18 Oct 2010

Artist 33: Patrick O'Leary

Our latest featured artist is the wonderful Patrick O'Leary, Specialist in digital illustration Patrick originally wanted to be a photographer but luckily for us chose to be an illustrator. His work is very striking with a fantastic eye for composition and use of colour. Patrick creates beautifully sweet and sometimes touching images which utilise humour and metaphor to tell a story. His art style is slick and homely at the same time with a very high quality of line afforded by digital illustration with the light touch of someone accustomed to tradition media. With a carefree style rarely possible with digital illustration Patrick breaks the stereotyped image of digital work and takes it up a level.Great talent and skill he will surely be everywhere soon, so catch him here first!

Who are you:
Patrick O'Leary, a freelance illustrator from Bradford, UK.

What do you do:
Well, I illustrate first and foremost. I read about illustration, look at art blogs and read magazines. And I visit London as often as possible, to go to exhibitions, get involved in events and just generally absorb it's culture. When I'm not in London, I dream about being there and when I'm not dreaming about London, I'm dreaming about New York.

How did you start:
I don't really know. I mean, it probably sounds really cliché but I've always drawn and painted and have had my eye on an art-based career since I was about 13/14. I wanted to be a photographer for a long time but then realised I was more of an illustrator, where I felt I had more creative control over the composition, feel and narrative of a piece. Then I did a degree, during which I discovered the work of Luke Best, James Yang and Yihsin Wu, who made me decide to discard my paints, my pencils and now pretty much all of my work is created photoshop and a graphics tablet.

A Personal statement about you or your work:
Paints were too messy, photographs weren't messy enough and digital illustration fell somewhere in the middle. I feel my work says as much about me as it does its subject. It's often humorous, colourful and playful; it's polished but not pristine. My compositions often contain visual humour and metaphor and a rich texture, which adds a tactility that I used traditional tools like paint and pencil to create many moons ago. Painting was my past, digital art is my present but I don't know what my future will be. Whatever it is, it'll will undoubtedly involve illustration.

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