Wednesday, 15 December 2010

British Council Delegation

Yesterday we met a British council delegation who came by the London Print Studio as part of their UK tour. They were looking into what the UK has to offer to comics, and came to see the 'Thats Novel' exhibition. We were lucky enough to be able to show them our work and tell them about our project. We met representatives from Belgium, Algiers and Finland plus Paul Gravett who was showing them around the exhibition.

Screen Print Workshop

This week, we had the chance to use the londonprintstudio facilities, and take part in one of their screen printing workshops.

One of the print technicians, Paul, led us through the hand's on induction step-by-step: demonstrating clearly how to coat our own screens and create different marks in our work, such as with a lino pen or a brush and ink.

Even though a few of us already had knowledge of screen printing, we did pick up new skills that we are now keen to use and develop within our comics.

Below are some examples of the prints we created during the day:
Rachel Emily Taylor

Freya Harrison

William Goldsmith

Joe Kelly

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Lynn's Workshop

On Tuesday December 7th we had a really good workshop ran by Lynn Weddle, an arts educator who has worked with a wide range of learners, from teenaged mothers to South American street children. Her workshop to us was very informative on how to actually run a workshop.

We took part in a series of games and activities and learnt how to complete detailed workshop plans. We also discussed our own definitions of what makes a good workshop and how this differs from the classroom environment of school. Lynn stressed the importance of running good workshops in schools, in order to make good impressions and to pave the way for future workshops with those schools and develop a good working relationship with them. She also briefed us on monitoring and evaluating workshops, again for the benefit of future workshops.

We discussed the diversity of kids that Lynn worked with, and some of the disciplinary difficulties encountered. Some kids wouldn't participate in the arts workshops because they didn't want to get messy, some even got kicked out of Tate Modern on a school trip because of behavioural problems. But ultimately these experience were rewarding for the kids - they eventually got to see their work displayed on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth!

This was a really productive day for us interns and gave us plenty of food for thought on how to run our own comics workshops for the young comics enthusiasts at londonprintstudio.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Alien Ink

The comic creators of "Alien Ink" led a workshop at the London Print Studio last Saturday (4th December 2010).

We were joined by the talented David and Esther Bircham. They talked about how they first entered the comic industry, and what difficulties they had to face before they joined forces with Channel 4 Education to create "Alien Ink", an online graphic novel that reflects a series of teen pressures.

The Bircham's are definitely one's to watch. "Alien Ink" has potential to reach a worldwide audience through the internet; and their company, "Pulp Theatre", is the first comic book publisher to work with a major UK broadcaster on an online graphic novel project. They are definitely a very inspiring couple.

Have a peek at their website: Alien Ink

Alternative Press Fair

Last week I had a table at the Alternative Press Fair with fellow comic creator Tom J Hughes. Here is a pic of our spread! It was a good day, good and busy, and I bought some great zines and comics. There was a good mix of hand made crafty stuff, comics, anarchist and political zines and art school stuff. Highlights were the girls who had a tie die stall (they would tie die everything from long johns to baby gros right before your eyes) plus I got my first peek at the new Comics Reader. Its a broadsheet sized full colour newspaper solely dedicated to comics and on sale for the every reasonable price of £1. If you didn't make it down, definitely come to the next one!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Laydeez do Comics

Laydeez do Comics is a forum for comics creators, illustrators and filmmakers to listen to talks, present their work and meet and network with other creators. The emphasis is particularly on ‘life narrative, the drama of the domestic and the everyday’, with a preference on more ‘new wave’ and experimental work as opposed to more mainstream superhero comics.

Despite the title Laydeez do Comics is not just for women with men both attending and presenting their work as well.

The event held on Monday 29th November 2010 at The Rag Factory included 5 speakers:

Lucy Bergonzi

An artist and illustrator who presented a selection of life and observational drawings she had produced. What was interesting about this presentation was that she used it as an opportunity to gain feedback and suggestions on where she should take her work in the future.

Hannah Berry

A comics artist whose graphic novel Britten and Brulightly is being published by Jonathan Cape. Hannah presented some of the process of creating her graphic novel showing how characters developed from her time at university.

Lisa Gornick

A filmmaker who presented the drawings she creates during the film making process. A lot of her work stemmed from her emotional at certain times which then developed into more fully formed ideas.

Paul Gravett

Paul told the group about his time publishing Escape which was a comics magazine presenting both well known and less well known creators. It was interesting to see the creators that were introduced in Escape who went on to become big names in the comics industry.

Neil Phillips

Neil Philips is a Psychiatrist and publisher Shrink Rap Press. He talked how he uses cartoons to communicate his ideas about mental illness through his Shrink-Rap Press

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Joe Kelly is a comic creator with a passion for stories based on real life. He studied Visual Communications at Leeds College of Art and Design where he first sold his comics at Travelling Man. Since graduating in 2009 he has worked as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist creating flyers and posters for clubs and bands, storyboards, and t-shirt designs. His style is influenced by 70’s and 80’s comics and he is currently working on a graphic novel based in a cake factory in the North.

Karrie Fransman has scribbled strips for The Guardian and created comics for The Times and is currently grafting a graphic novel, ‘The House That Groaned’ for Random House’s Square Peg. Her ‘sequential art sculptures’ are currently on show at the ‘That’s Novel! Lifting Comics from The Page’ exhibition at londonprintstudio where she is also running the rather wonderful ‘Internship in Comics and Comics Production’!

At an early age, Rachel Emily Taylor was passionate about drawing, especially with her mother's best Chanel lipstick. Having just graduated from London College of Communication, she is a keen visual storyteller, working in a variety of mediums from comics to narrative 3D sculpture and film. She has exhibited at The Rag Factory and was recently featured in the Sunday Telegraph's "Tall Tales" article about the key players in the new wave of British storytelling. She is currently working on graphic stories exploring folklore and the darker side of human nature.

Freya Harrison is a comic creator who graduated from LCC in 2008. She won the 1st place Design4Science illustration award in 2007, has produced illustrations for Time Out, Google and Macmillan and has just had a solo exhibition at The Old Sweet Shop gallery. Freya is currently working on a graphic novel that combines her life long passion for comics with music.

Isabel Greenberg recently graduated from the University of Brighton Illustration course. In 2008 she came second in the Jonathan Cape/Observer graphic short story prize. Since graduating she has appeared in Nobrow's anthology 'A Graphic Cosmogeny' and in Nobrow 4 'Like Night and Day'. Currently she is working on a series of short comics.

William Goldsmith is an illustrator and comic creator living and working in Brighton. He recently graduated from Glasgow School Of Art and has since exhibited at DA&AD New Blood, Museum of London and the Goethe Institute. His short story 'Like A Wagon' was Highly Commended in the Observer Graphic Story prize in 2009. His debut graphic novel 'Vignettes of Ystov' is published by Jonathan Cape and Random House in March 2011.