I wonder If you remember me? I emailed you a few months back at the end of my second year. I am a student on the BA Hons at Stockport College, studying Illustration. My final year now! Firstly I would love to compliment your work again, it is always such an inspiration, I heard some of it is in the next volume of AOI! I know how busy you must be, I am currently in the process of writing my journal and you being one of my primary influences, I was just querying if I could have your opinion about a few things? I'll pop the questions in, if you get a moment, thats fantastic! thanks ever so much!
- You wrote a while back in one of your replies to an email, that you were inspired by Joseph Cornell, was it primarily his reference to birds, or were there other reasons?
- What do you do if you cannot get an idea to communicate in quite the right way? Or your general opinion on the communication of an Illustration, what you have learnt, being in the industry, working with other people?
- I am referring to the aesthetics of Illustration in my journal, as I am in the mix of a fine artist / Illustrator. Do you have any views upon the idea of hand made coming back, referring to Cornell or a general thought on the aesthetics of your work would be great.
Thanks ever so much, I hope to hear from you soon.
P.s, sorry about the two emails, i wasn't sure which email you were using, i hope one of these gets through.
Of course i remember you, how are you?
Well done in making it to year 3, you've done well in coping with the terrible twosome for that long (no offence Gary or Ian if you read this).
I love the way Joseph Cornell used collage, the way he combined cut out found imagery, with objects that had been found and made, like the boxes he used to make to display his work. I find them really quite naive and beautiful, there is that element of the human touch and that somebody has cared enough about the work to create something wonderful for it to sit in.. I like his use of type also to you can see it is there but it doesn't rule the page. I also like the colours that he used... they seemed quite genuine. His birds were just a bonus i suppose. I think all in all i find his work genuine and sensitive... which are attributes that i admire in people.
One of the main things i have learnt is that you can't make things to complicated. Your work has to be beautiful and strong, and people have to understand it straight away. As people haven't got time to look and think about it. I feel they want to see something that is interesting and that they understand. When I first started out i used to make my ideas way too complicated but you learn through time to strip them down, this makes the work stronger. I used to really explain each idea in a huge paragraph when explaining it to the art director.... now its more like a sentence. Don't worry because this comes with time, and art directors understand, they work with people at all levels and if they like your work it's not an issue!
To be honest you never let it get to the stage where the idea is not communicating. Everything should be sketched in rough before you start on the main piece because if it's not working then it aint ever going to work, so you fnd an alternative route. Art is about beauty, illustration is about ideas, and other people have to understand the ideas too, so you have to keep it simple, punchy and beautiful like Ian's work.
I think hand made stuff is fantastic, and i think balance is also important. Imagen a plank of wood on a huge rock and it balancing in the middle. When new techniques start to emerge people follow the crowd, then the plank falls and everyone falls with it. But if you stay true to what your doing it'll all come good. Also i think it's good that you have a mix of fine art and illustration, as long as the idea communicates then why not!?
My work hmm this is the recipe for my work... mix a good idea, with a key colour pallette, add a good composition which the eye can follow the flow of, and see the relationships of the lost and found objects, add a sprinkle of humour and serve in warm bowl with a huge slice of sensitivity spread with love.
Is that okay?
p.s when you come to London with college, let me know and i'll meet you for a coffee and chat.