New Talent: Commissioning grads

Urbanism by Ruby Martin

Urbanism by Ruby Martin

Cross-disciplinary design by Lorna Jameson

Cross-disciplinary design by Lorna Jameson

Art for arts sake by Jack Sinnott

Art for arts sake by Jack Sinnott

RECENTLY I was faced with a problem - I had to commission a monthly illustration for my magazine on a very tight budget. After a small amount time of calling in favours with artists I'd previously worked with I decided to take a different approach...

One night I was at my old University's grad show private view when I had a great idea. How about turning this monthly illustration into a platform where new talent could showcase their work? It could be used to give emerging illustrators a chance to be published professionally and to add to their portfolio.

Sure, it's meant a little more work for me, scouting grad shows for new talent, planning ahead so I can allow them a little extra time than an experienced illustrator or a spending a few extra minutes writing a more detailed brief, but on the whole its been totally worth it. Every graduate I've worked with hasn't disappointed and I am always excited to see what they've come up with!

Not only that, but I've found the graduates I've commissioned professional, willing to give 100% and excited for a paid published opportunity. I also feel like I've built some talented connections for the future.

Here's a couple I've commissioned so far. I hope other people will be inspired to give new talent a chance -  I'd gladly commission either of these artists again! L

 

 

Williamsburg

I STUMBLED across the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Williamsburg when I decided to extend my recent trip to New York for a few extra days. Sure I'd heard of area and I was even aware of its creative scene but I had no idea of how much of a thriving creative community it had. You couldn't walk one block without stumbling across a music performance, art show or vintage sale and there were so many creatives in the area that it made it a great place to network and seek inspiration. It certainly had a unique creative vibe and energy about it. Heres a few images I'd took around the neighbourhood - Williamsburg I'll be seeing you again soon! L

WOMEN: New Portraits Annie Leibovitz

The Rolling Stones © Annie Leibovitz / Rolling Stone Magazine

The Rolling Stones
© Annie Leibovitz / Rolling Stone Magazine

Dancers Yuan Yuan & Vadim Solomakha © Annie Leibovitz

Dancers Yuan Yuan & Vadim Solomakha
© Annie Leibovitz

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and North West photographed for  Vogue  © Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and North West photographed for Vogue
© Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Misty Copeland © Annie Leibovitz

Misty Copeland
© Annie Leibovitz

PHOTOGRAPHY is a skill and interest I'm really trying to develop and improve on. Recently I've been researching into different photographers and art directors to understand how to create images that sucessfully communicate to the audience. When I heard the legendary portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz was exhibiting WOMEN: New Portraits at Wapping Hydrolic Power Station in London I was intrigued to go along and see some of her images first hand.

Wapping Hydraulic Power Station has a great feel for an exhibition space, as you enter your lead down a steep staircase into a high open space. Around the edges were large 3 screens, 2 playing loops of Annie's most iconic images and the third one with a static image of the Queen. A large seated area was positioned in the centre of the space where visitors could relax and watch the images on screen.

It was memorising to see some of Annie's most iconic images at such a large scale. I instantly recognised many of the images from the covers of magazines such as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Vogue as well as campaigns for huge brands like Prada. It was a great way to appreciate just how versatile her portfolio is and how in every different portrait she manages to convey a different story and atmosphere.

To me the really interesting part of the exhibition was the collection of prints from the Women: New Portraits Collection. This is some of her most recent work and includes images for the 2016 Pirelli Calendar, the Adele photoshoot for Vogue and the infamous Vanity Fair cover of Caitlin Jenner. There was also a collection of books full of her images that visitors could look through at their own leisure.

There is no denying the Annie Leibovitz is an amazing photographer. Her portfolio absolutely stunning and all her images are so powerful and thought provoking. The large screens are a great way of showing such a big collection of work, although part of me thinks that they lose a little bit of the magic that a print has and the designer in me would have appreciated a few more physical prints in the collection.

In summary the exhibition was well worth a visit and really inspired me to take a bit of time to really look at an image and think about the overall story its communicating. A skill which I can use not only in my own photography work but when selecting images for use in designs.  L

Showgirls showing the transformation in and out of costume.

Showgirls showing the transformation in and out of costume.

The before and after tranformation of a Showgirl. © Annie Leibovitz

The before and after tranformation of a Showgirl.
© Annie Leibovitz

Caitlin Jenner photographed for the cover of  Vanity Fair  © Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair

Caitlin Jenner photographed for the cover of Vanity Fair
© Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair

Amy Schumer for the 2016  Pirelli   Calendar  © Annie Leibovitz

Amy Schumer for the 2016 Pirelli  Calendar
© Annie Leibovitz

Adele photographed for  Vogue  © Annie Leibovitz / Vogue

Adele photographed for Vogue
© Annie Leibovitz / Vogue