Audrey Kawasaki Website: www.audrey-kawasaki.com
Article by Oli Rogers
Just as geologists observe minutiae within rock strata and so deduce the conditions extant during their formation, so too will future generations of illustrologists be able to sift through banks of images and draw conclusions from their compacted layers. And thusly it is that traces of naively-drawn bears, owls, and deer; nostalgia-addled mid-century aesthetics; characters bespattered with tattoos and sporting large volumes of facial hair; and a preponderance of stuff inside equilateral triangles is what will be seen to comprise the petrified illustrative sediment of the early Twentieth Century.
And yet amongst the accreted layers of silt there’s something wholly less prosaic to be found – indeed, something that is literally otherworldly. That thing is cosmic dust. No one can say for sure whence this star-stuff comes – beyond a vague suggestion that it has voyaged across unfathomably vast gulfs of space and time before becoming sandwiched between layers of pond scum – but one thing is for sure, and that’s that it really couldn’t have less to do with conditions here on Planet Earth. And, once again, it is just so in the fictitious field of illustrology: at times an artist is encountered that seems to have so little in common with the prevailing milieu that they might just as well have come from a different world entirely. Such an artist is João Ruas.
The singular nature of this artist’s work is immediately recognisable. Rendered largely in brooding monochrome with judiciously-applied flashes of colour or gilding, his paintings have more than a little about them of the cartoons of da Vinci – were the Renaissance polymath to take to illustrating hallucinations of the relics of some long-vanished culture, that is. To view Ruas’s portfolio is to witness a parade of sinuous and melancholy figures amidst bones and masks and fantastic costumes, and attended by a menagerie of the baleful and the feral. His animals are creatures out of myth described in the language of dream, and as far from the prevailing tweeness of their contemporaries as is a wolf from a Chihuahua. Amongst other places, this mythical aesthetic has found its perfect application in the celebrated covers that Ruas has produced for the Fables series from Vertigo Comics (see the latter pair of images here).
Those who want to see more would be well advised to conduct an image search, as Ruas’s dedicated sector of cyberspace contains only a tiny fraction of the multitudes of his captivating (and at times NSFW) images that are to be found around the web. They may be scintillae within the strata, but they’re also a reminder that somewhere out there there’s stardust to be found.
We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Lucas P, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘REPEAT’. 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!
We all have dreams and aspirations they grow within us from any age, from the time we’re two years old and scribbling on any blank piece of paper in sight to the years in university when your dreaming up a life of bigger things you want to do and places you may want to go. Although as time goes by sometimes unless you’re extremely determined you can feel swayed or lose sight of the things you dreamed of and that’s why you need to grab a pen and sketch them out.
Sketching out your dreams keeps them in sight, gives you a reference to go back to when you’re feeling a tad lost in your aspirations or feel your not sure where you’re going. So here are 5 steps to sketching out your own creative dream for 2014.
1. Grab a huge piece of paper or wallpaper roll across the floor , a couple of pens and your inspiration and start doodling and jotting out your aspirations and future plans.
2 . Break them down with someone who motivates you the little steps you need to do to work towards those dreams ( They don’t seem so far away when the two of you narrow them down into tiny steps).
3. Start paving roots and pathways to begin implementing your plans .
4. Meet new people and make connections with those who might help you on your way to where you want to be :).
5. Block out those niggling negative thoughts and “I can’t do this”, stay positive if something doesn’t work out brush yourself down and keep going as being self motivated is key and the effort you put in is sure to pay off.
Image by Designer Alyssa Nassner you can find more about her and her designs “here”.
Helen Musselwhite works with paper creating models and sets, she cuts all the pieces by hand creating multi-layed designs. Her clients include Audi, McDonalds and Nokia amongst many. Her influences include; The British countryside, William Morris and 1970′s textile design. Helen Musselwhite is represented by the U.K based illustration agency handsome frank.
posted by jess
James Stokoe is a self taught artist from Canada who occasionally releases a new issue of his ongoing opus, Orc Stain, from Image Comics. He began his comics career in the mid-2000′s with titles such as Wonton Soup from ONI Press, Popgun Volume 1, and 24Seven from Image. He was banned from the U.S. for a few years for working(drawing comics) here illegally, but he has put those darker days behind him now.
Coming off of increased interest in his work on Orc Stain, and other high-profile projects like Sullivan’s Sluggers(a wildly successful Kickstarter project with writer Mark Andrew Smith), Stokoe was hired to write & draw Godzilla: Half Century War for IDW in 2012, which received high praise from critics. This week sees the release of Avengers 100th Year Anniversary, an imaginary “what if?” future story, which is a perfect type of project for Stokoe to run free with some of Marvel’s most iconic characters.
More Orc Stains are in the works, and fans will wait patiently for their release, because a talent like James Stokoe is certainly not one to be rushed.
James Stokoe sometime posts updates on his site here.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates
Post by Natalie
Abbey Lossing is a freelance illustrator based in Lakewood, NY. Her work is primarily digital, but she also enjoys various forms of printmaking. Her style integrates simple shapes, decorative details and an earthy color palette. When she is not in the studio you can find her traveling around the United States and rock climbing.
See more of Abbey’s work on her website.
After attending a craft fair, I was kindly introduced to the wonderful illustrator, Chris Leaper, founder of Jesmond Cat Designs. He is based in West Yorkshire, England and uses traditional media, acrylic on canvas or board to create these vibrant, quirky works of art.
The name ‘Jesmond Cat’ comes from a personal character story Leaper created which continued to progress and now acts as a ‘mascot’ for his personal illustration brand. There is a sense of softness in his work which can only be given justice when seen in person! Completely talented and imaginative, the artist has worked on children’s books previously which this style fits into very well!
Thanks for reading,
In writing these Art Crush posts, I’ve found that I’m usually late to the party. Meaning, of course, that literally everyone else has known about these illustrators already before I stumbled across their work, since I’m probably an unhip grandma. But in this case, I’m kind of excited–Kelly Thorn is an up-and-coming junior designer at Louise Fili Ltd. and generally amazing typographer and illustrator, and she’s already blossoming on the scene.
I stumbled upon Kelly Thorn’s work by way of Friends of Type, a “typography sketchbook” of sorts started by Erik Marinovich and a few of his illo-designer buddies. Kelly’s command of linework and her gorgeous color choices immediately drew me in. Her pieces demonstrate a solid understanding of design and composition, but still leave room for illustrative experimentation and expression. Lovely.
A 2012 graduate of Tyler School of Art’s Graphic & Interactive Design program, Kelly now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
[collaboration with Dana Tanamachi for Nibblr]