Falmouth’s illustration community unites for Falmouth Illustration Festival

13 February 2023

Students painting in a workshop at Falmouth Illustration Festival
Falmouth Illustration Festival 2023

The Falmouth Illustration Festival made a vibrant return to our Falmouth Campus last week. 

The annual event brought undergraduate, postgraduate and online students together for a book fair, film screenings, workshops, talks and an alumni exhibition, all exploring the theme of ‘Spaces in Between’. 

The 15 events making up this year’s festival were programmed by each of the four Falmouth illustration courses, giving the students invaluable experience in events planning and curation. The intentionally open-ended theme of ‘Spaces in Between’ allowed for a rich array of interpretations from students across the four courses. 

The festival saw leading industry experts share an eclectic mix of takes on the theme through guest lectures. Artist William Luz, founder of Studio Luz whose client base includes The Barbican, Aesop, Nike and Facebook, shared his insights about the spaces created by working both commercially for big brands and personally as an artist.  

Elsewhere, Illustration BA(Hons) alumna Eleanor Bannister led an inspiring discussion on the space between leaving university and establishing herself as a successful freelance illustrator; since graduating in 2021, she has worked for The Guardian, Financial Times, Big Issue and Politico Europe to name but a few.  

The festival also featured multiple hands-on workshops spanning a broad range of creative practices, from reportage drawing to risograph production. Caroline Ross, an artist who makes drawings and paintings from wild and ancient materials, led a workshop investigating different ways of creating sustainable and natural drawing materials.

On the experience of sharing her sustainable practice with Falmouth’s illustrators, Caroline told us: "A room full of inquiring minds and natural materials is always going lead to time well spent. By taking things in hand and making what we need, we craft an antidote to empty consumerist behaviour.

"At the workshop we looked at ethical foraging, traditional usage and safe handling of many different natural materials such as tree gums, ochres, chalk, oak galls and shells. Great questions came thick and fast; a pleasure for any tutor no matter what field of study. To experience such richness in the Falmouth students who came to the workshop was very heartening".

Alison Udall, who is in the first year of her Illustration BA(Hons) (Online) degree, thoroughly enjoyed her time at the festival. She reflected: "The festival was a wonderful way for students to connect with other creators and celebrate this diverse discipline. As an online student, I particularly enjoyed the chance to be in person and on campus, connecting with the fabulous facilities the university offers. I was able to meet up with my tutors, face to face at the Gylly Beach Cafe, and have interesting and helpful conversations".


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