Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival, Somerset House, London

Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival, Somerset House, London

The Graphic Arts festival Pick Me Up, opens 18 April at Somerset House, London. An annual celebration of the wonderfully diverse sphere of graphic arts, the UK’s original contemporary graphic arts festival brings together a plethora of works and experts in the field. As well as showcasing and selling affordable artworks in live action studio spaces from the world’s most inventive and ingenious graphic artists, Pick Me Up presents an exciting and eclectic programme of events and workshops, hosted by some very special guests. The event includes highlights such as Children’s Choice Weekend with Aardman and the illustrator of the Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler, Modern Toss’ World Record Attempt, Zoom Rockman’s Live Comic Book Scene and industry insider talks from the Guardian’s digital agency and royal mail.

Modern Toss, the comedy cartoonists behind the cult Channel 4 series of the same name, will bring back the popular Portrait Booth to Pick Me Up this year, providing passport-standard portraiture in under a minute. The duo will be attempting to break a world record with the F***yeux Tapestry, the longest cartoon with the highest number of profanities. They will invite visitors to put pen to paper and become part of graphic arts history.

On the 28 April, one of the Evening Standard’s Top 20 Rising Stars of 2013, Zoom Rockman, will be recreating a life-size scene from his own comic book. Only 12 years old, the young artist writes, illustrates and publishes his award-winning comic The Zoom! which is stocked in specialist shops across London.

Aside from these interactive activities there will be a a series of evening talks and forums with professional advice and anecdotes from industry insiders. With more statistics and polls in the media than ever before The Guardian’s Digital Agency will look at how raw data can be turned into striking visual stories. On 23 April, the infographics team will share stories on how the data is found, analysed and matched with audiences and show how good visual storytelling can leave a lasting impact on the consumer.

In attendance from the Royal Mail will be Catharine Brandy, Design Manager of Stamps and Collectibles, who will discuss their ambitious project to design a series of 30 special stamps, representing every sport in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to celebrate the countdown to London 2012 and mark the 30th Olympiad.

Also included in the outstanding programme are letterpress workshops, light night music events, toy-making workshops and a wonderful selection of children’s activities over the Children’s Choice Weekend, which runs 20 – 21 April, including Shaun the Sheep model-making workshops with animators at the award-winning studio Aardman and The Gruffalo illustration workshop.

The events are free of charge with the entry admission price to the festival, though there may be an additional charge for the purchase of prints and posters produced at events.

Pick Me Up: Graphic Arts Festival, 18 – 28 April, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA.

1. Megazine © Hattie Stewart.
2. Untitled © Fatherless.
3. Relocated © Anna Lomax.