Our Christmas Competitions - The Results Are In!

We’re all about supporting students and alumni here at not just a shop. So, every year we run two live briefs around Christmas time, to give students the opportunity to showcase or sell their work at our shop! As a result, we’ve got a brand new Christmas themed window display AND four lucky students have had their Christmas card designs printed, packaged and ready to be sold in our shop! We chatted to all the winners to find out more… 

First we hear from Graphic and Media Design student Dian Jin who has been crowned the winner of our window design competition!  We’re so impressed that she managed to achieve this in her very first year of study!

So Dian, what techniques did you use to make the artwork?

I gathered various Christmas elements and then chose similar patterns of snowflake and fabric. I decided to use Illustrator to draw the vector graphic to create simple icons.

What story do you want the window to tell?

Every piece of the design has elements from Christmas and cosmos. Just like a Christmas planet, this festival belongs to us and is filled with fantasies. I used bright colours to create a lively atmosphere.

How does it feel to have your work displayed in such a prime location, seen by so many passers-by? 

So exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing that.

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

I used to receieve gifts from my parents every year when I was a child and I really believed in Santa Claus! My friends used to pack presents in boxes and exchange with each other’s wishes.

Great to hear from you Dian! Dian’s window vinyl design will be on display throughout the festive season at not just a shop. Next we hear from the four fantastic winners of our Christmas Card competition…

First up is Kalya Lui, BA (Hons) Illustation student, studying at Camberwell College of Art. 

What was the inspiration behind your Christmas Card design?

Christmas trees are often drawn as three connecting triangles. To me it represents a symbol (an arrow) of unity, progressing towards the same direction. Eventually, I came upon the idea that these characters are riding on a sled with a star that guides them through the dark. Like the characters I drew, I hope UAL students realize their creative potential, find their voice and start their own journey.

I included some traditional Christmas symbols such as the sled and the baubles, but at the same time I didn’t want the colours to be limited by red and green.

What techniques did you use to make the artwork?

I doodled a lot of Christmas-inspired characters moving about. I chose to develop this idea and did more refined line work with a ballpoint pen. Then I scanned the drawing and coloured the image in Photoshop, with gradients and halftones.

Who’s made it on to your Christmas card list this year?

My family in Hong Kong, friends, people I am thankful for— normally I don’t give out Christmas cards but there is no excuse not to this year!

What message will you write in your cards this year?

“If you’ve received this card it means you are an awesome human being! So just keep being who you are. Take care.”

If you could send your card to someone famous, who would it be?

Maybe my favourite illustrators or creatives in the world.

How does it feel to know that your card will be in households everywhere?

Surreal! I feel nervous! I hope people like them and keep them (at least for a while).

What helps you to get into the spirit of Christmas?

Jazzy/ Michael Bublé Christmas songs. Hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Merry Christmas and stay creative!

Next up we hear from Yunong Xie, MA Illustration and Visual Media student, studying at the London College of Communication. 

What was the inspiration behind your Christmas Card design? 

Imagine what a lovely scene it is: when Santa comes home from a long day’s work, takes off his work clothes and shows off his colorful and cute tattoos. He may be a man with a warm heart like all of us.

How did you create it/what techniques did you use to make the artwork?

When the idea came to my mind, I quickly finished the image with my ipad.

Who’s made it on to your Christmas card list this year? 

 Family and friends, of course! Maybe I’ll write one for myself.

If you could send your card to someone famous, who would it be? 

Santa for sure. ^-^

How does it feel to know that your card will be in households everywhere? 

If my work will pass between people like blessings and gifts, It’s so nice to just imagine it!

What helps you to get into the spirit of Christmas? 

Both the Chinese and the English on Santa’s arm mean love. Love is always the most important element on this earth. I hope you can always keep your soul the purest it could be, and only if so, you will be aware of the meaning of love and the way to love.

Next up, we hear from MA Character Animation student Katie Chan, currently studying at Central Saint Martins. 

What was the inspiration behind your Christmas Card design?

For me, I really wanted to create a design that represented what the ‘true meaning of Christmas’ means to me. Hence, you could say that this design was inspired by my faith!

What techniques did you use to make the artwork?

The medium is oil on canvas for the majority of the design and I essentially sketched this design using various layers on a tablet.

Who’s made it on to your Christmas card list this year?

My nearest & dearest. Mostly friends & family as far as tradition goes and perhaps one for my secret Santa!

What message will you write in your cards this year?

It will be different for everyone! It will however, be on the lines of:

“Wishing you a wholesome, warm and joyful Christmas holiday! Stay safe & wrap up warm. You are loved.”

If you could send your card to someone famous, who would it be?

It would undeniably have to be my favourite musician within the KPop industry, called IU. I feel like she would appreciate art.

How does it feel to know that your card will be in households everywhere?

It sounds so cool!!!! I feel so blessed & I’m so grateful for anyone who enjoys this card!

What helps you to get into the spirit of Christmas?

Drinking hot chocolate and going to Winter Wonderland.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Have a jolly Christmas, all!

Finally, we hear from MA Character Animation student Theresa Haas, currently studying at Central Saint Martins.

What was the inspiration behind your Christmas Card design?

My inspiration for the Christmas card design was mistletoe, which I noticed in all forms all over London for a few weeks now. We don’t have mistletoe as a typical symbol for Christmas in Austria, which is why I did a little bit of research about this tradition in England. I liked the idea of the mistletoe as a sign of love and friendship, so I decided to make a christmas card design with it!

What techniques did you use to make the artwork?

I immediately had some ideas in my mind after I read about this competition, so I did a few sketches. I knew from the start that I wanted to make something simple with reduced colors and a flat design. I feel that most of the Christmas cards you can buy nowadays are often a little bit overloaded and kind of kitschy.

After I did a sketch of my final idea in my sketchbook, I took a picture of it, imported it into Photoshop and went from there to create the final design.

Who’s made it on to your Christmas card list this year?

As I have never made my own Christmas cards before, I will definitely give this cards to as many family members and friends as possible.

What message will you write in your cards this year?

The message really always depends on the person I’ll give the card to. Most of the time I combine a personal message with wishing them a happy and relaxed holiday, to get a break from their busy everyday life.

How does it feel to know that your card will be in households everywhere?

It’s an amazing feeling that everyone can buy my Christmas card at not just a shop. I hope that people who receive this card as a gift are as happy about it as I am about the fact that my design was chosen.

What helps you to get into the spirit of Christmas?

I never really get into the spirit of Christmas until I am at home and spend time with my family and friends. All the decorations in the city and the Christmas songs on the radio are nice too and I love them, but Christmas really is for me to spend relaxed and happy days with my family and friends.

Thanks so much for sharing all! And of course thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. We’re thrilled with the four final designs, which are available in packs of eight at not just a shop. 

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