Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Billie Jean, Sara Fanelli, Gerald Scarfe


Billie Jean is a man that lives and works in Leytonstone in east London. He enjoys climbing trees, visiting second hand bookshops, drinking Slush Puppies, making chocolate rice crispy cup cakes, knitting tea cosies and drawing.
He's very hard to find information about, with this being all his reveals. 
His style is very reminiscent of secondary school doodles, being done primarily on desks, lined paper and graph paper.

This is his work for Nike, which is very playful and messy - considering a great portion of Nike's sales are from school children, appealing to them with this kind of illustration makes a great deal of sense.

This is a book cover he did. It's considerably more feminine than most f his work, very colourful and very clean. It is considerably more interesting than most gardening books though.

This piece brings back memories of trying to decode the graffiti on my old school desks; that's what makes this piece so good. It's very well done and very nostalgic! 

Sara Fanelli:

An artist and illustrator born in 1969 in Florence. She came to London to study art and graduated in 1995. She works on a lot of childrens books, and has won several awards, including the V&A museum's Illustration Award and the D&AD Silver Awards.
She was commissioned by Tate Modern.

This is presumably a childrens book cover, as it is very colourful and friendly. 
This has been done by painting and then sticking images on top. This creates a niave, child-like appearance that tends to appeal to young children. 

This also looks like a childrens book cover, although I'm not so fond of this one. I find her flat face very creepy, as well as her strange, patch work body.
It is a very good example of her style, however.

Gerald Scarfe:

Gerald Scarfe was born 1st June, 1936 and is an English cartoonist and illustrator. He has worked for the Sunday Times and The New Yorker, as well as for Pink Floyd and Hercules. 
He spent his early years suffering from severe asthma and spent it bed-ridden. This is said to have influenced his dark, diseased looking drawings. He has said that his work can be traced back to the dodgy treatments he received. He moved to Hampstead at age 14.

This is his take on a dalek from the Doctor Who franchise. Done presumably in marker and ink, it is very expressive and messy yet remaining cleaner than his messier ink pen works. The lack of colour works as the daleks are well known enough for us to decode the colour scheme ourselves. 

Slightly more political, this is a better example of the majority of his work. Using an ink pen and watercolour, his work is messy, 'diseased' and dirty - and something about that is charming. I can't say I'm overly fond of the style myself, but I adore how well emotion and such can be portrayed with a simple dip pen!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Wenqing Yan

Wenqing Yan, more famously known as Yuumei, is an artist who reached international fame through deviantArt. She lives in the United States, but lived in China for her childhood. Her art focuses on serious issues such as environmentalism, divorce, censorship and more. Her most popular works include Knite, an interactive comic, and 1000 words, a book.

 Her landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, with unusual colour schemes and a unique, soft atmosphere that enhances the emotiveness of her work. The body language here helps to give the characters definition and character even without the focus on them. The lighting and the reflections are spot on, and the transitions in the sky are romantic and soft.

This work is set, obviously, in China, as we can tell from the Chinese character on the wall and the lanterns and merchandise on the stall. Again, her body language allows for depth to be added - we can tell the boy at the front is relaxed and confident, the girl is delicate and mature, and the boy at the back is quite and aloof. Her shading and highlighting is gorgeous, using an unusual splodge like style, which enhances her soft style and helps her add a wider range and depth of colour. The items and props on this piece are all very well drawn and show great technical skill. The artists age is unknown, but she is quite young, making this art even more impressive.

This is an example of her more environmentalist work, featuring a birdwoman being poisoned by the oil pump. This is a very common topic for her, a lot of her work covers similar themes. Her anatomy is flawless and very human like, her hair flows naturally and shines naturally, the bird is drawn brilliantly and the oil pump is shaded beautifully (look at all the tones of blue, green and purple in the pipe!).
The dead fish aren't noticed at first, but are realised later on, added to the horror of the piece. It becomes apparent she is standing in oil, and the background appears to be a large factory causing a great deal of air pollution. Her skin is coloured very unusually, using a wide range of hues, but it fits beautifully with this work. The fish look shiny, too, which is nice.

Digital art is not all she does, oh no! This is one of her beautiful sculptures. I'm not one who likes sculptures, in fact, I hate them, but this piece is so beautiful, I've been admiring it for years. The creature is fox like and human like, with a long, unnatural neck and big ears. The fur has been defined very nicely, and the tail looks lovely and floppy. The character is covered in chinese characters. Yan stated that one of the characters is 'Qing' meaning emotion.
The colours are contrasting and rich, and the traditional mask the character is wearing is simply beautiful. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Brighton Trip

Last Friday, I went on a trip to Brighton.
We started by visiting the Corn Exchange exhibition, held at the Brighton Dome, which was an opportunity to see some up and coming artists selling their work.

Honestly, I found this portion of the trip somewhat disappointing. I found the atmosphere a little stiff and uncomfortable, and the most work wasn't overly interesting or impressive. I did, however, get a free bag, which is super cute!

After that, I went to the Ink'D gallery to see the Jon Bugerman exhibition. Having been a fan of his for about 6/7 years, it was really great to see his work first hand! I even brought a mug and some stickers. The atmosphere of this gallery was a lot less stiff or pretentious, it was very relaxed and very enjoyable. I went back several times.
After this, I went to several graphic shops, such as a letterpress shop, a comic shop and more. I also got some frozen yoghurt. Totally unrelated, but it was delicious.

The graffiti in Brighton was beautiful! There was so much of it and it was all very colourful and gave a wonderfully artistic vibe to the place. I would love to see more graffiti like this, it was very inspiring.

Overall, it was easily my favourite trip yet. Brighton Uni is one of the universities I am looking into, so getting a first hand look at the area was priceless.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Manga Jiman Contest

My current project, (unrelated to college work) is an entry into the 'Manga Jiman' contest run by the Japanese embassy. The work will be a comic at 8 pages long, and will be set in a futuristic, sci-fi universe. The work will be produced on Adobe Photoshop.
I can't give away much more at the moment - but here are some preview sketches!
For this project, I'm having to learn how to screen tone digitally - something I'm yet to do, so that will be hard work! I have written comics in the past, but they didn't turn out well, so I'm really nervous!

Other than that, I have done the following commissions, all drawn in photoshop:

I've been experimenting with some silly chibi styles and found a favourite-this!
Isn't he cute? I love him! He's more 'cartoony' than I would normally go for, but I actually quite like that! Drawn in Photoshop with a tablet.
He was inspired by the Japanese artist H I D E O who draws beautiful illustrations! 

That's all from me this holiday! I hope to upload more work soon.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the D&AD New Blood exhibition in London. I was very impressed with its presentation - I had high hopes for the exhibition as soon as I arrived.

I was surprised with the layout, however - it was a roofless exhibition (I wish I had known - I'd have dressed for the chilly weather). This exhibition showcases new work from up and coming artists, illustrators and designers from local universities, which is where 'New Blood' gets its name. It was helpful to see some work from the universities I had been considering.

Whilst in the area, we decided to check out the famous graffiti. We really were spoiled! With big names such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Space Invader, it was a really interesting trip that opened our eyes into the world of street art. As a fan of Fairey and Banksy for at least four years, it was great to see their work in person. Graffiti art such as theirs carries such an amazingly mysterious atmosphere in person that pictures simply don't capture.

The majority of the work carries either a social or political message, and it was a lot of fun trying to work out what meant what. Like the image above, for example. It appears to read 'R.I.P. Whitney', and the character is wearing a medal. Perhaps it's a personal statement, or perhaps it's aimed towards the some what recent death of Whitney Houston.

I simply adored this piece. I don't know the artist (perhaps it's crimethink?), but the work is simply adorable! I haven't got the faintest idea what the artist is trying to convey, but that makes it interesting to me. I love his adorable expression, and the blocks for blush. Normally, when faces are covered, it makes people uncomfortable due to the ambiguity, but here, it's almost soothing. Such an innocent character in the angry streets of London was a bright, refreshing find.