Freyja Dean

Some of the most fulfilling and interesting cross-disciplinary work in the burgeoning London art scene is coming out of the inter-dialogue between the arts and sciences – from biological processes to scientific theories to technologies that are testing the brave new virtual frontier, artists are increasingly drawing on the scientific basis for our natural world to weave the fabric of our contemporary narratives.

Art institutions, too, are beginning to recognise this – take the relatively new MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins, which is supporting young creatives who come from all walks of life.

I refer, in particular, to the work of Freyja Dean, self-professed artist, illustrator and designer. She completed her MA last term at CSM, but before that was studying Scientific and Natural History Illustration for three years, and also completed work for the Royal College of Surgeons. She applies this scientific background of precise finesse to her artwork, seen clearly in the beautifully crafted lines and shading of both her anatomical and ink illustrations.

Freyja has created an eclectic range of work, from album covers to painting to costume design. I was particularly impressed by her MA work, IDollatry, which consisted of a fantastical “portal” guarded by a lemur-hybrid that opened up into a triptych of IDollworld. Listening to her speak at the MA Art and Science Symposium was inspiring as she explained how her work sought to explore the technological potential of the future, as well as the phenomena of modern, self-cultivated mythologies.

“I wanted to create an altar piece complete with idols (or IDolls) that explored the possible consequences, not just in terms of what we are capable of, but also what kind of humanity we are shaping for ourselves.” 

To peek further into the world of Freyja’s strange and futuristic Eden, visit her website.

Susan Campbell. Print Designer.

Central Saint Martins is known for churning out it’s one-of-a-kinds, geniuses and go-getters. Take a quick peek at the alumni and you find the likes of Luella Bartley, Peter Blake and M.I.A to name a few. Well, this little lady is no exception.

Meet Susan Campbell, a Textile Design graduate and print designing enthusiast. The Congleton-born, bob-flaunting individual quite frankly has the patience of a saint with her intricate, neoprene print design but boy, does it pay off.

Susan’s heroic creative process involves drawing her initial designs onto Adobe Illustrator as vector lines, then printing out these designs and deciphering where she will place her colours followed by breaking the design up into various pieces, again on Illustrator. After this, she laser cuts the designs onto coloured neoprene, leaving her with a thousand tiny jigsaw pieces. From here on she pieces those neoprene nuggets back together on a glue coated lycra base and voila! To see the agonising journey itself from drawing to dream, head over to her tumblr.

Currently working at Ted Baker taking on the role of Womenswear Print Assistant and spending her London days like any young print designer should; picnicking, partying and printing. I caught up with the Campbell herself and asked her the all important question of which One Direction member she would kidnap and keep..


One Direction then.. who would be the member of choice?

– Zayn, without a doubt.

So then, onto print I suppose. What tickles your fancy in the way of inspiration for your prints?

– I love going to exhibitions, looking at blogs and magazines and genuinely, just walking a lot gives me inspiration from the things I see along the way.

Who is the ‘Susan Campbell’ consumer you have in mind when designing your prints?

– Someone who is playful yet sophisticated. Someone that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. 

If you could pluck out a celeb of choice to be donning your designs, who would it be?

– Robyn. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

– Colourful and sporty with lots of leopard print.

Fashion icons?

Eva Fontanelli and The Queen. 

New York, Paris, London or Milan?

– London.

What do you love about where you live right now?

– Everything you could ever want is on Bethnal Green Road. Literally, anything from David Beckham pencil cases to giant bubble machines! I also love that you can never become bored because there is always something fun going on.

Share a charming anecdote (no pressure.)

– I broke my collarbone aged 10 whilst dressed as a prostitute. I had to go straight to hospital unchanged..

And what does the future hold for Miss Campbell?

– Good question! A lot of enjoyment hopefully. I’m also working to push my ideas and concepts in a way I’m really excited about.

You heard it here first ladies and gents! Want even more from Miss C? Well, isn’t that what good ol’ social media is all about? Have a peep at her wonderfully artistic Bethnal Green life via her instragram or maybe even pop over to her official website.


Ekin Balcioglu

Ekin Balcioglu is a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, where she received her BA in Menswear, and where she wishes to continue on to her MA.

Despite her fashion background, Ekin has drawn and painted most of her life – She decided to study menswear at CSM in an effort to combine her interests of shape, volume, and texture within her usual every day practice of painting and water-based media. Her interests grew into blurring the boundaries between mediums, taking the solidity of fabrics and the fluidity of painting and producing what has become more fine art than fashion. However, despite this difference, Ekin has so far been awarded several prizes for her work in painting/drawing figures.

The artist’s interest in water-based media stems from the unpredictability of it – Unlike other mediums, she doesn’t have complete control over the final outcome, resulting in abstract, blurring forms. Her ‘Untitled’ ink on paper series reflects her interest in the form, specifically that of the human form, and how that, combined with the fluidity and unpredictability of the ink, can create almost anamorphic, animal-like, formless beings.


– Killian

Introducing..Ana Marquis.

Ana Marquis is a recent BA Graphic Design graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design based out of London.

Despite obtaining a BA Degree in Graphic Design, Ana considers herself a multi-disciplinary artist, and is also interested in illustration and animation as well as graphic design. One of her more known techniques is through her use of collage and montage, creating surreal, dada-esque imagery.

For her most recently-noted series of work, Ana gained inspiration from her dissertation research, involving multiple forms of relationships between Man and Technology. Her work became her way of deciphering all of this information needed for her dissertation, allowing her to understand these concepts more in depth. Questions such as, “How did technology come to change the way we act, think, touch, see, feel, and live?”, “How did it disconnect us from our ‘natural’ senses and natural surroundings?”, “How did it bring us a brand new technological world where we can have a disembodied existence, where we can connect with other cyber beings from all around the corners of the world?” – She answered these complex questions through her artwork.

To find out more about Ana’s work, feel free to visit her Website, here. 

– Killian

(All imagery courtesy of Ana Marquis)

Introducing..Ximena Escobar.

Ximena Escobar is a left-handed illustrator and wallpaper-pattern designer based out of London. She has acquired two MA Degrees, one in Illustration from Camberwell College of Art and Design in 2012, and one in Design for Textile Futures from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2005.

Ximena’s work is derived from her inspirations that deal with the relationships between women and nature, as well as the notion of ‘the Shaman woman’ – or someone who is able to reach a altered states of consciousness, allowing them to encounter and interact with the spirit world. Her ‘Blooming’ series, which are made from homemade illustrations and fabric collage, involve portraits of individual women and flowers or animals. The artist’s use of collage aids in creating a three-dimensional, layered object, helping to bring her portraits to life. Her use of colour is extraordinary, complimenting each other and catching the viewer’s eye.

To find out more about Ximena’s work, as well as keep up to date on any future showcasings of the artists’ work, visit her Website here, or follow her on Twitter, here.

– Killian

(All imagery courtesy of Ximena Escobar)

Sabrina Collares

Sabrina Collares is a contemporary illustrator originally from Brazil, based in London. Despite being a self-taught illustrator, there is no denying the talent and artistic vigour of Sabrina. Having participated previously at a workshop Central Saint Martins, as well as other illustration activities, she is very pro-active, and engaged in her subject area.

The work is proof of this. Despite using a limited number of tools (mainly pencil, pens and markers) Sabrina manages to create incredibly striking pieces of art.  In ‘O Gigante Novatel’ (Main Image), Sabrina uses incredible attention to detail to visualise her imaginations. A fantastic floral smorgasbord grows from a natural figure, perhaps symbolising desires for a more greener world. Despite stylistic undertones of 1960s psychedelia, a cutting black & white beam adds that contemporary edge, somehow bringing it into 2013.

I was lucky enough to ask Collares a few questions regarding her inspiration. She will be the first to admit her methodology is unorthodox, having been self taught as mentioned earlier. Sabrina informed me that a lot of her work stems from her dream world, allowing her creations to be ‘instinctive’ pieces of work that don’t develop from sketches, they just simply materialize.

“When I sit down to draw I am not even sure what is going to come up, after finished I look up the symbolism behind the colors, thematic, geometric shapes, whatever is on it. My drawing is done very meticulously and it can be quite a stressful and slow process”.

Having been exhibited by Saatchi and Emerge Gallery, Sabrina is boldly venturing up the creative ladder. For more of Sabrina’s work, visit here.

Masha Reva

Masha Reva is a Ukrainian-born designer who migrated to the UK in 2010 to complete two short courses in Fashion Marketing and Creating New Concepts in Fashion at Central Saint Martins in London. Shortly after completing her courses, Reva created quite the buzz on in fashion industry, and has since been involved in numerous collaborations and shows.

Reva’s work is completely unique, stemming many ideas from her surroundings and being described as ‘tip-toeing between fashion and art’. Her designs are not for the conservative or for the colour-shy – You have to be bold and confident to wear something so flamboyant and artistic. Recently, Reva was asked by Kiev/London-based clothing company, Syndicate, to collaborate with on designing a limited range of sweatshirts, which are available in six different designs, called “Botanical Layers”. Reva explains the collaboration as, “A juxtaposition of immersion in the rapid pace of contemporary life, gadgets, and social networks with a yearning for our natural environment, explored as a metaphorical botanical garden of Photoshop layers and loading bars.”

This designer is definitely one to be on the lookout for, especially in early 2013. Who knows what will derive next from this talented artist!

 You can view more of Masha Reva’s work/designs on her website here, as well as her current collaboration with Syndicate here.

 (Images Courtesy of Masha Reva)

 – Killian