1. 22

    Oct 2015

    René Vincent (1879–1936)

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    René Vincent was a French illustrator, painter and poster designer. Prevalent in the 1920s-1930s, he worked in the popular Art Deco style. His illustrations helped define early 20th-century advertising, birthing countless imitators and admirers alike. Tintin creator, Hergé, cited René Vincent as an inspiration.

    Vincent was born in Bordeaux, France in 1879, but moved to the capital when he was five-years-old. His father, Charles Vincent was a famous novelist and his older brother Henri Vincent-Anglade was a renowned painter.

    Vicent enrolled in the prestigious Ècole des Beaux-Arts to study architecture. It was during this time he began to illustrate for books to earn some extra money. Discovering his aptitude for illustration, he decided to change to the graphic arts and ceramics courses.

    He created perfect worlds with glamour fashionistas in luxury settings, partaking in jolly pastimes. His characters were vibrant and confident. Which in turn attracted many fashion and lifestyle periodicals such as La Vie Parisienne, Femina, Le Rire, and Fantasio. Interestingly, he went under a few pseudonyms, Rene Mael, Rageot and Dufour, allowing him to change style freely.

    Vicent’s success granted him an opportunity to visit the United States, where he did some work for esteemed magazines Saturday Evening and Harper’s Bazaar. When he arrived back in France, he set up his own studio in Paris. He began illustrating advertisements for Bugatti, Peugeot, Michelin, and Shell Oil.

    As a keen automobilist, Vicent was one of the first French citizen to have a driver’s license. Additionally he built a garage onto his house, to park his Bugatti. In the 20s owning a car was a symbol of success. As mentioned, Vicent’s character quite obviously belonged to this sort of wealthier social class. Thus the work suited Vicent remarkably well, and as such he produced stunning vehicle illustration that raised the bar. Furthermore, the women of these advertisements had androgynous styles, short hair, they were sassy and emancipated. He unknowingly defined the look of automotive women for years to come.

    Towards the end on the 20s, largely due to the Great Depression, the luxury lifestyle was advertised less and purposely made more discreet. It halted the momentum that the creative and craft industry had built up and subsequently went into a decline. Another result was the increased use of photography over illustration, a repercussion which is felt to this day. Vicent died in 1936 at the age of 57. He left behind him pioneering achievements in the field of automotive advertising and a body of work that continues to inspire artist today.

  2. 21

    Oct 2015

    Don Shank

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    Don Shank is an Annie and Emmy awards winning animator. Pleasantly planted in California, he is currently working at Pixar Animation Studios. Shank studied animation at the renowned CalArts. Whose alumni include fellow Pixar patriots, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, and Pete Docter, to name but a few.

    After university, Shank worked at a variety of studios including Nickelodeon Animation Studio, where he worked as a layout artist on the groundbreaking Ren & Stimpy Show, Cartoon Network Studios and later, Hanna-Barbera Productions where he worked as a storyboard artist on Genndy Tartakovsky’s Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack as well as Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls. Shank also wrote for Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls and The Powerpuff Girls Movie.

    Around 2004 Shank made the jump into feature films, joining Pixar, aiding them with the visual development of The Incredibles. He has since worked as an environment and production artist on two of the most stunning of all the Pixar movies, Ratatouille and Up. More recent projects include the runaway box-office success, Inside Out and the upcoming, Finding Dory.

    Shank is an incredibly skilled draftsman and painter, as such, he enjoys experimenting with different styles, mediums and techniques. Shank’s personal work is very influenced by Cubism, especially the artist Pablo Picasso. A few years ago, about a year after the launch of the first iPad, Shank made the news for the beautiful paintings he was creating with the Brushes app. Which I assure you was a very novel concept at the time and had people perplexed by the implications.

    Be sure to see more of Don Shank’s work on his website and follow him on Instagram.

  3. 20

    Oct 2015

    Ty Wilkins

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    Ty Wilkins is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Austin, Texas. He graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from a Auburn University. After which he worked for various design companies, gaining experience and honing his skills. In 2010 he took the plunge and formed his own design studio.

    Working for himself Wilkins is able to inject more of his personality into projects. He also takes the opportunity to explore geometry and minimalism. Creating typography, icons, and illustrations that have liveliness and charm. Wilkins’ distinct style has attracted brands including Target, Cheerios, IBM and Facebook. As well as publications including Monocle, ESPN Magazine, Wired and Bloomberg.

    Wilkins’ illustrations take full advantage of the perfect lines of vectors. However, he often incorporates scanned painted textures adding an element of handcrafted imperfection. His pastel pallet, as well as his strong use of geometric shapes, is very reminiscent of 1950s illustration. Which he plays upon by adding subtle noise and distress.

    Find more of Ty Wilkins’ illustrations on his website, Dribbble and Instagram.

  4. 19

    Oct 2015

    Manga Mondays ~ Yusuke Murata

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    Yusuke Murata was born in Miyagi, Japan, 1978. Known primarily as a manga artist, Murata got a taste of the creative industry at a young age. Aged twelve he entered a competition to design Mega Man villains. Which he won, twice. Two of his design were adapted for the games, and he is credited for Dust Man in Mega Man 4 and Crystal Man in Mega Man 5.

    A little older, Murata had the very fortunate opportunity of being mentored by Obata Takeshi. At which time Murata was also illustrating for a number of one-shots published in Weekly Shonen Jump. Most notably his work for Eyeshield 21, a collaboration with writer Riichiro Inagaki. Originally a two-part one-shot it became serialized starting in 2002 and concluding in 2009. The 333 chapters, were collected and published into 37 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, and later licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media. Eyeshield 21 has sold over 20 million volumes in Japan alone.

    Murata’s other major, currently ongoing, work is Wanpanman aka One-Punch Man. Its author, ONE, originally drew and released it as a webcomic9. Starting in 2009, it quickly went viral, and in 2012 surpassed 7.9 million hits. Which is when Murata contacted ONE with a proposal to redraw the comic for digital publication. On June 14, 2012 the duo published the first chapter on Shueisha’s Young Jump Web Comics website. By December, 2012, Shueisha published a printed version. Viz Media again attained the license for the English version and released volume one and two September this year. Both the first and second volumes debuted on the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list and the series was nominated for an Eisner Award.

    One-Punch Man has also fathered an anime adaptation. Animated by Madhouse, of Ninja Scroll and Death Note fame, the series premiered a couple weeks ago on TV Tokyo to very favorable reviews. You can actually watch the series on Daisuki with English subtitles.

    To get even more of a Yusuke Murata fix, you can watch him work on Ustream, follow him on Twitter, and as a special treat check out this very inventive Twitter comic masterpiece.

  5. 18

    Oct 2015

    Harry Partridge ~ Happy Harry Toons


    A short while ago I began discussing a period of internet history, The Web Animation Renaissance — wow, has it been two years already? Well, you probably do not remember that Ninjai was intended as the penultimate feature, with one more animator who I felt equally contributed to the movement.

    Harry Partridge, a British independent animator who came to our attention with his satirical Saturday Morning Watchmen short. A child-friendly reimagining of the acclaimed comic, with some nods to the adult material of the original. The juxtaposition of the two worlds, funny in itself, becomes funnier when you stop to consider the true butt of a joke was the many children cartoons based on inappropriate content we were actually exposed to.

    Partridge continued animating and voicing shorts, racking up the views and attention. His off the wall style also attracted the attention of the conformative BBC, who asked him to create a short for BBC Comedy, called Johnny Depp in Burtonland.

    Partridge also shared his animation wisdom in a 12-part series on HuHa 2. Happy Harry’s HuHa 2 How-Tos! was both informative and had all the hallmark humour he has become known for.

    Unlike some other independent animators, Partridge has continued to regularly make and release shorts. Pushing the bar on parody, vibrant characters, and bizarre plots. Be sure to show your support to all Harry Partridge’s hard work by subscribing to his YouTube channel.

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