James Gillen – BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design

Mail Art sent from India Pramod Patil.
Mail Art sent from India from artist Pramod Patil.

James Gillen is Co-Founder of Mail Art, an international community art and design project. He gets sent creative envelopes and packages from across the globe and exhibits them. He graduated from London College of Communication in 2011 and has gone on to become a graphic designer.

What did you study at LCC and what year did you graduate?

BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design (2011).

Where are you from in the world? 

Folkestone, Kent. I live in London now.

What are your fondest memories of LCC?

Going up to the higher floors in the tower block and seeing amazing views of London.

An anonymous Mail Art contribution from Brazil.
An anonymous Mail Art contribution sent from Brazil.



What are you working at the moment?  

I’ve been the Graphic Designer at GoThinkBig since 2013, a website that helps young people secure their dream careers. I am also Co-Founder of Mail Art, an international community art and design project. 

Name three things you couldn't be creative without: 

Social media creative sharing, pop culture and Photoshop.

Mail Art by Christine Van der Burg from the Netherlands.
Mail Art by Christine Van der Burg from the Netherlands.



If you could collaborate creatively with anybody in the world who would it be? 

Jamie Reid because I really admire how he revolutionised record sleeve designs (in the punk era) and wasn’t afraid to shock the establishment. Or Peter Blake because he was such a pioneer in the Pop Art movement.

Tell us about your future plans and ambitions:

I co-run an international community art and design project called Mail Art (with my artist father) that exhibits creative envelopes and packages by artists from all over the world in our gallery exhibitions and on our Facebook page. The project is ongoing and we aim to continually spread the word internationally, inviting people of all artistic backgrounds to get involved and exchange Mail Art work in the post. 

Mail Art exhibition at Creative Quarter Folkstone. Image by Andrew Laferme.
Mail Art exhibition at Creative Quarter Folkstone.
Image © Andrew Laferme.



What drives you to succeed?

Seeing the collaborative positivity of the Mail Art community. It's great to see how enthusiastic people from all over the world are about exchanging artwork in the post and sharing it online too. It breaks down all boundaries and that’s really inspiring to be a part of. 

What three words would you use to best describe LCC?

Bustling, positive, reputation.

What piece of advice would you give to new students? 

Take advantage of all the studio time you can and make the most of the LCC facilities as your course will be over before you know it. Try and get relevant work experience in the holidays to put you in a stronger position when applying for work after graduating.

Mail Art by James Gillen
Mail Art by James Gillen.



Where in London do you go when you need a little inspiration? 

The Olympic Park, I live close and worked at the games too, so it brings back great memories of how great we can be as a city and nation.

Links

Follow Mail Art on Facebook
View James's profile on Behance
View James's LinkedIn profile