Post by Natalie
Bett Norris is an illustrator living in the lively city of Bristol, UK. She earned a degree in illustration from the University of the West of England and since then has worked on a variety of projects including editorial work, social media campaigns, exhibitions and most recently an animation for The School of Life. She finds inspiration in packaging, travel posters and classic design. Experimenting with shape, color and line she fuses traditional drawing techniques with digital technology to produce bespoke illustration, pattern design, portraiture and typography.
See more of Bett’s work here.
Posted by Jessica Holden
Kyle Bean graduated from the University of Brighton in 2009, he was spotted and commissioned by Liberty to create a window display. He has a passion for crafts and conceptual thinking, using a variety of materials to solve the brief in clever and exciting ways. His clients include; Wallpaper, Selfridges, Google and Vogue to name a few.
Whether you’re an inky illustrator, a passionate painter, daring doodler, pro photographer or more finding that one of a kind style to be known for can sometimes seem a tad tricky to find. No doubt I’m not alone when I say that we can sometimes find ourselves gazing in amazement at the many other creative people in our field and think to ourselves “how am I going to get where they are”. There may be a creative in particular whom you find yourself admiring both for their style and success acquired because they’re so individual, niche and unique at what they do. So your next head scratching question maybe “how can I develop my own style?” and develop it in a way that is going to make you different to all the other talented creative people in the world, because you yourself are one of a kind and have your own creative imagination to share. Well to answer your question here’s a few points I came up with to think about that may just help you creatively along the way;
- Know that your style is forever developing and changing along the way
- Your style will have characteristics, textures and a uniqueness of its own so don’t be to concern that it’s nothing like the next guy’s because originality is important
- Discovering your own taste and stick to those tastes this can be anything from techniques to materials or the subject’s you draw, but don’t be afraid to explore beyond that ( don’t get scared to go out of your comfort zone).
- Your style will reflect the kind of work you may want to be commission for, for example do you have a love for the human form, creating portraits of little characters or maybe alternatively you prefer to create sophisticated patterns with lots of colour.
Deep down your style is there you just need to create more to see it and then you can share it with others. Image by designer Lindsay Letters you can find out more about their work here.
We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Manon Gauthier, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘KING’. You can also see a gallery of all the other inspiring entries here.
And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:
Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).
Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.
Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).
Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!
Article by Oli Rogers
Our homes are the places in which those many prosaic, private little moments that constitute our lives take place. We cook our beans on toast, walk about in our birthday suits, sprawl on our sofas, kiss our lovers with toothpaste still in our mouths, encounter roving wizards and savagely murder giants in our vegetable patches.
Wait, what? OK, so perhaps not all of these things happen in your abode all that regularly, but if you were, for example, a ghost or a Kafka-esque humanoid fly then you’d presumably still want a little sanctuary in which you could escape the everyday pressures of life, wouldn’t you? And who’s to say what sorts of bizarro business you’d get up to within those four walls? If this is the kind of thing you’ve ever wondered about (and you’re not averse to checking out the odd bit of contemporary art), then Home Sweet Home, the new show at London’s Atomica Gallery, might just be the thing to satisfy your curiosity…
Atomica is a leading light in London’s contemporary art scene, and showcases the work of lowbrow and pop surrealist artists and illustrators. Home Sweet Home is their latest exhibition, a double-headliner featuring the fascinating work of artists Angela Dalinger and Nicholas Stevenson. It promises to offer a bit more than your usual group show, as the pair’s charmingly-rendered slices of unconventional domestic voyeurism have been conceived specifically in reaction to one another. Sometimes subtly, sometimes more overtly, there’s a dialogue going on that demonstrates the cynical sense of humour shared by this pair, and also their take on modern home life. It’s aesthetically charming, and at times conceptually disturbing, but always delightful nonetheless.
Your opportunity to be a nosy neighbour runs from 14 August and runs till 11 September.
Artist Amanda Conner has been working in comics since the late 80′s. She’s been in the top tier of mainstream comics creators for a long time now, but with DC Comics’ recent New 52 reboot, Amanda Conner got the chance to relaunch the new Harley Quinn series, and has in the process solidified herself as one of the greats, while also redefining one of today’s most popular characters.
Conner developed her drawing skills at The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey, one of the first technical schools for sequential art founded by comics legend Joe Kubert. She met her future husband, and current collaborator on Harley Quinn, writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti, in the early 90′s when he was an editor at Marvel.. The couple was also responsible for a recent popular run on DC Comics’ Power Girl. Throughout her career, she’s worked with some of comics’ top creators, including Warren Ellis, Peter David, Garth Ennis, and Darwyn Cooke.
Her work has also been featured in The New York Times, MAD Magazine, and Revolver.
You can follow Amanda Conner on Twitter here.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates
Post by James
Nip Rogers has been an illustrator over 25 years. Growing up in upstate New York, he was influenced by years spent in urban environments during college and later travels to Kenya, Malaysia, and what is now Seychelles.
Nip’s approach to his art is fueled by years of cartoon watching mixed with the training he received from George Washington University where he earned a BA in 1983 and an MFA in 1987. He also credits a dyslexia diagnosis for helping him to “think in pictures”.
You can see more Nip’s work here.
Ok, I’ll save you the spiel about how deeply I’ve fallen in love with typography and lettering, as that should be fairly obvious by now. Drew Melton‘s work essentially speaks for itself. His deeply expressive fonts and lettering demonstrate the importance of hand-drawing into the design process. Even in the sharpest, finalized versions of his work, you’ll a spontaneity that’s unmistakably fun and energetic.
Drew is an L.A.-based graphic designer and typographer who’s worked with clients like McCann, Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Penguin Books. He’s had quite the interesting journey to success in the lettering realm, some of which is marked by serious self-reflection and the ability to remain humble.
One of the things that hurled him into the design spotlight was his Phraseology project, started with a few other designers and developers in 2011. Very similar to Erik Marinovich’sFriends of Type blog, Phraseology offers the public a chance to submit any word or phrase to be designed by members of the team. Soon enough, Drew was being commissioned for some big-time typography work by notable clients.
Unfortunately, with that exciting attention also came some consequences. As much as I admire Drew’s hand at lettering, I might be even more enamored with his grace and honesty about his past mistakes.
In January 2013, Drew bravely posted a public apology on his blog to several typographic designers, including Jessica Hische, Jon Contino, Dana Tanamachi, and Darren Booth, for drawing inspiration from their styles in ways that were not entirely “okay.” He spoke openly about his guilt and sadness at realizing that his creative process had been built too closely upon the examples of his heroes, and that his heroes were now upset with him.
The topic of creative originality is probably one of the most sensitive. It’s something that is constantly under debate and argued by strong opinions. I’m a strong believer that nothing is purely unique, especially in this day and age. It’s the nature of craft and evolution to build upon an existing idea. But in an age when visual information is so widely accessible, when an illustrator or designer can essentially educate themselves by opening their web browser–it’s up to the creative to draw the line between inspiration and imitation.
It’s a testament to Drew’s work ethic and passion for the art of typography that he was still able to gain success after this admission. Even while he struggled to define his style in the beginnings of his career, it’s clear that he’s succeeded.
I highly recommend Drew’s interview with the Australian Graphic Supply Company (a previous Art Crush feature), as well as his feature (along with this wife, stylist and co-creative Kelsey Zahn) on Rverie. Follow along with Drew here:
Post by Chloe
Katherine Hardy is a freelance illustrator from the UK who studied at the Royal College of Art. She uses clever colour schemes to create beautiful, whimsical worlds. She is inspired by music and album covers and also sings jazz and blues!
If you’d like to find out more about Katherine Hardy you can read my interview with her here.
You can also visit her portfolio.
Being creatives we all get lost in the blank pages of our oh so faithful sketchbooks, before putting pen to paper we’re filled with anticipation of the ideas we have within our creative minds that are yet to spill across our page. As they begin to fill with endless inky pieces of potential and piles of scribbled sketchbooks are formed over time they can often become lost sat within a draw of your studio out of sight. Although sometimes it’s breaking out those old books that can help you creatively in ways you don’t always quite realise. So here are a few reasons to brush the dust off your sketchbooks and reminisce a little in past potential you’ve made.
- They’re proof of how far you’ve come: Your sketchbooks are filled with your thoughts and scribbles and it’s these that also make them memories of your creative growth. You might one day find yourself thinking “My illustration/design/painting/photography isn’t quite as detailed or good as these creatives” and sometimes we take for granted just how far we have come on our creative journey. So look back on your own childhood, high school, college or university sketchbooks and see just how far you’ve come, just how hard you’ve worked and you may even surprise yourself with how talented you really are. In turn this is sure to boost your belief in yourself and blow your little inner critic away.
- Fruits for new inspiration : If at times you’re feeling lost for ideas or aren’t quite sure where to find your inspiration for a new and exciting project then flipping through the pages of your sketchbook might just help you find it. Sometimes we can forget where we found our fruit for ideas but in that little sketchbook may be a scribbled motif that can help you grow a collection of beautiful patterns, illustration for a book, painting and much more. Recycle your old ideas and make them into something amazing and new because your style and skills are forever growing it’s sure to look different than it did before.
- Rediscover old techniques: I remember during college days we were encouraged to experiment as much as we could with a vast array of arty materials and techniques to expand on the potential of what we create. Combining watercolours, print making or markers with ink might have helped you to create a beautifully detailed project or give you a texture or effect you’re looking for. It’s little things like these that may just be the finishing element needed for an upcoming project or simply for you to try something a little different.
So it just goes to show how good your sketchbooks can be after all and gives you an even better reason to treasure them and not throw them away. Image by designer illustration Elizabeth Caldwell you can find out more about her work here .