UK-based illustrated Stephen Smith has been working under the name of Neasden Control Centre for almost 15 years. One of his most recent projects has been illustrating the menus for Artisan; a hip restaurant and bar in the Northern-city of Manchester. NCC’s approach here has been to serve up a delicious selection of hand-drawn type; presenting a great choice of ‘A’s’ that no doubt echo the variety of choices found within the menu.
This is not the first time that NCC has worked with Artisan. When it opened last year he worked on the overall identity for the space. Bringing site specific artwork, illustrations, installations and murals to every corner of the Spinningfields located space. The restaurant covers a vast 12,000 square foot area, so it must have been a massive undertaking for the one-man studio. You can see more shots from the interior on his website.
I also think that his work for the set-menus is just as strong and, while I was going to put this down to his excellent choice of a bold black-and-white palette, it’s clear to see that the lunch and kids menus work just as well in color. His choice of bright primary colors add just the right amount of cheerfulness for day-time dinning. I think they look great.
More work from Neasden Control Centre can be viewed on Stephen’s website.
When you look at a piece of art, you see something unique, and when I look at a piece of art, I most likely see something uniquely different. When Ricardo Guasco saw the paintings of Mondrian, he didn’t see minimalism, he saw room/rooms for people. Ricardo is an extremely talented illustrator based in Alessandria, Italy who makes really energetic, expressive works that you can’t help but enjoy.
These pieces though caught my attention because they’re unexpected. Seeing an abstract figuring sitting in a Mondrian like it’s a jungle gym, laying on one like it’s a roof, or utilizing the panels like it’s a kitchen is such a great concept.
You should absolutely see more of Ricardo’s work by clicking here.
Illustrator Tony Stella seems to have a dream job. As far as I can tell he spends his days drawing beautiful posters for Criterion, illustrating and interpreting the best films of the last 100 years. His style utilizes a lot of ink drawings, paired with big colorful swashes of watercolors. The imperfect hand-done style only lends to the charm of the pieces which really captures the spirit of the films, amazing works from directors like François Truffaut and Jacques Tati.
View more of Tony’s work by clicking here.
Found through Notebook
Following up on Nick’s fantastic piece on Haruki Murakami’s new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, reader Fabio Valesini sent me a link to a trailer he animated for the Italian release of the book. It’s interesting to see such a different take on the material compared to the Knopf/Harvill Secker that Penguin Random House is putting out.
Though I haven’t read the book yet it feels like Fabio has certainly captured that ethereal, kinda weird Murakami feeling. When I read his work I always get this sense of alien mystery, that you’re never sure what might happen next, which is reflected in the trailer. Really nice work.
“What does silence look like? How is it expressed? Can it be visual?” These are the questions Nobrow posed to over 40 international artists and illustrators for the ninth edition of their magazine. It’s a fascinating theme and one which has produced a wide-range of outcomes. Amongst its 128 pages you’ll find scenes of contentment, intimacy and the surreal as well as stories of the mundane, the morose and the amorous.
As with previous editions, this version offers artists a limited 4 way color palette to bring their imagination to the page, and this restriction brings a wonderful unity to the magazine. The pink, orange and blue tones are a beautiful combination and it’s a joy to see how each artist plays with this restraint through their work.
One of the nicest things about Nobrow’s magazine is that it works as two magazines. On one side it contains large illustration work (as shown in the post), while the reverse is filled with stories by comic artists and visual storytellers.
If you’re in any way interested in contemporary illustration I can’t recommend this publication enough! With over 40 artists involved, it’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive magazine. For those interested in the work featured here, it includes (from the top) images by Kali Ciesemier, Owen Davey, Merijn Hos, Jun Cen and Ella Bailey.
Nobrow 9 is currently available to purchase from the Nobrow website.
Polish illustrator Patrycja Podkoscielny has an incredible illustration style which utilizes a muted color palette but still has a high-contrast punch thanks to bursts of white and black. And every now and the, some bursts of gold. The work is rendered with extreme precision and nuance which gives each piece a strong sense of realism.
When I look at each of there’s an editorial voice that comes through. I want to know who these characters are and learn about each of their stories. The fact that I’m drawn in like that shows the true success of the style.
You can view more of the work by clicking here.
I’m completely smitten with the work of New York based illustrator Rovina Cai. Her sketches and paintings are alluring, with lots of detailed line work and regularly utilizing a muted palette which gives each work a mysterious tone. You might even describe her images as macabre. I found an informative interview with Rovina on the SVA – MFA Illustration blog which goes into some depth about her process and inspirations. For those of you who are curious of how she makes such impressive work you should definitely take some time to read it.
As a part of a promotion for the new show Penny Dreadfuls director Gergely Wootsch was asked to create a series of shorts that tell classic stories in only a couple of minutes. Working alongside animators and designers Iria Lopez, Luiz Stockler, and Joe Sparkes they’ve created a moody re-telling that’s explained by writer and historian Matthew Sweet. I love that the short employs a mixture of illustration and collage, and the subtle usage of color really makes the re-telling that much stronger.
They also did versions of Dracula and Frankenstein which are equally lovely.