I wish I could tell you how I first stumbled on Leo Gibran’s work, but I simply cannot remember. However, that should not stop me from singing his praises. Mr Gibran is a working illustrator, based in são paulo, Brazil, predominately in fields of advertising and editorial.
Mr Gibran’s styles can be divide, somewhat neatly, into two columns. The first is composed of expressive brush work and emotive colour washes, and the second is his more geometric vector work. Both use quirky and dynamic shapes but his vector work, for me, lack the fervour that he seems to effortless have with a brush.
Fernando Forero is a Columbian graphic designer working in Poland. He is a versatile creative, his talents spanning all kinds of things from corporate identity, typeface design and of course, illustration. His black books are a dark and absurd collection of characters from other worlds, so if you like a bit of fantasy art do have a look through these sketchbooks. I also really enjoyed his book covers, which bring together his experimental type layouts and illustrations.
Claire Wendling is a multi-award winning illustrator from Montpellier, France. She is an incredibly talented character designer, with a real handle on how to use shapes to bring about interesting body and facial features. In my humble opinion she is one of the best visual developers around. But Wendling is much more than just a character designer; her comic book work is beautiful. Even in simple black and white, the quality and originality of her line-work is something to behold.
You can visit Claire’s website here, but the best way to sample her work is to see it in print. I’d recommend purchasing any of her sketchbooks. They are packed full of various types of work and are worth every penny. I own many sketchbooks and visual development books, but I have to say that Claire’s are my favourites.
Jess Douglas is currently based in Lyme Regis, but grew up on party island Ibiza. Jess mainly creates drawings from life, with a splash of personal style thrown into the mix. This is a person who I imagine carries a sketchbook around all over the place, ever improving. Probably as a direct result of this, cars, buildings and people make up the majority of Jess’ portfolio. It is like a mini-document of urban culture, which is fascinating to me. I wonder why the illustrator chose to draw this particular building over another for example. There seems to be something interesting about every subject chosen and that comes through to us, the viewer.
Sasa was born in Finland, but now lives and works in Beijing, China. Interestingly, she has completed THREE university degrees.
“I paint with ink and Chinese mineral watercolors on hand-made xuan paper (‘rice paper’). I use traditional Chinese ink painting brushes as well as other methods like splashing, dripping, or pouring ink. I am fascinated by the properties of ink. I am especially interested in ink’s reactions with water and like to use fairly wet paint, which makes the end result more difficult to control and which easily breaks the thin rice paper. I enjoy quickness and irreversibility of my medium, which require intense concentration when painting.
I use a fairly limited color palette, which is typical for Chinese ink painting. The blackness of ink is important as well as different shades of gray. I also follow the Chinese ink painting’s concept of composition by building up on contrasts and uniformity but avoiding mechanical patterns, repetition and symmetry. In paintings there are often opposite pairs (like dry-wet, small-big, one-many, light-dark, fast-slow…) and elements that bring the painting together (like similarity of shapes, movement or rhythm). The human mind likes to construct mechanical order, so avoiding it can be difficult. This is one of the reasons it is important to have a correct state of mind when painting and forget the conscious thinking.”