Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden Detectives exhibition - grand opening!

After all my hard work creating the illustrative element and all the National Museum of Scotland's design team's hard work bringing the show into 3D, interactive life, Garden Detectives finally opened at a private view on Thursday 25th June!

Go here to see loads more images of the opening night, the exhibition and my illustrations, of course!

It was a great evening - starting with speeches by the museum's director, Gordon Rintoul and by Roseanna Cunningham, who is the Scottish Minister for the Environment. Of course a tasty canapé or two with a glass of bubbly was in order.
The whole design team were there: Maureen Barrie (project manager), Stuart Kerr (3D), Lisa Carrington (graphics) and Cathy Sexton (she who ensured I was paid!).I was also delighted to meet Matt Black who had built a lot of the exhibits and interactive elements.

Also present were lots of children and they simply proved that the show will be a big hit, as they poured into the exhibition space and leapt upon the exhibits with enthusiastic glee! I think the most popular section was the fishing pond, "Pond Dipping" where you got a magnetic fishing rod and tried to catch all the beasties, such as minnows, waterspiders and waterboatmen beetles and then post them back through appropriate slots at the side of the pond according to where they live : in the mud at the bottom, in the pondweed or poddling about near the top.

For me, it was wonderful to see the big illustration of the dreamy garden scenes in all their 8 metre long glory - very nice indeed!

Overall, I really enjoyed the challenge of this project. I love drawing but here I had to be accurate for education purposes but still retain my inky, fairly loose style. Also, working with such detailed technical drawings was at times daunting but the designers needed me to be spot on with where each flowerhead or bit of mint was placed so they could then tell the joiners and set builders what to do with out any mistakes occurring. Also, it was fairly large amount of illustration to do in quite a short amount of time but I do like a bit of deadline pressure to make life interesting!

I'll be honest though, if I never have to draw another adder in my life, I'll be very happy indeed. Snakes are hard to draw!

If you can, please go and support the National Museum of Scotland and enjoy the show.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Class of 2009

Thought I would promote my new batch of competition in the world of illustration - namely the 19 students that are soon to graduate from the Illustration Deptartment at Edinburgh College of Art.

The Degree Show opens on June 13th (the PV is on the 12th) and it is an excellent, varied, exciting and surprising show indeed.

This group have been great to teach and I think many of them will do well in the tough 'ol business that is Illustration. I just hope they remember the pricing and business advice I gave them back in November!
I have selected an image by Toby Cook from his book "The Upside Down House" and a life drawing by Trine Mangernes as a small taster of the variety in the exhibition.

Go along to their Show, buy something from their shop and support the next generation.
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