Illustration or Fine Art Degree?

Progression to Stage 2.

This autumn has been a time of reflection, do I pursue a degree in Fine Art or a degree in Illustration.  Illustration, it’s more my way of working. I enjoy the challenge of fitting text within a context. I’m also more into illustration than I realised … get ready for a major brain-fart and please skip this if it’s to long.

One illustrator who has been foremost in my mind is Tom Hovey (“Food illustrator to the stars”)  – who I only recently discovered studied at AUB!  (‘Great British Bake Off’ is back for new tv series this autumn).  I’ve always admired the beautifully rendered, mouth-watering images he has created throughout each series.

Jackie Morris Stunning, ethereal watercolour images.

Simon Bartram Detailed, stylised and colourful illustrations in childrens books ‘Bob, The Man on the Moon’, and ‘Deep Sea Dougal’.

A couple of editorial photomontage-style illustrator’s whose work I admire: Michelle Thompson, who creates quirky , often mid century vintage-inspired collages for The Guardian, The Economist  and many other editorial publications.

Cold War Steve (aka Christopher Spencer) creates satirical photomontages inspired by the government, current affairs, and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic. He created a double-sided giant wind break in his cheeky photomontage style installed at Boscombe Pier this summer as part of the Arts By the Sea festival.  It showed some tongue-in-cheek images of local characters and places,  its “dark” side was covered up by BCP as they considered it to be negative. It’s part of his “Cold War Steve Meets the Outside World” exhibition.  (Irritatingly I missed it and I had to make do with seeing his work online).  He’s also become known as the ‘Brexit Bruegel’ and a ‘modern-day Hogarth’. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Martin O’Neill  uses rich, colourful patterns, found images and photographs in collage which give a slightly ‘vintage’ feel to his work.

Aubrey Beardsley is probably one the very first adult illustrators that I noticed. I love art nouveau,  and his detailed, curvilinear black and white illustrations were often shocking, beautiful and sometimes grotesque –  favourites are ‘The Peacock Skirt’, and his illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé.

No reference to Art Nouveau is complete without me mentioning Alphonse Mucha – his poster advertising Sarah Bernhardt in ‘Gismonda’, ‘The Seasons’ ….

Edward Ardizzone – his war illustrations (IWM), book illustrations include ‘Stig of The Dump’, ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’.

Eric Ravilious I also discovered his work at the Imperial War Museum last year.

Not leaving out some iconic music album covers by artists such as Peter Blake – Sergeant Pepper , Gerald Scarfe – Pink Floyd The Wall,  and top of my list is Patrick Nagel, his iconic, sexy illustration of Rio for Duran Duran. Nagel’s body of work “Woman” was striking and unique. – iconic, retro, vintage style of 30s and 40s posters.

London Transport Museum collection of vintage posters , London Transport’s map by Harry Beck.  a design , printmaking and illustration studio. Love the styles in this portfolio of work. Not sure if it’s a collective or an individual?

Kristjana S Williams has a unique collage-style too using colourful and intricate layers of decoupaged flora and fauna. I first saw her work several years ago when she started selling stylised maps in a local art gallery in Westbourne.  (I love maps! )

Lauren Child (‘Lola and Charlie’ and ‘Ruby Redfort’ books)

Chris Riddel (‘Ottoline’, collaborations with authors such as Paul Stewart and Neil Gaiman, and his satirical political cartoons.)

Maps Illustrators (did I mention I love maps?!)

House of Cally  ‘The Illustrated Map of  London’.  Fun, hand-drawn maps showing famous landmarks and personalities of  London.

Julia Gash Quirky, bright modern maps.

Oh – and one more illustrator I must add is Andy Warhol : check out his early work illustrations of shoes and butterflies. He seems to crop up daily at the moment, somehow or another….