Mactac X Arts Thread competition: Bright, young things take Hackney

Mactac and Arts Thread have collaborated to celebrate young and innovative illustrators with the competition, Bright Young Things.

The competition, open to European designers, asked them to create 2D visuals aimed for exterior walls in prime retail locations, considering its potential to be seen by millions of people.

Given the participation of our sister brand Coloro, with its managing director part of the judging panel alongside Christopher Raeburn amongst others, creativity in colour was a really important element for this brief.

We attended the event that celebrated the 7 finalists, selected out of 330 entries, in the ever-cool Hackney Walk, London’s first luxury outlet.


Arts Thread

WGSN caught up with a few finalists for insight behind these artists’ creations, from conveying strong messages, to sharing personal journeys.

Finalist, Karen Sung

Seoul based Karen Sung, (Royal College of Art), says she “[travels] around different countries to capture their cultural atmosphere, something you you can’t really get from photos or Instagram posts.

I want to celebrate the ‘now’, the London ‘now’, the Italy ‘now,’ so that people can live contemporarily rather than reminiscing history”. She thinks that every individual is interesting, and should be celebrated and recorded. She continues: “I find reality so interesting, so much more than my imagination, that’s why I work to capture it”. She mostly draws people and unearths their stories when she’s sat in cafés, and her Instagram is a mood board of her creations.  When I ask her ‘why cafés?’, she says that it’s an intimate place and people are open to say a lot about themselves and their feelings. “I have learnt so much about myself by drawing other people or designing for them” she concludes.


Finalist, Ana Carolina

Ana Carolina, (Central Saint Martin’s), is originally from Brazil and uses print as a tool to illuminate the world.

Her aesthetic is bold and uplifting, achieved through a use of movement and colour. She’s also started her own label which is unisex and offers bigger sizes. “I believe in inclusivity” she says, and wants to send a message to the world – especially to the fashion industry.


Finalist, Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards, (University of Leeds), works on a range of materials, but specialises in making three-dimensional paper sculptures. She believes in the versatility of paper as it can be turned into anything. Her sculptures can be photographed and used in advertising and she’s recently started a project to make second-hand clothing from charities more appealing. She buys used objects from charity, like this stiletto, and styles and shoots them with her sculptures to help sell them, typically at a higher price point, with the money made going back to charity. She’s interested in speaking to charities to upscale her project.


Finalist, Ester Alonso

Ester Alonso , (Leeds Arts University), originally from Madrid, discovered her interest in print and pattern design while in London. Working on cloth, ceramics and paper, Ester’s favourite design is achieved through collage and screen printing. Her work is abstract, geometric, minimalist and she’s particularly interested in doing more work in interior design, especially in the field of sustainability. She showed us amazing hand-printed fabrics that she’d created from paper collages.


Finalist, Eva Davidora

Eva Davidova, (Central Saint Martin’s UAL), originally from Czech Republic, is a graphic designer and graffiti artist. As a child, she moved to different countries and was constantly adapting to different environments. It became natural for her to compare and observe the way people think, work and interact in different cultures.

She says that she “learnt that illustration carries out a slightly different role in every country and in different parts of the world. The demand on its function is closely related to the way of thinking, to the sense of humour and the use of language. This is an aspect of illustration that I find fascinating”. Eva spent months in the Peruvian jungle to study how people live there and document it in her graduation project. She’s now focused on finding visual elements of universal language and incorporate them in her work to speak to anyone who chooses to look at her creations


The next chapter of this competition is New York, this time open to worldwide artists. Arts Thread collaborates with Avery Dennison, and the four winning works to be shown to millions in Times Square on 12-20 May 2018 in conjunction with DesignPavilion as part of NYCxDESIGN

Enjoyed this? Read our Arts Snapshot March 2018 report.

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