Posts Tagged ‘artist’

Artist Profile: Kiah Tulloch

March 28, 2010

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We at the Fold are always on the lookout for fresh artistic talent, and today we are pleased to present a short interview with Kiah Tulloch, a very talented illustrator and good friend.

Let’s get the boring standard questions out of the way first – How long have you been illustrating and what first got you into it?

I’ve been illustrating for about 6 years now. I’m a naturally arty person, I’ve always been into drawing, painting and making things, so it’s just one of my many weird and wonderful hobbies.

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What do you call your particular method of illustration?

The style is called Pointillism and it involves using solely dots to form an image. The traditional Pointillism used by artists such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, is a technique of painting which involved patterns of dots and/or thin, short brushstrokes to form an image. Somewhere along the way it developed into the striking black and white that I practice now.

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Yours is a very unique style that I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone specialise in before – what first started you off drawing like this?

I started doing this when I was in my final year of college. I used the style to illustrate an A5 colour piece of a flower for my Textiles coursework, and I loved the effect so much that I just kept going. Funnily enough it was pure laziness that I started the flower in the first place.

I remember needing to get the image done and I really couldn’t be bothered because I was just so bored of using the same old drawing & colouring pencils, so I started dotting with some cheap coloured markers that I found in the bottom of my art bag. I actually thought it was going to be a lot quicker than drawing or colouring, but it turned out twice as long taking me about 2-3 weeks just to complete the A5 piece. However, the result was so amazing that I just kept experimenting.

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When shading your pieces, how do you decide where the dots go? Is there a procedure, a technique to it, or is it more erratic and random?

Shading is a little difficult to explain without a demonstration, but I’ll do my best. My tool of choice is a 0.05 Staedtler black pigment liner (which means my dots are 0.05mm in diameter – crazy I know!) so vast spaces of “shadow” (e.g. hair) mean that dots need to be extremely close together.

These areas I tend to do in a fairly erratic manner to get the space filled quickly, as it doesn’t really matter where the dots go as long as by the end they’re tightly packed into the space. For graduated areas it requires a more steady hand to make sure that the dots are accurately spaced to give the best contrast. There really isn’t a technique, it’s just how I prefer to work. It does require a great deal of patience and good eye for detail though.

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Which artists do you personally admire?

Wow that’s a question and a half! I’ll try to keep the list brief because I could probably fill a book with the full answer.
Pre-Raphaelite artists: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir John Everett Millais
Paper-cut artist: Hina Aoyama
Illustrators: David Downton, James Jean, Julie West, Ella Tjader, TADO
Graphic artists: I Love Dust
Street Artists: TooFly, Slinkachu, Robbo, Imminent Disaster, Aakash Nihalani

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Your pieces are primarily portraits of celebrities – is there any particular reason for this?

Portraits – yes, celebrities – no. I love faces, particularly eyes, so I find portraits most interesting to work on. I use celebrities simply because the images are so easy to get hold of. I did a couple of commissioned kids’ portraits about 2 or 3 years ago and I’ve also done a couple of animal pieces, but I always find myself back at the celeb portraits.

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As we’re friends, I know that you’ve only started drawing again in the past couple of months after an ‘extended hiatus’ shall we say, what made you pick up the pen again?

I picked up it up again because I just can’t deal with not having some form of creative outlet. It allows me time to think/daydream or helps to me to switch off after a long or stressful day since it really doesn’t require too much thought about the actual process. It’s also great for long-haul flights, so I will finally get a chance to finish my Liv Tyler portrait this August on my 15 hour flight to Las Vegas!

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Are there any plans to expand your repertoire in the future?

I don’t really know. Like I said I plan to finally finish the Liv Tyler portrait (after a year!), but other than that I don’t really know. I’m always trying to hone my skills, so I’ve been considering maybe more flora & fauna pieces or full figures as opposed to portraits…I may even tackle some runway images. You’ll just have to watch this space.

James

The Renaissance of Colours

February 5, 2010

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Born in Milan in 1976, Alberto Seveso is one of a rare breed of illustrators for whom classic drawing is impossible. Learning his craft solely in a digital format, Seveso describes his freehand drawing abilities as ‘ultra poor’, and yet he is responsible for some of the most intricate and elaborate artworks of recent years.

Seveso’s oeuvre involves a mixed-media approach to art, utilising black & white photography and vector art together to form beautifully vibrant and dynamic works. He began around 15 years ago with an Amiga 1200 and a copy of Deluxe Paint, until a friend introduced him to a PC and the virtues of Adobe Photoshop; he has never looked back.

His style embodies a subtle sexual reference; indeed, his individual style has been referred to as ‘sperm shaping’ due to the shapes of some of the vectors he uses. The way in which the photographs are stripped away to reveal energetic and multi-coloured shapes underneath shows the subject in an exposed and vulnerable light, almost likening the vector elements to muscle fibres.

Seveso has also done some exciting work with typography – his ‘Destructive TyPO’ pieces uses vintage colouring effects, similar to watercolours, alongside contemporary abstract letterforms to create a layered, almost textured piece that eschew legibility in favour of pure aesthetics.

View Seveso’s website here.

James

Stussy x Basil Wolverton

November 16, 2009

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During his time at MAD Magazine in the ‘golden age of comics’, Basil Wolverton was one of the most highly respected illustrators in his field – the grotesque and macabre figures that he depicted are an instantly recognisable oeuvre; one that Stussy licenced a number of for t-shirt prints as part of their Holiday Collection.

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Last summer the Gladstone Gallery in New York exhibited a retrospective of his work – the first time any of his art had been shown in a gallery setting. Wolverton passed away in 1978, but Stussy have conducted an interview with his son Monte, which can be read here along with examples of his extraordinary pieces.

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James

Interview with Knife of Knife & Packer

November 9, 2009

Last Christmas, my girlfriend bought me a year’s subscription to Private Eye. I quickly became a fan of its brilliant writing, spicy exposes and most of all, one of its cartoons – a colourful strip called ‘It’s Grim Up North London’- written by a magnanimous duo called Knife & Packer.

Based around two Islingtonites called ‘Quin and Jez, ‘Grim’ is a witty pastiche of North London’s fluffy middle class, who, for a number of years, have flourished under New Labour’s tutelage, propagating Pesto in the process.

Prescott’s bloated assertion that ‘Everybody’s middle class now’ way back in 1997 is lampooned in its series of cheeky sketches and surreal situations.

As Private Eye celebrates something of a cultural resurgence after the recent Carter-Ruck affair, we thought we’d talk to Knife of Knife & Packer (real name – Duncan McCoshan) about Islington, working for the ‘Eye and most importantly, what the future has in store for ‘Quin and Jez.

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Duncan McCoshan & Jem Packer

So, who are Knife & Packer and what do you do?

Knife & Packer are Jem Packer and me, Duncan McCoshan. I do the drawing and Jem does the writing, although that’s only become a clear definition in the last six months to a year really. We both come up with ideas but Jem comes up with them more now. We’ve been working quite a lot on children’s books.

How did you both meet and how did you start working together?

We met through a friend – a flatmate of mine. His brother was up in Edinburgh with Jem, billed as a double act called Dallas & Packer at the festival. This was back in the 90’s. Jem had done some comedy writing for things like Week Ending, and I had given up a job at a bookshop. We were both looking around for work. I had sent in some gags to the Spectator and Michael Heath had taken a couple of those, but we were both looking for things to do and we kind of pulled our resources together to see what we could come up with.

In fact ‘Grim’ was one of the first things we did. We had tried three or four ideas before then, but that was the first one that stuck. So we kind of got lucky early.

‘It’s Grim Up North London’ your monthly strip published in Private Eye, is a fantastically sarcastic take on Islington’s trendy contingent. What inspired you to start writing it?

Well we were both living in Islington at the time. I did a gag for the New Statesman and it was a ‘Grim’ type setting. [There was] a guy sat at a desk with his wife running in saying ‘Sainsbury’s are out of pesto!’ and the caption was ‘It’s Grim Up North London.’ I think Jem’s brother bought it [from us] and put it on his wall. [Jem and I] were both looking at it and thought ‘maybe that could work as a strip!’ So from then, the characters were almost right first time, and oddly enough, they actually look like us! I did the first one and my wife said ‘that’s you and Jem isn’t it?’ I said ‘No! No!…have your latte and shut up!’

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Used courtesy of Private Eye. All Rights Reserved.

Did you feel at odds with your old locals?

With the Islington lot? No not really. Jem was born and brought up in Islington -he went to a local school [and] he’s got a lot of old Islington in his blood. He remembers useful shops, instead of Estate Agents and Shisha boutiques.

We all partake in it, but like to think we are standing outside of it a bit. Our ‘Grim’ book ‘Better Latte Than Never’, came out in 2001 and was a compilation of the first 100 strips or so. A lot of [the references] aromatherapy, coffee, etc has become mainstream now. At the time it was new and probably a bit of a New Labour thing.

It’s interesting you say that, do you think that Quin and Jez are significant of a class that has flourished under New Labour?

Yes I think it definitely is. It’s true that in the first strip I think we quoted them as ‘New Labour Cronies’ and I think that’s why it tickled those at the ‘Eye. That Blair and Brown meeting at Granita put a stamp on it from the word go really.

Political, social and economic factors mean that culturally, we are seeing an end to the fluffy, consumerist lifestyle ‘Quin and Jez are representative of. Do you ever see a point where you may have to kill them off?

Haha! What Conan Doyle style with them wrestling a very large aubergine and falling over the Reichenbach falls?! Erm, maybe yeah, unless of course they become Cameronised. I don’t know, it depends how you work it – look at [Kerber’s] Supermodels (another strip in Private Eye). The whole Supermodel thing is dead, but Neil Kerber has been very clever and kept it going. Now, it’s more of a celebrity strip really.

I’ve considered putting ‘Quin and Jez in a retirement home, but there are things like the Olympics coming up – which will be good for us. We did some gags about ‘Quin running for mayor to coincide with the first mayoral election. [Jez and Quin] knock on a local’s door and the local says ‘well for starters they’ve closed the day care centre and opened up a coffee shop. The kid’s footie pitch is now a tennis court, and the Prince Alfred pub’s been gutted and turned into yuppie flats.” ‘Quin says “Tremendous I’m your man vote for me! I’ll ensure these great reforms continue!”

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Used courtesy of Private Eye. All Rights Reserved.

What’s the creative process behind the strips?

We’ll come up with a list of ideas – 12-14 at a time – and we’ll mull them over. Jem will instigate them and we’ll push them back and forth between us, adding a line here or a gag there, before we send them in. Ian (Hislop) goes through them and we get a phone call back from them saying which ones they want.

How do you find working for the Private Eye?

Very good. They’re great to work for. They always come back to us quickly – we’re never waiting around. We submit the artwork every two weeks – usually on Thursday evenings for Friday. We used to go into the [Private Eye] office, but we just email it in now. It’s a nice working atmosphere [although] I’m sure we only see the tip of the iceberg, as it were [and] they’re all paddling like mad under the water! You like that metaphor!? Paddling icebergs?!

Are there any illustrators that inform your artistic style?

I’ve always liked Ronald Searle – he’s an influence although you probably wouldn’t see it in my style. All kinds of things really. A marvellous cartoonist called Kliban, he’s a fantastic cartoonist who’s most well known for his cat calendars [even though] most of his stuff wasn’t at all like that. [It was] much more surreal stuff from the Seventies.

With ‘Grim’ I think there is an affinity to be found between the character constructs and the work of writers like Charlie Brooker. Do you recognise that at all?

Yes actually Jem has read quite a lot of Charlie Brooker’s stuff. We like his writing and his take on things really. Definitely. People like Chris Morris, Partridge, Brass Eye, all of that – it’s spot on. I think we have similar targets. The preposterous and the pompous…
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Used courtesy of Private Eye. All Rights Reserved.

That ‘hub’ of writers has a very specific style. Would you say your work is of the same school?

Yeah, maybe. I hadn’t thought of it in that way. Brooker’s about 10 years younger than me, but it’s probably true actually…interesting. A lot of Islington doesn’t seem very ‘real’ – the old and the new. We like to go to the old pubs and tend to shun the Farmer’s Markets. It’s a weird thing but I certainly wouldn’t like to live in a sink estate somewhere.

What do you make of the recent ‘Carter Fuck vs. Private Eye’ episode and does it signal a cultural and political resurgence for the paper?

I think they’ve had a very good 5-10 years. Ian has been quite shrewd. Through Have I Got News For You he’s become the recognisable face of Private Eye and the magazine is known by a lot more people because of it. I think the whole MP’s expenses thing was an absolute goldmine for them.

I think they’ve taken on more of a ‘Paul Foot’ kind of campaigning journalism. We don’t know the machinations of what’s going on at the ‘Eye, but things like [MP’s Expenses] show they are making a conscious effort. With that Carter Ruck business, Hislop is very passionate about freedom of the press and so the ‘Eye will always carry a banner for that.

What advice could you give to aspiring illustrators or cartoonists?

Advice? Crikey! I think they should just send stuff in. We just hit the right note at the right time. Just send stuff out there.

Anything you’d like to plug?

Buy our books! If you have children between 7 and 9, definitely! And keep buying Private Eye.

Many thanks to Duncan for the interview.

Visit Knife & Packer’s Website, and buy their books here.

Kristian

Rick Baker’s Popeye

October 20, 2009

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Academy Award-winning special effects artist Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Men in Black, Nutty Professor, X-Men) set about creating a real-life depiction of the famous cartoon sailor. The end result is rather spectacular and just a little bit unsettling.

Click here for the full size image.

If you would rather savour those childhood images. Here some Popeye..

Dré

Y-3 x MOMO Hayworth II Mids

October 14, 2009

New shots of a collaborative effort between Y-3 and New York artist MOMO. Only 350 pairs of these worldwide, so you probably won’t get your hands on some… but hey, you can dream.

Images courtesy of Freshnessmag.com.

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James