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 won’t 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 yardstick.
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.