Getting Ready for Pick Me Up Fair!

Contemporary Graphic Art Fair at Somerset House 22 March – 1 April 2012

Anthony Burrill for Pick Me Up

Pick Me Up, the UK’s first annual contemporary graphic art fair and festival, celebrating graphic arts in all its forms, returns for its biggest edition yet this spring. Open from 22 March to 1 April, the fair will showcase the very best illustrators, graphic novelists, cartoonists, and graphic designers from around the UK and the world with original works and prints available to purchase from just £10. A selection of the most exciting graphic art collectives and galleries have been invited to occupy Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries to create unique spaces and installations, including Nelly Duff, the London gallery that represents among others Barack Obama’s favourite street artist Ben Eine and the fine line drawings of Jessica Albarn, sister to Blur’s Damon Albarn.

The fair offers the opportunity to meet the artists, watch them work and get involved, with a lively events programme ranging from a children’s illustration weekend to a portrait booth with Guardian regulars Modern Toss, workshops on comics and cartooning from Pick Me Up favourites NoBrow and SelfMadeHero and a Paper Toy Workshop with Creative Review magazine. New this year will be a space dedicated to workshops, live music, spoken word and live drawing with a bar open every evening.

This year, Pick Me Up’s artists in residence will be the London based illustration collective Peepshow, who will present their Museum of Objects and Origins and invite a rosta of special guests, as well as running workshops throughout the fair.

Zim & Zou, Back to Basics 2 Camera A, 2011, Digital print, edition of 25, £75

Also part of the fair is Pick Me Up Selects, an exhibition of 20 specially selected international rising stars of the graphic arts world including Riikka Sormunen, Mimi Leung and Zim and Zou. Each will be producing new, exclusive work to see and buy.

As well as providing a platform for emerging talent, Daily Specials will bring the finest names in illustration to the heart of the gallery on a daily basis including legendary graphic artist George Hardie, who was responsible for many cult 60s and 70s album covers such as Led Zepplin’s debut and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon. Other guests will include Mr Bingo, character designer James Jarvis, children’s book illustrators Bruce Ingman and Marion Deuchars, who will run her Art Factory workshop for families at the fair.

Heavy Pencil event at Pick Me Up 2011

Other highlights include East London based gallery Nelly Duff’s pop-up zoo of animal characters made from a jungle of newly commissioned prints and independent publishing champions Beach London’s selection of prints and range of limited edition and small-press artists’ books and zines displayed in a vintage library setting. There will be international contributions from Netherlands gallery Ship of Fools and Spanish duo Cachetejack, as well as a special focus on talent from the South West of England from SOMA gallery and Scrumping with Puck Studio. With lots more workshops and weekend events, as well as talks, performances, DJs and portfolio reviews, the 11 day fair promises to be the most exciting yet.

All work on display at Pick Me Up is available to purchase with prices to suit every pocket from £10 to £500. The full programme of exhibitors and events will be detailed on our website

YCN is a collaborative creative company marrying a multi-disciplinary team with a growing roster of international illustrators. In their shop and library at 72 Rivington Street in London they show and sell exclusive artist books, prints and other lovingly produced collectables. YCN will be relocating their shop to Pick Me Up, proudly presenting some of the freshest illustration talent in the world for visitors to take home.

Beach London
For Pick Me Up they will present a small-press library, with a focus on five of the most inspirational international small- press publishers: NoBrow (Eng), Museums Press (Sco), Lubok (Ger), Nieves (Swi) and Seems

(USA). Each of these publishers will be showing their whole catalogues along with original prints.

Ship of Fools
Ship of Fools is a graphic art gallery based in the Netherlands. They describe it as “a place to find art that makes you smile, art that has a nice set of balls, is straight forward and honest”. Ship of Fools show art from people they believe in, not only names you know but also new ones. They come from all sorts of places, and all sorts of countries. For Pick Me Up they will show work from Julian Sirre, Jordy van den Nieuwendijk and Kuvva.

Cachetejack is the Spanish illustration duo, Nuria Bellver and Raquel Fanjul from Valencia. At Pick Me Up they will present their prints, postcards, books and zines and run a series of workshops based around collage, mask making and even key rings.

People of Print
Established in 2008, People of Print exhibits and sells the printed work of emerging and talented printmakers from across the globe. They work collaboratively with solo artists, studios, shops, agencies and collectives to develop a global community in the world of print. For Pick Me Up, they will show a selection of prints from their worldwide collection, including the likes of Bongout, Seripop, Jasper Goodall, Killer Acid, Mike Zimmerman, Heretic and many more. People of Print will also provide a series of hands-on print workshops demonstrating various methods of printmaking so visitors can participate in creating their own print or t-shirt from a selection of ready made designs.

The Peepshow collective was founded in 2000 by a group of University of Brighton graduates who continue to collaborate on projects involving illustration, advertising, art direction, moving image, set design, mixed media installation and fashion and textile design for clients including MTV, The Guardian and BBC. For Pick me Up 2012, Peepshow will be the fair’s artists in residence and bring together a collection of made paper artifacts including drawings, objects, prints, and costumes, to be housed in their very own Pitt Rivers inspired Museum of Objects and Origins. Exhibiting items from an invented past, the collection will also be a living, growing, changing display as themed workshops with the public will create new works to fill the final few empty cabinets. Peepshow will host a series of workshops with special guests throughout the fair (details in notes to editors).

Puck Studio
Puck Studio is a creative studio based in East London led by illustrators David Gibbons and Robbie Wilkinson with a focus on illustration, print making, vinyl displays and installations. At

Print Club London
Print Club London is an East London print studio and will be returning to Pick Me Up for the third time this year with their fully functioning print studio. Visitors will be able to see the full process of creating a screen print as well as pulling their own print for a bargain £15.

Bristol based contemporary illustration and graphic design gallery Soma was established in 2004.They specialise in limited edition prints by illustrators, printmakers and graphic designers. For Pick Me Up 2012 they will show new work by Andy Smith, Crispin Finn, Tom Frost, Peskimo and Gemma Correll.


Thursday 22 March

Daily Special Space 13.00-20.00 Daily Special: Hate Mail Live with Mr Bingo
For just £10, the self-styled ‘Master of the Pens’, Mr Bingo will write you an offensive message and pen an original signed drawing on the back of a vintage postcard.

Events Space 14.00-17.00 Show and Tell
Graphic artists from the Pick Me Up Selects exhibition will talk about what informs and inspires their work along with a sneaky peak at their sketch books.

Events Space 18.30-21.30 Thursday Late: Kibbo Kift
Kibbo Kift is a revelry of poetry, music and art that takes its inspiration from the happenings of the 1960s and at Pick Me Up will celebrate the multi-disciplined creatives of today with performances from graphic artists and illustrators who also write poetry, stories and perform music.

Friday 23 March

Daily Special Space 13.00-19.00 Daily Special: Anthony Burrill
Illustrator and designer Anthony Burrill will host a typographic sticker collage workshop where visitors can create their own typographic postcard to take home.

Events Space 13.00-19.00 Paper Toy Workshop with Creative Review Magazine

Creative Review magazine presents the chance to create brilliant paper toys based on Parisian artist Guillaume Pain, aka Tougu’s three dimensional characters.

Saturday 24 March

Daily Special Space 11.00-18.00 Daily Special: Marion Deuchars’ Art Factory
Award winning illustrator Marion Deuchars will present a family friendly drawing workshop where visitors will be able to follow her instructions to make their own artworks based on her popular book ‘Let’s Make Great Art’.

Events Space 11.00-18.00 Aardman Model Making Workshop (3 one hour workshops)

Join Aardman model-maker, Jim Parkyn for a chance to model your very own Gromit. During his time on’ Wallace and Gromit’ Jim worked on a number of models including Gromit, a long list of villagers and was a one of the team of Bunny Builders for a great many rabbits.

Sunday 25 March

Daily Special Space 11.00-18.00 Daily Special: Bruce Ingman’s Picture Book Fun Children’s illustrator Bruce Ingman will host a family workshop where visitors will be able to create their own animal characters and turn them into a very special cake design.

Screening Room 11.00-20.00 Sprites: Animated Short Films
International contemporary digital arts and design organization Onedotzero will present a rolling animation programme with a selection of fun-packed shorts hand-picked for the new digital generation of young motion aficionados.

Monday 26 March

Daily Special Space 11.00-19.00 Daily Special: Ian Wright & George Hardie
Collage artist and illustrator Ian Wright and legendary record sleeve illustrator and designer George Hardie (designer of sleeves for Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd) will collaborate on ‘The Drawing Olympics’ which includes ‘The Fastest Idea for a Drawing’ and ‘Synchronised Drawing’.

Events Space 12.00-20.00 Newsdesk with Flamingo Magazine -SO EXCITED FOR THIS!
Illustration magazine Flamingo will recreate a 50s style newsroom where they will put together a special Pick Me Up issue with visitors able to contribute illustrations and words of their own along with their own photographic portraits adorned with Flamingo’s illustrated props.

Tuesday 27 March

Daily Special Space 11.00-19.00 Daily Special: Si Scott
Accomplished artist and designer Si Scott, known for his work for Matthew Williamson, Vogue, Nike, Tiffany & Co and Sony to name a few, will present a day long drawing project.

Events Space 11.00-16.00 Portfolio Surgery from The Enquiry Desk
Budding illustrators are invited to present their portfolios to an esteemed panel of experts including illustrator Si Scott, Greg Burne from Big Active, Fallon’s Sarah Thompson and Elle art director Tom Meredith among others.

Wednesday 28 March

Events Space 11.00-16.00 Portfolio Surgery from The Enquiry Desk
Budding illustrators are invited to present their portfolios to an esteemed panel of experts including illustrator Si Scott, Greg Burne from Big Active, Fallon’s Sarah Thompson and Elle art directorTom Meredithamongothers.

Thursday 29 March

Events Space 18.30-21.30 Thursday Late: Heavy Pencil
Artists in residence Peepshow present an evening of live music and live drawing with Monsterism creator Pete Fowler and other exciting guests from the worlds of illustration and music.

Daily Special Space 18.30-21.30 Thursday Late: Jody Barton
Jody Barton comes all the way from Denmark to share his methods behind his humorous and visceral styling. An expert in words and their relation to images he will be offering to draw family crests on request, Barton-style.

Friday 30 March

Daily Special Space 11.00-19.00 Daily Special: Jason Brooks

Events Space 15.00-20.00 Covers for Clinic
Clinic, a poetry, arts and music platform who bring together musicians, poets and artists to collaborate, will invite visitors to take up pens and create their own design for the back cover of Clinic’s latest anthology.

Saturday 31 March

Daily Special Space 12.00-19.00 Daily Special: James Jarvis
Illustrator and owner of Amos, character toy company responsible for the iconic ‘Martin’, ‘King Ken’ and many more, will create a series of drawings based on his characters as well as observational drawings.

Events Space 11.00-19.00 The Manic Monster Drawathon
NoBrow magazine and illustrators Jack Teagle and Liam Barrett present a free for all, all day drawathon comic book workshop.

Sunday 1 April

Daily Special Space 11.00-19.00 Daily Special: Modern Toss’ Portrait Booth
Jon Link and Mick Bunnage, the genius behind the global cult comic Modern Toss, will run an all day portrait booth where they will imortalise willing visitors’ faces in pencil onto ready-made screen-printed bodies provided by Ink_d Gallery.

Events Space 11.00-19.00 Graphic Novel Workshops
Graphic novel publishers SelfMadeHero will present a drop in illustration workshops led by graphic novelists Catherine Anyango, Andrzej Kimowski and many more.

Talks Programme

All talks will take place in the Screening Room. Tickets are all £8, £5 Concessions, and can be booked in advance at

Fashion illustrator Jason Brooks has worked on some of the most instantly recognisable fashion editorial images of recent times as well as the visual identity for record labels, most notably club label Hedkandi. Jason will be producing small drawings for sale throughout the day.

Friday 23 March 18.30-19.30 Music x The Graphic Arts
Graphic design writer and curator Liz Farrelly will host a panel discussion exploring the enduring creative links between music and the graphic arts.

Monday 26 March 18.30-19.30 Peepshow Collective
Pick Me Up artists in residence the Peepshow collective will talk about what inspires their work as individuals and as a collective.

Wednesday 28 March 14.00-15.00 What You Need To Know
A talk from Derek Brazell, illustrator and Projects Manager at the Association of Illustrators, on the first steps to starting a successful career in illustration covering self promotion, pricing, licensing, copyright and much more.

Friday 30 March 18.30-19.30 Comic Studies
D&AD hosts a Sharpner talk exploring the subject of Graphic Novels with a Comics Studies panel who will talk through the world of the graphic novel from the fun to the fanatical.

Here’s a pick of my favourites from last year’s Pick Me Up event & a few showing this year:

Jack Teagle

Niki PilkingtonFree admitance to those who dream, 2012, Digital print, edition of 50, £34

Tom FrostCyclops Wrestler, Silkscreen printed wood, £75

AidaZevra – silver & pink, Screenprint, edition of 75, £125

Si Scott

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