The Pick Me Up graphic design fair is inaugurating its fifth edition this week. Opening at Somerset House on the 24th of April, it will remain open until the 5th of May all the while offering a broad programme of events for all ages. The fair will be a great opportunity for emergent designers and illustrators to showcase their work to a larger public and a great chance for the people to observe the world of graphic design and illustration from a different perspective.
Although the fair emphasises the high accessibility of these artworks, it also works in favor of bringing the graphic arts closer to the fine art world and market through the format of the art fair. The event has a line-up of several UK-based graphic designers and illustrators along with an intense series of events including the Children Choice Weekend on the 3-4 May.
A selection of emerging artists will be exhibiting new inedited work. Among the ones called to participate are: Alice Tye, Andrew Groves, Annu Kilpeläinen, Alex Godwin, Carine Brancowitz, Edward Carvalho-Monaghan, Edward Cheverton, Hey Studio, Isabel Greenberg, Jack Hudson, Jessica Das, Julia Pott, Kyle Platts, Linda Linko, Lynnie Zulu and Thibaud Herem. Most of them are emerging talents working in the UK, who have demonstrated the skills and attitudes needed to make a difference in the graphic arts world. They take inspiration from different subjects such as everyday life, urban landscape and film and produce work in a range of different techniques and media such as etching, drawing, painting, etc. Between children books, TV programmes, prints and animation, they all have experimented with a wide and challenging range of end-products.
Interactive events and music will be a central aspect of this iteration of Pick Me Up. Music and DJ sets will play during the late night events from 6 to 10pm. In addition, Pick Me Up radio, presented by Comms Bureau, will stream for the first time from Somerset House with special guests DJ, interviews and more.
During the Children Choice Weekend many special guests will be leading workshops and readings. On the 3rd of May, Rastamouse creators Michael de Souza and Genevieve Webster will be present to lead a children’s drawing workshop and reading. Whilst on the 4th, Judith Kerr, creator of children’s classics such as Mog series and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, will entertain the crowd with a “in conversation” with her art director Ian Craig.
The fair will give space to authors and works dedicated to the fashion industry. On the 26th of April Daisy de Villeneuve, who designed for big brands such as Topshop and Vogue, will be a guest, whereas on Saturday the 3rd of May fashion artist Jason Brooks will be running workshops all day. Finally on the 27th of April cartoonist Gemma Correll will be leading the day together with French-American illustrator and animator Jessica Das, one of the Pick Me Up Select artists.
The fair will include Collectives and Galleries curated spaces; a customized studio space given to the exhibitors will be designed by each of them. Among the galleries and studios we find: Animaux Circus, Artomatic, Beach London, Codswallop Collective, Letterproeftuin and many more. Each of them will also challenge us with individual events and special activities.
How can an event like Pick Me Up change the public view of graphic design and how can it contribute to the field constructively?