New talent: LCC Illustration 2014 degree show

Julia Sagar picks eight outstanding projects from this year's LCC Illustration graduate exhibition

If you're looking for exciting new graduates for your studio or agency, don't miss Computer Arts' New Talent special, issue 230, featuring our handpicked selection of the UK's best graduates - on sale 24 July.

The London College of Communication's Upper Street Gallery played host to this year's BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media degree show - a vibrant collection of prints, ceramics, experimental typography, sculpture and more, bringing to life a diverse range of ideas.

Last week, the Computer Arts crew turned up en masse to find out what LCC's vast Summer Shows had to offer: we wanted to discover 2014's best new graduates. Some of the projects we saw were outstanding - if pushed, we'd say the overall calibre of work was higher than last year.

Here's a selection of our favourite projects from the BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media degree show. Keep your eye out for part two, BA (Hons) Graphics and Media Design, on Creative Bloq later this week...

Amélie Barnathan

Close up of Amélie Barnathan's large-scale illustration, Carnival

Paris-born illustrator Amélie Barnathan displayed an impressive level of craft through a series of intricate images that drew us in with their stunning use (and sometimes absence) of colour, and surprising details that rewarded a closer look.

An illustration from Revision / Re-vision

Revision / Re-vision uses negative space to explore the idea of consciousness, and the relationship between the real and unreal. Barnathan modified childhood pictures to explore the space between representation and remembrance.

Another from the Revision / Re-vision series, utilising negative space

"I reproduced and gradually modified the pictures, undertaking a process of re-telling and re-plotting my own past to add a brand new perspective," she explains.

We especially liked Barnathan's large-scale Carnival drawing. Vibrant and grotesque, the piece captures the debauchery and excessiveness of primal carnival, with dead, living and mythological characters mingling in festive chaos.

Carnival, on display at the LCC Illustration degree show

"Working on such a big scale was deeply time-consuming," she admits. "But this was the best part of this project. I saw the characters emerge and expand in front of my eyes. If I hadn't run out of time I would have kept going forever."

Robert Cottrell

Robert Cottrell, Shape+Colour

Robert Cottrell, Shape+Colour

One of our favourite projects from LCC's 2014 BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media degree show was Robert Cottrell's Shape+Colour publication.

Designed as a beautiful colour reference book, the project makes clever use of colour theory and demonstrates a good level of craft, with each hand-cut page giving way to reveal the next shade of colour.

Robert Cotterell

Robert Cotterell

"What was most exciting about this project was slowly chipping away at the layers to reveal beautiful colour and shape combinations," says Cottrell, adding that attention to detail was key.

Robert Cottrell, Equable

Robert Cottrell, Equable

Another of Cottrell's projects also caught our eye. Equable is an abstract acrylic typeface, with each letterform made from a singe sheet that can return to its original state.

"Equable by definition means 'no sudden changes'. Lines and edges often kill a sense of form," he explains. "I didn't want to make any commitments or decisions by adding or subtracting."

"The most challenging part of this project was creating abstract shapes that could actually be perceived as letterforms - using only curves and folds proved a tricky task when replicating letters like 'O' and 'A'. But I enjoyed the challenge of sticking to the rules I'd set myself early on."

Emma Fisher

Emma Fisher, Small Build

Emma Fisher, Small Build

Emma Fisher's two-layer screenprints bring simple geometric shapes to life with jazzy combinations of fluoro ink. The prints, which were inspired by 3D construction diagrams and softened with coloured gradients, are an extension of Fisher's digitally designed book, Small Build - and were a Computer Arts highlight from the show.

Daniel Sonnino

Daniel Sonnino, Temple

Daniel Sonnino, Temple

Daniel Sonnino's black-and-white Of Divine Proportions project sparked from a curiosity in classical architecture, and gradually developed into a study of Phi and "human proportion in nature and architecture" - with a hint of apophenia thrown in.

Daniel Sonnino, Pillar

"The concept for the project isn't too dissimilar from the Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci," says Sonnino.

Daniel Sonnino, Of Divine Proportions

Daniel Sonnino, Of Divine Proportions

"The biggest challenge I had to overcome was colour, or lack of," he admits. "I wanted it to be informative and designed without being flat. Drawing the images with an element of 3D allowed me to enhance the graphics without it loosing its graph-like quality."

Ermina Takenova

Ermina Takenova_ Fantasy Everydayness

Ermina Takenova_ Fantasy Everydayness Cat and Mermaid

Fantasy Everydayness is a charming series of illustrations depicting mythological creatures in everyday situations - "as if they lived among us and we could even keep them as pets," says Ermina Takenova, who played with the notion of size throughout the project.

"It's very challenging to create a narrative in a single image," she admits. "It should be communicated easily to the audience, but at the same time viewers should have an opportunity to be able to imagine the story and create their own interpretations and endings to them."

Ermina Takenova_ Fantasy Everydayness_ Female Centaur

Ermina Takenova_ Fantasy Everydayness_ Female Centaur

"I wanted each illustration to tell a different story, which can make people smile and laugh," adds Takenova.

"I always try to add an unexpected element to each story to make it thought provoking and humorous."

Ermina Takenova, Animals

Ermina Takenova, Animals

Another of Takenova's projects on show was Animals, an emotive series of illustrations that explores feelings in creatures.

"The monkey is timid and kind, the cat is peaceful and tender and the bull is confident and powerful," explains Takenova. "It really amazes me how animals show very similar emotions and characteristics to humans."

Cristina Florit Gomila

This colourful animated collaboration between LCC graduate Cristina Florit Gomila and freelance illustrator Andrew Khosravani visualises an "ideal world in the coming future".

Sanyu Kiyingi

Sanyu Kiyingi

Sanyu Kiyingi

To create Gemstone Typeface, an eye-catching, large-scale typographic screenprint, Sanyu Kiyingi manipulated different atomic gemstone structures into letterforms, referencing rock types through texture, and using irregular pattens and colour to denote impurities.

"Preparing such a large image to screenprint was challenging," says Sanyu. "One misstep in cleaning or exposing your screen and you would have to start over. I had to take my time, going over each process repeatedly."

Toni Hollowood and Celia Duque

Toni Hollowood, Material Things 1

Toni Hollowood, Material Things 1

An intriguing series of photographs occupies the whole of the Upper Street Gallery back wall, commanding attention as visitors walk down through the exhibition.

Created as part of Toni Hollowood and Celia Duque's 100-page magazine Material Things, the images boast a unique aesthetic and are the result of an exploration into the experience of texture, trends and styles.

Toni Hollowood, Material Things 2

Toni Hollowood, Material Things 2

The publication itself consists of short narrative visuals and little text. "The format relates to the conventional editorial fashion shoot blended with a less-commercial artist's catalogue or photographer's book," explains Hollowood.

"We came up with the concept, shot, styled and collaged all our own imagery," she adds. "The hands-on side to the project was exciting, and this freedom resulted in some humorous and bold visuals."

Toni Hollowood, Material Things

Toni Hollowood, Material Things

Half-price CA subscription offer!

We know it isn't always easy being a recent graduate. So to help, we're offering an incredible 50% off an annual subscription to Computer Arts magazine - whether you're a new graduate or not. For just £39 you'll receive an entire year of industry insight, opinion and inspiration, delivered directly to your door.

Plus: sign up by 10th July and you'll receive our New Talent issue, featuring our guide to 2014's most outstanding design graduates - and a very special cover designed in response to a joint brief with D&AD New Blood.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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