Category Archives: Exhibition

Tips if you’re going to ELCAF 2016

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Hello everyone! So, if you didn’t know already I’m glad to be announcing that I will be exhibiting at this year’s ELCAF on Sunday 12th June. For those that don’t know I’ve been attending as a buyer for the last 2 years and have written about the event here and here. Now tickets and passes are available to buy online, so if you haven’t already pop to the ELCAF site and get some tickets!

Now that you’ve got you tickets, what next? Well, I thought it might be handy to give some informal tips to help your experience of ELCAF that much more engaging. Whilst I will be referring to ELCAF mostly, all these tips can be extrapolated to other conventions or trade type shows as they are all similar in their format. So, without further ado, some tips!

  1. Bring cash (and plenty of it).

    Ok, so I know this may be a bug bear for a lot of buyers, or a bit of a surprise for newcomers, but a lot of vendors will not be able to take cards. This always leaves that pool of people queuing around the cash points/machines and no one wants to stand around all day when there are stalls to get to!

    The truth is most vendors are a one man/woman band, whose main price points never really exceed £25 per item. This makes purchasing by card an unattractive proposition as card companies will take commission on EVERY transaction, which eats away at the already small margins. Plus, you’d be surprised at how much a portable card machine costs just on its own! Bigger companies that will have higher price points will likely have card machines, so you can bring your card still if you want. To put it simply, I always brought a set amount of cash with me, that way I never spent ages queuing for more and it leads me nicely into my next tip…

  2. Set a budget. 

    If you have a bottomless pit of cash then this really need not apply to you, but make sure you come to my stall but I’m under no illusion that most people want to stick to some sort of budget whilst still supporting independent sellers. This is totally fine and sort of goes hand in hand with my previous tip. If you only have say, £70 in cash and avoid using the card, you’re more likely to keep to using the cash only as you’ll see physically how much you’ve spent. (I’m sure there’s a super science research paper on this somewhere.) You’ll feel better for it because you haven’t overspent, whilst still supporting the community, winner.

  3. Bring you own bag. 

    Similar thing to the 1st tip in that you’d be surprised how much a stack of plastic bags can add to the cost on a small time vendor, so most will just have small paper bags not too dissimilar to sweet bags. (Also sometimes vendors just ahem, overlook these kind of things, ahem, totally not speaking from experience.) When you’re carrying a stack of books/comics/badges/freebies etc. you will run out of hands and pockets fast. I find that a canvas tote or rucksack works really well and as a bonus you’d be saving the environment from more plastic bags. 🙂

  4. Talk to vendors. 

    So I know due to the nature of comics/illustration the community is filled with varying degrees of fantastic, socially awkward introverted people, stumbling through life, but honestly talking to vendors is so rewarding for both parties. Being on the selling side (from other markets) I felt people really enjoy and get something out of my work, something in which I think all creators strive for. As a buyer, you feel part of the community and learn more about your favourite vendors, I loved meeting people I admired as well as learning about new favourites! Maybe I’ll be hot, sweaty and tired, with my voice withering away from over speaking, but you can be sure I’ll be smiling all the way.

  5. Follow them on social media. 

    This is a great community to get into, I’ve met so many lovely people through these channels and it’s a great way to connect. On a more practical side, some vendors will post deals or discounts for there stall, exclusive to their followers, so you might be able to grab a bargain.

  6. Don’t forget the other events! 

    Sometimes, amidst all the excitement of visiting the stalls, people forget to check up other events/talks that are also happening. There are always some great, but overlooked extras that are really worth going. For example, last year’s Pick Me Up I went to a Riso Printing workshop hosted by the lovely people at Hato Press. I was the ONLY person attending, great for me because I literally had the printer and advice all to myself. You just never know…This year’s ELCAF has so many good ones, some of my personal favourites which I’m hoping to attend is Vincent Mahe’s (one of my all time heroes!), Katsumi Komagata – One Makes Two and Emily Rand’s .

    So, that’s it for now, hope you liked my tips or found them helpful. Have you got any of your own tips or advice you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below! I’m looking forward to exhibiting and I hope you’ll pop in to say hi on Sunday. Until next time! (I’ll try an make it sooner than a month and a half, eek.)

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D&AD New Blood

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Hello! It’s been a long time I know, for that I apologise. I’ve recently graduated and it’s been a whirlwind of ceremonies, celebrations and CV’s. So, whilst I need to play a bit of catch up first; I have a lot of ideas for future blog posts, so as always I appreciate you patience. Anyway, first catch up, back in July I had an amazing experience exhibiting at this year’s D&AD New Blood. For those that don’t know, D&AD is an organisation which promotes Design and Art Direction usually with a big focus on branding. Every year it hosts ‘New Blood’, a big event where live briefs from various companies are posted out to all students. The select few who have fulfilled their chosen brief most creatively are awarded the coveted ‘Yellow Pencil’ award. I didn’t enter this year, but as a part of the ‘New Blood’ season it hosts a sort of ‘trade fair’ style exhibition which universities can partake in.

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The best of the best from the universities are put forward in their stalls, hoping to attract potential new students as well as showcase new talent. There are many articles which better articulate the sheer amount of talent and creative work (I will post these articles at the end) than I could, so instead I’m going to focus more on the range of exhibits, some interesting observations and our own stall. (Also because I’m an idiot for not taking down names so I can’t credit them.)

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Firstly, the amount of people that pass through those stalls are incredible, some are just curious passer-bys and others are no nonsense industry people, perhaps looking to snap up the next hotshot creative. Even so, one of the undeniable benefits is having the opportunity to talk to a range of people as well as fellow students. Of course, despite these large numbers, each university is continually vying for attention; months of preparation is put in layout, concept and content of the stall all in the hopes of getting as much of this short and fleeting attribute as possible. Unfortunately, as is with competitive environments like these, there are always many students that get left in the dust. The stalls are small and some universities excel at making it work, utilising the space really well. Others go for a strong and eye-catching theme like the fish mongers (see below).

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However most students never get the light of day, which is a shame and it had a tendency to pit student against student. There were a fair few internal conflicts in regards to whose work was to be shown in many institutions.

It is also interesting seeing the bigger universities, who have more money/resources and comparing them with the smaller universities. The usually buy up multiple stalls, putting up a lavish display of Macs and printed brochures whilst smaller ones just put up some work and leave. Talking to one student, they were told by their tutor that they were only allowed to bring what they could carry on the train, as they couldn’t afford van transport. Which brings me to another downside; unless your university is close to London or mega-rich you’re going to have a hard time at D&AD. Not saying it’s their fault at all, but as I was walking around, the further away universities got from London they were usually simpler and unmanned. Which makes sense, to transport everything from say, Wales, must be a hell of a lot more expensive and time consuming, even getting students to man the stalls is harder. Who is going to cover the cost of travel? Where would they stay?

Despite this, it is an amazing experience, which provides a steep but enjoyable learning curve for those that partake in it. I’m glad that there is networking opportunities like this and it’s an interesting place to observe the politics behind trade fair shows. As a bonus there were also lots of competitions, freebies and talks throughout the day.

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However, I suppose you’re curious to know what our stall looked like, so without further ado, our stall:

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We designed our own hanging system; the peg boards we created and drilled ourselves, and we were fortunate enough to have had a glass table which one of our tutors designed specifically for D&AD in the previous years. Luckily we were a smallish group so we tried our best to represent as many of us as possible. A lot of people commented that our stall was different which was nice and received great feedback, although many thought we were an illustration course. It’s interesting, as I was in a multi-disciplinary course but according to our tutors, this was the year most of us chose a more image-based final outcome. In the end, we didn’t win any ‘best stall’ awards but I was proud of our stall and the work we put into it. It’ll be interesting to revisit next year’s D&AD…

So that was a brief overview of my experience at D&AD and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you like trade fair style exhibitions? Were you in a university that exhibited? What were your thoughts on it? Until next time!

Extra reading:

Digital Arts D&AD overview/highlights.

Creativebloq D&AD overview/highlights.

Inkfo D&AD overview/highlights

Digital Arts New Blood Winners

End of Year Show: Pinpoint Exhibition

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Hello everyone! It’s been a very busy time for me as offically I have handed in my final projects for university; however I haven’t had a break yet as I’ve jumped straight into organising my End of Year Show. I’d officially like to present to you: Pinpoint! If you look above, you can see my other lovely peers whom I’ve grown fond of in the last three years. It’s coming very quick and I’m never short of jobs to sort out, however whilst I won’t show you what work I’m exhibiting (I’m saving that for a later blog post) you can have a little sneak peak and some behind the scenes stuff on our website:

pinpointexhibition.co.uk

Alternatively, if you are about the area either in Wycombe or in London feel free to pop down! There will be free flowing alcohol and some very relieved graduates…


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So that’s it for now, short but sweet and hopefully I’ll be back for more regular posting when exhibition season is over. Till next time!

2nd Year Show: Kaleidoscope Exhibition

Hello everyone! So, if anyone remembers, a while back I wrote about my 1st Year Exhibition, but time flies when you’re having fun and my 2nd Year Show is now done and dusted. We based our exhibition on the Kaleidoscope – in ancient greek the word Kaleidoscope can be broken down into meaning the ‘observation of beautiful shapes’. Based on this idea and the way a variety of shapes were found together and mixed into new patterns in a scope, we felt this reflected our diverse group and ethos.

In our group of about 14 people, we each had to choose a geometric shape and a Pantone colour code, these would then be used as a symbol to represent us and for branding purposes, such as business cards:

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A Kaleidoscope was also made featuring our shapes, it was large enough so that people could take headshots of themselves in full kaleido-vision! (Bonus points to those who can see the shapes seen in the business cards above.)

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The exhibition was hosted in a quirky space, it had a higher level and lower level, we also used the window spaces directly opposite the space as seen in the last image. The arrangement of the exhibition was definitely an experience. We didn’t have much know how when it came to this particular task and it was hard to know what was a ‘successful’ layout and what wasn’t.

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However, without further ado, here’s my work that was featured in the exhibition:

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It was a self-initiated project in which I explored the symbolism we place on things – in particular wildlife. They represent a wealth of things, such as virtues or morals. We make them into guardians, totems, guides and gods, each of these animals would mean something different to the audience and that is what I found really interesting.

Overall, I feel the exhibition was a success and I’m glad I was given the chance to manage/organise it. In comparison to last’s exhibiton I believe that although they are both different to each other we have improved as a group, especially in terms of branding. Anyway, that’s it for now, would love to hear your thoughts as always. I’m going down to ECLAF in London, and looking forward to sharing with you what I find, so till then, bye!

(Extra note: Thanks to Matthew Potts for some of the photos used in this blog and for making the kaleidoscope, be sure to check out his work.)

We Were Bored so we Tried to change the World

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‘What! You want to get discount?!”

Welcome one and all to ‘We were Bored so we Tried to Change the World.’ A 1st Year exhibition which I organised; it was hosted in a previously empty and disused store at our local shopping centre. Boy, it sure was hard work. 3 cans of white paint, hours of student perseverance, and buckets of blood, sweat and tears later, we were ready and waiting with a table of cheap alcohol for our opening night.

We had two parts to our exhibition, the first was a series of work we created based on a brief Anthony Burrill had given us, which was to create our own (somewhat non-serious) protests. The second, feeling slightly constrained with the exhibition work focused solely around the project, was a pop up shop which showcased everyone’s more ‘personal’ style.  We sold t-shirts, posters and greetings cards, all of which can be brought on our Etsy Shop. (Coming Soon!)

Personal highlights include, Matt’s jazzy hawaiian shirt on opening night, meeting a handsome graphic designer who wandered in and brought my t-shirt, KJ being DJ for the night and an overwhelming vote on making our tutor, Mark Hudson Prime Minister.

And finally, I’d like to thank Richard and Julie, for letting us have the space for free, More T Vicar, for letting me print t-shirts for free, Steven for all the advice and printing (unfortunately, not for free) Matt, for being my right hand man and helping me to not lose my sanity, my fellow students who helped with painting and funding, and everyone that took the time to come see and support us.

Thank you, and goodnight.

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