I decided long long time ago that I would go exhibit at this big fancy graduate event in London, which I always thought I would have enough time to prepare for (with a solid month after degree show) and even make some shiny new work to hang on a wall. However, life was what actually happened in between and having my parents visiting for two weeks to attend my graduation left me with a few ”days-off” scattered throughout June. In that time I managed to prepare my spread for a catalogue for our promotional D&AD catalogue (image below) and put together another portfolio, that I actually enjoy more than my degree one (probably because of a very nice textured paper vs shiny, luster paper, still quite nice). No time left for new work though!
We went to London 4th of July, to be up and ready to set up exhibition space early on the 5th. We got a nice spot with some natural sunlight (London gets quite sunny in July, apparently!) and because we booked double-space which cost us around 200 pounds each with 18 people in total, but I was genuinely hoping it would be worth it, as quite a few people were saying it’s a great opportunity to get ourselves out there!
The actual event was not as big as I pictured it to be. Probably only a quarter of a size of a building that I expected to see. However, the venue, Old Truman Brewery it was called, was in a nice area of London, A lot of schools had a single-space shared among more than a dozen of people, which made it quite overwhelming with visual information, hence I was glad we invested into a double-sized stall so each of our pieces had enough space to breathe and were arranged neatly. I’m genuinely happy about the way our group sorted the layout of our exhibition space so that we only have one piece on a shelf and another one on a wall, with some space for business cards as well.
We got to see the private view the first night, which was a great event, packed with people and free food/drinks. Again, I felt a bit lost in the sea of visuals as well as people trying to promote themselves, but that’s what everyone came here for – to show off their best work and to make some good contacts with the right people. Personally, I was not very good with the latter one. Partly, because not that many people would stop by and look at my work specifically, or for a longer period of time, and when they did, I wouldn’t want to distract them from the actual work as well. It’s tricky! On the other hand, I was also too distracted by London myself, and while there, I sometimes wanted to do tourist things more than walk around the D&AD stalls. It’s mostly my fault for not making the most of the event, but overall, I heard some people saying that the exhibiting in the end didn’t seem to be worth so much money after all, given the scale of event, the talks and workshops taking place and the people visiting. D&AD appeared to be more of a marketing/graphicdesign/productdesign event with its commercial twist, rather than artsy event to demonstrate drawing and storytelling skills through visual narratives, that our group was mainly focused on. I felt that we were really not in the right place in some way,however, it was good experience to see everyone else’s work and find that all in all, our stall looked classy AF.
Peace and Love!