Saturday, 5 March 2011

Illusive Contemporary Illustration - mesmerizing Illustrations

Sometimes, my friends/coworkers Ruth and Eleonora (check out her new film blog here) come over and we sit down together, drink, eat, sing loudly and draw/paint :) Recently we've been going through 'Illusive - Contemporary Illustration Part 3' for inspiration, before starting our drawing sessions. So I've decided to share with you some names which have kept me looking at their works for the longest amount of time. These are not necessarily my favourites, because there were various other excellent illustrations, but I guess they did mesmerise me slightly more than the others. I have to admit I am a bit of a sucker for figurative and delicate likes, so you'll be seeing more of these.

Pietari Posti

The colour scheme of 'Storm' by Pietari Posti is so simple and yet astonishingly attractive. What I like about this: the line quality of the waves, the 'rough' colouring of the tentacles, the little dark corner in the top left nails it.
Mocchi Mocchi
 This was one of Ruth's favourites. There's something about illustrations of poppies - I guess it's the random, asymmetrical shape, and then the little black spots in the middle. Strikingly addictive,
Joe Mclaren
 A very popular style which is emerging locally as well - 'imperfect' illustration which puts the focus on the line and less on the rendering. Must admit I find its naivety very pleasing.
Bovey Lee
 What's not to like about this one? Beautifully detailed tactile illustration! There were other really good tactile illustrations on the book, but again, the lines in the one got me!
Nathan Fox
Really like the adrenalin and energy in Nathan Fox's illustration - very American-comic but in a different context. Reminded me a bit of the works of Winston Rowntree one of my favourite internet comic artists.
Laura Laine
Laura Laine is a Finnish fashion illustrator. Her works blew me away. Figures distorted in all the right areas. A little bit Tim-Burtonesque, but more refined.

Sabine Pieper
 After detailed lines and figures, collages are next on my list. I like the mixture of detailed faces with rough ink and paint smudges in Pieper's work.
Marguerite Sauvage
 Don't you think Marguerite Sauvage's name is perfect for her style of illustration? :) I was a bit undecided of whether to include her works her of not. Then I looked her up and found this illustration (which was not in the book) and I was hooked instantly. Love the pastel colour scheme, their faces, the hair, the food! (I love food illustration) and the whole Parisian-feel of the illustration.
I want to buy this as a print one day. What I like about it: the effortless line drawing, the running ink effect which I think is perfect for the context of this illustration. The writing, the hair...
Gabriel Moreno
 Gabriel Moreno's line quality reminds me of Daniela Attard's (who goes by the name of Iella) one of my favourite local illustrators.
Eva Sun-sil Han
 More collage work. Eva's work is a mixture of ravaged collage faces and thin architectural lines.
Marco Marella
 Marco Marella's work reminds me of these IT magazine illustration (perhaps he does do illustration for IT magazines, not sure). Also reminds me of coffee-shop artwork. Either way, I love the mixture of type with his rough-yet-clean figure illustrations.
Vincent Bakkum
I wanted to include a more traditional illustration, and I chose Vincent Bakkum, who does beautifully rendered figures, most of the time - accompanied by birds. I'm not a big fan of animal illustrations but I decided to make an exception for this one.
Yoko Furusho
Last but not least, Yoko Furusho has some amazing works comprised of clean-line figures. I really like the content of this illustration as well.

Please feel free to share your own favourite Illustrators :)


  1. I tend to go through my favourite illustrators as well when I do something, but this question comes to mind whenever I want to do something: When you say "inspiration" or "getting inspired" or "get some inspiration", what exactly does it mean?

    It's a bit awkward to ask this question after more than 3 years at Mcast but I find it quite subjective. Many find "inspiration" as copying. Others find it as a starting point. Others say that looking at others' work will "influence" you in a way that won't trigger creativity.

    And also, what kind of inspiration is considered as inspiration? If you as for example about Mocchi Mocchi, you may find that either she (or he) get inspired from the subject of flowers or simply from other artists/illustrators who draw flowers.

    What is inspiration all about after all?

  2. I guess inspiration can be different for everyone, so all I can tell you is how I 'get inspired'. Let's say I'm looking at the first pictures by Pietari Posti - I love everything about it, but if I were to be inspired from it and create something for my own, perhaps I would try to create something completely different, but using a similar colour scheme (because that's what really caught my eye)

    If I made an illustration of boats in the sea with tentacles clasping at them, as well as using the same colour scheme, then of course I would be copying. It wouldn't be my own work.

    So for me, inspiration is finding little things in other's work and adapting them into your own style. Including certain line art that you wouldn't normally use in your illustration, trying out different colour combinations based on whatever has inspired you, if you're drawing figures, you can 'steal' the eyes or the lips, face shapes and body distortions (and tell again try and change them and adapt them to your own drawings).

    Everything tends to be a copy of a copy of a copy.... it's the combination of the copies that makes an individual work. This is of course, my opinion - and I think that artists know when they have copied a work and when they simply got inspired. Copying gives you guilt :)

  3. Well I guess you just nailed it. Thanks for the answer!

    These are some of my inspirations from the many:

  4. Your links are a perfect example of inspiration. I can see a link between the links you provided and the style of your work, but still they are completely different.

    And here's two more:

    This one I love mostly for the content, but the style of illustration is also pretty sweet