10 highlights from Pick Me Up 2015

Jo Gulliver presents her top reasons not to miss this year’s graphic arts extravaganza at Somerset House.

Today sees the launch of the annual Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival. Held in London's Somerset House, the festival plays host to some of the hottest new illustration, graphic design and animation talent from across the UK and beyond.

We were lucky enough to check out last night's private view, and can definitely recommend paying a visit between now and 4 May. Here's why…

Five rising stars to watch

The Pick Me Up Selects – 12 rising stars chosen by an industry panel – showcased their exclusive work created for the festival. There was a huge variety of styles on show, ranging from 3D paper craft to hand-drawn illustration to screen-printing, and it was a visual feast waking around the venue and absorbing the work.

The vibrant bustling atmosphere added to the experience, and with many of the creatives on hand to chat to it was impossible not to leave inspired. Here are my top five from the Pick Me Up Selects…

01. Peter Judson

I've commissioned Peter Judson to illustrate a feature in our next issue. His bold graphic style is instantly recognisable, rather like the man himself – who was sporting a rather dapper green suit on the night. Created exclusively for the show, his large-scale detailed landscape illustration really stood out amongst the smaller, more pared-back illustrations, and it was impossible to walk past without being drawn into the image.

02. Sara Andreasson

Swedish illustrator Sara Andreasson's eye-catching collection of illustrations feature simplistic figures with minimal detail, brought to life by a bold yet sympathetic colour palette.

03. Hattie Newman

The highlight of Hattie Newman's exhibition was seeing the work in its original 3D format, since we're all so used to seeing 2D photographic representations of her work. Seeing it up close really emphasised the amount of detail, time and skill that goes into each piece.

04. Laura Callaghan

Laura Callaghan's fashion-style illustrations feature strong, female figures in very detailed environments. She predominantly illustrates by hand with paint, but for me it was her screenprints that really stood out, the stripped-back colour palettes giving them real impact.

05. Gaurab Thakali

Gaurab Thakali featured in Computer Arts' graduate show coverage last year, and has a very tactile feel to his work. A strong sense of narrative and vibrant, punchy colours make his screenprints a must-see at the show.

Next page: 5 ways for you to get hands-on at Pick Me Up 2015