Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Productive Day (3 Days to the Show)

10.15: Things to do...

Jim (33) demonstrates a believable builders derriere! Abi (21) clearly disapproves.

A sneak preview of what's to come...

15.15: Things done...

p.v.a for p.m?

This container of "Nick" Clegg, P.V.A was unearthed in the studio earlier today. Clearly we have a pin sharp political satirist in our midst. Your possible links between the Deputy P.M and a gallon of P.V.A please.
So far -
Not really that powerful
Fairly bland
Tacky to the touch
Slightly unpleasant odour
Is just about able to hold two pieces of paper together

Friday, 27 May 2011


Our External Examiner visit coincided with Crumble Friday (Forest Fruits this week, and rather lovely).

Like many contenders he could talk the talk, but when presented with a Captain Davies sized portion he soon realised the error of his ways and, like his pudding, crumbled at the prospect.

Our external examiner with his Crumble challenge. His identity has been deliberately hidden to avoid the shame.

Captain Davies. Cool, calm and confident. He's the Champ!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Quote Me Happy

Our Official Dubai Correspondent continues to send us excellent links. Thanks Chris.

This time it's a website devoted to compiling inspiring/useful/illuminating quotations from the wonderful world of Art & Design.

Everyone should spend some time here with a pen and notebook to hand.

We will probably borrow lots of these and use them in our lectures next year.

You're All Invited

While we're talking about the Summer Exhibitions we thought that we'd better point out that everyone is invited, yes even you dear reader. Here's a copy of the Email flyer that Jim and Dwayne (both 33) knocked up, er.. designed, the other day:

The exhibitions feature all the subjects taught by the Faculty so there will be plenty of work to amaze and entertain you. Plus, if you come on the preview day - Saturday 4th June - there will be nibbles, cake and potentially* the finest wines known to humanity. Why not come and make a day of it?

The poster and mail invite were all designed by our own Michael 'Mike' Molloy (Year 3 Graphic Design) and are themed around a course obsession, Mexican masked wrestling.

Máscara o cabellera contra campeonato amigos!

*from previous experience, probably not.


Sorry - we know we've been neglecting the blog for a couple of weeks now. There's a very good reason of course - end of year assessments, tutorials and most importantly of all, the Year 3 Final Major Presentations. Now all of that is behind us it's time to concentrate on the end of year show and catch up with our backlog of posts.

The run up to the show kicked off this morning with a team briefing lead by our charismatic leader, Captain Simon Davies.

10.15am: Captain Davies addresses the troops

We're going to do something 'arty' this year but I'm not at liberty to disclose exactly what. However, you will be pleased to know that it will involve piles of A3 card, an imaginary gust of wind, 300 bulldog clips and miles of nylon fishing line....

Once the briefing was over we needed to clear the studio it was 'all hands to the pumps' and within the hour the following transformation had taken place...




Rhiannon recreates the opening moments of 'The Sound of Music'

That's quite a dramatic transformation for only an hours work isn't it? When environments change so rapidly and dramatically, there are invariably casualties. Sadly, we have to report that Year 3 Illustrator Michael 'Mike' Tailford (and his ironing board) are now homeless. It's a cruel world...


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mike Paints!

Year 3 Illustration student Mike Tailford, lets us watch the making of one of his 'Scrapyard' paintings from start to finish.

Like any true painter, you will notice that Mike's work has only just begun once the paper is covered with paint. Colours have to be continually adjusted and balanced across the picture surface. Sometimes elements become overworked and have to be painted over to regain a sense of vitality.

The large pieces of scrap stuck over the image towards the end of the process act as a mask allowing Mike to spatter the foreground with paint flicked from a brush.

Painting is a little like playing chess with yourself. You make a few moves but then think about what is going on in front of you - the painting is your opponent and it takes much time, effort, passion and above all, thought to beat it!

Monday, 23 May 2011

A little Saul Bass thang going on down here...

Sultry, smokey beats from Dutch 50's throwback, Caro Emerald.

Not content with dragging Bass into the 21st Century Jazz/Pop arena, the whole silent film/early talkies/letterpress/Americana advertising thing get's appropriated for 'Back It Up'...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Day After the Night Before

A brief post about yesterday's Radio 1 'Big Weekend' (day one).

The whole runway of Carlisle Airport was given over to car parking.

Set off from home at 1.00pm in the venue by 2.00 - that's good going!

Q: Is it an airfield or is it a festival? A: It's an airfield...

Just inside the main gate - the New Music Stage

The first band of the day, tragically for me, turned out to be the best...
Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Joy Formidable from Mold, North Wales..

The Joy Formidable - a bit like the late great Bang Bang Machine

Festival Squalor

Stuck around for the much fancied Cage the Elephant. Regretted it after 3 songs - fifth rate Garage Rock coupled with a singer who obviously thought he was the young Mick Jagger was not a happy combination.

Cage the Elephant - Mick and Keef...

Headed over to the unsigned tent to see Eastbourne's Yaaks.

Beautifully turned out young men with guitars strung a little too high (very Haircut 100). They played a pleasant indie rock, strong on echo and reverb. It seems likely they have been listening to their parent's early U2 and Simple Minds albums.

One of these men wants to be noticed...

But which one?

Well hello handsome...

The extra drummer/Greek God/Bez towered above the rest of the band and made sure he stole most of the limelight. I'm imagining that ultimately he'll have to go...

Next, off to the loos - only a 25 minute queue.

Cold, alcohol and the wind chill meant that plastic throne rooms supplied by Borderloos were very busy.

A Radio 1 hoodie - that'll be £30 please!!!???

A bit like Blackpool seafront

Occasional rain followed by brighter spells

Panic at the Disco

Back to the New Music Stage for Panic at the Disco. Smart, suit wearing Americans with a keyboard playing, charismatic frontman with a Morrissey fixation. Any similarities to the Killers was, I imagine, exactly what the were after. Pleasant but forgettable.

The New Music tent post-Panic at the Disco and pre-Nero

Nero started impressively enough...

... with a sample from John Adams' minimalist masterwork Harmonielehre
but when gentlemen of a 'certain age' start punching the air in a 'certain way' you know it's time to go. Their hilariously lo-tech, Dr. Who inspired, stage set didn't help either.

It should be Noted that both members of Nero are giants, standing 4m tall!

Radio 1 had a signing tent. Earlier in the day there was a large queue for Fearne and Reggie. It would seem Huw is a little less popular.

Huw's immediate family and friend wait for an autograph

Back to the Unsigned Tent for some more early 80's influence with Are Friends Electric from Neath.

Are Friends Electric - perfectly pleasant, perfectly forgettable

The DJ Stage - where does Tim Westwood, sorry Westwood, get his comedy accent from?

Off to the Main Stage to await the Black Eyed Peas

I only recognized the one with the Dick Dale guitar intro. I think it's called 'Pump It'.

The tent was jam-packed, daughter had a whale of a time as did everyone else, also Fergie can sing a bit too.

From left to right: Fergie, a Black Eyed Pea, another
Black Eyed Pea and a further Black Eyed Pea.

Kay and Moyles in the same place at the same time, sadly no weapon to hand...

It's clear that Zane Low would rather be a musician than humble DJ. Pre the Foo Fighters, he kept the crowd 'entertained' by playing some records with added sound effects. There is a skill in shouting 'Carlisle say yeah' and 'let me see your hands in the air' that is often overlooked. This man is a god, or at least he thinks he is.

Zane Low - his talent knows no beginning

Finally The Foo Fighters.

It should be noted that in terms of crowd numbers, The Black Eyed Peas were the true headliners. Whilst not small, the crowd for 'The Foos' was about two thirds the size...

Don't get me wrong, I know Dave Grohl is the nicest/hardest working man in rock and he used to be out of that band Nirvana but dare I say it? I find their music slightly bland. After five versions of what, to all intents and purposes, was the same song (nice though it is) and with Dave promising to extend his one hour timeslot, daughter and I simultaneously agreed to make an early exit. This was a genius idea as we got away quickly and were home with our feet up, having a nice cup of tea before Dave and the boys had finished 'rockin' Carlisle.

Dave: 'Grrrrr' Dave's Guitar: chug, chug, chug,
chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug,

Carlisle - let me hear you say goodnight!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Computer Says Yes - at the Last Minute!

And here was I looking forward to an afternoon's decorating...

Friday, 6 May 2011

dylan. again.

The perpetually bloggable Dylan of 2nd year graphics, makes his 143rd appearance among these virtual pages, here featured in local magazine, Carlisle living. Dylan, whilst not designing and forming new hairstyles also plays on a skateboard and is pictured above doing some sort of jump (photoshopped?).

We thought that Dylan's skateboard looked a little small so we found him a better, man-sized version...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

We Like These IV (Lectures on the Internet)

None of your tragic 'Indie Pop' videos this month. There are a lot of excellent, inspiring and uplifting lectures to be found on YouTube and we thought we'd share three of our favourites with you.

Harry Pearce of Pentagram visited us a couple of years ago and gave a talk very similar to this.
A designer's designer...

Sir Ken Robinson's talk 'Do Schools Kill Creativity' is one of the most viewed web lectures for very good reason...

Finally, Michael Bierut and Yve Ludwig of Pentagram
(and yes we do love Pentagram) talk about design...

Home Sweet Home

A studio isn't a studio without students. Ours have mostly been away for the last two weeks (Easter holidays) but today everyone is back and the place is buzzing again. Hooray!

The End of Year Cometh!

Time flies and there are only a couple of weeks left until the end of the teaching year.

An accurate barometer of immanent hand-ins and crits are the number of people using our own in-house reprographics facility, expertly manned by the Queen of the Canon , the Empress of the Epson, Helen Milroy (33).

"An A3 with fries to go please" - Reprographics, Tuesday 3 May 2011