April 30, 2010

Work in Progress

Received some good news this week: our dissertation has been delayed by about 10 days. Which means I have a bit more time to actually work on some illustrations too. Yay! And to celebrate this, I decided to update my blog with some work progress images. Well only two so far, but it's better than nothing, right?


I want to share with you the main characters in the book I'm currently trying to make. It's a book about a foster family and a little girl who goes from foster care to this new family. Below are the concept sketches I made of the characters.

From left to right: Bert and Sonja, who work in foster care. And then Merel and her bear Boris.

From left to right: Thomas, Annie and Frank, the foster family.

We've already seen Sonja and Merel in the finished lino I posted a while ago. Hopefully soon I can post some more lino prints here (once I actually get around to making them that is).

For now I have one more to share with you. I'm not sure yet if this is what it will end up looking like in the end product, but I'm pretty sure it will. Unless someone has suggestions for how to make it look better of course. Suggestions are always welcome!

April 26, 2010

About work and storybirds

It's been a while since I last posted anything on here. I have my reasons though, I really do! Well one reason really, and that reason is: school.
Things have been quite busy with me currently trying to finish my dissertation and maybe doing some illustration stuff along the side. Sadly the illustration part has been a bit neglected lately. But once this dissertation is done I'll move back onto my linocuts! (I have to.)

Here is a small preview of my next print though, for those interested.

Apart from that little message, I would also like to point out a pretty cool site for artists or people who like to create/read short stories. Thanks to my cousin I discovered the site Storybird, a site that lets artists upload their illustrations and lets other users use those to create short stories. There's not really any profit to get from it right now other than some exposure and funny/cute/nice stories to read, but it's a great concept! Here is a story someone made with the art I have uploaded at the moment.

Simply Me! on Storybird

If you would like to visit my gallery on there, you can click on the following image. And of course you can start creating your own stories on there!

Start a storybird with my art

By the way, the Flemish illustrator Sebastiaan Van Doninck - who has some wonderful illustrations - has a gallery on there too. Be sure to check out his work if you don't know him yet!

April 7, 2010

Meeting an illustrator in Berlin

It's been a while since my last update, but I have a good reason for that: I was away for a few days with school. We went on a trip to Berlin where we mostly visited museums. Museums like the Jewish Museum, the Nature Museum, the Bauhaus Archiv, the Hamburger Bahnhof for contemporary art, the German Museum for Film and a few more.

Especially the Jewish Museum was a nice one, not just because of what they showed there but also because of its wonderful architecture. They really paid a lot of attention to the structure of the building and incorporated it into their ideas of what they wanted to show to the visitors.

One part of the building for example has an isolated room with just one door leading to it. It's a small room with high concrete walls all around you. It's dark and cold, and only a tiny strip of sunlight is coming through. It gives an immense feeling of isolation.

Another room at the bottom of the building has its floor covered with 10,000 coarse iron faces, an installation by Menashe Kadishman called Fallen Leaves. As a visitor you're allowed to walk across these faces, which makes a whole lot of noise, and it just sort of feels a bit weird as well, as if you're walking on real people. Or maybe that was just me. Very powerful installation though.

Apart from visiting museums, our small group of illustration students also met up with an illustrator in Berlin, Olaf Hajek.

Olaf Hajek

I wasn't familiar with him or his work, but meeting up with him was very inspirational. We learned a lot about how he works, how he came into being an artist and illustrator and so on. Let me first show you some of his work, so you know what I'm talking about. =)

This is his new book called Flowerhead, which features his work, ranging from advertising illustrations, fashion illustrations and his own free work. He has a very unique style in which he works, and he always seems to work with acrylics on different kinds of surfaces (paper, cardboard, wood...). He likes to put random objects in his paintings, which is demonstrated in the paintings he calls "flowerheads", like the one on the cover of the book. Here are some more examples of his work.

Natureman 3

Masked Girl

Cover JPeople

As you can see, very original work he has, ranging from very colourful to more subdued like the ones I posted up here. He works as an illustrator, working on assignments for magazines all over the world. Something I hadn't heard about yet, is that he uses different agents in all those countries to get his work. Very interesting, as I don't think (m)any Belgian illustrators use agents to get assignments in different countries. He also holds exhibitions with his art, not just his illustration stuff but also personal art. I think he prefers being an artist and doing his own work, though he admitted that to earn a living you can't solely depend on exhibitions.

He also doesn't work at home, but shares a studio with another illustrator. Again, very interesting to hear as this means he can separate his work and his normal life so he doesn't get distracted. I might have to remember this for the future!

In any case, his work is very inspiring and I loved hearing his ideas and hearing about the way he works. Be sure to check out his site for more of his wonderful art!