Wednesday, 18 October 2017

First Years, First Project

Working in teams of two, we asked the students to produce a digital magazine that attempted to capture something of the essence of a location of their choice.

The idea here is to point out from the start (N.B. we would never use the phrase 'get go' because we hate it...) that design and illustration are not impersonal, neutral activities. 

Having passion and something to say are central to the production of memorable, communicative work.

Here's some of what they produced:

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Getting to Know You Grillust Style

Problem: Your students have come from all over the place and don't necessarily know anyone else on the course. How do you make them feel welcome and make new friends within hours of starting?

Answer: *Fun in the studio™!

*Fun in the studio™ is a Grillust™ product guaranteed to get students talking, laughing and sharing information within 60 minutes.

It may involve pub quizzing, throwing games, poor quality 'prizes' and a geographical challenge (see the previous post). WARNING: may contain nuts - check before consuming.

Introducing our new students.

Order is the prerequisite for rational observation, imagination, understanding, and peace of mind. 

This is the human prefrontal cortex at work and is why all animals (and some teenagers) seem content in the chaos of the wild (e.g. dirt, filth, socks left strewn around the room) and yet we (adult) humans strive to arrange our music collections alphabetically and by genre: Acid House; Afro-Cuban; Ambient; Barbershop; Beatbox; Bluegrass etc.

We at Grillust Towers take it to the next level by lining up our new students by where they come from, carefully ordered  from North to South.
Here's a sample of this year's findings going from North to South (obviously):

Glasgow; Ayr; Dumfries; Carlisle; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Workington: Darlington; Teeside; Thirsk; York; Skipton; Blackburn; Bradford; Chorley; Manchester; Liverpool; Nottingham; Shrewsbury; Leicester; Poland; China and South Africa.

Quite a cosmopolitan crowd...

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

New Designers (and Illustrators) 2017

New Designers takes place in this grand space (The Design and business Centre, Islington). As well as graphic design and illustration there are graduates from areas such as product and furniture design. It makes for a really interesting visit and the event is a magnet for a variety of industries. It's also a great place to see concept designs for cars that will (hopefully) never be built in a month of Sundays (see below).

There are also a few highly specialist institutions like this one...

Which, in our over-active imagination, looks like this...

Anyway, here's the GRaphic Design and ILLUSTrstion space and the group of graduates who's work adorns it. As you can see, we have a massive slice of real-estate to call our own.

New Designers attracts a huge amount of industry interest. Students manning the stand were never shy of people to talk to. Business cards flew thick and fast and many promising contacts were made.

Here's Tash (21) who, when she wasn't talking to visitors (most of the time), recreated scenes from the great pop videos. This is her doing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights...

Bass ace Tom (21) was fully coordinated with his portfolio

As were Sarah (21) and Zoe (33)...

Here's our hard working road crew at the end of a frenetic Saturday evening loading session: hot, happy and more than ready to hit the North.

So that's it for another year, and let us take this opportunity to wish all our graduates success - it's been a pleasure working with you all.

In the meantime, we'll throw a metaphorical 'dust sheet' over this Blog for the summer months as the staff take their holiday leave, undertake research and prepare for the next academic year. Currently, Jim is looking at how combustion engines can be used to turn electric cars into 'proper vehicles'. Tony is writing a long article on the furniture designs of  CFA Voysey (tragically true) before he departs to Vienna to see what colour the Danube is. Dwayne is seeing how fast he can colour-in without going over the lines. Rhiannon is working as a Red Coat at Butlins, Rhyl. Zoe is on a tour of the low countries: Holland, Belgium and Tuvalu (she often acts as a stand-in when minor Royals are indisposed). Nick is working as a guide at Walt Disney's World of Semiotics (Florida) and Dave is off to the future to bring us back valuable information about hover-cars and stuff.

Have a good summer and see you in September.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

We're Off to London to Show Off Our Graduates

Regular readers of the Blog will know that it's rapidly approaching that time of year when we head to London (a large city somewhere South of Doncaster) to exhibit our graduating student's work to industry professionals. Have a look here to see last year's foray to 'the smoke'.

We will be exhibiting our highly talented Graphic Design and Illustration graduates at at New Designers Part 2, held at the rather swanky Business Design Centre in central London (above).

The show opens on Wednesday 5 July and it runs through to Saturday 8 July.

Opening times as follows:
Wed 3.00 – 9.00 (VIP & Press Preview)
Thursday 10.00 – 8.00
Friday 10.00 – 5.00
Saturday 10.00 – 5.00

Business Design Centre 52 Upper Street London N1 0QH 

You can find more details here.

We're on stand VC34 and look forward to meeting friends old and new.

Here's an extra special, behind-the-scenes  preview of what we will be showing...

Friday, 16 June 2017

Grillust Artists in Residence Exhibition 2017

For a year now we've been sharing our studio with three of our excellent Graduates of 2016 - illustrator Miss Maddy Mould, graphic designer Master Vincent Walden and illustrator/force of nature Miss Katie Lock (all 33) who collectively comprise our Artists in Residence.

It's been a pleasure hosting them (they've been no trouble and all) and they plan to leave with a bang well, actually an exhibition. Here's what Katie has to tell you:

Being offered our artists in residency within Grillust has given us an invaluable space for us to find
our feet after graduating university, making transitioning out of education a much more relaxed,
enjoyable process. Access to workshops and reprographics along side studio space has helped
continue our shared and personal creative paths which has only but developed assuredly over the
past year. Whilst a lot of graduates end up working out of their bedroom, this has been a
very unique and significant venture!

We will be displaying a collection of our individual and group artwork at a local exhibition -
“F R E S H” at The Galley in Atlas Works. A multitude of mediums and manifestations will be
displaying across ourselves as well as alongside other Carlisle based creatives. The opening night
is set to be a sparkling event (Saturday 24th June) and the exhibition will be open for the following week.

For more information please contact

Katie Lock

Maddy Mould

Vincent Walden

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Arrest All Mimics
Sir John Hegarty

Sir John Hegarty, lead singer in Creedence Clearwater Revival* and co-founder of advertising hit factory BBH appears on this weeks 'Arrest All Mimics' podcast** BUT this isn't a podcast about advertising - this is a podcast about creativity. So if you've got a creative bone in your body, this is worth a listen.

* This is a lie. Sir John Hegarty wasn't in Creedence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty was. But close enough that we'll include this banger...

**The Arrest All Mimics podcast is brought to you by Ben Tallon, illustrator, raconteur and karaoke face melter extraordinaire.  

Sketchbooks are Boss.

Sketchbooks are great! Drawing is fantastic!!! These are undisputed facts and often heard mantras of illustration lecturer Dwayne Bell (South West Scotland's Pencil Sharpening Champion 2003 - 2005). Dwayne practices what he preaches (yaps on and on about) and is also currently undertaking an MA focussing on drawing.

The majority of Dwayne's drawing takes place on his daily commute across the debatable lands between Carlisle and his home in that there Scotland.

For your award season consideration, here is his most recent sketchbook in it's completed glory.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

New studio set-up


New furniture in the studio... bean bags and balloons. Tables and chairs are just so last year :)

Monday, 12 June 2017

Funhouse Exhibition (Keeps on Giving)

How do you clear a studio full of balloons?..

Friday, 9 June 2017

27th Letter Winner!

Our heartiest Grillust™ congratulations go out to 3rd year Graphic Design student David Guthrie (21) who was announced as the winner of the 27th Letter international design competition 

The competition was judged by Phil Cleaver, designer of The Book Collector and Professor in the Creative Industries at Middlesex University, James Fergusson, Editor of The Book Collector, Fergus Fleming, writer and co-publisher at Queen Anne Press, and Lilian Lindblom-Smith, Head of Graphic Design at Middlesex University.
In the end, David captured the judges imagination, winning £250 and a beautiful trophy book designed by Phil Cleaver. The winning entry?That’s right, the winning entry is lol. Injecting a little more humour into the alphabet as we know it!

David Guthrie, competition winner (lol)

A surprised Roddy Hunter, Director of the Institute of the Arts with 3rd year Graphic Designer David Guthrie.

In 1947, while helping out at the typographical magazine Alphabet & Image, James Bond creator, Ian Fleming conceived the idea of a competition for the best interpretation of a twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet. Entries had to have a distinct purpose and would be judged by him alone. This year's competition followed Fleming’s rules: the letter must conform to the alphabet as known in English-writing countries and must represent a particular sound or combination of sounds. All that is necessary is that the entrant must be over sixteen years of age and have an idea as to how written English could be improved.

Tapping into the current zeitgeist of text lingo infiltrating mainstream written language,  David decided to create a character representing the acronym LOL...

...and he won! lol. 

David is now setting about designing, amongst others ROFL, WEG, SMH, WTH, WTF & TTFN characters all to be sold as limited edition posters! 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Funhouse Exhibition Private View - Friday 2 June

 Come inside, come inside...

 VIPs and industry professionals had a special early event

 Becky (21) explaining why she dressed Donald as a clown

 Leanne (21) colour coordinates with her work

Caitlin Quinn (21) tinkles the ivories...

 Tash (21) talking (probably)

Here's Grillust's very own Jim and Rhiannon (33) talking to Jason Hill (also 33) of the Eden Brewery 

 Getting busy

Here's Bronte (21) talking to guests in the exhibition shop. I don't think Bronte saw us when we took this snap.

 Danielle, Guthers and Chloe (21 X 3) manning and womanning the bar

 Back in Black - Tash (21) with mum (33) and gran (33)

 Getting even busier

 It was lovely to see a crop of last year's graduates: Rhian, Megan and Ben (all 33)

One of the people in this picture is also featured in the illustration - can you guess which one?

 Here's Bronagh from Year 2 having a good 'ratch' through a portfolio

Where's Wally?