Pick Me Up, the graphic art fair, returns to Somerset House in London from March 22 to April 1 2012. This year's event features an exhibition of 20 artists, workshops, talks, curated events and pop-up shops from the likes of Peepshow Collective, It's Nice That and Beach London.

There's also a weekend event programme focussed on children's illustration and cartoons and comics, and a portfolio review clinic from Zara Wood (aka Woody) and Josie Sullens. Here's the skinny.

The Exhibition

20 designers and illustrators have been selected to exhibit at ‘Pick Me Up Selects’, the exhibition that runs alongside the fair. An image from each of the artists will be available in a limited edition postcard box set.

This year's artists include Tim McDonagh (creator of a Masterclass based around his beautiful Joanna Newsom poster in our current issue, above),  Sarah Beetson, Tim Enthoven, Yoko Furusho, Paul X Johnson, Matthew the Horse, Michael Kirkham, Sac Magique, Sarah Maycock, Yuko Michishita, Jon McNaught, Martin Nicolausson, Niki Pilkington, David Sparshott, Kristjana S Williams, Phil Wrigglesworth, Riikka Sormunen, Zeloot and Zim&Zou.

Niki Pilkington

Kristjana S Williams


Collectives will be designing site-specific spaces to exhibit, make and sell artworks, offering visitors a chance to experience a behind-the-scenes studio atmosphere. Pick Me Up favourites such as It’s Nice That make a welcome return, as well as newcomers This Is It, Soho Warriors Football Club and Dutch collective Ships of Fools.

Following previous Residencies from Rob Ryan and Anthony Burrill, this year Peepshow Collective take up a 10 day residency in the studio to present The Museum of Objects & Origins. They will be bringing together a collection of artefacts including drawings, objects, prints, and costumes, to be housed in their very own museum. Exhibiting items from an invented past, the collection will also be a living, changing display as themed workshops with the public will create new works to fill the final few empty cabinets.


Pick Me Up 2012 has invited a selection of galleries specialising in small press, design, illustration and graphic art to curate bespoke environments. Exhibiting will be East London-based art galleries Nelly Duff and Beach London.


The weekend events programme includes the Children’s Illustration Weekend on March 24-25 March and the Cartoons & Comics Weekend on March 31-April 1.

The former is aimed at children of all ages and their families, with activities exploring illustration and storytelling. It will offer visitors drawing workshops, signings, storytelling and special animation screenings from well-known illustrators and animators.

The Cartoons & Comics Weekend looks at the underground and self-publishing scene, the latest graphic novels, comics and animation, the weekend will include live drawing, workshops and talks. Visitors will be able to flick through the latest zines and graphic novels from London-based independent publishers, take part in printing and zine making, as well as designing their own characters with help from cult character artists.

Late Thursdays on March 22 and 29 will feature a 10pm close, a bar, live DJs and the opportunity to make prints and drawings, as well as to explore typography, fashion illustration, zines and book art in a series of hands-on workshops and demonstrations.