Mike Wrobel is a graphic designer and illustrator originally from France, but based in Tokyo. At his design company Moshi Studio Mr Wrobel produces everything from editorial illustration to designing fabrics for Georgian armchairs (though not in a style you may assume).
Mr Wrobel’s work only recently caught my attention when I stumbled on his amazing Game Of Thrones 80/90s Era Characters series. The expressions of the characters, and their alternative lifestyles are spot on. Much his personal work references pop-culture. His attention to detail and punchy colours really bring his vector illustrations to life.
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.
Rodolphe Guenoden is one of those artist whose work you would stumble on every now and then online. However, it wasn’t until his contribution’s to the Flight Anthology I really took note. To stand out in a creative roster such as Flight’s is a tall ask, but Mr Guenoden’s work definitely did just that. My personal favourite, and possibly most people’s, was in Flight Volume 2, simply called “The Ride”.
Though an excellent comic artist, Rodolphe Guenoden’s day job is actually in animation. He has worked as a traditional animator for over 20 years. Some of his Supervising Animator credits include The Prince of Egypt (1998) and The Road to El Dorado (2000). Working within Dreamworks Animation, some of his Storyboard Artist work includes the very successful Madagascar (2005) and both the Kung Fu Panda movies (2008/2011).
If you are a fan of Kung Fu Panda, there is a really nice interview with Rodolphe Guenoden over at Art of VFX.
I remember getting off the train, looking up and getting distracted by a poster. Stopped in my tracks, I stood staring at Queens of the Stone Age’s …Like Clockwork poster. As soon as I got home I “investigated” (quick Google search) who the illustrator was. It was Liverpool-base creative, Boneface.
You may already be familiars with Mr. Boneface’s work, especially if you are a habitué to Society6. A few years ago he did a series of illustrations depicting some of our most-loved superheroes severely injured. So severe, I believe if they had experienced a beating like that in their comics, they would have probably just quit.
That grittiness is a definite draw of Mr. Boneface’s work. Coupled with deft linework and vibrate colours, you don’t need many more reasons to keep and eye on this canny illustrator. You can find more of Mr. Boneface’s work on his website.
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.