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Graduates 2009: Rose Blake

Posted by Will Hudson,

Rose is a 21 year old illustration graduate from Kingston University in London. Their show is on at the moment, and when we popped down to it we’d already seen her work, but was blow away with it when we saw the textures and prints close-up.

She helped set up the collective ‘This is It’ in her second year at Kingston and is really passionate about printmaking, so much so she’s started up her own little T-shirt company. Her work is based around “stuff that she loves”, and embraces it’s self indulgence, and we hope you will too.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Anything but an artist. I was pretty keen on being an opera singer, but then I realised that you actually had to be good. When I was 8 I went to a private view in Paris of my dads and made loads of drawings on the night (one of which was of my dad in a skirt) which I sold to all his mates for a fiver each. I think I made about £40 which for an 8 year old is a fortune, and realised that I could make a living from drawing stupid pictures.

In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?

It was pretty horrific. I did loads of really horrendous paintings of dart players. We had to do loads of location drawing in the first year too which i’m rubbish at. My work was really flippant and jokey, and at my final year tutorial my tutour Paul said that my work was way better when it was more serious and personal. I made a conscious decision at the beginning of the 2nd year to start making work that I really believed in. I started making my tshirts in the first year, and most of my designs that I sell at the moment were done then, so it wasn’t all that bad I suppose.

If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?

I’d show my 3rd year final project, which is an A2 illustrated poetry book, to the poet Adrian Mitchell (who died at Christmas). I made my ‘love is like a cigarette’ print (which is in the book) after seeing a reading of his last summer and always meant to send it to him with a letter saying how much it inspired me.

If you had your own business, who would you employ and why?

I’d have David Byrne to make music for me, and all my friends who I love working with anyway.

If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?

On moving into London this summer… and maybe some sunglasses.

Where will we find you in 12 months?

I got into the RCA, so hopefully i’ll be there, making better work and having loads of fun. Also hopefully our collective ‘This Is It’ will be getting work and everything will be going well.

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.