Young Pines was born out of the frustration with design internships which are potentially exploitative of interns. Young Pines is an agency formed by the participants in the Mercy internship programme. They are a collective of illustrators, designers and creative writers who can make work for the web or print, curate events or craft copy.

In their first four months they’ve worked for clients ranging from local arts organizations to massive corporations, providing all kinds of creative work from drawing and writing to video and web branding. Originally Young Pines was going to be a 4 month long zine project but the project has mutated and evolved over the past 15 months into something much bigger.

The Shipping Forecast Murals by Young Pines

The Shipping Forecast approached Young Pines to liven up their outside smoking area. Sticking to the nautical theme of the bar, but with no set brief, they went to town on the back wall. Armed with buckets of white and black masonry paint and brushes, they decorated the smoking area with sea critters great and small, along with the seafaring wisdom of Hemingway.

Young Pines have had the opportunity to build extremely strong, close bonds with some insanely talented emerging talent and they are genuinely attached to them all now in a way that makes it difficult for them to end the project (hence the fact that its dragging on into its 16th month). Young Pines have had the opportunity to identify firsthand what happens when you give a creative mind a completely open brief and an extremely modest budget to work with. Also, some of the participants have hunkered down and created their own new exciting things.

One of these projects is Deep Hedonia formed by Thom Isom and Jon Davis. Their remit is to produce intelligent, worthwhile music happenings that combine artists booking with the perfect venues, artwork and eventually installations. Thom is one of the most driven Young Piners, pouring bucketloads of energy into every project he tackles.

Thom worked with Christine Gore, Will Daw and Greg Gibson to build a post apocalyptic hotel installation. No Vacancy was the third piece of work delivered by Young Pines (after a book and exhibition of mythological creature pornography).

Mermaid Octopus by Michael Cottage

They’re still to produce their final round of Young Pines work, with Jon Davis, Emily Salinas, Jonathan Summers Muir and John Biddle and who were finishing their degrees until last month. It’s exciting to see what they come up with and how they learn from the past two groups.

Michael Cottage | Young Pines project- Dream of a Fisherman’s Wife. Worked alongside Milos Simpraga, Svea Carney and Emma Hammond:

“Being part of Young Pines gave me the opportunity to work with like-minded people, combining our creative strengths, whilst working with the lovely Mercy crew. What initially started as an exciting brief, evolved in to a group of mates getting together to produce numerous given and personal projects, which both Young Pines and Mercy could be proud to put our name to.

The internship has given me the opportunity to meet a group of very talented people who serve as a constant pool of inspiration to me, and to work with an agency of industry professionals, who I would be ashamed to introduce to my nan.”


For more creative delights we’ve Spotted on the web take a look here.