Archive for the ‘illustrators’ Category

spotted: Quentin Blake in Cambridge

June 16, 2013

Quentin Blake is most definitely one of my alltime favourite illustrators. As a child I devoured all Roald Dahl’s books. I feel this is not only Dahl’s merit. Blake’s drawings are essential to Roald Dahl’s colourful stories. I truly admire how he is able to grasp a character with only a few strokes.

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A few years back I watched a documentary about him. I wish I hadn’t… It ruined the magic in a way. (If you’re a big Quentin Blake fan too and you don’t want to risk ruining the magic then don’t watch the video below and stop reading.)

I’d always loved the spontaneousness of his drawings, little did I know … Blake says to do ‘a freewheeling sort of drawing that looks as though it is done on the spur of the moment. However even a single drawing needs a certain amount of preparation and planning’. I have to admit his lightbox technique is really genius, and actually I often use a similar technique. In a way, I’m also glad he shared his working method. In my magic fairytale-version of reality I assumed that this genius drew his drawings with his eyes closed. Now I’ve learned that also a genius has to put time and effort into his illustrations for them to excel, which is a comfort to a hobbyist like me.


Anyway, I was in Cambridge in April and I couldn’t believe my luck. There was an exhibition titled ‘Drawn by Hand’ that looked at individual works he had produced in the past decade: book illustrations, etchings, lithographs, drawings and works done for hospitals in various and contrasting media. The work was accompanied by a display of pens, brochures, inks, watercolours, quills and other materials from the artists studio. Nele accompanied me, and I don’t know about her, but I had a field day.




spotted – Paris

March 21, 2013

I’m going on a school trip to Paris next week. Time for some Paris inspired maps and drawings from illustrators I like.


Josie Portillo


Oliver Jeffers



Amaia Arrazola


If you really want to submerge yourself in the Parisian atmosphere and dream of warmer spring days to come, then I can advise Jacques Dutronc’s ‘Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille’, my personal favourite (when it comes to songs about Paris, that is).

spotted: Jean Jullien

January 27, 2013

I spotted Jean Jullien through the Creative Review blog the other day.

On his website he has the cleverest video presenting himself

Jean Jullien is a French graphic designer living and working in London. He comes from Nantes and did a graphic design degree in Quimper before coming to London. He graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2008 and from the Royal College of Art in 2010. He works closely with the musician Niwouinwouin. His practice ranges from Illustration to photography, video, costumes, installations, books, posters and clothing to create a coherent yet eclectic body of work.

‘Jullien is a talented observational artist, deftly summing up the particulars of modern technology and how it affects how we interact with each other – from the way that smart phones have become part of our lives (or ours theirs), to the rise of the self-service till at the supermarket.’ (From Creative Review)


















Now these are christmas and NY’s postcards I do like.


spotted: Grant Snider’s Incidental comics

November 26, 2012

I’ve recently posted Grant Sniders’s take on sketchbooks assuming it was a brilliant one-off.
But now I’ve recently discovered on Ape on the moon (a website on contemporary visual culture I regularly read) that it is part of a series, title Incidental comics, which is available online and in print.

So I have now added the series to my reading list and pinned a print to my wish list because – when looking at these comics (and chuckling throughout) – I feel I really like Grant Snider: witty, creative, playful and with an interesting take on things. His comics really make me want to have a first go at this genre.


“As well as a view on life that is full of wit, there’s a kind of poetry in Grant Snider’s perspective. His comics often have an introspective observation that picks up on the light side of the trials of being an artist.” (by Philip Dennis – Ape on the moon)


“Grant Sinder is a cartoonist, illustrator, and the creator of Incidental Comics, which has appeared online and in a local newspaper since May 2009. He’s also a recent dental school graduate and current orthodontic resident at the University of Colorado-Denver.”

spotted: Jeremy Fish

April 11, 2012

I’ve already included some of his work in my post on skate and snowboard design, but his art beholds more than clean prints on shiny snowboards. Therefore, I present to you: Jeremy Fisher, a crazy bearded guy from San Francisco who works as a fine artist (exhibiting internationally) and a commercial illustrator (he’s done numerous collaborations with skating and clothing companies, he’s designed for Nike and worked with Aesop Rock amongst others and he also designs viynl toys, album covers, murals,…). Whoever is interested in scoring a gadget, have a look at his online store umbrellamarket on his website sillypinkbunnies you can see the material of all his art shows.

He has a very recognisable style starring lots of animals (bunnies, beavers, badgers, turtles) and symbols (skulls, hearts, cars, birds, daggers and dudes), which he calls his “library of characters and symbols”. But his work is also characterized by detailed patterns, clearcut colourful lines and – you could call it – ‘esherlike’ dualities and transformations. Some say his images balance between cute and creepy and I think that’s what makes them all the more attractive.

At first sight I thought his art was vector-based, but now that I’ve learnt his art is handmade, often painted on wooden canvasses, I admire him even more. And I’m all the more intrigued now that I know that his art is often based upon American folk tales. Because, as a language teacher, I’m highly interested in folktales. And as a matter of fact, I’m waiting for my dad to edit some more tales for me to illustrate, so dad, get to work!

Have a look in his studio.

One thing I don’t like is his American accent 🙂

Or watch him create a gigantic ‘in the woods’ mural

So nice!

spotted: Raymond Lemstra

February 19, 2012

Raymond Lemstra‘s is inspired by primitive drawings and sculptures. I love his highly imaginative work, he creates a world filled with big headed phantoms, robotlike yet human at the same time. His hand-crafted technique, the combination of precise pencil strokes, pencil colours and paper textures make up great art.

Want more? Visit his blog or get the real thing. Raymond Lemstra is on show (together with Lennard Schuurmans) from 04/02 – 24/03 in Location Alley Gallery, Dorpsstraat 38/1 3500 Hasselt, België

Spotted: Charles Burns

January 6, 2012

Last week we went to see Charles Burns retrospective exposition @ Museum M, Leuven. It is a must-see if you love graphic art and illustration.


“The exhibition presents more than 200 works created by Burns, including original printing plates of ‘Black Hole’ and his new book ‘X’, as well as sketches and illustrations for magazines and books made over the past thirty years.
Most people know Charles Burns as a comic book artist who integrates pop art and pop culture into his comics. His work as an illustrator is less well known. Amongst other things, he has made photos, illustrations, record sleeves and films. His work includes a range of exceptional comic books and projects, from album covers for Iggy Pop to the latest advertising campaigns for Altoids and the ill-fated OK Soda. He has also illustrated covers for Time, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.”

I was stunned at the level of accurate thing lining that guy seems to pull off. I always thought he used Illustrator to be able to do is.
But as it turns out it not only didn’t exist when he started working, I also was able to see the strokes of ink in his work. (see picture below) He must have got one hell of a steady hand.

“His images are drawn from a very sinister world, “at the crossroads of fiction and memory, of cheap sensation and horror. His stories are populated with clichéd characters from comic books: know-it-all children, sinister scientists, tough-as-nails detectives and horny teenagers. Burns rearranges them into disturbing yet funny patterns. The atmosphere of his comic books ranges from kitschy nostalgia to disconsolate horror. Themes such as adolescence and sexual awakening are combined with constantly recurring images of mutation, plague, alienation and violence.
Burns worked for ten years on what was to become his magnum opus, ‘Black Hole’. It was published in Dutch under the title ‘Zwart gat’. It is pure horror, but also an impressive graphic novel that effortlessly captures the emotional life of teenagers.” Now I know what to ask next Christmas.

Some pictures from the show:

What are you waiting for? The show runs till the eleventh of March @ Museum M, Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven

spotted on Doodlers Anonymous: Mathias Sielfeld

May 20, 2011

On Doodlers Anonymous I bumped into Mathias Sielfeld’s brilliantly simple pencil-watercolour-ink-art. This is the original post.

Pencil, watercolors and ink. That’s about all I know of Mathias Sielfeld. I got tipped on his work from Camila León and was happy to uncover a small collection of drawn buildings, people and alphabet letters.
There was something about the color and lines in his work that really caught my attention and I wanted to see more. With some help from Camila, I was lucky enough to get an email full of photos of his sketchbooks and some other never before seen goodies that I get to share with all of you. Take a look, it’s love at first sight.

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spotted on Juxtapoz – the art of Johan Thornqvist

December 26, 2010

Juxtapoz’s Christmas entry

“After spending most of the afternoon looking for pictures of vintage robots for a Christmas themed post,we rememebered that artist Johan Thornqvist creates some of the most interesting robot illustrations we could think of. The Swedish does comic, playful illustrations on top of photos and otherwise serene landscapes, and there is something about the subject matter that reminded us of children’s toys. Johan has been featured on numerous cartoon and illustration blogs, and this was the first chance we have had to showcase his works. Lots of images from Johan’s site below.”

Too bad I’ve already given and received all my Christmas gifts, because a Johan Thornqvist print would’ve been a good idea too.







Spotted – American’s finest

December 10, 2010

Travis Millard, whom I discovered in a Juxtapoz in April 2008, finally deserves a place here as American’s finest.

Pen and ink, also being my favourite tools, it is a big comfort to me that it doesn’t have to be all vector-based nowadays. (Honestly, I still can’t manage properly.)
I like his clear-cut lining and colouring. His subjects, although somewhat agressive and ugly (a lot of trash and fighting), are also to my liking and very funny in my opinion.