Hello, my Friends! How are you all?
Ok, It’s finally here! This year’s Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival is now open!
For the past two years, I had the pleasure of reviewing Pick Me Up. I have even visited right from the very start in 2009! I rarely miss Pick Me up and what’s fascinating is to see it develop and transform each year, every year it’s a different creative curatorial decision.
I am going to change it up and share you my thoughts on the exhibition itself.
The process of creative thought
This year is all about the process of creativity thought. That’s what I get from minimalist design to the Pick Me Up logo. The walls are bare, the decorative motifs have paired down, no painted walls or wallpaper. It is you and the artwork.
If you remember last year’s Pick Me Up, there were painted cat walls, brightly coloured paperclips and frantic energy. It is a nice change, but it can be stark change to many visitors who loved the vibrant, colourful motifs from two previous years.
The minimalist direction caters to all of the Select Artists. Each artist’s work displayed is set against the white walls. They are made equal. One work is not louder or screams attention than the other, the work is still there for you to view it intimately.
Of course, you’ll have your favourites! It’s only natural that each of us have a personal preference.
This does remind me of Pick Me Up when it first exhibited in 2009, the curation was simple. I think this year’s Pick Me Up is about your thoughts on the artwork discussion upon quiet reflection.
I was fascinated with the displays of the artist’s sketchbooks, tools and, materials presented on blue tables. It was so engaging to see the WIP and mistakes we tend not to see. I would love to see more of this, perhaps exhibit more sketchbooks, roughs and, materials in a case underneath the artworks. It will give a greater sense of the artist’s practice.
I would love it if the digital media artists such as Jack Cunningham (Illustrator and Animator) and Luke Evans (Illustrator with scientific methods), would have benefited from a larger screen with a longer running time, or a remote for visitors to select the film clip. Give them a chance for us to see more of their showreel.
Hopefully next year they will do that! And credit me for the curative decision. You never know!
Change is Good
It is not the same as two previous years. Many old reliable favourites will not be exhibiting such as Handsome Frank, Brothers of the Stripe, Zombie Collective, Hero of Switzerland, Peepshow Collective, Modern Toss and Print Club London. However, some of them will be holding talks on selected days of the exhibition.
The difference this year, I feel is the emphasis on events and talks held at the Pick Me Up Platform on the Mezzanine Floor. The space really suits this occasion and you can drop in, listen to creative experts and hear their stories.
To name a few speakers, we have: Laser cutting specialists ‘Good Empire, Peckham Print Studio, Design Studios, Letterpress experts, Illustration Agencies, Florists, Graphic Novelists and Cartoonists, Publishers and many more.
Each day, the Select Artists will have a ‘Show and Tell’ about their process and work methodology.
Also, there will be talks and events about issues in graphic design, current affairs and art in activism. From tackling human rights in Sri Lanka and discussion about the recent closure of Kemistry Gallery and plans to find a new gallery space.
Click here for the daily schedule of events and talks during Pick Me Up exhibition.
Galleries and Collectives
The fun, dynamic energy starts when you go upstairs to see the collectives and specialist galleries, brands, and shops.
It’s refreshing to see Collective and Creative agencies from overseas, with the likes of Melbourne based ‘SuperGraph,’ Milan’s ‘La Tigre,’ ‘Studio Fludd‘ Collective from Venice, and Spanish illustrators ‘Wanna Date‘ collectives.
There are some familiar names such as: South London’s Peckham Print Studio, Illustration brand and gift wares Ohh Deer, Lazy Oaf’s Fun, wacky clothing shop, Glasgow-based designer and print studio RISOTTO STUDIO and for Stationery lovers Hato Press. Also, there will be daily live demonstrations by artists and designers using different art materials. Here’s your chance to give it a try!
I am going to give you my Top tips visiting this year!
- Check out the list of events and talks through the exhibition run.
- Treat yourself with some fun stationery and write your ideas.
- If you’re curious, seek it out and go for it.
- Pick a day that has a late opening and spend all day there.
- Meet up with like-minded creatives.
- Speak to creative strangers.
- Experiment with art materials.
- Learn a fact you never knew before.
- Collaborate with others.
Yes, there are so many fun things to do and it’s a great platform to see new collectives and galleries.
As always Pick Me Up is fun, challenging and inspiring exhibition. I think it has given a chance for fresh talented creatives, worldwide, to shine and show off their wares.
The talking point of the events and drop-in talks gives people to connect and discuss over drinks.
I think this year’s Pick Me Up is for people who love to create and create for a living. Perhaps there is something you may learn from the exhibition that fuels your fire. Perhaps some works or artists may inspire and invoke that creative desire that you’ve never given a first glance.
Makes you realise what is possible, and what you wish to achieve can be achievable. If you got the passion, why not go for it.
Who is this Exhibition for? - Designers - Illustrators - Graphic Designers - Students - Printmakers - Art buyers - Comic Artists - Dreamers and Thinkers - Anyone looking for creative career
As always, thank you for reading!
What are your thoughts on this year’s Pick Me Up?
Please comment, tweet or message me!
I love reading and hearing what you guys think.
Here is the link to Last Year’s Pick Me Up 2014, for you to read.
Somerset House, Embankment Galleries, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Pick Me Up is on from 23 April – 4 May 2015.
Admission: £10, concessions £8, Festival pass £17.50
Open: Daily 10am-6pm, late night Wednesdays & Thursdays until 10pm
For more information and to book tickets, please click here to go to the Somerset House website.
Click here for the daily schedule of events during Pick Me Up exhibition.