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Monday, November 14, 2016

Shaping the View

This past week, the University of Edinburgh hosted the symposium Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape through Illustration. For two days we were treated to lectures by expert illustrators and illustration academics talking about this year's theme. The CD project we did was part of the exhibit in honor of the symposium.
     Opening night was a blast - we MAs and MFAs 1 and 2 (I'm an MFA2, meaning 2nd-year) were the gang!
     The symposium had 42 speakers discussing topics from "Mythical Speech in Reportage Illustration" to "The Time Travelling Antiquarian: illustrated guide books to North Wales."
     That last topic was Desdemona McCannon's, which I sadly missed as I had other uni obligations (dissertation meeting). She is the symposium's organizer and an illustrator and illustration scholar from the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. I met Desdemona when she came to speak to us last year and I kidnapped her for tea. She was extremely helpful in the early stages of putting together my PhD proposal so it was lovely to connect with her once again. Here she is introducing a speaker alongside my tutor (teacher), Jonathan Gibbs...
     who I also had to miss. However, I finally got to hear him play guitar at the Wee Red Bar on closing night. (Yes, my uni has a bar in the building.) He's extremely good - maybe I can get him to teach me guitar as well as art? CLICK HERE or the image below to have a listen on YouTube.
     I did get to enjoy several other wonderful speakers, such as children's book creators Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom.
     Printer Angie Lewin shared her linocut/screen printing process with us, which I was especially keen to see considering my recent linocut experiments.

     I was also able to meet the incredibly kind and talented Patrick Benson. He is the illustrator of such greats as Owl Babies and The Minpins.
  
     I put his work on the same level with the creators who made me want to become a children's book illustrator in the first place, such as Chris Van Allsburgh, Garth Williams and Paul O. Zelinsky. I mean, look at this!
     He shared his storyboard for The Minpins.
     I loved seeing all these work-in-progress slides!
     Here I am with my mentor and friend Vivian French and Patrick Benson - lucky me!
     I also ended up meeting several of the speakers, such as Catrin Morgan of Falmouth University (one of the schools I considered for my MFA). And since Stan and I were going out to dinner Friday evening after the symposium finished up anyway, we invited along some of the speakers who didn't have plans: Doug B. Dowd of Washington University in St. Louis, Robyn Phillips-Pendleton of the University of Delaware, and Sylvia ___ who I hope will email me so that I can give her proper credit.
     All said, it was one of those events wherein I'm reminded that I am a student at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. What a wonderful event to attend!

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