Friday, 18 November 2016

Martin Ursell visits HCA Illustration Course

Everyone was delighted to welcome our good friend Martin Ursell to College Road on Thursday 17th November. Martin gave a terrific presentation outlining his practice and the students gained a great insight in to the diversity of work that Martin has undertaken over the years. He also explained how
his two text books ' Illustrating Children's Books' and 'Keeping Sketchbooks' came about.
Perhaps the mpst popular part of his speech came when he described a very odd encounter with Roald Dahl when Martin visited the master at his home in Great Missenden. Roald made Martin a lamb chop for lunch (Martin is a vegetarian) and when he declined to eat it RD got rather cross. Martin also explained that RD had been a little upset that he hadn't proved more knowledgeable regarding Russian Art of which he had a huge collection. Never mind...Martin still went on to illustrate The Fantastic Mr. Fox. But never had lunch with RD again sadly. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

'Smileys' for The Hay Festival

Here are a few 'smileys' created by HCA Illustration students that were used as part of a children's workshop that we held at this years Hay Literary Festival. The stamps were used to send decorated envelopes designed and illustrated by visiting schoolchildren -They were asked to write a 'letter to their future selves'. It was a lot of fun and we will then send them on to the children in a years time.

The children were asked to think about letter writing as an alternative to emailing and text messaging. We wanted to encourage visual decoration and creativity by adding a personalised individual touch to a message thereby adding to the enjoyment of receiving a hand written letter in the post. Something we think is in danger of being lost in the age of the tweet.

Anyone can make their own smiley!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sarah Dean's Creative Workshops for Children

Date Published: 08/09/2015

Sarah Dean is a student on our BA (Hons) Illustration degree course, and over the summer has been running a wide range of inspiring  creative workshops for children, here in Herefordshire.

"I wanted to offer an inspiring environment for children to tinker, create, experiment and share ideas with their grown-ups.  As a mum, I know how difficult it can be to be spontaneous at home. With all the best intentions in the world, its often not practical to have tables piled up with junk modelling, nor is it easy to provide the opportunity to do a few different activities to appeal to the ever changing moods, whims and attention spans of children. I also wanted somewhere for older children to come to gain some drawing confidence outside of school - something I wish I'd had growing up.

Studying for a degree in Illustration as a mature student has given me the confidence and skills to think bigger about the impact of drawing, creativity and collaboration - I am always amazed at how many young children say "I can't draw", or how many mums who say "I'm not very creative".  I wanted to show children and their grown-ups just how amazing they are and just how wonderful their collaborations can be.

 The workshops have been running twice-weekly throughout the holidays at Queenswood Country Park, providing a beautiful backdrop for the sessions and offering a wonderful opportunity for the children to explore the workshop and then take their creations off on their adventures in the park. The vast majority of the materials used are recycled and many of the activities involve nothing more than an empty plastic milk bottle and some double sided tape - but the inventiveness and uniqueness of the participants never fails to amaze me.

Each day has a general theme (Fairies, owls, foxes etc) and there is a main messy activitiy, a couple of quick simple crafts relating to the theme and then a whole host of periferary activites including nature weaving, land art, collaborative artwork and drawing activities.  Many people attending the events think it is funded in some way as the quality of the materials and the array of activities on offer is superior to their expectations. This whole project is planned, set up, run and cleared up (!) by me personally with no external funding other than the small entry fee, and I am so very grateful to Queenswood for providing the venue for me until the end of September.

Over 400 children have been through the doors and the feedback has been incredible. One parent said: 'These workshops have inspired my daughter and her friends (and me) to be more creative at home, but more importantly to think outside the box'.  I feel privileged to be meeting so many talented children and their grown-ups, and it looks like this is a project that has wings! I cant wait to see where it takes me over the coming months and years."

Check out the Creative Workshops for Children Facebook page to find out more about upcoming events! 

Original HCA Blogpost
We're back!
After two years of dedicating ourselves to a blog that was hosted by Hereford College of Arts website, we have decided to revert back to this platform in order to chart and archive the Illustration course here at HCA. We want to make sure that we celebrate the work of our excellent students by making regular posts and updates that will be of interest to as wide an audience as possible. Of course we are interested in attracting new students to our course, but we also want to use the Blog as a way of interacting with a wider community of illustrators/designers/potential employers,collaborators and partners - so we are encouraging feedback and exchanges of ideas.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will add new content that will allow our followers and visitors to get a feel for who we are and what we are doing, but we will also be blogging some of the exciting things that have happened over the last 24 months.

So - let us begin with a success story (and one that we will keep you all updated on). June graduate Rhiannon Sanderson has received a splendid commission to develop a storybook in preparation for the Frankfurt Book Fair in November. She is working on double page spreads to work alongside the text, a reworking of an Indian Folk tale 'The King with Dirty Feet'. Here are a couple of early ideas and colour palettes. Well done Rhiannon and good luck with the project!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Sneak preview of this years Grad Show

A sneak preview of this years grad show. Hannah Backshall's wonderful giant composite lino-cut. Apparently this beastie is called Roderick and may well provide the proof of the link between dinosaurs and birds. Maybe.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Quentin Blake at the Hay Festival

Today we got to meet the great Sir Quentin Blake at the Hay Festival :-)

Sir Quentin Blake shares memories of Roald Dahl at Hay Festival

.......and we get a mention on the official Hay Festival Blog:

.....after his hour long signing, which included fans Lauren Child and band members from Noah and the Whale, he met a very lucky group of students from Hereford Art College in the Green Room – they’ve been tweeting ‘OMG, I can’t believe we’ve been talking to Quentin Blake’.  And Quentin, literary hero that he is, was the loveliest, warmest man you could ever meet and left the site saying ‘I’ve had a lovely day’.

The following review was written by L5 students Becky, Tan and Lauren for the Hay Festival Blog:

As Illustration students of Hereford College of Arts, when we heard about Sir Quentin Blake attending Hay Festival we were first in line to get tickets. After preparing ourselves with lots of tea and cake, we jostled our way through the sea of children waiting for Lauren Childs to ensure we were amongst the first in line.

            Once we were seated, we saw the characteristic figure of Sir Quentin come to the stage, welcoming us with a gentle smile and a humble hello; first asking us to applaud the librarians in the room. Through the entirety of the talk, he engaged and enthralled us with beautiful imagery and riveting narrative, guiding us through the imaginary worlds of his eccentric characters. He spoke of the visual world with such devout fondness, highlighting the international language of illustration, telling us that ‘it is our imagination that nourishes our dreams’.

            When Quentin finished his dialogue, he welcomed questions from the audience; giving each person an in-depth and often witty response. A particularly charming answer came from the question of a child, who asked ‘Which character would you most like to meet?’, his simple response: ‘Well, I’ve met them all!’ It was this charm which engaged the audience of all ages, and as he left the stage he was sent off with a roaring applause.
            I’m sure it’s every Illustrator’s dream to see an Artist such as Sir Quentin, but we were fortunate enough to meet him. As soon as we sat down with him, his warmth and humble nature made our nervous jitters disappear. Seemingly surprised by our compliments and multiple questions that we posed, he told us tales of his creative world, exposing the traits that are so loved by the nation. It’s difficult to describe what it was like to spend an hour in his world, but he certainly made us feel like we belonged. He spoke of his occasional lack of confidence and his struggle for inspiration, letting us see the ordinary man beyond this iconic figure. I think it’s safe to say we will always remember sitting on the sofa, chatting to Quentin over some welsh cakes, but the advice we will carry with us is just ‘to keep drawing, drawing something will always be better than drawing nothing.’

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Illustrations by Hannah Rees for 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins

In the capital the night before the games and Katniss goes out on to the roof garden and joins Peeta, the other competitor from her district, to view the city below. They hear the sounds of a celebration and Peeta says ‘I didn’t want to miss the party – it is for us after all’.

The low point in Katniss’ life before the Hunger Games. Her father has died, her mother has had a breakdown and refuses to speak. They have run out food and she has been going through the bins at the back of the bakery, but the baker’s wife yells at her.

The parachute is bringing medication for her burnt leg and she has just realized that in spite of being surrounded she is the only one small and light enough to climb the higher branches of the tree. Third year Hannha Rees has been busy illustrating 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins.

Lovely work Hannah!

Friday, 10 May 2013

New/Old Building - our new home from October!

We can now officially announce that this building will be the new home of all Higher Education courses at Hereford College of Art from September 2013. We spent the day drawing this amazing victorian Gothic pile for some pr material to promote our move, but suffice to say the students are v excited and ready to make their mark (or marks).