Tag Archives: illustration

Guinness (St Patrick’s Day): Iris & mcbess

St Patrick’s Day (Friday March 17th) is just around the corner, so ad agency Iris have teamed up with esteemed artist and illustrator mcbess to create a series of illustrations for their client Guinness.

guinness_spd_characters5

Featuring the line “Let’s Get Together”, mcbess has created characters enjoying the iconic drink, surrounded by numerous recognisable previous brand references such as the toucan (below), surfers and ‘sapeurs’ (AMV BBDO).

guinness_spd_characters2

Although mcbess is a hugely talented artist, and a favourite of mine, I can’t see past the TfL ads which have dominated the London Underground and therefore remained associated to TfL in my mind:

However, it’s certainly proved beneficial for mcbess that his work is instantly recognisable, due to the monochrome and complicated personal style, which has caught the attention of other brads like Nike, Converse and Jack Daniels.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Boy Who Fell and the Man Who Picked Him Up Again

Illustrator and animator Hanne berkaak collaborated with the Norwegian leading professional organisation in psychological trauma, RVTS Sør, for an animation about self-harm. RVTS Sør work with those experiencing violence and traumas, migration health issues, and suicide prevention. Their primary goal is to ensure that those in need of support are met by conscious and competent professionals in all areas of the health services, with dignity and care.

This topic is really hard to tackle without creating something really obvious, or cringe-worthy, or untrue, or triggering. The list goes on! Hanne has managed to convey the struggles with self harm in an imaginative, relatable and warm way. As someone who is open about my own mental health and self harm addiction, Hanne has created something that I find incredibly relatable, totally appropriate and not like anything I’ve ever seen for this sort of topic. I also like the way in which the adult is portrayed – he is not hysterical or accusatory – which is how the adult confided in usually reacts (from my experience). Hanne portrays the teacher who clearly goes the extra mile for the boy, in a sensitive and calm way. Using muted colours contrasted with bold reds, she represents the physical cuts metaphorically without being distasteful or graphic.

Hanne said:

Doing research for the project, I found that children and teenagers often could remember that one person who did something out of the ordinary and made a huge difference. The film tries to encourage professional support workers to have the courage to meet traumatised children in a dignified way, not as clients, but as humans.

Hanne brought her emotional illustration to life with the help of lead animator My Eklund and producers from Mikrofilm.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celeste Mountjoy: satirical illustrations

Artist Celeste Mountjoy’s work has had me giggling at my desk. As a 16-year-old (yes, you read that correctly) she’s wise beyond her years, as her illustrations are clearly a satirical take on a wide range of world issues.

1157593

Celeste isn’t just an illustrator with a style emulating Chris (Simpsons artist), she has a penchant for facetious dead-pan story-telling. Celeste states Michael Leunig, David Shrigley, and Polly Nor as her illustrative influencers, but the inspiration for the context behind her hilarious drawings come from everyday conversations:

Almost every conversation and situation can be broken down, pulled apart and then diluted into a concentrated essence of someone’s brain or character,” she says. “Not just the nice bits of who they are, it’s interesting to call out the shitty parts of humans and human nature and make fun of them too. I think most of the characters in my comics are based off people I’ve encountered and then amplified to be over the top and to the point. People are weird and dark and hilarious all the time without even trying to be – you just need to look at things a little different to recognise that.

115759811576001157603115760511576091157615

I wish I was this talented and witty at 16!! Perhaps her ability to be so sharp and opinionated is hugely to do with her access to social media so young, allowing Celeste to poke fun at our self-obsessed human attributes and “first world problems”.

1157594

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Black History Month: Claudette Colvin

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.

 

2016-10-20-10-25-26

Tagged , , , ,

NatWest Rebrand

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!

natwest-personal-illustrationsnatwest-personal-alphabetnatwest-inbranch-posters

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Facing Gender Diversity: Colouring Book

This art colouring book (by education and gender sociologist Cecilie Nørgaard) is a creative and aesthetic exploration of gender stereotypes and alternative gender identities. The book includes 30 artists and illustrators who were asked to reflect on gender and diversity, and turn their ideas into visual expressions.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Saatchi Gallery Visit

A few weeks ago when the weather was hot, I went shopping in Sloane Square and ended up in the Saatchi Gallery. I hadn’t been there in a while, and was far more impressed this time than I was on my previous visits. I took photographs of pieces that particularly interested me.

GERALD DAVIS

20130808_160603

“The title of Gerald Davis’ triptych Fagboy 1986 announces its autobiographical basis right from the start. As a young adolescent, Davis dreamed of becoming an animator in the vein of Walt Disney, and his extended time alone, drawing, seemed weird to his brother and his friends, and the name stuck (“fag” being code for “outsider” in the slang of a 12- year old boy in 1986). Recounting the narrative from the perspective of the adult artist, Davis infuses the easily slighted sensitivities of early teenagerdom with the wry detachment of hindsight. The drawings’ washed-out palette of delicate pink evokes the muzzy glow of the Hollywood flashback, as well as the perceived oddness (and suggested effeminacy) of Davis’ obsession with drawing, both then and now.
Sprawled happily on the bedroom floor, the young Davis copies an image of a cartoon character as a threatening foot appears as the door; then, pinioned in the kitchen, the phrase FAG BOY is scrawled on his chest; and finally, we see pages of his sketchbook with drawings of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, along with a scrap of paper that reads “Animation is not faggitty!!”, followed by many hysterical exclamation marks. The narrative is one of martyr-like persecution, and there is a sly allusion to religious images of the suffering saint here – both in the triptych format and the image of Davis’ body receiving the humiliation, like St Sebastian. Yet Davis’ detachment is such that his suffering younger self is looked on from afar, distorted and exaggeratedly spindly, an alien who used your name, as our younger selves can sometimes seem.”

PAUL WESTCOMBE

20130808_162221

“Paul Westcombe’s work was, like so much great art, born of boredom. Working as a car park attendant on a twelve hour shift, Westcombe started drawing on whatever material came to hand – London Underground receipts, toilet plungers, mop handles – and, especially, the paper coffee cups he’d just drained in an attempt to stay awake.

These cups became the ideal surface for Westcombe’s wildly carnivalesque drawings of the sort of neurotic thoughts that plague the mind in solitary moments, their titles – Sex is Boring with Me, You’re Hardly Ever Here And When You’re Here You’re Bored – forming a self deprecating running commentary on the drawings’ own unbridled visions.”

RY FYAN

20130808_16205620130808_162043

“Ry Fyan’s dystopian architectural fantasies have all the complexity and meticulous visual invention of, as the artist puts it, “drawings on a notebook from childhood.” Improvisational in method, yet drawn from a number of remembered sources, Fyan’s drawings represent a bleak vision of American power. In The Metropolitan Meth Silo, a many-turreted castle, US flags flapping from its pinnacles, crouches on the horizon against a sickly sky. Small human figures scuttle in its shadow, but there’s no sense of the building being enterable; its grand arches seem bricked-up, a vision of authority at odds with the world around it. The drawing’s title makes some unnervingly jarring references to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the epidemic of methamphetamine abuse in America, the juxtaposition calling upon different structures of power in its feverish collision of signs.

The image’s original source, a 1903 photograph of a ‘Corn Palace’ in North Dakota – a huge temporary structure built annually of dried corn, made to celebrate agricultural abundance – gives the image its densely worked patterning and alarming swastika (actually a Native American symbol, but its resonances would be hard to miss). As in Fyan’s Hood Rich, the iconography of American power appears to have created its own enclosure – it’s both fortress and prison. A stack of Sudafed boxes (their contents the raw material for making meth) epitomize Fyan’s vision of the rotten heart of corporate America; the drawings’ dreamlike specificity and imaginative glee saves them from dogma.”

STORM THARP

20130808_161428 20130808_161453

“The tension between old hat associations of two traditional modes – the provisional glimpse against the measured analysis, let’s say – create the stage for Tharp’s cast of sometimes grotesque, often sympathetic characters. Each face’s appearance is pitched between the seen and the glimpsed. As though mimicking the act of forgetting, faces blur and disappear in a cloud of marks: the act of description erases them. Ink is sucked backwards into the blankness of the paper (what was his name again?); the medium’s wetness makes nostrils and eye sockets splay madly (no, I don’t think we’ve met).

Tharp, inspired by the technique of Japanese calligraphy, uses the application of ink as a parallel of the mind’s movements, its unexpected focuses and elisions. As with any portrait, Tharp’s works are signs pointing to a void: the subject itself, physically absent, disappearing before our very eyes.”

JOHN KLECKNER

20130808_161548

“Kleckner’s descriptive line – both realistic and excessively so, with a focus on textures of hair, fur and grass – gives the image its air of amplified realism, which tips over into the graphic arabesques of Art Nouveau. These are characters disappearing into pattern. In another, untitled work, a decomposing human face deems either vomiting or being invaded by a sea of swirling textures: leaf-like, lava-like. The matter of the world itself, with all its complex internal patterns, seems bent on dissolution and decay; nature is an unbridled thing, teeming with destructive beauty, as in the clambering insects dismembering the title animal in Untitled (Dead Bird).”

YUKEN TERUYA

20130808_161035 20130808_161225 20130808_161210 20130808_161118 20130808_161101

“The detritus of urban life has long provided material solutions for artists; in Yuken Teruya’s work, the discarded becomes the site of poetic transformation. Shopping bags – in some ways the emblematic item of rampant consumerism, one-use receptacles quickly ditched – are placed within the gallery at a ninety-degree angle, their ends to the wall, becoming peepholes for one viewer at a time. Their dark interiors are speckled with light from holes cut into the bag’s paper surface; the shape of the hole is that of a full-grown tree, so the bag becomes both stage (with its own lighting) and source of imagery.”

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Agnes Cecile

What an amazing illustrator! Love her style.

 

Check out more here

Tagged , , , , ,