DJCAD Degree Show 2019
The DJCAD Degree Show displays an incredible amount of talent every year and 2019 was no exception. This year’s was a particularly exciting show for me to visit as I knew lots of the people graduating. I like writing about any creatives I admire but it is especially fun when they are people I know in real life.
Here are my top picks from the DJCAD Degree Show 2019…
If I am particularly biased towards anyone in this list, it will probably be Eva Legemah as she has been one of my best friends for 12 years and my flatmate for the past couple. Even if I had never met her though, I would still think Eva’s graphic design work was amazing. Eva’s online portfolio includes some beautifully minimal Japanese whisky branding, a stylish publication about sleep and a colourful campaign celebrating the mixed race community. My favourite piece from Eva’s varied portfolio is the beautiful, multi-coloured #MixItUp poster above. As we live together, I got to see ever step of her design process over the past year. I knew it would be amazing but her work at the degree show turned out to be even better than I expected!
Another one of my favourite people graduating from Graphic Design at DJCAD this year is Briony Clements. Briony’s portfolio includes a broad variety of projects from books exploring theories about lost civilisations to campaigns encouraging people to rave safely. The image above shows one of the finals designs for a craft beer brand which Briony created inspired an ancient Korean painting. I am constantly impressed at Briony’s ability to create beautiful contemporary designs no matter what the brief. When she wasn’t designing this year, Briony spent most of her time describing things as “a vibe” so she will be pleased to know that I think her section of the degree show is the biggest vibe of all.
Illustration - which is the course I study at DJCAD - also had a heap of incredible creative talent on display this year. Working in the studio next to the 4th years, we have seen snippets of all of there work as the year has gone on and so it was so exciting to see all of the final pieces be unveiled on Degree Show opening night. One of the nicest and most talented people I have gotten to know over the past year has been Mairi Isla. One of my favourite displays from the entire exhibition was Mairi’s personal project which explored the theme Scottish superstitions through the art of ceramics. It takes real skill to be able to translate your illustration work into ceramic art and keep it feel just as spontaneous and charming but Mairi has done just that!
Another good egg graduating from DJCAD Illustration this year is Fraser Robertson who also goes by the artistic nickname of Lost Astronaut. It’s clear just how much work Fraser has put in over the past year as his display includes a full comic book called “Moonlight” as well as some incredibly intricate 3D printed figurines. My top pick from Fraser’s portfolio is the project above - a set of risograph printed cards which celebrate the diversity of the human species. Fraser is always so good at supporting other creative on social media so it makes me very happy that I can now return the favour.
If I could collaborate with one of the illustrators graduating this year is would probably be Sophie Morrison as I love her graphic sense of style and way she plays with shape and colour within her work. Over the past year, Sophie has lent her distinctive style to the gorgeous “Dirt” coffee branding above, created a series of illustrations based on Howl’s Moving Castle and even found time to launch Okay Club - a fashion brand which promotes positivity towards mental health. This is actually the second time I have blogged about Sophie in the past week as I wrote about Okay Club in my Art + Mental Health article but just had to include her here too as she is just to damn talented not to mention.
DJCAD are very good at encouraging students throughout their studies to explore traditional printing techniques. This leads to a whole load of students being very talented printers by the time they graduate and producing some incredible inky work. Victoria Sanches has honed her printing skills over the past few years and her final exhibition shows just how skilled a printmaker she has become. Her display includes a series of bold portraits such as the one above as well a very large and very beautiful book filled with prints inspired by what lives under the sea.
My final favourite DJCAD Illustrations graduate from this year has mastered a very different art form during her studies - the art of making beautiful and engaging children’s books. Molly McCammon’s degree show display showcases 2 equally stunning yet thematically very different children’s books. Feathers looks at grief through the eyes of a child in an extremely sensitive and slightly magical way whilst My Grandad encourages curiosity and imagination through inventive storytelling. Molly is now going on to study an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge and I am already excited to purchase her first book when it is inevitably published.
Graphic Design and Illustration were where I found most of my favourite work but there were also a couple of stand out designers in the textiles department. Emma Richardson’s work combines the practises of illustration and textile design in a playful way. During her final year, Emma created an endless amount of gorgeous illustration of big cats in botanical setting which she then adapted into design for fabric and stationery. The collection was inspired by the life of her grandfather who worked as a Zookeeper at Chester Zoo in the 1960s which gives the designs a uniquely sentimental feel.
Last but not least, I want to share the luscious work of textile designer Sophie McCaffrey. Within her work, Sophie juxtaposes a combination of block colours, collaged textures and delicate line drawings to achieve a contemporary and sophisticated feeling aesthetic. Throughout the textile department, all the students have displayed different visualisations of their work. I loved how Sophie not only showed her designs on fabric but on large scale murals like the one above too. Any stairway would be lucky to feature one of her elegant designs!
The DJCAD Degree Show is on until Sunday the 26th of May so pop along if you can. And if not, I have left links to all of the creative I have featured above so you can follow along on the next steps on their creative journeys. Next year, it will be me and my year’s turn to put together a exhibition and we are all already a little nervous. The 2019 Degree Show is going to be a tough act to follow.