Last Saturday I went to Pick Me Up, Somerset House’s annual contemporary graphic art fair (not to be confused with the trashy and ironically depressing magazine of the same name.) I went with my good friend Polina (a talented graphic designer) and met up with fellow illustrators Jo Cheung, Rachel Clare Price, Rachel Lewis, Emma Cowley and June Chanpoomidole. What a talented and lovely bunch.
The show started with a room full of pieces all made by different artists and graphic designs, all with a sheet of graph paper as the starting point. There were very interesting and a lot of them were very clever. They were all being sold anonymously (you didn’t know who’s work you were buying until after) to raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Care.
The next room was full of ‘up an coming talent’. I think some of the artists included might have been a little offended by this title, as many of them had been well known and working in the industry for many years. However there were some fantastic discoveries to be made. The Seiko Kato collages were amazing. Fantastically detailed and intricate, with layer after layer of lush flora and fauna. I also loved Kate Moross’s geometric screen prints. If you’ve ever done screen-printing you will know how tricky is to get that many colours so perfectly registered. Victo Ngai’s drawings were simply beautiful. They featured unusual perspectives, a rich colour palette and dreamy scenarios. I was also a big fan of Jessica Hische’s lovely typography.
Many collectives, including Nobrow, It’s Nice That and Them Lot had sections in the exhibition/fair, where you could look and stuff, buy things, and stuff as many free postcards into your handbag as you could. I didn’t make it too Anthony Burrill’s Open Studio as I accidentally walked past that turning (if you visit make sure you don’t do that).
One of the highlights of the day was Them Lot’s fantastic paper city. It was also lovely to see copies of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration in the shop.
Pick Me Up @ Somerset House is running until March 27 – so get your tickets quick! Find out more and book here.
All images © the artists. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.