Artist Spotlight

An Abstract Spotlight

“There is no abstract art.  You must always start with something.  Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.”

—Pablo Picasso

 

For many, abstract art can be difficult. Difficult to create and difficult to understand. It’s inherently different than most other types of art, almost by definition. Thus, many people look at it with reserve and misunderstanding.

It’s been argued that no one can truly tell you how to look at a piece of abstract art, not even the artist behind the creation. Whether that is true or not is up for debate. At the end of the day, abstract art, like almost all art, is deeply personal and it’s up to the beholder to abstract from it what they will.

All that being said, here’s just a handful of our favorite pieces of abstract art from some incredibly talented Directory of Illustration artists.

Next Disruptive Thing  by John Hersey

Next Disruptive Thing John Hersey

Untitled from Olivia Knapp

Olivia Knapp

Brainy Beauty  by Dave Plunkert

Brainy Beauty Dave Plunkert

Pattern 04  by Christina K

Pattern 04 Christina K

Paintbox  by Linda Carruth

Untitled from Simon Prades

Simon Prades

 

You can see more from all of these artists and others on the Directory of Illustration website.

Artist Spotlight: Rui Ricardo

Rui Ricardo draws on manga influences to create his highly polished illustrations. He often combines cartoon-like exaggerations with magical realism, a technique that his given his artistry an international appeal.

He began honing his skills early on and was first published at the age of fifteen. Ricardo’s love for illustration and comics carried him to university in Porto, Portugal, where he now lives and works.

Ricardo’s illustrious resume includes animation and motion design work for several TV shows, music videos and commercials, as well as editorial work for FHM, Men’s Fitness, The Times, The Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, GQ, Popular Mechanics, The Guardian, Marketing Week, and many more.

You can see more of Rui Ricardo’s work on his Directory of Illustration portfolio or on his website.

 

 

 

 

Artist Spotlight on Mercedes deBellard

As a freelance artist based in Spain, Mercedes deBellard lets her expressive work speak for itself.

With an ever-evolving style, Mercedes creates intricate and realistic artwork that showcases her attention to detail; which has led to her to work with brands such as Warner Bros, Random House, and The Telegraph.

Mercedes is represented by Folio Art. Delve into her Directory of Illustration portfolio and folioart.co.uk to find more of her engaging portraitures.

©Mercedes deBellard

©Mercedes deBellard

©Mercedes deBellard

©Mercedes deBellard

 

 

DirectoryofIllustration.com Website Re-Launch :: Find The World’s Best Illustrators

Check out our new look, with updated portfolios from over 1500 illustrators and animators. Artists are vetted through the Directory of Illustration marketing program, so you’ll find only the most professional talent here.

The images are the real heroes, with a new homepage that includes a rotation of Featured Artists, plenty of New Work and a unique Job Showcase highlighting recent commercial and editorial projects. Larger images and enhanced navigation make it easier than ever for art buyers to find the perfect illustrator for any project.

Serbin Communications worked with Jake Stutzman and his team at Elevate LLC to re-imagine both the front-end and the back-end of directoryofillustration.com. Art directors who use the site to find talent are enjoying a simpler, more immediate search experience and a design that focuses on the joy of discovery. At the same time, Elevate designed a smoother, more intuitive interface for artists and reps to upload their portfolios.

CREATIVES & ART BUYERS: Find the World’s Best Illustrators on directoryofillustration.com.

ARTISTS & REPS: Visit join.directoryofillustration.com to read success stories from our artists and find out how you can join our Online + Print + Social Media marketing program.

Artist Spotlight: Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale is an award-winning children’s book illustrator and author who studied illustration at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and is known for his background in scientific and natural history illustrations.

Along with the many books he’s written and illustrated, Nathan has created work for natural history museum displays, and has painted scientific murals for museums all around the world including the Kitakyushu Science Museum in Japan.

Nathan is represented by Shannon Associates. View more of his work through his Directory of Illustration portfolio and at shannonassociates.com.

 

©Nathan Hale

©Nathan Hale

©Nathan Hale

©Nathan Hale

©Nathan Hale

©Nathan Hale

Artist Spotlight: Jo Jang

Jo Jang is a New York City-based illustrator. She gets inspiration from daily urban life, architecture, and fashion editorial photography. She combines minimalist line art with an Art Nouveau-inspired painting technique. Her work Concrete Nest was accepted at the 2016 Society of Illustrators Student Competition in New York City.

View more of her work through her Directory of Illustration portfolio and at jojangart.com.

©Jo Jang

©Jo Jang

©Jo Jang

©Jo Jang

©Jo Jang

Artist Spotlight: Megapont

Megapont is a group made up of Russian pixel artists Dmitry and Yuriy. Heavily influenced by early computer art, retro 2D computer games and their Russian heritage, the duo creates sprawling, detailed metropolises and scenes of pop culture mayhem that defy belief.

Megapont is represented by Folio Art. View more of their work through of Directory of Illustration portfolio and at folioart.co.uk.

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

©Megapont

Tribute to Jack Davis by RappArt

This original post first appeared on the RappArt blog here.

“We at RappArt are deeply saddened by the passing of Jack Davis, who quietly left this world at age 91 on July 27th. Jack began a long and close relationship with our agency in 1979, but his achievements and influence spanned several generations. We expect he will continue to inspire young illustrators for years to come. Jack continued to accept commercial assignments until 2014, despite increasingly failing health. We all chuckle at the memory of finding six or eight pages of faxed sketches that needed to be tiled together to share with the client. Clients were of course thrilled to receive an original Jack Davis drawing, and even more excited when his original painting arrived. Please enjoy our brief retrospective of his illustrative career.

Jack is probably best known for his work in Mad Magazine, in which he was a founding member of ‘The Usual Gang of Idiots’. His work appeared in almost every issue for the next four decades.

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Jack’s MAD work was predated by his early 50s contributions to EC comics for such infamous titles as Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales.

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His talent for celebrity caricatures spawned fruitful assignments for numerous publications such as Time and TV Guide. His 1976 Time cover rings true today.

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He also became renowned for his humorous depictions of sports, particularly football and golf (Jack was
an avid golfer).

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Movie studios took notice too, hiring him for poster campaigns for such classic films as “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad,
Mad, Mad World” (1963), Woody Allen’s “Bananas” (1971), and “The Bad News Bears” (1976), among others.

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By the late 70s he was regularly commissioned by agency and editorial art directors who grew up with MAD.

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Even when Jack slipped away from his drawing board to play golf, perilously close to a deadline, he always came through with beautiful work. He made it look so effortless, but at his peak, no one could touch him. His later years were highlighted by appearances at book signings, speaking engagements and gallery shows, which were avidly attended by longtime fans. By 2014, failing health compelled Jack to put away his brushes for good, though he never lost his passion for drawing.

Despite such a prolific and varied career, Jack Davis remained warm, humble and self-effacing, often wondering what all the fuss was about. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say he felt deeply gratified that so many people appreciated his work – one of the most celebrated and influential legacies of 20th century illustration.”

Jack

Mad Magazine cartoonist Jack Davis attends an event in his honor by the Savannah College of Art and Design and the National Cartoonists Society, Friday, Oct. 11, 2011 in Savannah, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

Artist Spotlight: Tiago Galo

Tiago Galo is a Portuguese illustrator based in Lisbon. He began working as an illustrator collaborating in small fanzines and exhibitions before finishing his degree in Architecture at Technical University of Lisbon. After years of working as an architect, he decided to get back into illustrating and won the prize for best comic at the Amadora BD competition. He finds influence for his artwork in artists like Wes Anderson and Buster Keaton and tries to incorporate unique elements in his work.

Tiago is represented by AAARep. Check out more of his work through his Directory of Illustration portfolio and at aaarep.net.

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

©Tiago Galo

One on One with Brian Grimwood, Founder of Central Illustration Agency

Brian Grimwood, founder of the Central Illustration Agency, is widely regarded as one of the most important faces of modern British illustration. With his artistic experience dating back to the early 1960s, his progressive work has become a mainstay in the art world ever since his decision to become a freelance illustrator in 1969.

Grimwood was also one of the first illustrators to embrace digital media. He has long been working with Photoshop & Illustrator, and more recently the iPad, to produce his famously original work.

We recently chatted with Brian about some current projects and the evolution of his career.

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Why did you begin using the iPad in your work, and what has the transition been like for you?

I started using it to create roughs that could be scaled for large canvas, and to help me find a new visual language in my editorial work, stylistically and conceptually. It was a natural progression. I used to just work with a brush and paint, but since I’ve been playing with the iPad I find I’m creating another language.

I loved Push Pin Studios in the early 60s. Their philosophy and approach to illustration and innovation were what I was really about. They prided themselves on being revolutionary and constantly expanding. That resonated with me and still does today. That sort of very graphic route and free drawing fits very well with the iPad because I literally don’t work anything out beforehand like I would have to if I were doing a painting. It’s a different look than what I was doing before. The work is more decorative and abstract and less conceptual because I am constantly trying to loosely figure out a new style and draw very quickly. Recently I’ve been working with an iPad Pro which is much bigger and allows me to add more detail.

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©Brian Grimwood

Tell us about the project you recently did for Max Mara, the prominent fashion label based in Milan.

I created illustrations for their window displays and fashion show. It was an interesting project. They had very specific ideas about what they wanted the art to look like. I would have loved for the work to be a lot more surreal, but the final images really fitted Max Mara perfectly.

Pirate ship

©Brian Grimwood

Was the Max Mara assignment your first job with a fashion designer?

Yeah, I suppose it was in a way. I have done fashion things in the past for magazines. I used to work in Gorringe’s department store and I created their window displays. However, earlier in my career I found that fashion work was a bit tight for me. And when I say tight, I mean that I could do it but I wasn’t that interested in it because of all the constraints that were involved.

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©Brian Grimwood

Tell us about a recent project that turned into a surprising success.

I’ve been doing this for a few years so there are quite a lot of them, but I’ve just done one recently for a whiskey company called Bruichladdich. I mention it because it was an excuse to use the iPad again, and it’s turned into a major event in terms of whiskey. I drew a famous man involved in whiskey blending and I created his portrait on the iPad. It’s been used perfectly on the label.

Whisky bottle

©Brian Grimwood

You are known for a visual language that is constantly evolving. How have you managed to reinvent yourself as an artist, with work that is so relevant over such a long career?

I think it’s important in this fast industry to be aware of the time you’re in. I discovered it took me 7 years to actually develop my visual language and I developed it by repeating accidents. I used to do a drawing and something would work by mistake and then I’d repeat that accident in my next work. The whole thing gradually became unique to me and my style of working. It’s a bit like doing a crossword puzzle. After a while, you get a formula but as soon as you get the formula, you have to stop, forget about it, and create a new one in order to succeed in this business. People are always looking for you to go stale. Never go stale.

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©Brian Grimwood

You’re in a unique position as both a founder of a major illustration agency and a renowned illustrator. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

I lecture in colleges as well, believe it or not, and I tell students to find a hero, someone whose work they can relate to, and to then study the type of work they do and how they approach the problems they’re trying to solve. That’s how I did it. There were a couple of people out there that were doing amazing work and I just took notice of what they were doing, whether it was a book jacket or a pastel drawing or editorial work. To do so many things all at once wasn’t really looked at as a good thing back in those days, but it was what I was doing and it gave me a holistic idea of what becoming an illustrator would look like. So I would say look at people that are successful and study how and why they became successful. Find out information about what sort of jobs they do, how they face those jobs, and how they’ve developed through the years.

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©Brian Grimwood

What’s next for you?

I’ve just been offered an exhibition at OXO gallery in London. At the moment, I’ve just mocked and taken photographs and mapped where I will put my images up. It’s still in the early stages, but I’m excited about the project.

OXO 2 wall 1

©Brian Grimwood

OXO exhibition room 2

©Brian Grimwood


Brian Grimwood is represented by Central Illustration.

Please visit his Directory of Illustration portfolio and website to take a deeper look into his body of work.