Friday, 23 September 2016

North to South (or South to North)

Order is the prerequisite for rational observation, imagination, understanding, and thus discovery and innovation. 

This is the human prefrontal cortex at work, which is why animals seem content in the chaos of the wild and yet we humans feel drive to progress and move forward.

Here at Grillust Towers we like to exercise our prefrontal cortext to achieve order as much as the next person and do this by getting our new students to line up from North to South...

Monday, 19 September 2016

Grillustasi 2016 have arrived!

Do Nuthatches go up tree trunks and Treecreepers down?
Do Jays croak and Jackdaws caw?
Exactly how much blood is there when a Sparrowhawk swoops down on its unsuspecting prey?

There can't be many University campus' where these questions can be so graphically answered by simply walking out of the door. But, happily, the lovely leafy Brampton Road campus that hosts the Institute of the Art is one of them. And, these lovely people (the chosen few) get to study here for their degree in Graphic Design or Illustraion, the lucky Devils!

Meet the class of 2016. Remember their faces. In years to come they will follow in the great Grillust tradition and become the people who's work you want to see, the people you want to read about. 
Welcome one and all!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

National Cycle to Work Day
We'll post about a non bike thing soon
We Promise!

Today is National Cycle to Work Day. If nothing else that sounds like a great excuse to play on bikes. We're in!

Cumbria is an AMAZING place to cycle, with both the Lake District and Scottish borders being right on our doorstep. We're surrounded by world class scenery, trails and access. Whether you're a road cyclist, mountain biker or if you just enjoy a bit of fresh air and a 'plooter' you really can do far worse than Cumbria.

Illustration Lecturer, internationally renowned bus drawist and advocate for men over 14 using Lynx deodorant, Dwayne Bell, has the most picturesque ride to work, coming as he does across the border from Scotland on a daily basis (on a bus most days). Here's some pics that he took en-route this morning.

Warning, the following images contain no wheelies or jumps and they are a bit 'arty' and heavily reliant on shadows.

Arty shadow shot #1. 'He Leaves'

Arty shadow shot #2. 'Lone Mail'

Bendy bike panorama shot

Wait a minute! Why have I stopped to take a photo of my feet?

Arty shadow shot #3. 'On the Verge'
Fields. Lots of fields. 

Nearly there


Of course, the downside to biking to work, is, of course, having to bike home.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Tour of Britain in Carlisle.
All the facts.

Here at Grillust Towers we take our cycling very seriously.

Luckily for us, the tour of Britain visits our fair city on an annual basis. Here's our recap of 2016's visit.


The big draw this year (again) was Sir Bradley Wiggins, fresh from his Rio Olympics success (Gold medal for the Team Pursuit). 'Wiggo' was delighted to visit Carlisle once again, saying (possibly) that among other things, it's got one of the best TK-Maxx's in Britain and as he was on the hunt for some new desert boots he was hopeful of another Gold, in that regard.

A pair of desert boots, yesterday.

The first sign of Bradley's imminent arrival was his team's vehicles bagging the best parking spots out the back of TK-Maxx.

It's a little known fact that 'The Wigginator' has, as a result of wearing a helmet that was several sizes too small for much of his early career, a very bad memory and as a result his team are forced to write 'Bradington's' name on all of their kit - like a Mum does to a 6 year old's school clothes - just in case he gets distracted by some paisley pattern and becomes separated from the group.

Spare bikes in case one or two get misplaced (we assume)

As everyone knows both a shopping trip and a 188km cycle race really only get underway with a visit to a coffee shop. Whytes Cafe & Bar was 'Wiggly's' choice for a cuppa. Look at the spectators amass to thrill as their hero orders a coffee. Did he have sugar? Did he have milk? - a little? a lot? The debates rage and have already taken their place in local legend!

(side note - we don't know if 'Big-Bad-Brad' had any, but we can vouch for the quality of Whyte's cheese scones).

We'll probably never know if 'Wigston' had a Whyte's cheese scone.

Finally it was time to race. 'Brad Fit's' race tradition, if you don't know, is to take a pre-race selfie with his lucky dog 'Little Captain Pedal Paws'. The crowds gathered to share in this famous tradition, and what a spectacle it was!

Say "cheese scone"

And with that, they were off.
But, as is often the case, 'Christopher Wiggins' had forgotten something, this time, his helmet. Here he is his, shamefaced, returning to the 'big van with his name on' to retrieve the much needed safety precaution. The rest of the riders, used to such last minute muddles, milled about outside WH-Smith's and waited for him. They're good like that.

It turns out that 'Truly Madly Bradley' was 5th last. So that was rubbish.

But still better than these misinformed riders who were refused entry on the day.

Reasons for refused entry from top left: Too many wheels, too foldable, too much luggage, too many engines, a dog.

And to end on...

ignore the distorted baby and look at all those bikes
ignore the bikes and look at that castle
ignore that man with a giant head look at that man with a giant head

Monday, 11 July 2016

New Designers
(and illustrators)

We came, we saw, we conquered. Rachel got sore feet.

Grillust's first foray into the world of 'New Designers' is done (previously we were regulars at D&AD's New Blood event but as none of us have tattoo-sleeves or ride penny farthings, we were beginning to feel out of place).

Here's a D&AD representative on hearing the sad news that we were heading elsewhere. Ouch!

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 never be built in a month of Sundays.

Here's the GRaphic Design and ILLUSTrstion space and the group of dorks / graduates who's work adorns it. As you can see, we had a massive bit 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.

So that's our London, graduate showcase done and dusted for another year. We all had a hectic / enjoyable time.

Interesting Grillust in London facts 2016:

• Students were served drinks by Phil Jupitas. Turns out he's as much of an arse in real life as he seems on telly.
• They also bumped into Jennifer Saunders, who we assume was out drowning her sorrows after the reception that her absolutely terrible, Absolutely Fabulous, film has received.
• Students saw a woman get her head stuck in the doors of a pneumatically powered wardrobe.
• Boris bikes don't go up hill very well.
• To make a burger into a Brazilian burger you stick a paper brazil flag into the bread.

Friday, 1 July 2016

It's London Graduate Showcase Time (again)

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 Leeds) to exhibit our graduating student's work to industry professionals. Have a look here to see a previous foray to 'the smoke'.

Up until now we have exhibited at D&AD's 'New Blood' exhibition which for the last few years has been housed in the Spitalfields Market in London's East-end. This year however they've moved even further East to a car park in the Truman Brewery (next year we're expecting it to be held in Southend) and this, coupled with many organisational 'issues' emanating from D&AD has resulted in us changing our affiliation to the long-standing New Designers event held at the Business Design Centre in central London. 

Here we can enjoy the benefits of a bigger stand, air-conditioning and frighteningly efficient organisation. 

 The Business Design Centre yesterday

 New Designers 2015 (just look at all that space)!

The show opens on Wednesday 6 July and it runs through to Saturday 9 July.

Opening times as follows:

Wed 3.00–6.30 (VIP & Press Preview)
Thursday 10.00–8.00
Friday 10.00–6.00
Saturday 10.00–5.00

You can find details of how to visit here.

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

Finally, here's a sneaky peek of an artist's (well Rhiannon's) impression of what our stand will look like (N.B. she's been hitting the Haribo rather heavily of late).

It's Nice That
Maddy's been
selected by
It's Nice That

Recent Grillust graduate, Maddy Mould (an illustrator's name if ever we heard one) was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Penguin Design Awards - that's a pic of her at the event with free wine. Maddy's cover design for 'Emil and the Detectives' (below) was one of ten selected for that title.
The competition was based on three titles this year with ten pieces of work shortlisted for each. Maddy wasn't the final winner but done incredibly well to be shortlisted and as previously mentioned, there was free wine, so it's swings and roundabouts.

Maddy focuses on pattern and print based approaches in her colourful illustration.
Here's her piece of the 2015 Cheltenham Illustration Awards (also shortlisted).

We've just heard from Maddy that she's been selected (again!) by 'It's Nice That' to be part of their annual 'The Graduates' list. Essentially a list of those to watch out for among 2016 graduates.

Keep you eyes on this link to find out more as and when it's posted.

Well done Maddy, on the fine selection of selections.

Maddy will next be seen at that-there London's New Designers Graduate event, where she'll probably be selected for something or other.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Guardian Review Cover
For Illustration Lecturer

As well as recently being awarded 'The most like Wolverine in our house' prize by his 8 year old daughter, Grillust's Illustration lecturer, Dwayne Bell (33) created an illustration for the cover of this week's Guardian Review segment. A very prestigious illustration commission and piece of printed real estate on which to show your work.

The piece was to illustrate an article / review of an upcoming book about a female spy. Fun! The Guardian wanted something that had a hint of pulp spy novel book jackets whilst not being a pastiche

Firstly, here are some, but not all, of the (very) roughs that Dwayne sketched in his omnipresent sketchbook and presented to The Guardian, for discussion with their art editor.
The hi-lighted thumb is the one that was picked to take forward.

Once a direction is decided upon, reference material is needed. Bring out the dressing up box.
Here are the elements that were photographed as drawing reference.

When you've gone to the trouble of getting dressed up and finding the nerf guns, you're not not going to do this, are you!

With Reference photos taken it was time to get down to drawing. The completed drawings along with a selection of scanned textures were taken into photoshop - this is where the magic happened. Sarah (art ed) at The Guardian was kept up to date and offered feedback on all stages of the process. A PDF of the cover blank was provided to offer context.

Working time for the piece was 2 days.
And here's the final piece at is appeared in print.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Exhibition Private View

Saturday 4th June 6.009.00PM

Nice to see Nathan with some clothes on...

The students have got a small shop. Here's Samm (21) giving Mr. Jim (33) the 'hard sell'. 

Judging by their futuristic eye-wear  this couple must be from the future. Dave (33) is zooming in to check if they are kindred spirits or simply 1950's throwbacks.

Boys will be boys... 

 Baxter & Byrne.

The Blackpool massive. 

 From the class of 2015 and now with a successful freelance career, Mr Jake Clarke (33).

 From the class of 2003 Ms. Lynn 'Miss' Greaves and Patrick Bjorkman (both 33). Lynn is one of the country's best art teachers (she don't take no lip from da kids...) and Patrick is a top creative at Equator.

 Lock up your daughters! Here are Nick Dodds and Edwin Burrow, both 33 and both hep to the jive daddy-o!

The Queen of Papcastle, Zoe Garnett-Scott (33) and new P.A. Mr. Ben Pinkney (21).

PLEASE REMEMBER: The exhibition is open to the public Monday 6 – Friday 10 June, from 10.00am – 4.00pm daily.