Today I went to London so see three exhibitions:

•E.H Shepard: An Illustrators War

• The Bookmakers Story

•The Alice Look

The E.H Shepard: An Illustrators War at the House of Illustration was very interesting to me, especially as I got to see his progression from the cartoonist to an illustrator. I really enjoyed seeing the free pen marks and the transition from cartoonist to illustrator. One of my favourite thins about this exhibition and his work, was that you could feel the movement within his drawings. This is something which I would like to be able to incorporate with my own works, as I feel that it makes the viewer feel more engaged. Seeing his work at this exhibition has made me think about  using this style within my own work because I love how free it looks. My favourite pieces were the ones from Winnie the Pooh, as I have always loved them as a child. I loved how the marks felt so free and lively, and the variation of tone used for both the background and foreground. Before the exhibition I only knew a little another other illustrations by Shepard, and so seeing An Illustrators war made me more aware of the other works that he had done, I especially liked the illustrations for Punch magazine as I felt that the humour did take away some of the seriousness of the reality of the situation, and as I am a very laid back and not serious person, this made me feel more comfortable when looking at it. Another image that I really liked was the solider holding the cat at arms length, because there was no background or anything but the two of them, and this really stood out to me.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take any photographs inside this exhibition, but I did manage to take down some notes from the information given.

The Bookmakers Story exhibition was another exhibition that I visited whilst at the House of Illustration. The first thing that I noticed when I went in was that I liked the feel of this exhibition, because I thought it had been curated really well. I loved the simplicity of the photographs on the wall, the children books placed on the window sill, and the information on one wall with scattered quotes. I thought that this way of curating the exhibition suited it perfectly as it was simple and not too much to look at at once, which I think is important when it comes to book illustration, especially in children’s books, and too much distraction can take away from the book or also stop you imagining the story for yourself. I took this photograph in this exhibition as I did agree completely with what was said., especially ‘Not everyone cares about children’s book illustration – not magazine editors, grown up friends or ‘hipsters’ – not even the children reading themselves, not really.’ because it is true, that not many people seem to take any notice of the illustrations that go with the story, and I believe that it is important, because it can spark imagination in children’s minds, to go further and make up the rest of the story, or even their own.

I particularly enjoyed just sitting down and looking at the children books that they had on display, as I always seem to forget how nice it is to just sit and enjoy the stories, and the images that go with them.  

The Alice Look at the V&A was the last exhibition I went to. I was a little disappointed with this one, as it wasn’t very big. I also that that there could have been more images to look at as the majority of it was writing, and I prefer to look at images than read when at a gallery, but I felt limited doing this here. I did of course like the small illustrations and the Vans trainers, and found the information on the evolution of Lewis Carroll’s Alice through the years, and how it has been adapted to fit into books, to Disney, to fashion. I liked looking at the dresses, but I thought that it would have been better if there were more illustrations, and images to look at, and so this exhibition wasn’t  very helpful to my work, and what I plan to do, but I did enjoy going to see it.

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Whilst I was at the V&A, a had a look around at what else was there, and found this:

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I found this so interesting and spent a while looking at all of the different squares within the cube. I loved that it was so busy and chaotic, and it really reminded me of a child’s mind, and how you can transition from thinking about one thing, and then the next thing will be completely unrelated, and so colourful and chaotic. I loved the idea and when I was looking at it felt like I was a child again.


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