Illustration is your wildest imagination come to life in 2-D. It’s an art form that can go any direction. There are literally hundreds of different types of illustration; animation, editorial, children’s, conceptual, decorative, photorealistic, satirical, vector…. It can be created with any medium, in any style. Its artistic possibilities are truly endless and most projects don’t fall neatly into a category. That’s the beauty of illustration. It’s wild and unpredictable.
As consumers, it's the art form we come into contact the most with it’s intention to create an emotional reaction that makes people smile, feel intrigued or a relatedness they can identify with. It often uses humor or drama and tells a story with a single or series of images that pulls the viewer in and casts a spell. Whether it’s an ad, a book cover, images in a children’s story, a poster, a comic book, a portrait, or online content - it impacts the way we see the world, how we interact with it and what we decide to take action on.
The artists we’re celebrating today understand the power of illustration. Each putting their own unique spin and style on imagery. Funny, mysterious, joyous, boisterous, twisted, sarcastic, and dramatic …are all words we could use to describe this fantastic collection of illustration. The bottom line is - the artists who created it all know how to tell a story with a their fantastic imagery, each casting their own powerful spell.
Jonathan O Reilly was born (as the name might suggest) in the west of Ireland in the mid eighties. He soon began to use drawing as a way of processing the strange world around him, and also as a way to look busy and pass the time in school. He later tried to become a painter and studied Fine Art in Galway, but never quite understood the difference between Fine Art and confusing nonsense. So he went back to drawing. He relocated to Berlin because it's a city full of stories and ideas. Jonathan is at his most creative when he's trying to convey a story or idea in a clear, fun and visually interesting way. Sometimes they're his own ideas, sometimes they're someone else's ideas, but the process of expressing the idea is what he's really into.
Jonathan’s design style expresses the irony and humor of the everyday and transforms it into a zinger of imagery that leaves you smiling with appreciation that “Yes, someone else on the planet understands how bizarre it all is!” His company, Jonographic Illustration and Design, specializes in graphic design, advertising and a variety of other artistic services … including putting sheep on Ukuleles.
Richard is finally letting some of his incredible illustrations loose on the unsuspecting world. He’s a super hero of sorts, working as a mild mannered advertising manager by day and a dramatic creator of “fantasy illustration” by night.
While his day job allows him to use a lot of his creativity, his great love is creating mysterious and magical illustrations. Being a lifelong Tolkien fan and Lord of the Rings admirer, a lot of the work he creates is inspired by it. Over the past few years he’s concentrated on digital media however he’s proud to say he’s still comfortable with a good old pencil and paper!
When Richard isn’t creating you’ll find him in the great outdoors mostly hiking in the Lake District in the UK. His interest in hiking has taken him to some interesting places, including the top of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. “Quite a sight seeing snow and glaciers in Africa!” he says.
Through his day job, he spends a lot of time designing and creating advertisements. So anyone who is interested in discussing that side of things, feel free to tap him. Similarly, if you like any of the pictures and want to discuss, he’d love to chat.
Taylor Heagy is a working free-lance artist from Lancaster, PA. He prefers to work digitally in a realistic fashion--dealing with portraits, caricatures, concept, children illustrations, and gaming.
He has a wide spectrum of different techniques and mediums he uses when illustrating including; oil, acrylic, watercolor - working mainly digital in a mix medium fashion and incorporates a variety of software to get his desired effect: Photoshop, Corel Painter, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, and After Effects.
He works mainly in the field as an editorial artist, using a caricature style that’s rendered in a realistic fashion. Several of his pieces have won awards including his Kim Jong Un and Bashar al-Assad pieces that placed Merit in 3x3 Magazines No. 11 annual international student competition. His President Obama piece placed with an Honorable Mention. The magazine issue will be released this winter. He also has the pleasure of working for Dark Tonic Indie Games as a concept artist!
Anna Sokolov proudly celebrates that her art is “Always strange, never boring.”
A Seattle based illustrator and sculptor, her creatures are whimsical, colorful and offbeat, with elements of surprise. Lumpy deformities, rogue hairs and exposed erogenous zones soften and humanize them, making them feel more relatable. She uses inexpensive materials, rejoicing at the multi-functionality of toilet paper, glitter, finger paint and Elmer’s glue. Her creative process is often unstructured, with adventitious subject matter and composition.
“Bodies and anatomy have always fascinated me.” She says of her work. “ My goal, when developing a style, was to achieve an understanding of the human form - enough to be able to manipulate its shapes.”
She often starts simply, using her basic favorite media - pen and watercolors. As an example - “The creature "Num Nums" came out on his own, unplanned as usual.” She says. “He seems to have just eaten something and looks pretty content about it. He makes me warm and fuzzy on the inside, yet I'm terrified of him at the same time.”
Keith is a self-taught artist and cartoonist. He takes great pride in turning a blank piece of paper into art. He creates new juvenile brands for licensing.
One of the centerpieces of his work is his character Ferald, an upbeat and unruly ferret who’s usually stumbling upon his next adventure with his friends Pozzum, Kingston, Birzy and Mr. Wiggly. Keith has created a delightful place he calls Woodzley where these lovable and sometimes strange creatures happily live together.
His interest lies with licensing his work into children’s publishing, merchandising and animated projects and he’s always on the lookout for a good Licensing Agency to take his characters to the next level. Some of his character properties include: Ferald, Dweeblinks, Boomi Cats, Mamamacanz, Short Sleeves and Qwiby.
You can find his Ferald and other characters online on various art websites, the official website, blog and online gift shop the Ferald Store.
You can see more of Keith’s work on StudioVox and Facebook.
Bryan Katz tells a story that’s very familiar to many artists whose dreams of creating art were derailed until he took time to reflect on what truly made him happy.
Born and raised in Snohomish, WA, Bryan grew up in a household that encouraged imagination. From a young age, he remembers wanting to be a cartoonist for Disney. After some time of drawing and feeling like he was never improving, and people telling him that he was no good, drawing quickly became just a memory for him.
As he grew, nothing seemed to interest him. He slowly drifted into the void of growing up and not having a plan. The cartoons that once fueled his imagination were just background pictures and noises.
On January 6, 2014, after having not drawn a single thing in years, Bryan picked up a pencil and paper, and began to draw. His imagination now flourishes, and He is once again as inspired as he was when he was a child.
Right now, he looking to expand commissioned opportunities as well as collaborate with other illustrators.
You can see more of Bryans work on StudioVox.