Driving Design is our way of helping a talented young artist kick-start their creative career. We sent out a call to up-and-coming artists across the UK to design a National Express coach in their signature style, and the response was better than we could have hoped for! Now, after a tough shortlisting process, it is time to choose the winner.
But first, we'd like to give you an insight as to who our eight finalists are...
Tomekah was born and raised in Nottingham and moved to Sheffield last year after completing a degree in Illustration at UWE in Bristol.
Chef by day and freelance illustrator by night, Tomekah aspires to become a full-time Illustrator: “Getting creative makes me happy and there is nothing else I’d rather do.
“My work is usually influenced by people and conversations, and this design, in particular, celebrates our multicultural society which I thought would be reflective of National Express and its customers.
“I kept the design colourful and textural, in line with my signature style, by using a mixture of hand-made textures and Photoshop.”
You can find more at www.tomekahgeorge.com
Originally from Bristol, Sky is currently in her second year at Plymouth College of Art and has high hopes of breaking into the world of animation: “I’d say I have a fairly cartoony style. I use strong shapes and lines in my work and would like to focus on designing characters for animations in the future.”
Speaking of her Driving Design, Sky said: “I love the combination of ocean blues, greens and purples and thought this colour scheme would look striking on a National Express coach.
“I had planned for the entire design to be patterned fish scales, but the design naturally developed into a school of fish. I liked the idea of seeing them travel in the direction of the coach, journeying along with its passengers.
Find more of Sky's work on Instagram: @skylucygriffiths
Sergej was born in Lithuania and moved to Hull fourteen years ago. As an international artist, his work is highly influenced by both British post-war art and the USSR’s culture of socialist realism.
“I started developing my practice in 2015 and since then I have become immersed in British Brutalism and Russian Constructivism. I gather inspiration from Russian artists like Alexander Rodchenko and Liubov Popova. Both of those artists were very active during Russian revolution in the early 1900s and were originators of social realism in art.
“My artwork combines abstract and almost surreal images. Architecture, aesthetics of line, geometry and symmetry have all become regular elements in my work.”
The youngest of our finalists, 17-year-old Cephas is currently studying Art & Design at Manchester College.
Cephas lived in central Ireland before moving to Manchester with his family.
He said he was delighted to have been shortlisted in this competition: “Winning would mean a lot to me. My design is all about the beautiful multi-cultural society we live in. I want my image to encourage people to embrace each other despite cultural differences and believe that it being showcased on this large platform could really make a difference.
"My goal for the future is to work in the animation and comic book industry, accurately representing the world's many cultures through my work."
Jordan is a full-time project manager and freelance artist from Pontypool in South Wales.
A self-taught artist with a passion for nature, Jordan often attends festivals, events and natural locations to sketch real life studies and refine her skills.
Her bed of work takes inspiration from her surroundings: “For this project, I wanted to create something beautiful so took inspiration from the landscapes of Britain. Working from resource images, I created a rich landscape which emits a dream-like element, while still appreciating the natural beauty.
“It seems fitting to put a landscape on the side of this bus, as using public transport is reducing our impact on the environment and enabling the general public to enjoy our country.”
Twenty-year-old Tom is in his penultimate year of an Art degree at the University of Reading. Creative from a young age, he describes himself as a contemporary painter with a unique style.
Speaking of his Driving Design, Tom said: “My goal for this project was to create a design that was positive and fun for those who would get the chance to see it on their travels.
“The design features carefully selected and digitally edited paintings from a series of my work. The original artworks are painted onto wood and consist of acrylic paint and chalk.
“I then digitally edited the colour scheme to hold a bright sunshine-yellow pigment that I thought would look bright and bold on the large scale of a coach.”
Sarah graduated from the University of Bolton last year with a degree in Animation and Illustration and is now is a freelance artist building up her experience.
She has recently completed a short work placement wallpaper firm Holden Décor, where she digitally illustrated her own wallpaper designs and learnt about the software and process of creating wallpaper.
Sarah said: “I love drawing smooth and flowy decorative designs – I’d say this is my signature style. I wanted to include a travel theme so incorporated some winding roads into the piece and tied it all up with the National Express colours.”
A keen artist and musician, Ben Watson is originally from Warrington, but now lives in London where he studies Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art whilst working full-time in a restaurant.
Ben has always had a creative streak: “I have been drawing and painting ever since I could pick up a pencil. As a child everyone would know to get me a blank piece of paper and some drawing apparatus just to keep me entertained, now I do it to escape the world and reflect.”
Describing the concept behind his Driving Design, Ben said: “I am a huge lover of animals and came up with the idea after watching Sir David Attenborough documentaries. All the animals illustrated in the work are endangered species due to the impact of human beings on this planet and I wanted to use the platform to send a message that by making some simple lifestyle changes we could do a lot of good.”
Follow Ben on Instagram: @purple_celery
Now that you've met our finalists, choose your favourite and vote now by clicking the link below.
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