Pick Me Up graphic arts festival has come to an end, but here are three collectives you should keep your eye on.

Pick Me Up graphic arts festival has come to an end, but here are three collectives you should keep your eye on.

To celebrate Pick Me Up graphic arts festival coming to a close at Somerset House, we select three groups who let guests get their hands dirty and take part. One of the most exciting aspects of Pick Me Up is how it bridges the gap between the artists and the public; it makes the work on show feel relevant and progressive because it has been developed beyond a single product or piece. The following three collectives offered some fantastic interactive art that we could really get down with.


Olio is made up of eight Camberwell College of Arts illustration graduates. Their project at Pick My Up was an interactive wall of art entitled ‘Build’. ‘Build’ was an evolving workshop area, which acted as a framework for construction based workshops, from painting bricks, collaging tiles to make a floor, and playing with signature.

Olio’s intention was that the activity around their area would create parallels between the process of constructing a building and the various stages of creative process. Although the project included contributions from anyone who sat in their space over the course of the festival, Olio managed to create a sense of their collective through the colour scheme, materials and processes used to ‘build’ it. They successfully overcame any disparity between building and illustration by showing the public how the approach to information is in many ways the same, it is researched and gathered and then utilised to create something new.

The Illustrated Game

The Illustrated Game  is an illustrated football blog. Founded in 2012 by Joe and Alice Devine, T.I.G now has a number of regular contributors and they post a weekly podcast. Their space at Pick Me Up had an intricately beautiful game of Subbuteo, loosely based on the upcoming world cup. Although board games take a back seat in our digital age they are so nostalgic that this illustrated game inevitably provoked a response. Although Joe and Alice are fans of mainstream football, their hearts lie with the non-league football clubs, in much the same way as we feel more love for Subbuteo than Playstation. Joe explains:

“Step away from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League and you’ll find a desolate wasteland of financially struggling and often poorly supported clubs, often sharing stadiums and surviving on nothing. These environments and the people found in such places are remarkably interesting, and as such often make up our more scenic and artistic work.”

Brothers Of The Stripe

For this year’s Pick Me Up, the collective of image-makers, Brothers Of The Stripe, staged a chemistry lab for their mutant lino workshop. They exhibited their periodic print collection and Bro-ology Shop with new products designed and made from all things science, from screen-printed science books to lab rat enamel badges. The brothers are a group of all male designers from across the country. They came together to form their own ‘periodic table’ of different styles and skills, while offering each other on-going brotherly support. Huck asked them about their dream Pick Me Up exhibit:

“I think from a wee powwow with the boys it would be a live draw, screen print collaboration with Fatherless, involving craft, ales, burgers and Ping-Pong.”

Here’s hoping Pick Me Up will let them do that next year, but in the meantime look out for their work at The London Illustration Fair, and upcoming collaborations with The House of Illustration and The Concept Lounge.
Pick Me Up graphic arts festival ran at Somerset House until April 24 – May 5.