Falmouth Illustration Festival sketches out pathways for student success

15 February 2022

Image of student artwork from the 2022 Illustration festival
Illustration Fest 4
©Emily Barlow / Mayn Creative
Type: Text
Category: Student stories

Illustration students welcomed an incredible line-up of artists, industry workers and activists to the 2022 Falmouth Illustration Festival.

The Falmouth Illustration Festival was held across multiple locations on the Falmouth Campus last week.

Undergraduate, postgraduate and online students came together for a series of industry talks and exhibitions on the theme of ‘Passages’.  

Guest speakers offered a fascinating mix of views on the theme, with discussions centring around how the students might turn, as artists and citizens, to find safe passage and negotiate uneasy times, both within their personal lives and as emerging creative practitioners.

Students were treated to talks from the likes of Ben Passmore, who called upon his experience of illustrating the graphic novel BTTM FDRS - an Afrofuturist horror-comedy about gentrification, hip hop, and cultural appropriation – to discuss the process of industry collaboration. 

The festival also featured multiple hands-on workshops. Throughout the week, students were given the opportunity to get creative, hone their illustration skills and collaborate with course mates at life drawing, printmaking and augmented reality illustration sessions.

Fiona Rimmer, who is in the final year of her Illustration MA (Online) degree, said that the festival has helped sharpen her focus on her career as she seeks to enter the industry. 

“The festival has been amazing”, Fiona told us. “I went to a workshop with an agent today; we’re coming towards the end of our MA, and we’ve had one online lecture with an agent and this face-to-face session today. It’s put me in the mindset that I probably needed to be in, so this festival has been really good timing!

“We’ve had a lot of online lectures from illustrators, but actually the whole agent and business side of it has been really useful.

“We’ve learnt what an agency would expect of a student coming straight out of university, which is so valuable. It just gives you a bit of confidence that you can go out and function in the industry.

“It really solidifies your understanding of where you are in the process.”

Keryn Bibby, Head of Illustration at Falmouth, was delighted to see that all the hard work that went into planning the event had paid off.

Keryn told us, “This is a massive event with huge ambition from the Illustration department.

“We’ve had over 30 members of staff involved behind the scenes, several visiting lecturers, and about ten departments within the university who’ve helped to make this happen, including lecturers leaning on family and friends.

“We’ve never done anything on this scale before; it’s incredible to see it all come together.” 

Image of student artwork from the 2022 Illustration festival
Illustration Fest 2
©Emily Barlow / Mayn Creative
Image of student artwork from the 2022 Illustration festival
Illustration Fest 3
©Emily Barlow / Mayn Creative

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