I wish I could tell you how I first stumbled on Leo Gibran’s work, but I simply cannot remember. However, that should not stop me from singing his praises. Mr Gibran is a working illustrator, based in são paulo, Brazil, predominately in fields of advertising and editorial.
Mr Gibran’s styles can be divide, somewhat neatly, into two columns. The first is composed of expressive brush work and emotive colour washes, and the second is his more geometric vector work. Both use quirky and dynamic shapes but his vector work, for me, lack the fervour that he seems to effortless have with a brush.
Jon Contino is an artist I have admired for a while. From New York, and influenced by New York, his style is instantly recognisable. Much of Mr Contino’s work revolves around typography. Combining traditional techniques with digital tools he has bridged the gap between traditional and modern.
Mr Contino’s work is not the case of making something new look old, it is quite the opposite, taking the lost art of hand-drawn lettering and making it relevant in today’s market. He does it so well that he has become one of the most sought after designers. So much so it would probably be quicker to list all the clients and company he hasn’t worked with. But to give you an idea of how long his client list here are but a few:
20th Century Fox, AIGA, AT&T, American Express, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Ford, Harley Davidson, Harper Collins, IBM, Jack Daniel’s, Jameson Whiskey, Kellogg’s, Random House, The Washington Post, Dockers, H&M, JCPenney, Lacoste, New Balance, Nike, Obey Clothing, and Victoria’s Secret.
Last month saw Titan’s release of The Art of John Harris – Beyond the Horizon. A carefully curated collection of artist John Harris’ recent work and older pieces. It’s large format beautifully showcases a variety of Mr. Harris’ futuristic paintings, sketches, acrylics and watercolours.
To celebrate, Titan Books very kindly gave us the opportunity to interview John Harris about the book and his carer.
Q. You have dedicated over 30 years to Sci-Fi. What attracted you into the genre, and what is it about Sci-Fi that has sustained your interest?
A. The sense of a larger perspective, wider horizons, the unknown, something about the evolutionary possibilities of Man. All of that.
Q. You often seem to combine of the fantastical with the plausible, incorporating building and mechanical structures that are familiar. Is this a conscious effort to make your worlds more believable?
A. Yes, this is a crucial point, mixing the possible with the apparently impossible. We may pretend to know the difference but actually, we just don’t know what is possible. Embedding fantasy within the known and credible, makes it easier to relate to, and also raises the question ‘how?’. There is excitement there, in that question.
Q. Born in London, you now live and work in Devon. How much do you think your environment influences your work?
A. Yes, living in a rural setting has definitely shaped a lot of the imagery. The weather and the light that springs from it makes its presence felt in much of the work. And the cycle of growth and decay which is always in your face here, is constantly finding its way in.
Q. Do you stick to a routine when producing your artwork?
A. No, I try to break routines when I become aware of them. When I get into habits of production, I start repeating myself in the work.
Q. How important is it for you that the final image matches the vision you have in your head?
A. This is a delicate point. I do usually have a clear image in my head to begin with, but inevitably accidents occur (and I encourage these), which may suggest alternative directions. I try to keep open to them. But some images are imperative and demand to be produce, willy nilly.
Q. At the Lounge our primary goal is to widen artists’ pool of inspiration. So who are the artist/illustrators that inspire you?
A. Just about every artist I have ever seen, has something I would like to have. I think all artists are basically magpies and too many to mention have contributed to what I am.
That said, when I was a student, I identified very closely with the work of the English Romantics like Turner and John Martin. They influenced my direction, as did the Surrealists. From a technical point of view, Whistler was a great teacher for me and more recently Graham Sutherland. All very Old School, I know.
Q. Reading about your career, you have achieved a great deal. So what’s on the horizon for you? Do you have any artistic goals that you are still chasing?
A. I feel (like most artist, I suspect) that I’ve hardly started. And yet, looking at the collection in this book, I see that I’m travelling in a definite direction. But what the goal is, who knows? That’s beyond the horizon.
I am absolutely in love with the work of José Luis Ágreda. Born in Seville, Spain He is an illustrator and cartoonist working in editorial, advertising and publishing. He has worked on a children book series called Carla, which has 14 titles to date. Mr. Ágreda also received the Best Spanish Comic award at the Barcelona and Madrid comic shows for his graphic novel Cosecha Rosa, and is currently working on it’s follow up.
Mr. Ágreda’s style varies, his children book art is very distinct to his editorial pieces. His colours can range from using just tones of a single colour all the way to full colour. A consistent element throughout his work are his fluid stylised shapes. This simplified and abstracted style allows his work floats between child-friendly and mature themes effortlessly.
Born in 1871 Dorchester, England, Harold Edward Hughes Nelson is probably best known for his heraldic style and postage stamps designs. He studied at both the Lambeth School of Art and the Central School of Arts and Design. He was a prolific man working as an artist, illustrator, etcher, engraver, designer and lecturer. Illustrating postage stamps, advertisements, magazines, books and bookplates. One of his many notable achievements is illustrating the novel, A Real Queen’s Fairy Tales, authored by the Queen of Romania.
Mr. Nelson was strongly influenced by the styles of the times. During the early 1900s his work incorporated Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau elements. Then by the 1930s his work embodied the Art Deco ethos. This only made is work stronger allowing him to choose from variety styles that would best suit the content.