30 Oct 2010

Artist 39: Hazel Critchley

A happy Illustration Rally hello to Hazel Critchley. Hazel, living in the north by the coast seems to trap her environment within her work and as she takes influence from the world around her and from her foreign travels to Finland and Poland her work takes on the character of the place and yet is composed with striking originality. She works on a lightbox happily scratching away dark and brooding images in a process resembling intaglio print but with a level of control tailored down to each individual scratch her work becomes a living thing produced in a way that has the character of folk art and the lithe sensuousness of art nouveau. she combines the work together digitally producing a very strong tonal composition that is backed up by a real juxtaposition of colours that seem to hang across the eye and play to the delicate yet bold figures. Her work has a raw yet enlightened touch, which leaves the viewer satisfied yet intrigued. Great work from a fabulous illustrator, read about her here.

Who are you:
Hello i'm Hazel, a freelance illustrator. I live near the seaside town of Southport. Some call it the Paris of the north, others a free range nursing home! I currently have a studio in Liverpool which I spend most of my days in. When i'm not there i'll be on the beach with my dog or in a cafe.

What do you do:
For some reason I find it alot easier to scratch into a black surface than draw onto a white piece of paper. Though later on in the drawing when doing a background, I will work on white paper and combine them digitally. I draw alot of people, many of whom are ladies. I keep trying to draw clothed people, but they always end up taking something off! Maybe a collaboration is needed to clothe them.

How did you start:
My Grandad wanted me to enter into the family business which would have meant nine to five, office, numbers kind of job. I decided to do what I love, drawing. At first he would say that I could still change courses from illustration to accountancy, but now he loves what I do and even passes me the arts section from the financial times. I would say that the way my work looks now started during my year studying in Poland and Finland. Both of these countries and their people had a great impact on my life and work. Poland allowed me to get back to traditional techniques, whilst experimenting with new ones in Finland.

A Personal statement about you or your work:
I love unique thinkers and learning new things. I think I am inspired to work by things I see and experience, rather than it directly influencing my work. One of my teachers asked me if I was in a dark place whilst creating my work, I said that I was very happy that day. Though you can't help be anything but happy when staring into a lightbox for hours on end, it's similar to what they would prescribe for somebody with seasonal affective disorder. It's comforting to know that even if my work is sometimes dark I won't be.

Halloween No. 24

Halloween No. 23

By James Wilson

By Bertram Fiddle

By Bee Willey

Artist 38: Emma Fitzgerald

Another wonderful artist to feature today, Emma Fitzgerald. Award winning animator,director and illustrator Emma has moved back into the sphere of illustration and what a treat it is! Collage is her primary modus operandi, and she uses it to devastating effect. Cool clear lines sharply designate beautifully considered soft colour. Her work is a fine balance of composition and though I hate to use the phrase her work really does "pop" she is the master of her medium with her smooth coffee skies at once mysterious and mournful but she can inject a wry twist and this dexterity is her trademark. She floats between disciplines but she does have that special attention to movement and placement that marks her out as an animator and its this what seems to give her work a delicate pathos. Its really nice to see collage that is refreshing and cleansing to the eye and her work feels like a glass of cold water after a hot bath. We love her you should too, read a little about her here!

Who are you:
I am an Illustrator/ Animator living in London, making collage Illustrations and Stop Motion Animations. I have a degree in Illustration, where I first tried and loved animation.

What do you do:
I was nominated for a D & AD Award for my animation, then went on to do an internship with Tigerprint (card company that designs for Marks & Spencer) and worked Freelance for them. I have also directed and animated music videos, illustrated for magazines, animated for theatre projections, and also interned with fantastic animation director, Andrew Gibbs. Most recently I have moved back towards illustration, making collage pieces, in and out of the computer, and recently exhibited some of these pieces in London. I have also had my animations 'The train' and 'Ghosts' exhibited, the latter in my current favourite venue, East London's Wilton's Music Hall.

A Personal statement about you or your work:
To describe my work to people I would say it is paper, found imagery, subdued colour palette, old photographs, things folding, moving collage, a little bit Monty Python, a little bit Lotte Reiniger, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes neither, always time consuming, usually a labour of love, rarely drawn.

28 Oct 2010

Halloween No. 21

Here is a great give away from the lovely Vicky Newman! In her own words, here it is!

"This is my Halloween limited edition black screen print called Thriller Night hand finished with gold embellishment, and I am giving away 10 of these fellows to anyone who would like to get their zombie mits on them! -if people would like to be in with a chance they just need to reply to me on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/finedandy) with #zombieheart in the subject and I will select 10 random winners 31st October 6pm GMT!"

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween No. 20

By Sheena Dempsey

26 Oct 2010

Artist 37: Sandra Dieckmann

Red Panda

One of her Christmas postcards "Festive Furries" // Christmas linx

Crowned Crane

Elephant (for her and Jamie Mill's) Endangered Animals collaboration

Wolf Mask

We are very lucky to host the stunning work of Sandra Dieckmann for our latest artist feature. The wonderful illustrations that Sandra creates have all the hallmarks of a first class illustrator and a force to be reckoned with. Her animals are not just superbly crafted and observed but the style and aplomb with which she gifts us these images is undeniable. Her work conjures up the deep stirrings of childhood stories and half remembered fairy tales giving an earthy deep rooted feeling of forests and mystery. Her work screams at as to look with its combination of aching beauty and elegant composition. Her work is strong and subtle and this allows her to introduce humour and light-hearted fun whilst preserving beauty and artistry. A real treat, and an illustrator's illustrator read about her here!

Who are you:
Born in Oldenburg , Germany 1983. Sandra moved to London in 2002 in search of new adventures and further education. She grew up in Germany in a tiny village surrounded by nature and believes that her
versatile approach to creating images stems from her childhood.“My head is full of stories and creatures and conversations. I can’t be any other way. Sometimes I think it is the way I was allowed to be free without fear so early on that ignited this dreaminess. I explored the woods, spent loads of time reading, drawing,
and just making things. I think I just never stopped.”

After studying Fashion Design in 2006 she realised her passion for Illustration and Graphic design and after more than six years in art education eventually graduated first class honours from her degree in Graphic Information Design at the University of Westminster in London.

Sandra enjoys observing the world, creating creatures and anything else that involves creative play. Using a variety of media she is exited to work in different ways to achieve her creative vision. Her skills have been applied to a wide array of projects, which can be seen reflected in this online portfolio.Sandra also published a children’s book in 2009 entitled ‘The Bumble Bear & The Grizzly Bee’. In 2010 she devised two illustration projects Haus Stories and If I Was You, which are both currently open for submissions.

Sandra currently lives and works in East London and is very content with her friends and her cat Little Crumb by her side!

What do you do:
I make images. In other words I'm an illustrator. I guess I am an illustrator because people have to classify people. I'd still make images if there was no such term.All I'm saying is that it's how I am, a part of me the way I progress information. I don't want to be in a 'band' (it's a comparison) .I'm not a brand. I'm not designed. I don't draw to be someone. I'm that person already. I see myself as a story teller, an entertainer and an artist in the general sense. I'm also a human being, a thinker, a friend, a moaner, an animal lover, part of nature, mad, sad. Aren't we all and can we not all create?

How did you start:
Growing up in a tiny village surrounded by nature has definitely influenced the way I'm. My approach to creating images stems from my childhood. My head is full of stories and creatures and conversations. I can’t be any other way. Sometimes I think it is the way I was allowed to be free without fear so early on that
ignited this dreaminess. I explored the woods, spent loads of time reading, drawing, and just making things. I think I just never stopped.
When I studied Fashion it didn't feel right and I then tried myself in Graphic Design. I soon realized that I wanted to make images and use my hands and not programm or work on layouts all day. I don't mind doing it a bit but I need to let the pictures flow out of my head into my images. It's like breathing. I just need to and I have been doing it as long as I can think back.

Regarding my family my father has always been very artistic. He is a free spirit and loves building, painting, making things. He always tells me the story of me being only 4 or so and him trying to teach me to draw a train in perspective. I couldn't and stubbornly carried on for hours until I cried. My fathers dad left his family very early when he was little. He is a known artist but I have never met him.

A Personal statement about you or your work: 
I love drawing and observing animals. I'm not a poet. I'm not an animal activist. I'm not an overly spiritual person and it's not a cute thing.The eyes of an animal and the way they move, observation of all living things somehow hold so much truth about worldly balance and the sensitivities we ignore too often these days. I don't trust people who don't love animals very easily. There is a lot to say about this. Look at them and the natural world and see again. All the answers are there!

Be free, stay free and suck up the shades of your life!

Halloween No. 18

By Gemma Sheldrake

By  Jo Cheung

Months of the year: July


25 Oct 2010

Artist 36: Kayleigh Bluck

It's Kayleigh Bluck! A great find and a real talent Kayleigh is evolving her style but there are already the signs of a tender consideration of the natural world and some very keen observational drawing. Kayleigh has a gentle and light style that seems to float in front of the eye and the image seems to fizz at the edges as if unravelling before your eyes, the animals seem very much alive through both the detail and the rendering. The calm and gentle animals are sweetly drawn and the images draw you closer and give of a vibrancy that adds to the sense of weight and movement. A growing talent, find out about her here! 

Who are you:
Well, my name is Kayleigh Bluck - or 'IllustratingKay' over on twitter, etsy and folksy. I'm from Northampton, where I graduated from the university in July with first class Honours.

What do you do:
Twenty hours of my week are spent being a sales advisor in retail, and the rest of my time I am an illustrator - the job I would love to do full-time. As I have only recently graduated I'm simply trying to gain exposure, speak to like-minded creatives, take part in collaborative projects, and blog about my work at love 2 illustrate.

How did you start:
I've studied art throughout my entire education - progressing from GCSE to A-level, then on to a Foundation course. My tutor on Foundation suggested I look at doing a degree in illustration or theatre design. I looked further in to these areas of study and found illustration to be something I had actually always wanted to do since childhood (except I never knew the name for it back then!) I moved on to my degree and now here I am as a post graduate!

A Personal statement about you or your work: 
I enjoy experimenting with different materials, techniques, and mark-making, and love to combine those that work best for me together. Particular favourites I like to use are watercolours, coloured pencils, and felt-tip pens. I feel that most of the time my representation of subject matter is realistic, however I like to combine contrasting ideas to create images that may be considered surreal such as my rainbow animal series and my submission to the 'If I Was You' project. I certainly feel that my style is by no means final, and I'm happy for my illustrations to evolve with me as an individual.

Halloween No. 17

By Priscilla Moore

By Emmeline Pidgen

23 Oct 2010