Each year the relatively new addition to the art and design calendar that is Pick Me Up seems to find it’s feet a little more and get a little more into it’s stride. This year showcased an impressive range of up and coming illustrators, as well as collectives, agencies, galleries and workshops.
Niki Pilkington’s 3D illustrations combined fluorescent cut paper elements with sensitive pencil work, while Rikka Sormunen’s surreal and beautifully haunting watercolours showcased an expert use of colour and pattern.
A familiar name was Tim McDonagh, whose incredibly intricate illustrations, which I had admired before online, looked amazing full sized and framed.
Zim and Zou’ s delightful cut paper sculptures exuded pure joy, and it was lovely to see such skill and craftsmanship.
Sarah Maycock’s beautiful paintings were incredibly bold and expressive; the wrinkle of the paper under wet ink, the drips, slashes and smudges were all impossible to recreate in a digital medium.
David Sparshott’s colour pencil drawings captured some thing very real and human. It’s the little things like the way we take our tea, and we way we love to see things carefully collected and catalogued that made his work so personal.
John McNaught’s sometimes-minuscule paintings felt like snippets of an ongoing narrative, darkly atmospheric with their muted tones.
Away from the 20 selected illustrators in the main hall there was a whole world warren like rooms and exhibition spaces.
Print Club London transplanted an entire bustling screen-printing workshop into Somerset House, complete with ink-splashed aprons and the grubby printmaking sink, so familiar from my uni days.
In the next room was Many Hands, an online shop that was new to me, but contained many familiar names. I had the chance to meet the lovely Lizzy Stewart, whose work I have long admired. Her delicate and sparing work was perfectly juxtaposed with Sister Arrow’s vividly coloured risographs. One of the lovely things about Pick Me Up is that there is something for every budget, from framed originals to zines, badges and post cards.
To me this year’s Pick Me Up was bigger and most importantly better than ever before. For the first time I feel like it truly represented an illustration and graphics industry that I not only know and love but also feel a part of.
You can read a more detailed review by me on Amelia’s Magazine.