Monday 8 December 2014

Hifest 2014

The vaguely militaristic 'red right hand' of Hifest.
Hifest was the first annual Hastings Illustration festival attended by various luminaries of the commercial art world. Names like Quentin Blake the visualiser of Roald Dahl's tales, Rob Ryan who can most definitely be trusted with scissors and a whole host of local, national and international talent.

Lots of strenuous milling around went on.
It was interesting attending with my illustration-y family. My mother Bunny Mazhari did her MA in Communications at the RCA and my brother Alex Mazhari did his BA in Illustration at the University of Brighton, while I'm currently doing my MA in Sequential Design/Illustration also at Brighton. Between us we've seen the inspired, the mediocre and the utter shite in every possible permutation.

Hipsters in their natural habitat.
After paying my £3 and getting a wristband I felt more legitimate than I had since my parent's shotgun wedding (I joke) and ready to be awed by the array of work on offer. For the most part I was happily surprised by the standard of content.

Lawrence Zeegen managed to condense 50 years of Illustration into a single talk without it actually feeling like decades were passing. It was interesting at the end however when an audience member asked about the underrepresentation of women in his book and he could shed little light, perhaps this should be the subject of the next book? I still think she should've won a copy of his book that he was offering for the most interesting question.

The wonderful Fabula Collective
The Fabula Collective are "a multi-disciplinary collective originating from the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and the MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at the University of Brighton." Who; "are connected by a desire to tell stories through images, objects and text." Maybe I'm biased since they consist of graduates and soon to be graduates of my MA but I really feel that their work stood out. I particularly enjoyed Vanessa Marr's sew your own duster kit, subverting that most domestic of objects with embroidered words of wit and wisdom.

One of the highlights for me was being allowed an up close glimpse into the densely filled and elaborate notebook of the great John Vernon Lord whose work to me can only be rivalled in detail by Richard Dadd. I spent quite a while reading his book 'Drawn to Drawing' at the NoBrow stall.

Some of my purchases; unfortunately I didn't get the details of the artist who made 'Peanut of Doom.' If this is your peanut then please get in touch. 

The 'Peanut of Doom' I thought he looked more wistful than doomed.
How I felt after taking in so much interesting stuff. Interview

Read the full interview here

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