African super graphics, Peruvian guinea pigs, distasteful jokes and a Peckham bakery; with subject matter like this, no one can accuse graphic design graduate Isabel Gibson of following the tired student tropes of a tea pantone or some triangles.
Isabel is a Chelsea College of Art alumnus with an ability beyond her experience to fulfil the multi-disciplinarian maxim: A good idea well made. “I don’t have a particular way or style of working,” she says with a portfolio featuring film, international fashion initiatives and the odd classic book work to back her up. “Instead I just try to use whichever medium makes for the most engaging outcome.”
If the future of design education is the application of design principles to anything but the traditional assumptions of the medium, then surely Isabel Gibson is top of the class. “If there’s something you find engaging” she tells us, “you just have to find a way of making others just as excited about it.”
Why or who or what made you go to art school?
I’ve always been a bit of a keeno but probably what cemented it was a pom pom making craze back at school – that really did it. Me and my sister made and sold hundreds. Thankfully it was just a phase but I was left knowing that when I was happiest was when I was making things that looked nice (which was debatable in the case of the pom poms).
What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?
There is always a good side to every bad situation. Examples of which would be blowing up a cake with a firework and bursting a water filled balloon in my front room without being more prepared. It completely destroyed the floor, walls and ceiling but it was priceless.
If you could show you your work to one person, who would you choose and what would you show them?
I would probably show The Power of Static to Alan Davies and try and get him on board, just to see how that great head of hair would perform.
Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?
There is a long list of projects that I have been dying to do whilst still at uni but I never had the time, so this is now the opportunity to catch up. I already have a few collaborations setup over the summer so it will be great to crack on with them. This time next year, who knows where I will be but it’s exciting not knowing! Most definitely making bigger and better work.
What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?
Too many things! A pigeon swallowing a Malteaser whole was a big highlight. Outstanding.
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