Artist Inspirations

I have been browsing through ‘Fifty Years of Illustration’ by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts and ‘Illustration Now!’ by Ed Julis Wiedemann so as to gain inspiration on drawing style, colour pallet and composition to enhance the key features of my visual language. Below are some of the practitioners who have encouraged the development of my project;

Andrew Rae is one of Peepshow Collective’s founder members, but has discovered an individual style away from the collaboration. Rae’s illustration style is comic-book in approach, but is highly commercial due to his evident love of drawing and character building. Rae’s process and drawing style is significantly different to mine, however the composition that the artist has developed is visually intriguing. Rae places individual elements in collections to create a highly detailed image. It is obvious that each illustration has been drawn on a larger scale, and then decreased in size to sit alongside others within a frame. This is something which I find difficult as I am always conscious of having more than one focus point within an image. However, Rae uses grid formations to allow for organisation and structure to be present within each final outcome. Gridding seems a natural path to follow as it is a system that I use regularly to analyse my sketchbook work and understand which path to follow. It would then be interesting to bring this into the experiment itself and understand how my individual illustrations could sit together on one page. This also links into my research on hieroglyphics and how each symbol is placed to create a message. Hieroglyphics were formed differently than our modern alphabet and were divided into two groups, phonograms which were representative of sounds and ideograms which were representative of objects or ideas. These glyphs were then combined to create language of pictures and drawings. This idea is something which could potentially be recreated through my work as each individual illustration is representative of an idea or message sent through Snapchat.

Saul Steinberg was classically trained as an architect win Milan 1941 but developed a later illustrative career in which witty humour was combined with line and mark making to create a recognisable visual style. These illustrations were political and social commentaries which were displayed in magazines and exhibitions internationally. My interest in Steinberg lies within the doodle-like drawings which seem almost musical within a composition. The visuals are imaginative and present both ordinary and extraordinary objects to create a surrealist environment. Steinberg is a great inspiration to my mark making as there is an element of spontaneity to create shapes which are organic and loose. Composition is also a key feature within the success of Steinberg’s work as the characters communicate with one another within the drawing so as the viewer is observing from an outside perspective. Artists and War 1969, also reminds me of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics as all the elements are drawn with a side profile and resemble conflict between different classes within society.

Jacqui Morgan has a distinct psychedelic style which has been applied to a clothing range, animation work, packaging projects and children’s book illustrations. My interest in Morgan’s work is not necessarily within her image making, but with her ease of storytelling within the illustrations. This is further reflected within her choice of colour palette to remind the viewer of the visuals which accompany traditional fairy tales. Morgan also consistently uses a neutral background to contrast with the colourful vibrant focuses. These colours are interesting due to the fact that they are earthy and rich without being stark, not distracting from the romantics of the narrative. These tones and combinations are something which I intend to bring forward through my development as this project cannot be purely black and white like my previous work. Both traditional folklore and digital folklore is based on colour and the difference in the choices of the designer. These differences could be the basis of my project and how to juxtapose these to portray a message of change.

Roderick Mills has a distinctive linear style which is composed alongside other elements of silhouetting and layering. Mills is both an illustrator and filmmaker, which allows for elements of narrative and flow to be strongly portrayed through his visual language. Mills has a simplistic style of drawing, but builds a collage of illustrations in which some elements are instantly recognisable, and others are hidden. There is a strong relationship between human discovery and places which reminisce past experiences. One aspect of Mill’s working style which is particularly inspiring is the use of spray paint and silhouettes which allow for block colours to be present alongside more detailed studies. The blocked sections are either small shapes within the visuals, or create a viewfinder for linear drawings to be contained within. This could be a successful way of incorporating colour into my work, but also to balance my use of negative space so as to create a central focus.


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