Saturday, 14 May 2011

Aad Goudappel

Aad Goudappel is a freelance Illustrator living and working in the Netherlands.

I was drawn to his work because of his minimalist but bold approach to his creations.
Complex ideas and abstract themes are translated into clear, strong and powerful images.


'Child Abuse'

I love how he doesn't outline his images they are simple block shapes and bright use of colours.
Powerful issues such as child abuse has been executed very successfully by the artist.
I feel the quote, 'Less is more,' really comes into play here, suggesting that his minimalist approach speaks volumes.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Contact Report-Michelle Thompson

I also emailed Michelle Thompson with some questions.
Michelle has been successful in publishing, editorial and design.
Her work revolves around mark making, collage and photography combined with digital processes...

1. How well did your studies prepare you for life as an artist?
I did an MA after my degree so I was ready by then. I think my degree course was more informative on professional help than my masters.

2. What are your likes and dislikes about being an artist?
The freedom to have a family and work. Being ripped off by students.

3. Would you say you have a specific style or preferred way of working?
Yes collage both by hand and digital.

4. What would be your one piece of advice to a new Illustrator?
Never give up! It takes a long while to get your name known and a regular client list.

Some of her work...

Contact Report-Laura Mckellar

I asked Melbourne based artist, Laura Mckellar a couple of questions.
She is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer exhibiting her work world wide.

Laura got back to me with some great and inspirational feedback/responses...

1. What would be your one piece of advice to a new Illustrator?
dont work for free!!!!!!!
we all have to start somewhere, but unless you are really enjoying the piece you are working on for somebody else and think it will get you more work, it's not worth spending all your free time on it without being paid.
people don't value the work we do in the same way they value the work a builder, an athlete, or even an architect does. i know people that think its a hobby not a job, and so getting paid for 'art work' is sometimes quite difficult.
if you want to build your folio keep up your personal work and soon enough people will pay you to work for them. and use resources online to promote your work - keep a blog! contribute to online art communities, make a bigcartel shop and sell your work, network with other artists you like online.

2. How well did your studies prepare you for life as an artist?
funnily enough the best thing i got out of my studies was a strong network of like minded people. one of my lecturers is a mentor to me and if i need advice i always go to friends from uni who i trust.
i studied graphic design and i learnt to use industry standard programs, which has very much influenced my artwork. i do a lot of my work on the computer and i really value programs like photoshop + illustrator. it's also allowed me to be able to present my work digitally and printwise to a high standard.

3. What are your likes and dislikes about being an artist?
im a very visual person so its important for me to be able to express myself through artwork.
i dislike being judged because i dont have a 'full time job' that is expected.

4. Would you say you have a specific style or preferred way of working?
I have a couple of ways i really love working.
1 - i create something hands on whether its drawing or painting, i then scan it and combine it with other elements digitally. for example i will combine a drawing and a scanned or photographed texture to complete the drawing.
2 - i create something digitally, and then print it and get hands on! for example i enjoy combining photographs and drawings digitally, then printing them onto textiles and embroidering in details that i could never do digitally to add another dimension to the artwork.

Some of Laura's beautiful handy work...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


1. 'Less is more.' - I have heard this quite a lot around uni and have responded to it by allowing it to inform my work and subsequent briefs.
It has made me realise that trying to cram in every little detail and element into one composition has much less impact than keeping it to a minimum of a few simple elements.

2. 'The more time you put into something the more you get out of it.' - I read this quote in an article about Su Blackwell and it really got me thinking. It is such a true statement and one in which I can relate to.
I always find that I put a lot of effort and dedication into the practical making aspect of my work (ie: model making) however when it comes to photographing the creations I shy away from this and don't keep up the same dedication I began with.
I will definitely keep this statement in mind and remember that the effort has to e put into an outcome from beginning to end until it is complete to gain full potential.

3. 'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up' - This quote was made by Pablo Picasso. It has always interested me from the first time i came across it in the first year of my degree.
The idea that we all begin life with a charming and naive creativity. None of us with a care in the world about what anyone else thinks about what we create. As we get older however we seem to lose this and become conscious of what others think and expectations of what we believe 'art' is.
Hearing this quote, it has made me think I don't want to become conscious of my work but have the confidence in it and belief to further it.

I wish I had done this: Su Blackwell

I came across this artist whilst browsing Mail Online and was not only intrigued by her creations but also very envious of them and knew from the moment I saw them that I could only dream of creating something so amazing!

Su Blackwell, born in Sheffield in 1975 works predominantly within the realm of paper (similarly to some of my own work) She is an Artist and an Art director, who composes sculptures from a single book, only using the pages within the book itself to create beautiful, fragile three-dimensional structures.

As a young child, Su Blackwell grew up in her own little fantasy world spending a lot of her time playing in the woods situated near her house, naming trees and building dens from any materials she could get her hands on from around her home.

I enjoy working with such fragile materials and manipulating them into something else myself so when I saw her work I was very interested by it and found it fascinating that she had sat and cut such intricate, delicate shapes from thin sheets of paper inside a book.

I guarantee that everyday we encounter paper, but it is they kind of medium we overlook and take for granted.
Su Blackwell on the other hand does not overlook the material and instead appreciates it turning it into something unimaginable and defined.
Su herself states,
'I began to incorporate paper. which has both a fragility and strength that drew me in and still fascinates me to this day. it is a readily available, cheap material that has gone through a cyclical process from wood to paper.'

This is just one example of her work that I was astounded by!
Her work is so frail and it is so obvious from the amount of detail and attention gone into the creations just how time consuming the process must be.

She introduced this paper technique to her work after purchasing a second hand book whilst on a trip to Thailand.
Whilst in Eastern Asia she witnessed how paper was burned in spiritual rituals 'to mark the passing of the dead,' and claims to reflect these destructive processes when cutting up fragile books.

She does not just pick up a book at random to cut up but instead carefully picks books and reads them sometimes not just once but twice which in turn inspires what she creates either from a paragraph from the book or a picture she sees within it.
Not only do the words in the books she reads tell a story but also significantly the history of the novel evident from stains or rips, creases and tears it may have got from the journey its been on. This adds to the overall finished works that she creates making the sculptures that bit more interesting and beautiful.

She says that the pieces can take anywhere from a week up to two months to complete which further makes me truly appreciate the effort that goes into making her outcomes.
I love the way she can turn something so banal into something so precious and unusual.

Su seems to have a natural gift in turning simple paper books into something magical and make believe like she experienced from her childhood.
The lighting brings the entire creation to life and makes me want to have some kind of shrinking power to walk into the mysterious, haunting and dreamlike worlds.

It is as if the artist is bringing the book she has just read to life, bringing the characters out of the book into the real world in an interesting exciting way.

The artist herself says,
'although the pieces are quite literary, they aren’t a straight re-telling of the story – they are my interpretation of it and contain a lot of my own emotions.'
Suggesting her works are not only based on the medium she works from but also from deeper underlying, personal matters and feelings within herself.

She likes to keep her entire process behind the making of the sculptures under wraps and you can't blame her! However, she does reveal that she simply uses a craft knife to cut out the images and reinforces them with card or wire as a way of creating the 3D scenes. She is firstly sparked by reading the book but never usually has a final image in her head of the entire outcome but instead lets the materials guide her to form the end product.

She sells these creations for upto £5000 each!

From studying her work and researching the labour intensive process' Su undertakes in creating the pieces I feel really inspired by her.
She shows determination and dedication throughout the making of the three-dimensional sculptures which can be seen from the amount of detail, passion and care of the magical crafts.

Some other beautiful book sculptures:

I wish I had the skill and patience to create something as beautiful and intriguing as the work of Su Blackwell.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


What was in the gallery?

The gallery was full of little surprises, when I reached the top floor it was like entering a magical ball!

Rotating Skeleton like characters were suspended from the ceiling down the entire hall way along with 'disco-balls.'

These characters are by Dutch Artist, Hans Van Bentem. His sculptures are described as having the themes of both 'the unexpected and the grand,' and it is quite obvious as to why this might be the case.

The artist uses precious materials such as glass and porcelain to create his sculptures, which are traditionally used for more traditional, exquisite crafts in Art and design.

Despite the scale and magical element his pieces hold there is still a delicacy and preciousness about them which I find particularly beautiful.
The shadows the light cast from the glossy/shiny material of the sculptures were also
very pretty and made the exhibition all the more appealing and magical.

Day 3: Direktorenhaus

In the afternoon of the third day we went to a gallery based around Illustration.

The gallery was tucked away directly next to the River Spree and overlooked the old harbour, it took a little bit of finding, however it was worth the venture in the cold, miserable weather!

This was my favourite Art Gallery of the week and the one I found of most interest to me in terms of my chosen pathway.

Exhibitions were spread over three floors containing a variety of both traditional and contemporary craft methods, breaking down the boundaries of Art and Design.
The gallery is in fact considered to be one of the most significant forums for contemporary Illustration and Graphic art in the World.

The gallery focusses and links to the 2010 calendar year. The four topics “Magic Realism” (early summer), "Montibello" (summer), "Corncraft“ (autumn) and “Opium den” (winter) form the seasonal framework of the exhibitions of art, craft, design and performance.

The ceiling on the first floor 'corridor' was a beautiful and unusual wooden structure:

Climbing to the top floor was an Art in itself, walking up a beautiful large spiral staircase.

The gallery was the kind that you just didn't know what to expect to see next which made it so exciting and intriguing.

(further posts to come outlining what exhibitions were in the gallery...)