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Review: Pick Me Up 2014

Thursday 24 April 2014
Words Alice Bell

Pick Me Up is the event that has brought us graphic design and illustration geeks to the mainstream. Now in its fifth year, it has become a calendar staple for the discerning contemporary graphic arts enthusiast.

Conceived as the antithesis to a traditional art fair, last night’s preview was a great introduction to the festival. Downstairs, the ‘Selects’ area showcases what they deem some of the best work in contemporary illustration. Familiar names such as Hey Studio sit alongside more up-and-coming illustrators; Alice Tye and Billy (whose works had an air of Hockney and Keith Haring respectively) were two that stood out of an excellent selection.


Upstairs is almost overwhelming; it could be said there is too much good work to see, you end up feeling like you may have missed some treat hidden away in one of the side rooms. There is of also a great selection of things that you can take part in too – many illustrators were peddling their wares with interactive stalls, meaning that you can take home your very own piece of #art (all with the #pickmeuplondon seal of approval of course). This has become a bit of a given over the last few years, but nonetheless a fun way to interact with the illustrators and designers themselves and take home a unique piece.

Upstairs at Pick Me Up – photo by Kevin Meredith

Always a lot of fun – Pick Me Up is well worth a visit – although it would be nice to see something different next year, maybe a change of venue or format of the festival.

Pick Me Up opens today at Somerset House, London and runs until 5th May with a daily, line-up of events designed to encourage all to get involved.