Fifteen illustrators have been selected by the organisation’s panel of judges to showcase and sell their work at the Hoxton Arches until Sunday 7th December 2014. The fair is one of many events and art exhibitions leading up to Christmas, providing affordable limited edition prints for the avid collector and unique presents such as greeting cards, t-shirts, tote bags and mugs.
One of the stand out illustrators at the fair has to be Dan Hillier whose surreal, anthropomorphic Victorian characters sit against eerie backdrops of ships and skulls. The intricate detail of black lines against white fibrous paper, especially when framed in gold is startling, or when paired with restrained touches of colour such as the work Nothing Matters has the effect of a beautifully designed tattoo.
Alice Tams’ stall will also grab your attention. She kindly took the time to tell spilt about her project Birds in Hats where she travels the globe and painstakingly researches nature to produce intricate pencil drawings of birds, each with their own individual personality. Her passion and humour is infectious, describing one of her pieces Zebra Finch in a Straw Boater as “very Shoreditch.”
Another likeable illustrator was Jonny Glover whose exquisitely conceived and framed illustrations look like old-fashioned hand finished book plates. His stall was crammed with ink pots, a sketch book and examples of his animation all telling the story of his draughtsmanship. His work features a nice mixture of narrative and subtle humour with works like Trees with haircuts inevitably putting a grin on your face.
A smörgåsbord of engraving, screen prints, linocuts and drawings, the fair has something for everyone, whether it be Lucille Clerc’s patiently tinted blueprint-like illustrations or Matieu Zanellato’s punches of colour which hark back to communist propaganda posters. The fair has a friendly and positive vibe with food stalls, DJ’s and artists such as Hannah Coates doing live drawings. If you get a chance to go, you will gain an insight into the minds and work processes of illustrators with their obsessive attention to detail and a flair for design and colour. Walking around and looking at the art will give you the comforting feeling you had as a kid doodling in the margins of your school book.