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.
Over the week I discovered the work of Sari Cohen; an illustrator and print-maker from Tel Aviv. I love the colors in her work and I really like the shapes and forms that she uses. The work here was created for an exhibition called La Culture which ran in Tel Aviv at the end of May.
The exhibition was part of a whole festival of illustration which took place in the city for ten days. It was Israel’s first ever Illustration Week and it sounded like they hosted a great series of events. I’ve never heard of a city putting on an illustration week before, and this one in Tel Aviv seems to have really done it well; putting together work from some of the country’s top illustrators as well as hosting dozens of exhibitions, workshops and opportunities for local illustrators and the general public to meet up.
Sari’s illustration was selected as one of the images to promote the week and I think it’s a wonderful image to pick. Called Machine Dreams, the image is a fantastic piece of work celebrating imagination with surrealism and beautiful dream-like moments. Prints are currently available to purchase here, or perhaps even better is the possibility to buy the image on a dream journal which comes with a rather nifty LED pen hidden inside.
More illustrations from Sari can be viewed on her website.
Yvan Duque is a French illustrator who studied at the Pivaut Art school in Nantes. His style incorporates a lot of landscapes and natural elements, as evidenced by this wonderful series of island illustrations he created for a personal project.
I love the muted colors paired with the pops of green from the trees that sprinkle the islands. The subtle watercolor paper texture in the backgrounds of each is a nice touch as well. There’s a nice mix of flat and textured overall that gives each piece a lot of character. You can see more of of Yvan’s work by checking out his portfolio.
I’m a big fan of Christoph Niemann. His Abstract Sunday blog on The New York Times is always a great read and his Petting Zoo app might just be one of the most entertaining apps around. I was checking out his site the other day when I discovered these excellent prints of the Brooklyn Bridge and Eiffel Tower.
Like all of Christoph’s work, these illustrations are so effortlessly simple and so perfectly made. The idea is so much fun and the execution just nails it! Produced as a 3 color sikscreen, both images are available to buy through his website. The Brooklyn Bridge image comes in three different colors (though yellow is already sold). I’d love to see this continue as a series; who knows what other monuments could get woven together?
You can see more work from Christoph Niemann on his website. The scope and range of his work is fantastic so please do make the effort to check it out!