Matthew Woodson is an American illustrator whom I have admired for some time. His illustrations are not just beautiful, they are poetic. Mr Woodson graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, landing a job straight away, and has been freelancing ever since.
Though predominately keeping busy with editorial work, Mr Woodson has worked with a variety of clients and projects. Some of his notable clients include American Express, Dazed & Confused Magazine, ESPN, Mondo Posters, The New York Times, Randomhouse Publishing, Royal Mail, Vogue, and the list goes on.
If you have a penchant for the more verbose illustrator, you will definitely enjoy his blog, where he often gives a some background to his work and some insight to his process. You can also check out more of Mr Woodson’s work on his website.
David Remfry was born 1942 in Worthing, England and is currently living and working in New York City. Mr Remfry graduated from Hull College of Art in 1964, and almost 10 years later, in 1973, he held his first solo show in London. Since then, he has had over 50 solo exhibitions across Europe and America.
Through his career Mr Remfry has gained a highly regarded reputation as a draftsman and watercolourist. Best known for his practically life-size paintings, and his urban subjects. In 1987 Mr Remfry was elected a member of the Royal Watercolour Society. The honours did not stop there, in 2001 he was awarded the M.B.E. for services to British Art, and in 2006 he was elected a Member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Though David Remfry is distinctly a fine artist, having never worked in a commercial capacity, in 2002 Stella McCartney approached him to produce a series of drawings for her exclusive collection of women’s clothing for ABSOLUT vodka. A rather rare move as her contemporaries were exclusively using photography of glamour models. Yet, here was Stella McCartney using Mr Remfry’s drawings for billboard advertising. Mr Remfry embarked on the project not as a fashion illustrator, but as an artist. In doing so the focus was not solely on the garments, but on the person wearing them. His drawings had more expression and incorporated a more human element that can sometimes be missed in both fashion illustration and photography. The response was decidedly positive. So much so that in 2003 the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibited the work in a show titled, David Remfry Drawings for Stella McCartney.
Sadly I haven’t found a single website that has a large body of David Remfry’s work. But you can find his pieces on places like Pinterest. You can also check out his book, David Remfry: Dancers, it has over 80 paintings and drawings spanning over 30 years of his artistic career.
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.
Last weekend I decided to go on the Open Studio & Art Trail. Essentially it is a free event where artist and craftspeople from the local community open up their studio to the inquisitive public. It’s a great idea, and I have not heard of many events similar to this, but I do (selfishly) hope the idea spreads to other parts of London.
Upon my sunny trails I stumbled into the house of watercolour artist, David Nunn. His work consisted of people, places, and pets that he has meet on his many travels. Mr. Nunn’s attention to detail and the control he has of watercolours is stunning. I know it’s an odd thing to appreciate, but I really like the fact that he uses gouache to bring out white hairs.
Hailing from Kailua, Hawaii, Ryan Lang is an artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios. Recently he has worked as a lead designer for Hero’s Duty, and a visual development artist for Wreck-it Ralph, as well as the upcoming Disney/Marvel feature animation, Big Hero 6.
Mr. Lang’s work has only recently come to my attention when his amazing rendition of Goliath (from Disney’s Gargoyles) started to make it’s rounds on tumblr. An incredibly skilled digital painter, Mr. Lang’s styles span from ultra realistic, to simply stylised shapes. However it is his technique that he uses for his character pieces, like the Goliath one, that are truly captivating. I can’t put my finger on what makes them so beautiful, but I get the feeling that it has something to do with a personal connection for these characters. His love for them undoubtedly shines through in his work.