Phantom Limb is a short animation created by Australian animation director Alex Grigg, in association with Late Night Work Club. It has done the rounds this year at many prestigious film festivals, including Sundance Film Festival, and the Annecy International Animation Festival, picking up multiple awards along the way. The melancholy, yet enchanting animation is enhanced by its choppy pacing and notable eerie sound design. To find out more about the project, take a look at Mr Grigg’s write up.
Slight tangent from illustration here, but if this animation has made you the slightest bit inquisitive of phantom limbs, and you would like to know more, you absolutely must read Phantoms in the Brain.
Seriously stunning work from today’s feature, the award-winning illustrator, Nimit Malavia. Born Ottawa, Canada in 1987, he studied Illustration at the Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. Currently based in Toronto, Mr Malavia’s work has been exhibited across North America and Europe in galleries including Gallery Nucleus, Spoke Art Gallery, Bold Hype Gallery, Thinkspace Gallery, LeBasse Projects, and London Miles Gallery.
Mr Malavia’s has created numerous comic covers for Marvel, DC, and IDW. He is also the current Fables series cover artist, starting at issue #139 it is expected that Mr Malavia will continue until the series conclusion issue #150. Outside of the world of comics, he has worked with companies including PEN Canada, Soapbox Design, the National Post and 20th Century Fox.
You can find Nimit Malavia’s portfolio on his website, and I strongly recommend you check out his instagram too.
John Alvin was an American movie artist who painted movie poster art for over 130 films, including E.T., Blade Runner, The Lion King, The Princess Bride and Jurassic Park, as well as the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He also produced work for Disney Fine Art (Disney character official portraits).
The Book Review:
I have been going afoot with The Art of John Alvin under my arm for about a week now, and I have been stopped by people who recognize the E.T. image. Once I say, “yes, it’s the art of John Alvin”, they just stare back at me blankly.
The book’s first line of introduction surmises, rather well, the career and work of John Alvin:
“Hollywood’s best kept secret”
No doubt reading through the list of films in the editors note you had a vivid image of each of the movie posters mentioned. John Alvin’s artwork is entwined with movie history, with many of his poster just as memorable as the films themselves.
Reading through the book you get a real sense of what Mr Alvin built, and what boundaries he broke. Way before photo compositions were common place, he was achieving them using friskets made from transparent paper. There is a nice quote right at the end of the book that perfectly sums up Mr Alvin’s work ethic and his keenness for innovation, written by Farah Alvin (John’s daughter), she says:
“If there was no tool to make something happen, he’d make it himself”
One of the things I really appreciated about this book is that 30+ plus posters have at least two dedicated pages each. The first page of each poster explains the clients requirements, any possible problem, and the solution. It is a real treat to have this amount of insight. It also helps you admire the work, that little bit more, knowing the restrictions faced.
Another interesting tidbit I found out from reading the book was that John Alvin was allowed to sign a few of his movie posters. I bet you have never spotted the small “Alvin” hidden in his posters despite probably staring at them hundreds of times. I naturally then spent the following hour carefully looking for his signature in many of his posters. If like me, you now have time and that uncontrollable urge to satisfy, you can start with the Blade Runner poster.
I get the feeling Mr Alvin was quite content contributing to such a prodigious industry from in the adumbrate walls of his studio. However, it is somewhat a shame an artist like John Alvin with work so recognizable to have his name be virtually unknown. Thankfully The Art of John Alvin aims to remedy this, with a beautiful collection of work, cementing his name to the art for moviegoers and illustrators alike.
Small sidenote: It is particularly enjoyable if you were a child of the 80s and 90s when whilst reading the book you suddenly realize that John Alvin is responsible for a great deal of your moviegoing joy.
Based in Nottingham, England, Amy Blackwell is a craftsman and illustrator. Her portfolio demonstrates doodle, painting, printing, knitting, crochet and pretty much anything that is creative and hands on. Ms Blackwell graduated in 2007, shortly after set up an illustration company, and recently partnered with Leanne Narewski to start Audrey and Illya.
Amy Blackwell’s versatility and prolificacy is inspiring. Her blog is constantly boasting numerous fairs and showing off a range of personal projects. To grasp the full extent of Ms Blackwell’s productiveness check out her flickr page.
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.