We were recently contacted by Italian freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Diamante Beghetto, who has embarked on a project titled, Beautiful Jungle. In which Diamante draws on top of vintage photographs using Uni-posca paint markers. Adding creatures and distorting figures, to otherwise mundane imagery, to create humorous yet unsettling visuals.
Across all Diamante illustration work, you get a real sense that the process is rather organic, that the images feel very much spontanious. Perhaps having an idea but ultimately using the paper to explore and let her mind and hand wonder. Which in turn gives the viewer a similar experience, where your eyes dot across the illustration, trying to make sense of it all.
You can check out more of Diamante Beghetto’s work on her website and follow Diamante on instagram to see her latest Beautiful Jungle pieces.
In Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi, 50 talented traditional and digital artists showcase their sketches, share their inspirations, and explain their approaches to drawing sci-fi art. From doodles of robots and aliens, to concept designs for spaceships and speculative life-forms, Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi is a visually stunning collection packed with useful tips and creative insights – an invaluable resource that will inspire artists of all abilities.
The Book Review:
Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi is the third installment from 3DTotal’s Sketching from the Imagination series. You can read our review of the previous edition, Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy. As with the previous editions, the format remains a chunky square paperback showcasing the work of 50 illustrators from around the world. The subject ranges from re-imagined worlds, landscapes, monsters, aliens, robots, and mechs. There is also a host of futuristic and otherworldly characters.
All images are accompanied by words from the artist, giving you more insight into their thoughts and process. As well as all the tips, one thing that really stands out in this edition is the reoccurring words of encouragement, such as this gem,
Do not feel guilty because you’ve taken a break (because you need it!) or because you’re slow. Nobody works at the same rhythm. When you feel bored about practicing, just look into new things or activities.
Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi has a spectrum of styles and I’m sure each reader will have their own favourites. The illustrators that stood out to me were Jerel Dye, Josan Gonzalez, Anaïs Maamar, Veronique Meignaud, Jakub Rebelka, Nick Sumida, and Brad Wright. I could probably go on, but I’ll stop the list there. Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi is a great addition to the series that is sure to introduce you to many new illustrators.
Currently 3DTotal is running a very fitting kickstarter campaign called, How to Keep a Sketch Journey. Which combines visual inspiration, tutorials and high-quality stationary to get amateurs and professionals alike sketching more. The Monsieur soft leather cover sketch journal is sure to make you the envy of all your sketching buddies.
If there is a comic on the shelf right now not coloured by Jordie Bellaire, I have not seen it. This weekend, during a quick comic shop, I saw her name on Moon Knight, Convergence Shazam, The Kitchen, Injection and probably a bunch more I did not spot. Jordie Bellaire has been a familiar fixture of our comic shop shelves for much of the last two years. So prolific and wonderful is Ballaire, that last year the industry showed their appriciation in the form of an Eisner award. Which in 22 years only 10 other colourist have earned, Dave Stewart and Chris Ware claiming over half of the awards between them.
Bellaire has worked with close to all of the big comic publisher on many great titles such as, Pretty Deadly, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Zero, and Hawkeye. Along the way, enhansing the pages of many of my favourite current comic artist including Tom Fowler, Chris Samnee, Ramon Perez, Sean Murphy, Becky Cloonan and Emma Rios.
I started collecting comics in a bygone time called the 90s. Back then there was one stamp on the covers of comic far more important than the Comic Code Authority, which was Liquid!. Many of my favourite titles had it and thanks to their distinct logo, one could not miss it. It was the first time I took a real interest in colourist and that apprieciation has grown ever since. I thought at the time this was a shared feeling, however, jump forward 20 years and it seems like the industy and perhaps its audience have not shown colourist the same recognition. In a tumblr post by titled, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more” directed at an unnamed fan convention, Bellaire laid it out bare, stating the importanace of all professionals that work in comics, underlining the vital role that colourist play. The post gained the attention that the subject deserved and resulted in fans calling for a #ColoristAppreciationDay on Twitter and opened a discussion that continues today.
To see more of Jordie Bellaire’s work, simply go to your comic shop and pick a comic up from the shelf, chances are she coloured it. You can also check out her tumblr and twitter.
Illustrator from Mexico City, Rafael Mayani is currently a Vancouver resident. Specialising in editorial illustration and character design for animation, Mayani shares his talents with creative studio, Giant Ant.
For the best part of 2014 Mayani occupied his time with a personal project called, Disney Challenge. After watching every Disney theatrical animated feature, he created an illustration for each movie. The challange of capturing the spirit of the characters and feelings of the movies in a single illustration allowed Mayani to grow, and you can see the progession in his work starting from the early features all the way to the most recent.
Mayani also contributed to the charitable exhibition, Secret 7. Where he illustrated three record sleeves, one for Strange Creatures by Jake Bugg, Team by Lorde, and a cubist inspired cover for Grounds for Divorce by Elbow. Currently, Mayani is part of the One Thousand and One Knights anthology. A very exciting project “celebrating kickass ladies” and “people-positive knights”, already attached with lots of notable illustrators and artist. Many of the creators involved have been revealing sneak peeks of their work on twitter, which you find using the hashtag #1001knights.
Jun Cen is an illustrator, animator and designer. Cen received a bachelor’s degree in Printmaking from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China, later, he moved to Baltimore where he completed his MFA degree in Illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Working as a freelance illustrator from 2009 and throughout his studies. In 2013, the very same year that he graduated from MICA, he won the AOI Illustration New Talent Award. His work has been selected for a number shows including The Society of Illustrators Annual Show 56 and The AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition. His animations too have been shown at multiple film festivals including Illustrative 13 Festival and Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Currently based in New York he has worked with international clients from England, France and China. His work has illuminated the pages of Elle, Nobrow, The New York Times, and Wissen. It is this diversity of work that keeps Cen motivated. When questioned, if he would prefer a steady job over freelancing, this is what he said:
It is more stressful […] But I hate getting used to the same mode every day. Dealing with different clients is more challenging to me. I feel fulfilled whenever I finish a project.
Jun Cen’s illustrations, digital and traditional, are always sensitively drafted. They utilise harmonious tones and subtle touches of texture to give a feeling of calmness and quietness, making much of his work close to hypnotic.
You can find more of Cen’s portfolio on his website and his tumblr.