I see Sarah coming and going in my day to day at uni. I never had any personal contact with her except for when she comes to our studio letting us know about general things happening at university that could concern us. I see her entering and leaving constantly the tutors room; that forbidden place for us where a group of teachers keep track of our work and make decisions about our studies… and the worse: they judge our work! This makes me think of a post-modernist Mercury; that figure from the Greek mythology with winds on his heels in charge of bringing messages from the Gods to the mortals in Earth. And as Mercury does she enjoys interacting with other people. Her small and slender figure, long neck, short hair, big smile, bright eyes would make you think of a fragile person. But once I saw today’s Sarah’s presentation I understood that her strength, her willing power goes beyond any expectation.
She comes from a very different place to London and loves and feels divided between the two places. For her been in a contrasted life seems to be very inspiring. This and other strong statements such as “you just don’t do one thing, there’s a lot to think about” or “do the real thing, why doing it in Photoshop when you can do it with your hands” can only shows this strong personality.
One of the advices she gave us is that we need to tell the client what they need. Usually this seems to be different to what they come asking for as it was the case of Betty Jackson in which Sarah re-did her request.
She has a long list of places where she has done commissions for, including the V&A. Yet Sarah is more than a graphic designer, she is a tailor and a fabric designer too. She also played in a band in her youth! And once again Sarah is divided in two: She is working at university and she is a mother… which is such a big thing!!!
Rachel is one of our new tutors and a new illustration leader at university. Yesterday was the first day I saw and learn about her and her work. I was beautifully surprised that she was going to be one of my tutors. I loved her work and more when she told us about her way of working. One of the first images she put into the screen was an illustration for the Guardian newspaper. As Rachel explained working for a newspaper can be very stressful. Usually you receive in morning a text and you have a couple of hours to send a draft, when approved you have to do it really quick because by twelve pm next day needs to be printed. On top of that you have to summarise and interpret someone’s else idea, often a complex idea and always thinking about the text around the illustration. She added to this that in real life we will be running simultaneously different projects and this is the reason for university to give us different things at the same time.
For Rachel is very important to have her work in real life. She is interested in working her practice with context and not to be just by herself doing some drawing in her room.
She has work for many different clients. One of them is the Tate in Liverpool. Also Rachel works for the “Documentary and Reportage Illustration”. We saw some work about “Dreamland, Cairo, Research” and the architecture of the UK borders. The mediums for the UK borders are pencil and gouache. When working in digital she doesn’t like Illustrator and would only use Photoshop. I was glad to hear about someone else, apart from me, who doesn’t like Illustrator.
In the afternoon we had a class with her and we learned how to do an animation with Photoshop. I told her that this year I am happy that I’m doing more illustration that the previous years and she said something like “let’s have a very intense last month’s illustration time” and that, I felt, melted my heart!