Commontongue Collective / by Esaf Commitee

What is Commontongue?

H.C: It’s a group of like 20 people in the 4th year Illustration class that are often in the same exhibitions. It’s also a business that's been set up by Mhairi Braden. Basically the collective we've set up is to get more people interested with illustration art and art in general together and to make it more accessible for people. That's what is really great about illustration it communicates ideas very strongly. We are going to the collective as this small thing that has guests as part of it. We are showing a bunch of different work. The title is ‘In a Landscape’ and the idea is based on the internal way that people see the world. It's basically a great opportunity for us to showcase what we are already doing.

What different mediums do you use?

H.C: Mostly digital with some printmaking and there's a lot of hand drawings in the collective. A lot of the group draw or do painting.

M.B: Most people are heavily influenced by printmaking. My work is normally printmaking but for this showcase I will be doing monoprinting which is drawing straight on the plate.

Can you tell me a bit about your individual work?

M.B: Oh yeah! My piece is about a memory I had. I was in Peru in the jungle a couple of years ago and it was a really rewarding experience and a lot of things happened. I kept a journal when I was there. My piece is about something that happened when I was there. It's about the space and the environment. we got flooded so it's about heavy rainfall. It's quite funny too.

What is the purpose of the collective?

M.B: Just to show an appreciation of how different illustration can be.

H.C: Yeah, I think that illustration is often quite a good way of bridging the gap between fine art, that may be less accessible to the average person, and illustration, which can often be a big more figurative. I’m kind of doing comic sequence things as well. A lot of people from illustration are often quite narrative and a lot of us are involved with that whether that's a single picture or a sequence.

How important is feedback to you when producing work?

M.B: I think it depends, with feedback you can argue with it. For example I can argue that I did something in a certain way because of my original thought process. Feedback is always useful because if you just had yourself looking at your work the whole time it would get boring and you wouldn't be injecting new things in there. I think what is good about the studio environment is that we all give each other feedback and encourage each other.

H.C: I think I find feedback really useful but i also do a lot of projects that are designed to tell people a story whereas some people do more artist books which are much more personal. 

Commontongue collective's website:

Mhairi  Braden’s portfolio:

Hari Conner website: 

Hari Conner tumblr: