tell in the Pick Me Up Platform space.
We particularly enjoyed listening to Jennifer Argo discussing the influences and methods behind her hyper-detailed nature inspired pencil illustrations.
Whilst work by individual artists is showcased downstairs, the upstairs halls are populated by illustration collectives, galleries and studios displaying their wares and hosting interactive events. Highlights include the ‘Thought Train’ from illustration collective Niles, where guests are invited to contribute to the chain of wall-mounted artwork linked by a thread of ideas. The Sope Studio Laboratory was equally brilliant to observe, as visitors were printing on site all day long, producing small pieces of metallic, geometric patterned joy. We were also delighted by Australia-based Supergraph’s playful prints and stationery, as well as their ‘Design Tarot Readings’ performed in a cardboard tepee by the oracle Helvetica!
Other stand-outs include Lazy Oaf for their signature quirky designs and incredible pastel wonderland of a room design; Best Studio for their examples of bold and edgy graphic communicatio; Peckham Print Studio for their fun screen printing workshops and Hato Press for teaching the basics of bookbinding.
As we’ve come to expect since its launch in 2010 Pick Me Up presents the finest, freshest and most fun elements of the illustration and graphic arts world. The festival runs until the 4th of May and we thoroughly recommend that you pay it a visit before it closes.
Tickets for Pick me up 2015 are available here.