Is 'digital fatigue' changing the graphic arts scene?

We go behind the scenes of Made You Look, a new documentary which asks top creatives exactly how 'digital fatigue' is shaping the creative landscape.

We might be living in the digital age, but the UK's handmade graphic arts scene is flourishing. That's according to director Anthony Peters and design collective Look and Yes, who are producing a feature length film – Made You Look – investigating the DIY landscape in our hyper digital age.

Why are increasing numbers of designers and illustrators returning to handmade techniques? How, exactly, is 'digital fatigue' shaping the creative landscape? And is making tactile artwork really good for your health?

Made You Look sets out to answer these questions, and more, through a series of 16 insightful interviews with some of the UK's leading practitioners, including Anthony Burrill, Fred Deakin, Kate Moross, Peter Fowler, Helen Musselwhite and Adrian Johnson.

The self-funded project is now in the final few hours of a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for post-production and completion. To find out more and help support the project, head over to the Made You Look Kickstarter page.

Since being released, the trailer, below, has received 30,000 plays and the collective has been contacted by educational establishments, film festivals, arts centres and independent cinemas across the globe. Here, Peters explains more about what he's hoping to achieve with the documentary…

What's the story with Made You Look?

Made You Look is a film that celebrates the unique voice of the UK Graphic Arts industry and explores the fact that more and more people are using analogue methods of creativity in the digital age.

The story we are telling is pretty universal. It's about the fact that people are living much of their lives through a pixellated filter, and as such are suffering from a kind of digital fatigue. We interviewed top UK publishers, artists and graphic designers about their work, and their relationships with digital and analogue tools, and with the internet – and got some pretty surprising answers.

The aim of the film is to inspire people to get the paint and ink out, and to get messy! But also to consider that the internet is one of the most amazing things to have ever happened to the creative industries.

Which creatives are in the film?

The film features interviews with Sam Arthur (Nobrow), Ben The Illustrator, Anthony Burrill, Sophie Dauvois (Okido), Fred Deakin (Airside), Ed Cheverton, Pete Fowler, Print Club London, Will Hudson (It's Nice That), Adrian Johnson, Kate Moross, Helen Musselwhite, Andrew Rae, Ian Stevenson, Hattie Stewart and Spencer Wilson.

Anthony Burrill working from his studio

We chose the cast really carefully so as to have a balanced argument regarding the question of analogue means versus digital, and the perils and pitfalls in both. We also made sure we had an array of different disciplines in the film so that it would be visually rich and would explore the wealth of talent currently in the UK.

How can people help?

Today is the last day of our Kickstarter campaign. If we hit our target then we'll be finishing up the film over the next two months.

If we don't hit the target we'll be running a variety of fundraising events and competitions. If people want to keep informed about these things they can join our mailing list.

Hattie Stewart is one leading creative interviewed in Made You Look

And what's in it for them?

The biggest thing people will get from helping is the satisfaction in knowing that they have funded a truly independent and 100 per cent DIY documentary made by people who are passionate about the subject.

We also have all kinds of amazing rewards such as a collaborative screenprint between Hattie Stewart and Anthony Burrill, original artworks from Andrew Rae, Ben the Illustrator Ian Stevenson and Helen Musselwhite and other goodies like a Blu-Ray of the film, tees, postcard packs and posters.

When can we see it, if all goes to plan?

The film will be out in April 2015 if all goes to plan. We'll be running a series of Q&As across the country and are planning a big cast and crew premiere – and hopefully an exhibition down the line. We've also had invites to show the film in universities and film festivals across the globe. Want to know more? Follow us @madeyoulookdoc.


Julia Sagar is a commissioning editor and writer for Creative Bloq, Computer Arts, net, 3D World and IFX magazines. Tweet her @JuliaSagar