Art and Anarchy in the UK

Busy, busy, busy

Well, what a busy week its been! Firstly, I’ve taken on extra hours at the paid-job to help me out before I have to drop my hours in September, so that’s been keeping me out of trouble. Then, came Art in Action last Thursday, plus after a full day in London on Saturday the week has begun yet again, and I can feel this busy schedule in my poor aching legs. So, in chronological order, here we go!

I’ve been to Art in Action once before in 2011, which I covered somewhat in my blog here, and I enjoyed it just as much this year as I did previously. It was a great day; The weather was beautiful, if not a little toastie in the depths of the various tents. For those who don’t know, Art in Action is a big arts and crafts festival which allows artists to showcase their work and demonstrate their processes. There is also a giant arts market for loads of supplies, and a makers market in which you can buy various goodies. There are several areas covered including painting, sculpture, jewellery, glassblowing, international artists and illustration/calligraphy, even beekeeping. Illustration always feels a little lacking, though with the amount to cover in the whole event its not really a surprise! My highlights from this year were illustrators Jackie Morris and Shelly Perkins, and printmaking extraordinaires Ian Phillips and Laura Boswell. I’m fairly useless at printing, I don’t seem to be able to practise the same kind of patience in printing that I do on a physical drawing, though I absolutely love the effects printing produces. Watching Ian Phillips making reduction lino prints, and Laura Boswell making traditional Japanese woodblock watercolour prints was pretty gosh-darn super, and I’m looking forward to trying out some more printing if I get the opportunity in the second year of university.

Left: Jackie Morris, Right: Shelly Perkins
Left: Jackie Morris, Right: Shelly Perkins
Left: Ian Phillips, Right: Laura Boswell
Left: Ian Phillips, Right: Laura Boswell

After some much needed family time and cider on Friday came an action-packed day in London with my handsome northerner on Saturday. A couple of months ago Ravi got in touch and mentioned an upcoming HOAX: Psychosis Blues signing being organised at Gosh! Comics in Soho! Luckily for me I managed to squeeze in a trip to the British Library for the Comics Unmasked exhibition (until 19th August), and I’m so glad I did as the range of work and topics was absolutely incredible. Bumping my forehead on glass-cases to try and get closer to the original artwork of comics such as Watchmen and Tank Girl was definitely worth it. Topics covered included politics, sex, heroes, and dreams; It’s not often I enjoy an exhibition as much as this one, I definitely recommend it to anyone who is able to get to London before it closes, whether you’re a comics fan or not. It really was fascinating! After refuelling at Subway, I met up with the other HOAX’ers Ravi Thornton (author),Karrie FransmanRian HughesJulian HanshawIan JonesHannah Berry and Mark Stafford (illustrators) at Gosh! Comics for a happy afternoon of signing. I met Mark, Karrie and Rian for the first time, as they weren’t present at the launch last month, and they are just as lovely as everyone I’ve met so far. The whole afternoon was a whirlwind of squiggles and doodles, requests and new faces though there were some familiar faces as Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier came along to say hi too! I also managed to pick up Dan Berry‘s book Suitcase on half price which I was chuffed about. After the signings we made our way to a nice pub to finish of the day nicely. Here are some pictures from the day:

From L-R: Karrie Fransman, Rian Hughes, Ravi Thornton, Julian Hanshaw, myself, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Mark Stafford.
From L-R: Karrie Fransman, Rian Hughes, Ravi Thornton, Julian Hanshaw, myself, Ian Jones, Hannah Berry and Mark Stafford.
What a happy bunch!
What a happy bunch!

Anyway, that’s it for now. I have a competition entry for a 6-page comic that I’m working on at the moment so I shall endeavour to have something nice to show you all soon. x

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