At the weekend I was invited to the press day of Illustrated 2015, so I took the crew(Jack, Lucy, Nadia & Sara) to the Old Truman Brewery for a creative boost:



I had never heard of the ‘Illustrated [insert year here]’ festival before, and although it was quite small, it felt like we had stumbled on some gems of talent. The illustrators displayed a wide variety of methods; digital vectors, paint on canvas, biro pen etching and felt tip pens. Here are my personal highlights:


Fly Chen’s work was amazing. So many bright colours and patterns, all achieved using felt tip pens. It must have taken AGES to do and a lot of pens. You can see the pen strokes but they’re so neat, it’s very impressive and Chen’s work kind of reminds me of Nikki Farquharson in that sense. Chen revealed on twitter that it took 48 hours to complete the rainbow fish scale piece below:


Lucy & I had a closer look at the detail and was amazed. There were a couple of strokes outside of the lines but I think that’s what really makes it – the imperfections to show that this was hand coloured by a human being.

We also enjoyed these black and white illustrations by Rory J Murphy painted simply on cardboard:


Last but not least, as kids of the digital age we were taken by the vectors. Firstly by the intricately detailed yet simple pieces by Jan Feliks Kallwejt


… and also by Zhenia Vasiliev’s humourous pieces – Jack tried to talk me into us buying the Saul Bass inspired ’50 ways to kill a character’.

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A great set of business cards & postcards by Vasiliev too! The postcard I’m holding below is a detail from a piece which was shortlisted in the 2014 Information Is Beautiful Awards (of which I made the long list in 2013).


Illustrated 2015 was a 2 day event featuring around 20 artists. There were some talks planned throughout the day but I couldn’t find a schedule online and when we arrived we had missed the amazing Camille Walala‘s (who has recently featured in my #the100dayproject) talk which was a shame.

Thanks to Showcase Cities for inviting me – see you at Illustrated 2016?

Did you pop into Illustrated 2015? Which artists are your top picks? Which illustrators would you want to see at Illustrated 2016?


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© Natasha Nuttall | February 2020

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