Post by Alice Palace
Louise Wright’s work starts with a pencil and sketchbook, here ideas get doodled down and placement is played around with. Then she uses lovely pens to create a line drawing before scanning and adding colour digitally (sometimes her work is created completely by hand using inks, pencils and acrylic paints). Below are my three favourite cards – the rather plump birthday badger is most wonderful!
See more of her portfolio
Post by Natalie
Francesca Sanna is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer based in Switzerland. After finishing her studies in Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia, she said goodbye to her family and cat, Berta, and moved away to follow her dream of working as an illustrator. Her work is characterized by a constant state of nostalgia for the sea.
See more of Francesca’s work on her website.
Gemma Latimer is a freelance illustrator and lecturer working in London. She creates all her work by hand, using a computer only for the final stages. Gemma’s main tools are found imagery, illustration, photography and drawing. She is inspired by Circuses, Victoriana and surrealism. Her clients include Radio Times, Marie Claire and Ted Baker to name a few.
To see more of this great illustrators work visit her website
Posted by Jess Holden
Posted by Jessica Holden on 02/17/15 under artists
Rhianna Ellington’s patterns adorn products ranging from pouches, to scarves, to clothing and phone cases. Her use of color adds a playfulness and sense of whimsy to each piece she creates. Often featuring botanicals, her work evokes an eternal summery feeling that makes me want to throw on one of her scarves in the midst of this wintery cold weather.
Post written by Bryna Shields.
Submitted by Fernando Siniscalchi for the Illustration Friday topic of SLEEP.
[A Bride on Acid Answers All of Your Trippiest Wedding Questions – Illustration by Jim Cooke]
Things have been much more visually stimulating over at Gawker and its various identities, thanks to the efforts of Illustrators Tara Jacoby and Sam Woolley and Art Director/Illustrator Jim Cooke. What’s more, last April (2014), Cooke – on behalf of Gawker Media – put out a call for a “staff illustrator” as part of an effort to further ramp up their use of illustration (the position was soon occupied by Tara).
Here at Illustration Age we always strive to celebrate the people, publications and organizations that embrace the use of illustration, which is why last week we interviewed Tara Jacoby about her experiences as a staff illustrator for just under a year, and today we’re excited to share our conversation with AD Jim Cooke about the role of illustration at Gawker.
ILLUSTRATION AGE: In April of last year, you put out a call for a “Staff Illustrator” for Gawker Media. What was the reasoning behind this? More specifically why seek out an in-house type of arrangement vs. commissioning an individual artist for each article?
JIM COOKE: To answer to this, I think it would help to give you a little background. I had been working for Gawker Media as Deadspin’s primary freelance contributing illustrator for a while (beginning in 2006). Then in January 2012 I was hired full-time as the Art Director and illustrator for Gawker’s gossip-driven sites: Gawker, Deadspin, and Jezebel.
I worked in that role for two years creating as many illustrations and images as I could for those three sites daily, usually upwards of a dozen per day, until we decided to expand the art to contribute to the other GM sites as well.
Last year, it became clear that the role of art was becoming more important to the company. As my workload was increasing, I put out a call for a staff illustrator to join me. There are a few reasons why a staff illustrator was attractive, a large one being the rapid pace of a blogging media company. There are times when a piece may need to have an image created for it within an hour or less. Publishing here works so quickly that a post will develop from the germ of a writer’s idea to a finished piece complete with an illustration inside of a few hours. Our art team of myself, Tara, and another staff illustrator Sam Woolley do this several times in a day.
I found that to do this job, it helps to be closely familiar with the voice of the company, the personalities of the writers, the demand to create good and smart work quickly, and to have a keen recognition whether to approach a piece as silly, serious or somewhere in between. When we decided to expand the art team, I felt that hiring another full-time illustrator to fill that role would have its advantages over working within the conventional process of finding and commissioning freelance illustrators for each piece. It’s a more streamlined process. We work side-by-side, and are able to receive a request from one of our writers and begin the conceptualization and creation of an image immediately.
[“Can I Say Twerk?” A Miley Cyrus Glossary for Whites – Illustration by Jim Cooke]
I found that to do this job, it helps to be closely familiar with the voice of the company, the personalities of the writers, the demand to create good and smart work quickly, and to have a keen recognition whether to approach a piece as silly, serious or somewhere in between.
IA: Could you tell us about the most important qualities you were looking for in an artist, and what eventually drew you to the work of Tara Jacoby?
JC: The illustrations that I’m most attracted to lately are ones that are almost style-less. I’m drawn to visual metaphors, smart and clever solutions to a problem. I try to keep my own work unbound by a “style” and that allows me to approach each piece fresh and decide what the best treatment is for it. I may draw, paint, scribble, use flat vectors, or work with photos and typography on any given piece.
[How to Hit On Girls in the Club (Or Not) – Illustration by Tara Jacoby]
[Tara’s] work is very bold and strong. She draws excellently but not laboriously. Her use of color is exquisite and I think her voice fits in very well. It’s feminine, but can sometimes be wickedly sharp.
That said, Tara has more of a defined style to her work, as most illustrators do. When I hired her I was mainly looking for someone with a strong editorial sense, a knack for problem solving, and someone who could take direction and whose style would fit in well with what we had already been doing. Her work is very bold and strong. She draws excellently but not laboriously. Her use of color is exquisite and I think her voice fits in very well. It’s feminine, but can sometimes be wickedly sharp. One of the biggest reasons I hired her, however, is that it was clear when I met with her how much she wanted to work here. She was hungry and determined and that goes a very long way with me.
[Don’t Forget to Tip Bill Cosby’s Rape Jar – Illustration by Sam Woolley]
IA: Your regular use of illustration is very refreshing in today’s world, when so many publications rely on stale and lifeless stock imagery. What do you see as the role of illustration across Gawker Media’s various identities?
JC: Thanks. I came from a background in illustration and I guess when I started I saw the heavy use of stock images as boring and thoughtless. It’s gotten a little better, but it really wasn’t that long ago when it seemed that most internet publications had no illustrations at all and were sacrificing good artwork for speed and economy, in many cases that still may be true. It seemed lazy to me and I’ve felt that with some effort and creativity it didn’t need to be that way. Thankfully, Gawker Media has recognized this too and has allowed me to do some things that I’m incredibly proud of here. For a media company with the daily output we have, I do think we’re unique in that sense.
I think the role of illustration at Gawker Media is to work arm in arm with the editorial staffs. We have some uniquely talented and creative writers, funny and smart and they put so much into their pieces. They deserve much more than to slap a stale stock photo atop their work, and it’s our role to match their efforts. A smart and carefully made image can add a great deal of value to each piece. Something funny or something blasphemous, something weighty or something clever, something to complement and to add to the piece rather than simply fill a space at the top of the page. The culture here at Gawker encourages taking chances and being irreverent, and that is a philosophy that I embrace and always try to push as far as I can. Our images and our content can occasionally tread into blue subject matter, but I’m very comfortable working in that space. Oftentimes, an image can get as much attention as the written piece itself.
[Fed Up With the Slutty Girl Scouts? Meet the Conservative Alternative. – Illustration by Jim Cooke]
IA: Could you describe the typical creative process of developing an idea or an image for most of your articles? How much creative input do you allow the illustrator, especially given the short turnaround time for these?
JC: The first thing that happens is an editor or writer will send me the draft of a post. I’ll read it intently, and then I’ll either work on the image myself or pass it to Tara or Sam. In those cases, I’ll let them pitch ideas to me and we’ll work together to decide on a solution. Often, I’ll be struck by an idea that seems right and they’ll work on that. Other times they’ll have an idea or a quick thumbnail sketch and I’ll have them run with it. The idea/conception process can be very quick, and this is where the advantages of having illustrators on staff are most evident. From idea stage to finish is usually a very streamlined process and this enables us to work quickly.
[Answering a Question No One Asked: 13 Years of Williamsburg in the NYT – Illustration by Jim Cooke]
IA: What has been the response, both internally at Gawker Media and from your audience, to the regular use of illustration?
JC: The response has been pretty good! I think the fact that the art department here has expanded over the last few years is a sign that the editors and writers appreciate having our kind of attention paid to the visuals on their posts. Tara and I both managed to get pieces accepted into the SI annual show this year, which is nice. As far as audience reception goes, they are mostly very kind to us in the comments and on twitter. In a culture where a commenting readership can often be merciless, I’ll take it.
Thanks again to Jim Cooke and Gawker Media for their contributions to this article.
Filed under: Interviews
Posted by Thomas James on 02/16/15 under Interviews
Post by Chloe
Hattie Newman is an image maker and set designer based in London. Her work has a fun, quirky, illustrative style which creates a narrative. Her work has featured in many editorials including GQ, The Guardian and Stylist magazine.
If you would like to see more of Hattie Newman’s work, please visit her portfolio.
Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 02/15/15 under editorial submissions
It’s Illustration Friday!
We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Camila Barrera, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of NOISE. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!
You can also see a gallery of all the other 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!
The Hernandez Brothers, Gilbert, Jaime & Mario, are trailblazers of modern graphic storytelling. Premiering in 1981, their personal comics anthology Love and Rockets spawned from healthy doses of classic superhero/Archie comics, undergrounds like Zap, and punk rock music of the late 1970’s. Their stories are character driven, semi-autobiographical, complex, and sometimes surreal. They are their own 3-man “Miramax” of the independent comics industry, cranking out bunches of original, unconventional material each year.
This week marked the release of Love and Rockets Volume 3 #7, published by Fantagraphics Books. After the original run of 50 magazine-sized issues, and a 20 issue, comics sized Volume 2, fans now get to look forward to a new 100 page soft cover book each year. Most stories from the series end up in their own collections(usually with extras), like with Gilbert’s epic Palomar story-line, and Jaime’s chronicles of Maggie & Hopey.
The influence of Los Bros. Hernandez can be seen throughout the U.S. and abroad at the multitude of comics conventions, and zine-fests. As Kirby, Ditko, and Eisner laid down the foundation for modern mainstream comics, so has The Hernandez Brothers’ work done for the modern independent cartoonist.
You can follow the latest updates on what’s next for the Hernandez Brothers, and Love and Rockets at their facebook page here.
Also, Gilbert Hernandez has recently started a new weekly comic strip at VICE.com here.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates