Interview: Carne Griffiths

21 August 2014

Interview: Carne Griffiths

Who’s your favourite artist, illustrator or designer?

I am a huge fan of the surrealist automatic period of work, and also of outsider art, but there are so many contemporary artists pushing boundaries that fascinate me, especially people who can move paint in an incredible way – at the moment, it would be Conor Harrington.

How do you get your head in a creative space?

Normally a combination of coffee and good music / atmosphere. I brew up herbal teas and light josticks in the studio – as much sensory input as possible but nothing too overpowering that it distracts from the work.

Interview: Carne GriffithsThe Oracle, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

What’s your background in art and design?

I missed out on GCSE's started 'studying' at A- level and then took a foundation course at Oriel Road, Bootle. This lead to 3 years at art school in Maidstone – great time both socially and creatively, I got asked back for a year to do a little teaching, and spent more time in the studio. Big influences during college were the discovery of outsider art, automatic processes, and the wonderful animation of the brothers quay – that in particular lent a sophistication to the work and was an escape from the obvious gothic leanings that my work had at the time.

What kind of source materials do you use in your work?

I try as much as possible to use reference indirectly, I will study an object, learn it, understand it and then put it away before drawing it. I find this breaks down the literal connection between the object and the drawing, things like residual memory are powerful and it's an artists role to give their own interpretation of the world, their understanding of how things work and not necessarily what we record with our eyes. Touch smell and sound are just as important when recording this information.

Interview: Carne GriffithsSummons, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

How long to you spend working on one piece or commission?

A successful piece can be finished in as little as 4-5 hours, spontaneity is the key. Some works are more involved and will take days, and others will remain on the backburner until the time is right to complete them. So in effect years!!

Top tips for students looking for a career as an illustrator / artist

Bring all your experiences and passion to your work, even if it is something that doesn't seem relevant, it can give the work an individuality that will make you stand out from the crowd. Don't be afraid to absorb influences but combine the things you like rather than copying a style. Finding a style is quite often at the forefront of an artists or illustrators mind, but your style really comes about when you learn to experiment and forget about creating pictures. Have fun with drawing – that's the most important thing... and throw away the rule book.

Interview: Carne Griffiths

Describe your studio or workspace for us

I have a spacious very well lit studio that stays cold even on a hot day! It's a great solace and a place where I can really let go when working, I have divisions of areas so that I can paint without distraction and also crack on with the social media side of things, promoting / marketing etc

What’s the one tool you can’t do without?

My new Derwent Graphik Pens!!! Working on black with these pens has brought a whole new direction to the work – as has the new vibrant addition of colour to my otherwise earthy palette, it is the contrast with other inks that I like the most, hard flat colour from the pens gives the translucent layers in the work a completely different feel.

Tell us about you! What, aside from drawing takes up your time?

I have wonderful twin 19 month old children... I really don't need to explain more about time ;)

Interview: Carne GriffithsCrystalline, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

Find out more about Carne on his website, Facebook and Twitter. Read our previous blog post to find out more about the new Derwent Graphik Line Painters and Line Makers!

http://www.carnegriffiths.com

https://www.facebook.com/CarneGriffiths

https://twitter.com/carnegriffiths

http://lovepencils.co.uk/post/2014/08/12/Introducing-Derwent-Graphik!.aspx

 

Comments
11:11 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

NEW Derwent Graphik!

12 August 2014

NEW Derwent Graphik!

We’re very excited to introduce you to our new range – Derwent Graphik pens!

There are two fabulous pens in the range; Line Makers and Line Painters.

The Line Maker is a waterbased pigment pen available in 3 different colours and 6 nib sizes: Black 0.05 / 0.1 / 0.2 / 0.3 / 0.5/ 0.8, Sepia 0.1 / 0.3 / 0.5 and Graphite 0.1 / 0.3 / 0.5. Available individually and in sets of 6 Black, 3 Sepia, 3 Graphite and 3 Black.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

LOVE: Smooth free flowing lines, perfect for illustration

COLOUR: Build up tone with pure inky colour in Sepia and Graphite Grey.

STRONG: Rich pure black pigment

Quality: Super Japan nib, lightfast pigment ink.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

Fionn Jordan, Graphik Line Maker

 

The star of the show is the Line Painter; a waterbased pigment painter! There are 20 colours available, all with a 0.5mm nib, dilute with water and permanent once dry. Available individually and in 4 sets of 5 complimentary colours.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

NEW Derwent Graphik!

LOVE: Fluid opaque paint from a fine 0.5mm nib.

COLOUR: Immense depth of colour, even on a dark background

STRONG: Create layers, dribbles and washes with a specially developed colour range.

QUALITY: Super Japan nib, permanent waterbased paint.

NEW Derwent Graphik!

Carne Griffiths, Graphik Line Painter

NEW Derwent Graphik!

Also available in the range is the Derwent Graphik H2O brush. A paintbrush with a reservoir which adds a new dimension to working with Line Painters. And we also have the Inspire Me Books. 80 perforated pages of bleed proof marker paper, featuring printed patterns to inspire your illustrations, drawings and doodles. Available in 2 sizes 20cm square and 14cm square.

www.derwentgraphik.com

www.derwentshop.co.uk

www.carnegriffiths.com

www.fionnjordan.co.uk

 

Comments
10:16 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

17 July 2014

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

Who’s your favourite artist/ illustrator or designer?
It’s so hard to pick even a handful! My artist inspirations have always been Francis Bacon, Henry Matisse and Lucian Freud. Nowadays, more of my inspiration has come from fellow illustrators. Many of my close friends are illustrators, designers and photographers, all of whom I admire, not only for their beautiful and individualistic work but for their hard working ethic. I’m really lucky to have a close circle of like-minded and extremely hard working friends, which makes the hard days (and months) much easier. Many of us struggle to fund our practice, with almost everyone working full or part time ‘jobs on the side’. Why do we keep going? Because we love what we do so we just have to do it!!!  That’s what I respect most about the industry – the hard work and unwavering passion.

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

What do you listen to when drawing? Anything and everything – depending on my mood! Drawing is quite a natural state for me – no matter what my mood! Sometimes its very minimal chill out music, sometimes its folk music from my childhood, harder beats from my youth, cheesy 90s RNB or a Game of Thrones audio book! Sometimes it’s absolutely nothing at all, usually when I’m back in Ireland - just that rare sound of peace and quiet.

How do you get your head in a creative space?
It can be difficult! I weirdly enough find it easier the busier I am, as I have less time to procrastinate!! I work full time in London, so illustrating is crammed into evenings and weekends. I’ve just moved into a really lovely flat in South London with my boyfriend. We have a cosy little collaborative desk space, which makes it easy to bounce around ideas and encourage each other. I think time away from what you do and space to think is really important too. I carry a notebook and sketchbook everywhere as I usually have the best ideas and reach conclusions at random points of the day – be it in the supermarket or on the bus home after a night out.

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

What’s your background in art and design? I’ve always studied art and art history in school and it was definitely my main hobby as a child – I was (and still am) awful at sports. I come from quite a creative family, my Mum was very musical and theatrical so I grew up with a lot of singing, dancing and creativity – drawing was always the way I best expressed myself. I was a horrifically shy child and awkward teenager, but drawing and art always came quite naturally. Two years after finishing school in Ireland I finally had the confidence to apply for an Art based university course in London and the rest is history!

What kind of source materials do you use in your work?
I tend to draw a lot from my own travel photos and travel sketchbooks. I also have a nice collection of old photo books and encyclopaedias. The Natural History museum is also brilliant – I recently visited the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford which was beautiful! So much to draw!! During university I used to spend my free afternoons sketching in little museums around London – the Huntarian Museum in Holborn was a favourite – full of gruesome pickled organs in jars! I also love life drawings classes, such a relaxing way to unwind and practice! – I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.

 

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

Top tips for students looking for a career as an illustrator / artist
If you love it, stick with it. It’s an extremely difficult industry to stay afloat in, and can be quite lonely. Weirdly enough I would say try to not be too influenced by other artists and illustrators; particularly in terms of style.

Other than that, be yourself and be nice to people. Oh and always sharpen your pencils and clean your brushes, there’s nothing worse than blunt pencils and grubby brushes.

What tools can you not do without?
Space to think, a notebook and (sharp) pencils.

Describe your studio or workspace for us.
A desk, a window, a drawing board, stacks of paper and lots of pencils. Although my desk sits at one side my living room it’s quite chaotic – but I think that important, it’s a creative space. For bigger pieces I roll back the rug and work on the floor – the height of humble London living! A huge bonus of the set up is the neighbouring desk space – my boyfriend who is a software engineer, video game enthusiast and part time illustration critic!

Interview: Claudine O’Sullivan

Tell us about you! What, aside from drawing takes up your time?

I’m originally from Dublin and I’ve been in London for 5 years. I go home a lot as it’s really nice to get out of this massive city, to see my family, friends and the sea!! I love to travel and dream of being able to see more of the world…. next on my list is Dubrovnik in 2015. My last excursions included craft making in rural Slovakia and travelling around North India. I’m a vegetarian and since moving to London and travelling, I’ve massively broadened my culinary palette. I’ve quite recently started to recreate flavours at home, I’m in no way a pro, but I do find it really relaxing and fulfilling to cook for people. I’m currently getting to grips with the delicate flavours of Korean cuisine, which I have yet to perfect, but I’m getting there!

Where can we see more of your work and what’s up and coming for you this year?

Keep an eye on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as I post everything there! I have a few collective art events coming up, one at the start of August in Shoreditch. I’ve also been doing quite a few collaborations with a number of musicians and also a Fashion label – it’s all really exciting! After that…I’m not really sure, fingers crossed its onwards and upward!

www.claudineosullivan.com

www.facebook.com/claudineosullivanillustration

https://twitter.com/claudine_os

http://instagram.com/claudine_os

 

Comments
12:09 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

10 July 2014

Today I'm sharing how to make your own Ink Sprays using Inktense Blocks and an art journal page I made using my own homemade sprays!

To start, you will need: Inktense Blocks, Grate 'n' Shake, water and some Spritzer Bottles 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

Start by grating an Inktense Block into the Grate 'n' Shake, the amount will depend on the intensity of colour that you want for your spray (you can always add more colour to it later if the colour isn't strong enough).

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

Roll a scrap of paper into a cone and use it to funnel the powder into the Spritzer bottle, add some water to the bottle (put the lid on!) and shake to mix.  

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

You can also grate two blocks into a Spritzer bottle to mix different colours! 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

You can then use your custom Ink Sprays on all of your craft projects (even fabric, as I accidently found out by not checking which way round the nozzle was and spraying my top!) I used mine to create this Art Journaling page... 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

I used a Doodle Doll stamp, a chipboard heart, a stencil with opaque white spray and added some doodling and Dymo label text. Here are a couple of close ups... 

Make your own Ink Sprays with Inktense Blocks

I hope you'll have a go at making your own ink sprays with Inktense Blocks. If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
11:11 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Donating pencils to charity

4 July 2014

Mary's Meals is a charity that helps some of the poorest school children in the world. They have a simple idea that works - they provide one good meal in a place of learning, children are drawn into the classroom where they can receive an education that could one day free them from poverty.

So when they came to us to ask for pencils to take to a school in Uganda we were more than happy to help!

Donating pencils to charity

Donating pencils to charity

Donating pencils to charity

It's just lovely to see how a simple pencil can mean so much! To find out more about Mary's Meals visit http://www.marysmeals.org.uk/ 

Comments
10:12 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Sponsor me!

17 June 2014

Sponsor me!

So, you might have already heard but we launched a sponsorship program earlier this year. The scheme aims to help and inspire artists, as they study art subjects at college, university or 6th form. Successful candidates receive packages of Derwent art materials throughout the year.

Here's a little bit of what some of our students have been up to so far....

Sponsor me!

Azalea Rodriguez, Drawing pencils.

 

Sponsor me!

Cherish Coupland, Graphitint pencils.

 

Sponsor me!

Lucy Watkins, Coloursoft pencils.

 

Sponsor me!

Trudi Wilson, XL Charcoal blocks.

 

 

Sponsor me!

Tyler Berry, Graphic pencils.

 

 

Sponsor me!

Daniel Jamie Williams, Graphic pencils.

 

Some great work so far! If you're studying an art subject at college, university or sixth form and would like more details on how to apply for our Sponsor me scheme visit our website http://www.pencils.co.uk/sponsorme/

Comments
12:01 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

9 June 2014

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

Patchings Art Festival, 5th-8th June 2014

Another great year at Patchings Art Festival!

Joined by artist David Winning, we ran workshops using XL Graphite, XL Charcoal and Inktense Blocks. Artist Sian Dudley was available on the busy retail stand to give her expert advice on Derwent products. And visitors were given a chance to win two places on a Derwent tuition workshop at the Pencil Museum in Keswick www.pencilmuseum.co.uk, including a luxury two night stay at the beautiful Brackenrigg Cottages www.brackenrigg.com

You can visit us again at Art in Action, Oxford 17th-20th July www.artinaction.org.uk

See you there!

Comments
14:17 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Art Prize 2014 Judge: Anita Taylor

28 April 2014

Derwent Art Prize judge, Anita Taylor tells us about herself and her thoughts on the Prize.

Art Prize 2014 Judge: Anita Taylor

Would you like tell us about your background?

I am an artist, educator and exhibition-maker, with a particular focus on drawing. I drew my way through a Fine Art degree at what is now the University of Gloucestershire and then studied MA Painting at the Royal College of Art in London. I then went on to be Artist in Residence at Durham Cathedral, Cheltenham Fellow in Painting and started teaching across the UK in numerous art schools. I became Head of Painting at Gloucestershire in 1991 and in 2003, as Deputy Head of Art, Media and Design, I left to work at Wimbledon School of Art where there was an innovative Centre for Drawing exploring the role of drawing in artistic practices and the first MA Drawing course in the UK. The Jerwood Drawing Prize, which I founded in 1994 (for the first year it was the Rexel Derwent Open Drawing exhibition), moved with me to Wimbledon and became part of the Centre and retains an affiliation to Wimbledon today. In 2009, I relocated to Sydney for four years to lead the National Art School. I returned to the UK in 2013 to take up the role of Dean of Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University. As an Adjunct Professor of the University of Sydney, affiliated to Sydney College of the Arts, I am able to sustain and develop the many vibrant Australian links in drawing practice and research I have made. I passionately believe that the act of drawing remains a fundamental means to convey and to analyse our experiences of the world(s) we inhabit.

This is the second year of the Derwent Art Prize – did you feel particularly drawn to any of last years’ shortlisted works?

I enjoyed a number of the drawings including Full of Stars Drawing, CHRIS DUNSEATH; Pillar, CHARLOTTE HODES; Fanfare for a common man, BERNARD NAO KITAMA; brill, VICTORIA LOCHHEAD; Noon, RYOTARO YAMANAKA.

Art Prize 2014 Judge: Anita Taylor

Ryotaro Yamanaka: Noon

What will you be looking for when judging the 2014 Derwent Art Prize? 

Drawings that have an authentic voice, and that are superbly rendered.

In your view, what attributes does a successful drawing have? Is it the pencil lines, movement within the piece, the translation of the subject on paper? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inherently, a successful drawing is one that is fit for purpose and inventive within its means - a consummate synthesis of idea, form and content. One that creates equivalence to the experience or communication at hand, and one that can apprehend and captivate the viewer (and maker) to find a new or renewed relationship with, and understanding of, what it conveys.

Who inspires you in the world of drawing?

An enormous range of artists, writers on drawing, those who use drawing in the course of their professional and personal lives, and those who have taught me and who I teach with. I am incredibly fortunate to work with many really inspiring people in the world of drawing through the Jerwood Drawing Prize project, and in higher education. Inspirational drawings I have recently seen include those by William Kentridge, Sol LeWitt, Philip Guston, Agnes Martin, Kathe Kollwitz, Mike Parr, Sheela Gowda, Utamaro, Matisse, Rembrandt, Michael Craig-Martin, and many more.

How important is drawing in education? Do you feel there’s enough emphasis on drawing and translating ideas with pencil and paper?

The role of drawing in education is critical, and not just to the creative disciplines in art and design for which it is foundational. Drawing is a primary visual language, essential in terms of communication and expression, and as important as the development of writing skills. Our need to understand the world through visual means is more acute than ever, as images transcend the barriers of language, and enhance communication in an increasingly international world. Drawing functions to distinguish and aid us in understanding our complex world through signs and symbols, by mapping and labelling our experience. It can also enable us to discover through seeing – either through our own experience of seeing and observing or through the shared experience of looking at another’s drawn record of an experience. It can have a transitory or temporal relationship with the world; or provide a record of lasting permanence. It can be propositional, preparatory, visionary, imaginative, factual, generative, transformative, or performative, in the realisation of ideas and concepts.

The need for greater drawing skills in those entering employment has been identified by a range of industries in the creative sector, including animation, film, architecture, art practice, design, theatre and performance and in the communication industries. Drawing is widely used within a range of professions as a means to develop, document, explore, explain and interrogate. This includes the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine, sport, and law. I see drawing as an essential part of the curriculum at all levels for all subjects, and something for which a clear commitment needs to be made. With pencil and paper in hand we are able to explore, depict and make a universe.

What advice would you give to those wishing to enter the Prize this year?

Make drawings you believe in and ensure you submit good reproductions for the selection process, along with all the necessary details (title, size, medium, date).

To enter the Derwent Art Prize 2014, please visit www.derwent-artprize.com for more information.

Comments
14:17 by Kirsty Vickers Kirsty Vickers

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

12 March 2014

Today I'm sharing a scrapbook page using Inktense Pencils and Blocks on card and burlap...

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

I started with two pieces of kraft 12" x 12" card; I was using one as my base and one to make a custom paper for my background and to punch the butterflies out of. I set aside my base piece of card and sprayed my custom paper with water, using Inktense Blocks to build up colourful paper - the colours seem to pop even more on kraft card!

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

Once it was dry I used it to mount my photo on, creating a border around the edge. I then cut some pieces for layering behind and punched the butterflies out of the left overs (the butterfly punch is a Martha Stewart punch)

I wanted to try using the Inktense onto another material, as I wanted to add some texture into my layout. I used a piece of this 6x6" DCWV burlap paper - this has been matted onto a base paper so it's really easy to use in your crafting! I used a piece of repositionable adhesive to affix it to my desk and masking tape to secure the mask over the top.

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

I then lightly misted water through the hearts (don't use too much water or it will blur) and coloured through the stencil using the bright pink Inktense pencil.

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

Once this was dry, I assembled my layout, making sure I was happy with the position of everything before adhering it to the base. I stenciled another couple of hearts onto the ledger paper I used (from Basic Grey) I misted them with water and allowed them to blur and drip slightly down the page...

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

I used glossy accents to attach my butterflies in the centre, bending the wings up slightly to give them more dimension, then added a doodled border around the edge of the layout.

Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks Scrapbooking with Inktense Pencils & Blocks

I hope you'll give Inktense Blocks & Inktense Pencils a try in your scrapbooking and on different materials! If you'd like to share your projects over on the Derwent Facebook page we'd love to see them! I’ll be back soon with another project.


Sarah x

www.sarahhurley.com

Comments
10:30 by Sarah Hurley Sarah Hurley

Meet Derwent's New General Manager

9 March 2014

We'd like to introduce our new General Manager here at Derwent. Simon Wells joined us in January and we took the opportunity to interview him about his new role in the company.

Hi Simon, tell us a little about yourself and how you came to The Cumberland Pencil Company

I was born and educated in the North West and following university education in Dundee, I first moved to work in the Aerospace Industry in Liverpool and then London before joining the NHS in London where I had responsibility for the human resources function supporting women’s and children’s services in a new teaching hospital in Chelsea.

What attracted you to joining the company?

I joined ACCO Europe in 1997 based in the Aylesbury head office and headed up the HR function for the last 16 years mostly as Vice President Human Resources for the European region.

What are you looking forward to bringing to the company?

I have worked with a number of the Derwent team for a significant period of time and have always admired the innovation and creativity within the business and its people. I am looking forward to continuing growth with this great business.

Throughout my career I have always been people centric and believe if you look after the people they will look after you and the business. I am looking forward to working with our exceptional people to deliver an even more rewarding experience to our customers.

Who is your favourite artist?

My favourite artist is a very difficult question to answer. I was astonished at the quality of work submitted by all of those who entered the Derwent Art Prize in 2013 and I am looking forward to the submissions for the 2014 prize. That said, I bought a piece entitled 'Last 3 Remaining' by David Brammeld at the Derwent Art Prize exhibition at the Mall Galleries and this hangs proudly in my office as a testament to the quality of work that can be produced with our products.

Have you got a favourite Derwent product so far?

I am a traditionalist at heart and whilst I am very proud and excited about our new products, my favourite product is the Derwent Artists range followed by the XL Charcoal range. That said, the more you look at the endless possibilities with all of our varied and innovative product offering it is very difficult to choose a personal favourite.

Have you had a chance to explore the products? Will we be seeing an artist emerging?!

I have very limited artistic experience or ability but will be attending some of the art classes offered through our Pencil Museum. That said, my brother is a professional artist and has successfully used our products for many years.

You’ve recently moved up to Cumbria? What are you enjoying about the area?

As a young man from the Fylde Coast I spent a lot of my formative years in Cumbria playing sport and utilising the recreational opportunities available. The area has always held a fascination for me so in part it feels like being home.

Comments
14:24 by Rebecca Watson Rebecca Watson