Artist Influences

After considering the concepts surrounding my visuals, it was necessary to look at artists whose imagery contains animals, characters and creatures. Furthermore, I wanted to consider where my characters could fit within contemporary visual practice, and what is there purpose.

 SKWAK is a graphic illustrator who creates a ‘manic world’ full of monstrous creatures and characters. His work is widely popular and has been commissioned by Microsoft, Google and Nike to produce an array of product. The most striking aspect of SKWAK’s illustration is the colour pallet and the interaction between each character. The creatures are recognisable as living beings as they have similarities to real life animals, such as limbs and wings. These characters are then placed into a black background, which means that they are taken out of context and allowed to function in a surreal environment. An outcome typically consists of a number of individual creatures or patterns flowing and existing together. This is the reason why the illustrations are engaging, as the eyes are directed around each detail. SKWAK has used these creatures as his visual identity, allowing them to exist on t-shirts, toys, trainers and other surface designs. This is something I am looking to achieve with my creatures as I want to bring them to life and enhance interaction.


Oliver Hibert creates striking digital illustrations which are surreal and psychedelic. Hibert’s work is unique in context as he takes influences from the past to suggest the future. The interest for my project is found within the alluring figures and bold patterns featured within his outcomes. Furthermore, these characters are a combination of imaginative, animalistic and human-like features which together create an individual personality. My most successful visual experiments are the illustrations with a narrative and attitude which project to the viewer. This is something which Hibert creates effortlessly within each character through facial expressions and body language, so as to personify and relate the creature to human emotions. Hibert is also a commercial artist commissioned by BBC, Disney and Addias to work across a number of mediums.


Jon Burgerman is commonly named the king of doodles and his illustration has appeared on I-pad covers, jigsaw puzzles and children’s toys. The most recognisable piece of work is a colour yourself wallpaper which proved popular amongst all generations of people. The aspect of Burgerman’s portfolio which I am particularly interested in is the collaboration with Felt Mistress in 2009, where the company created a range of soft sculptures of Hipster characters.  Felt Mistress creates bespoke creatures in collaboration with illustrator Jonathan Edwards and other artists. These felt characters are an example of an outcome idea for this project as I can envision my drawings coming to life in the same manner as Burgerman’s. However, I am considering changing the scale of these creatures to be life sized so as they could be likened more to the animals observed at the zoo and become a true reflection of the distorted memories produced from man-made enclosures.


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