Our pick of the D&AD's New Blood 2011

The Digital Arts team have scooted round the D&AD's New Blood exhibition of creative graduate work, held as part of Free Range, to bring you the best illustration and design work from the latest crop of hot new talent.

The D&AD's New Blood exhibition brings together graduate work -- and the graduates themselves -- from some of the best design, illustration and visual communication degree courses from around the UK (though Central St Martins was conspicuous by its absence). It's at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane from today until Monday.

Digital Arts' Johann Chan, Emma Van Beurden and I were at the private view last night and tasked ourselves with seeking the best new work. By and large, the best work was simple but not formal, innocent but not naive (or faux-naive) and very striking. Here's our selection, the order we encountered the work (for no reason except I'm bored of alphabetical order):

Kelly Pill

Kelly Pill, Blackpool & the Fylde College

I want this as a wallpaper strip in my kitchen. Enough said.

Jake Townsend

Jake Townsend, University of Lincoln

Jake's work is bold and deceptively simple, and is best viewed as shown at New Blood: on an eight-foot-high billboard.

Christie Burland-Upton

Christie Burland-Upton, University of Lincoln

This campaign for M&S has inventive use of elegant typopgraphy.

Christina Button

Christina Button, The Arts University College at Bournemouth

The Women in Film project combines multiple film posters to give an "average of on-screen beauty". What makes it truly inspired is that Christina has created images based on posters from 1940 and then one every decade until now (2010 shown above) to chart the changing look of what we like in movie stars.

Maisie Duncan-Antoine

Maisie Blaise Duncan-Antoine, Bath Spa University

These playing cards based on British birds are simply beautiful.

Natasha Hutton

Natasha Hutton, University of Plymouth

Natasha's female figures have a charmingly handmade feel (which they are, with pastels, gouache and coloured pencils.

Megan Louise

Megan Louise, University of Plymouth

Eye-catching, simple and overtly sexual, Megan's illustrations would suit many top fashion brands.

Abby Wright

Abby Wright, Hull School of Art & Design

Despite only graduating this year, Abby should be well known to readers of Digital Arts, having appeared in our pages many times. She also created my portrait that's in every issue, and can be found in our next issue, out July 7, as part of the Tea & Crayons collective.

Emma Bennett

Emma Bennett, University College Falmouth

With one book deal already under her belt, and more on the cards, Emma is already a success -- and she looks to have an incredible career as a children's author and illustrator.

Petros Afshar

Petros Afshar, Middlesex University

Petros has produced some of the most polished work at the show. His fully-formed display ads for Microsoft could easily fit into the pages of newspapers or magazines. For more of Petros' work, see the Showcase section of the next issue of Digital Arts, out July 8.

Shane Noonan

Shane Noonan, Middlesex University

Shane's pen-and-ink drawing of a fox in a scarf was Emma's favourite piece of the entire show.

Emma Chinnery

Emma Chinnery, Middlesex University

Simple expressive comic illustrations from an artist with a distinctive style.

Ailish Sullivan

Ailish Sullivan, University of Westminster

Skulls were everywhere at New Blood this year, but Ailish's creepy painting based on bone's osteocyte cells was the best of the bunch. It's reminiscent of Victorian skull optical illusions, except without the opposing image.

Kaylie Allen

Kaylie Allen, Napier University

The Rollercoaster of Commercial Violence is bulit of bike parts and using a chain to take a doll's head on a journey away from its body.

Tune back next week for our look at the New Designers show. If you're going to New Designers, I'll be overseeing a panel discussion about how graduate illustrators can forge a career, featuring the incredibly talented and (hopefully) outrageously opinionated Mr Bingo, Lizzie Mary Cullen, Rod Hunt and Tigz Rice. It's on Friday July 8 at 4pm. Hope to see you there.

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