Illustrator and designer Noma Bar’s work has placed him in high demand. His client list is longer than my Amazon wishlist with the likes of The New Yorker, The Guardian, Random House, The Economist and Wallpaper* making repeat appearances.
Born 1973 in Israel Mr Bar graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Art& Design before moving to London in 2001. Throughout his career Mr Bar has pushed and stretched the boundaries of negative space. Crafting hidden meaning with juxtaposing elements his images demand you always look twice. His thoughtful illustrations have earned him multiple awards, not least the prestigious D&AD Yellow Pencil award in 2012. Mr Bar also released two books titled Guess Who?: The Many Faces of Noma Bar and Negative Space, both of which received high acclaim.
With this post The Lounge has reached a rather large milestone, 1000 posts. Thinking about that got me a little nervous. I started to question what illustrator would best mark this milestone. One of my favourite illustrators? One of the greats of yesteryear? One of the ground-breaking new talent? Since this blog is all about inspiration, I asked myself, “who has inspired me most?” Well, that was an easy question to answer. Without a doubt that would be my cousin, and fellow Lounge author, Mr Kyri Kyprianou.
I wont be able to get around the fact that this will be a slightly personal post, but I will try to keep it on track. Kyri is roughly two years older than me, and being older has two years more experience and drawing time than I. Two years that as a child I tried, in vain, to catch up on. We would often draw together, spending whole weekends doing nothing but that, only taking a break to go buy some penny sweets. Kyri always seemed to figure out things way quicker than I could. Whilst I jumped styles with each drawing, Kyri nailed a pretty unique style early on. His work, without a doubt was my yard stick.
Kyri studied animation at the Kent Institute of Art & Design. After three years of disciplined working habits his pencils tightened up considerably. He was using shapes more and his illustrations demonstrated an economy of style. At this point I knew there was no chance of me catching up to his level. But of course that didn’t deter me, it only made me aim higher.
After university Kyri went on to intern at a small London animation studio, called C.H.A.S.E., where he learnt the art of pitching. Not long after we both joined forces, along with Mr Tarkan Paphiti, to create the Illustrator’s Lounge. Effectively a group of illustrators united under one banner. In that time Kyri produced character designs for online video games, web animations, and spear-headed the Paper Project. Kyri has always comfortably jumped between mediums, and though he was a bit of a technophobe at first, rapidly mastered the tools of photoshop and illustrator.
Currently Kyri works as a graphic designer and illustrator for a web development company, where he has picked up new disciplines, such as branding and typography. In his spare time he is also working on a children’s animation pitch along with comic book writer David Berner.
Having an artist to work with, bounce ideas off, and critique your drawings is invaluable. It can often be difficult working and developing your skills in solitude, so I knew how lucky I was to have access to such a great talent. His work has been, and remains, my greatest inspiration.
Ninjai: The Little Ninja will be the penultimate of The Web Animation Renaissance features. Ninjai was created by the Ninjai Gang. Though the individuals that compose the group are unknown we do know, from their YouTube channel, it is “a group of young stuntmen by day and animators, musicians, and artists by night”.
Ninjai completed 12 chapters, and what started as your run-of-the-mill web animation rapidly became something much more. The animation jumped up about 10 pegs, the characters, story telling and voice acting was tightened and gained more depth. It really became a stand-out animation, and accumulated a devoted following.
Due to a disruptive work schedule, fans became agitated when the episode releases were delayed. As happy as fans were when the episodes were finally released, further frustration was caused when the series ended abruptly with an unresolved story line. The series ended in 2005.
The Ninjai Gang confirmed that, the story did not end with chapter 12, and in 2008 announced they were working on a feature length animation. Obviously working with a small team at an incredibly slow pace, the project has been somewhat forgotten by fans. However from the looks of the Ninjai Facebook page progress has been made and the end is in sight. So I, for one, still hold on to the excitement and hope that the feature length will finally see the light of day, and the fans get a conclusion that will satisfy the wait.
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.
Portland-based Richard Perez is a graphic designer, illustrator and captain of design studio Skinny Ships. His ever-joyous vector-style artwork manipulates colours and shapes until they come alive. He then sprinkle a little bit of noise and texture, giving them an irresistible rustic feel.