2017 has been a tough year…
I seem to have unintentionally created a series of illustrations about Donald Trump! It’s impossible to avoid the damage he has caused during his presidency, and his actions have become material for my illustrations.
Stephan Dybus is a German artist based in Berlin whose watercolour paintings depict relationships, life, his career and experiences (mainly negative ones). Stephan’s work, at first glance, is not representative of the aesthetic trends and styles I tend to be interested in, but his context and narrative is so powerful and hilarious that it just works so well.
I want to transfer the essence of my inadequacy as an urban hipster/melancholic artistic into humorous illustrations. I want to quote from the world that I come from. I enjoy drawing my little funny miniature characters – they can do anything, they look stupid, they don’t care about it, unlike me, they are free.
‘Aquarelle’ is the technique Stephan has adopted in his art, in which he paints with thin, transparent watercolours, after sketching out his ideas with pencil. The style Stephan has created looks almost juvenile, but it certainly visually translates his thoughts – it’s almost like the drawing equivalent to quickly jotting down thoughts in a diary or journal.
The stories are so deadpan, exploring failure and relatable experiences life throws at us, and translating this through sketchy, painted characters. Stephan states that he gains inspiration for pieces at any time, particularly during conversations, which adds to the instantaneous, unusual context of his characters’ stories.
Stephan has also explored recreating his art in 3D and through ‘low poly art’/paper craft:
Marco Palena has instantly become one of my top 5 favourite illustrators with his stunningly detailed and unique illustrations. The winners of this year’s Association of Illustrators’ World Illustration Awards have been announced, and Marco has won ‘The Overall New Talent Award’ for his work for the ‘Bookshops in Blossom’ book (below), which details Italian literature and culture:
His work has featured on the cover of plenty of magazine covers including ‘My Family and Other Animals’ for Illustrated Magazine (2015):
Marco’s uniquely crafted illustrations are so incredible that it took me a while to realise that they aren’t digital illustrations, but in fact hand drawn!
He often illustrates in monochrome, but his colour illustrations are just as incredible, and have been featured in children’s books:
It’s hard to actually find information about Marco and interviews with him despite his successes, but I think his work speaks for itself. Stunning!
I’ve illustrated Claudette Colvin for Black History Month.
Claudette is also known as ‘The Other Rosa Park’ despite actually being the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Alabama, 1955. Claudette is a pioneer of the African American Civil Rights Movement and a superhero who had to testify in court. Despite her influence, we tend to only recognise the name of Rosa Parks because black leaders didn’t publicly speak of Claudette the trailblazer. Why? Because she was a teenager who was pregnant by a married man…
I think the phrase “not all heroes wear capes” is pretty apt for this incredible lady. Claudette was handcuffed, arrested and forcibly removed from the bus, and shouted that her constitutional rights were being violated. Sadly this still sounds very familiar when thinking about the recent ‘Black Lives Matter’ epidemic that has resulted in unecessary violence and death during attacks from white police officers on black citizens in America.
The most important thing to remember this #blackhistorymonth isn’t just those who fought for equality, but also your privilege. If you’re white, you are privileged. You are not a target and you are not treated differently based on your skin colour. Sometimes I think barely anything has changed when I read the headlines… keep fighting and keep standing up for what’s right.
Consultancy FutureBrand has designed the new branding for NatWest. The logo is based on the original created in 1968, which I didn’t find particularly exciting… but the illustrations that come with the rebrand are great!
The creative direction has evolved really well with this rebrand, and they certainly visually stand out amongst their competitors. NatWest’s aim was to lend themselves to a younger audience, and the use of bright, bold graphic illustrations, typography and gifs is definitely on-trend.