Philadelphia-based Lydia Nichols is a illustrator, typographer, designer, and teacher (and anthropomorphizer). After an intern at Pixar, Ms Nichols started freelancing. Some of her notable clients including Bloomberg Businessweek, Chronicle Books, Google UK and MailChimp. She has also taught at MICA and Moore, as well a providing a class for Skillshare.
Squeezing the best out of illustrator and photoshop, Ms Nichols’ work is both lucid and tactile. Her illustrations are clear, sprightly and guaranteed to put a smile on your face, if not, just a simper. Child-friendly too, her illustrations use subdued colour and have a Mary Blair/UPA charm to them.
Born in France, Ben Fiquet is an animator and illustrator for video games and comics. My first introduction to Mr Fiquet’s work was the 2006 short animation he, and his fellow Gobelins students, produced for the Annecy Festival called Pyrats. It is one of my favorite Gobelins animations to date, and I remember at the time of seeing it hoping it would become a series. I’m secretly still holding out for that one.
Equally adept in character and environment design, Mr Fiquet puts that to good use in his comic work. Titles include Les chevaliers de la Chouette and four volumes of Powa. More recent he contributed to the star-studded, and much anticipated, Kickstarter project Masters of Anatomy.
Introducing French concept artist Alexandre Diboine, also known as Zedig. His artwork has been used for film, advertising and video games. He is one of those illustrators whom seem to make it all look easy. Self-taught, Mr Diboine produces beautiful environment and character designs, quite effortlessly floats between styles, and can work in both 2D and 3D to boot!
Aurore Damant is an illustrator whom all of us at the Lounge have been long-time fans of. Her illustrations are spirited and humorous. They combine flowing shapes with a harmonious pastel pallet. Importantly, even though simplified, her characters are distinct and their emotions bountiful.
Based in Paris, she is a Gobelins animation graduate, now working as a character designer, art director and freelance illustrator. Collaborating with top animation companies including Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and The Illuminated Film, Ms Damant has helped develop TV shows Gravity Falls, Robotboy, Eliot Kid, and Commander Clark. She is constantly writting and illustrating children’s books, to date some of the titles including Un Ukulélé Pour Junior, Un Métier Pour Maurice and four volumes of The Haunted Library.
To find out more about Aurore Damant check out this insightful interview she did for the Character Design blog. To see more of her work, check out her blogspot.
Today’s dose of inspiration is without a doubt the coolest person to ever work in comics, James F. “Jim” Steranko. Born 1938 in Pennsylvania, Mr Steranko was drawing from a very young age. Influenced, like many, by the standout Sunday comic strip art of Milton Caniff, Alex Raymond, Hal Foster, and Chester Gould.
In 1957 Mr Steranko got his foot in the the comic industry as an inker. His first published penciled work was in Spyman #1 (1966), which he wrote the story “The Birth of a Hero”. It was published under Harvey Thriller, an imprint of Harvey Comics.
It wasn’t until he moved to Marvel Comics that he really made a name for himself. Working on the spy stories of Nick Fury, Mr Steranko really started to stretch the comic medium. He experimented with layout and sequencing, and most notably bought in elements of Surrealism, Pop Art, Op Art, and graphic design. What Mr Steranko was doing was groundbreaking, and caused waves not only in the comic medium, but also in film too.
In 1969 Mr Steranko formed his own publishing company, Supergraphics, and in 1970 and 1972 published The Steranko History of Comics volume 1 and 2 respectively. These tabloid-sized books, written by Mr Sterenko also featured the first, and in some cases only, interviews with many creators from the comic book Golden Age. At the time the volumes were well received, and today are very sought after. Although, not everyone agreed with their content. At a San Diego Comic-Con Bob Kane had a few word to say to Mr Sterenko about his chapter on Batman, what unfolded is priceless. Last year Mr Steranko explained the whole story on twitter.
Outside of comics Mr Steranko has also shared his talents as a concept artist for film, including Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark and Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He has also worked on movie posters, production designs and has written an episode for the DC Comics animated TV series Justice League Unlimited.
Unsurprisingly his amazing contributions to the comic industry has earned him many awards, not least a Shazam Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual, and a place in the esteemed Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.