Sunday, 28 June 2009

Comparing two practitioners

Compare and contrast the process and practices of your two chosen practitioners, to what extents are they defined by the external rigours of the market place/ industry they operate in? upon this analysis what lessons could be applied to your own practice?

I have chosen to compare Otto and Gillian Blease. I have contact both of them and they have both gave quite detailed descriptions of their practices and studies. I will start by revealing both illustrators education and how they set about their careers, Il give insight into the way in which they found their style of working. I will then compare their influences and inspirations and finally conclude with how both their work differs in looks.

Gillian Blease studied fine art so it was as if she started her illustration from scratch, Otto started working freelance after completing his BA and then after graduating from his Screenprinting MA started to promote his screenprints. he met up with many art directors of magazines and sent out small hand printed objects, similarly Gillian Blease sent out home made post cards which lead to phone calls and maybe visit were she could show her portfolio. 

I asked both illustrators if they have always worked in the style as they do now and how they iniciated the sytle they work in currently. Interestingly Otto tried afew things from painting to drawing comics and charicetures. He said the problem was they all had limits of were the technique could go for him, he also experimented with collage which he found more versatile and better to express his ideas in all kinds of briefs. He then turned his hand to screen printing were he says "screen printing, which not only was 

handy for reproducing multiples (cheaply), but also is a great way of 

making images. The layering of few colours is a limitation, but at 

the same time seemed to go well with the way I was thinking about 

briefs. In addition it allowed me to make Artists Books with 

narratives and sequential imagery."

Gillian has always worked with flat imagery which over the years grew to her making these 'flat images' into clever patterns. Gillian told me "At first I was split between different ways of working. I decided to make a choice and follow one route to start off with which was  the flat simple graphics I still do. In recent years this has developed and I now incorporate pattern and texture" .She says she works with metaphors, as does Otto. both illustrators use found imagery in their illustrations.

Otto is influenced by illustrators such as Andrej Klimovski

Paul Cox (the french one), Jeffrey Fisher, Luba Lukova, and older 

ones like Gerd ArntzCieslevisz, and then way back the Russian ones 

RodchenkoMayakovskiKlutsis. he loves painting and film art, were as GillianBlease is inspired by Paul Rand, Hans Schleger and Abram Games and also likes the work of Andy Warhol, Peter Doig and Terry Frost. she enjoys looking at logos andchildren's illustrations, vintage imagery and she adores Japanese culture both modern and traditional, she is even inspired by road signs. Judging by there inspirations we can tell Gillian Blease has more social influences than Otto.

I think the work of both Gillian Blease and Otto has similarities. They seem to work in the same way, they use crisp clear shapes and bold colours. Although I found that Gillian Blease uses softer colour, more pleasing to the eye and Otto uses brighter colours lots of bold green in his wok. Iv also found Otto uses the human form quite a lot in his illustrations were as Gillians work is more organic, she uses things like friuts and plants. Also looking at both their work you can see Ottos makes more of a statement, this is evidant as he works for The Gardian so in most cases he will be given an issue and have to show this in his own style of working. On the other hand Gillian Bleases is work is more pleasing to look at as her work is a lot more calm and in comparisoin, nutral. Her illustarions are mainly used for greeting cards and such likes. The differences is that Gillians work is more pattern orientated. I think Ottos editorial work is really impressive. Otto seems to use outlines more often within his work, his work is more harsh and he uses point of perspective really cleverly were as Gillian Bleases work seems to be more concentrated on the coulers. They have both been educated differently as Gillian Blease studied fine art  and Otto has a background of graphic design and went on to specalise in screen printing.

To conclude I couldn't really choose a favourite between Otto and Gillian Bleases Illustartions. They are both brilliant Illustartors and I really appreciate the help they have both given me by replying to my e mails and answering my questions, by doing so they have helped me to make comparisons and diffences in their practices and the way in which they both work.

Incase you didn't know the top image is one of Gillian Bleases and the the second is an examples of Ottos. 

Gillian Blease

After Education how did you go about starting your career?
Well I studied Fine Art so when I began illustrating I started from scratch.  I cut out comment pieces from newspapers and magazines and illustrated them until I gained confidence with a style. Initially I sent out home made postcards featuring a few examples of my illustrations and followed many of these up with phone calls to arrange a visit or dropped off my portfolio. I did this regularly for the first few years until I was established. It cost me very little. Now I get postcards printed and have a good quality portfolio, but it’s not necessary when you’re starting out. Lots of illustrators produce their own mailing material.
 You seem to have your own style and technique of working, has this always been the case? If not when did you initiate your style of illustration? 
At first I was split between different ways of working. I decided to make a choice and follow one route to start off with which was  the flat simple graphics I still do. In recent years this has developed and I now incorporate pattern and texture. In terms of content I work with metaphors a lot and this has really influenced my style – I often use found images in my newspaper work so these pieces are a blend of found and drawn.
 Is there any artists or illustrators you are particularly interested or influenced by? Who is you favorite?

Paul Rand, Hans Schleger, Abram Games. These were some of the first designers I came across when I started illustrating and they really resonated with me and helped direct my style. Other influences are the artists from my fine art days: Julian Opie, Claes Oldenberg, Andy Wharhol, Peter Doig, Terry Frost. They all combine interesting concepts with great design and composition. They have a real simplicity and richness at the same time along with being quite witty or clever.

What other influences do you have, cultural or social?

I look at work from all sorts of sources as much as a I can, especially folk art, textiles, graphic design (and logos), advertising, childrens illustration and lots of vintage images – posters and books. I’m also very interested in Japanese culture, traditional and modern. I love signage of all kinds, especially roundabout signs on roads!

And finally Do you have any advice to give to me for when I graduate?
Make your work visible – whether by marketing or by having work in very visible arenas. It’s really necessary to keep reminding people that you’re out there working by doing mailshots and keeping in touch with those you’ve worked for before.  Try to get yourself in artbooks and exhibitions. Also, professionalism. It’s important to deliver work on time, be prepared to take criticism and make changes if necessary. Read up about pricing and have an idea of fees, although many will have a budget or offer a flat fee. Make sure you approach people who feature your kind of work in their magazines. Do your research – find out names of the right people to send images to at the right companies. A direct approach will be much more successful. And join the Association of Illustrators. They give invaluable advice on portfolios, pricing, invoicing etc.


So I went to this music thing called Ghostfest. Its a two day death metal festival held in a venue called Rio's in Leeds, Theres about 15 bands that play on both Saturday and Sunday. I was only there on the Saturday [last night!]

Unfortunately the afew of bands dropped out [annotations of an autopsy, who I originally went for!]

Anyway Here's two of tee shirts I bought and really liked the designs of.
Whitechapel and Martyr Defiled
[The blue one has way too much ink on]

Friday, 26 June 2009


Here's some lino - prints I produced during the elective 'drawing and print' I went on to do other methods of printing of which are also displayed on my blog.

Anyways even tho lino - printing can be tedious, I enjoy doing it. These prints are okay...they are not spectacular but theres something quite fun about them.


Heres some of the work I produced for the Barcelona project.

I took inspiration from the part in the short story were it talks about rebeling.

and how the people of Barcelona would spray paint things on walls and cars.

I produced two other peices for this brief, unfortunatly my scanner isnt the greatest and is making the colour in them look all wishy washy.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Gillian Blease

Gillian Blease Studied at MMU where she completed a foundation course, she then went on to do a Fine art course at Newcastle. she was hugely influenced by Terry frost. she became interested in symbolism when she went to London, she traveled to japan where she became more and more interested in shape design.

she worked at ATME when she returned by to England although she didn't enjoy it very much. she found it hard to be creative. She went on to build up a strong portfolio of which she got jobs from.

At a later date she produced work for the food section in the Guardian, she then got a weekly job.
In her spare time she draws patterns and now works for a card company.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Damian Gascoigne

Damian Gascoigne is an Illustrator / Filmmaker who has been working for 25 years. He loves to observe and he will use anything around him as inspiration [people, animals, interesting marks and drawings] He is constantly taking photographs of his influences. A large amount of his inspirations to his work comes from his surrounding. He See's himself as a 'bit of a snoop' as if he's senses something interesting around he will creep around to experience it and then maybe go on to use it in is illustration.

I myself would not work in the same way as Damian Gascoigne as I'm not particularly interested in making moving images, however I do think we have have the same way of taking influence as I also love to observe those around me.

Tal Rosner

Tal Rosner is an Artist / Filmmaker. After completing his degree, he went on to design posters, after three years he moved on to moving image were he felt he had more possibilities.

Hes presented his work across the world from Disney hall in Los Angeles, Royal festival Hall and Channel 4 sequence 'skins' [British youth drama] of which he designed logo's tittles, bumpers and more and he went on to win a BAFTA award for.

'I designed a mischievous, speedy collage of characters and unpredictable features of Bristol, the city where the plot is set. Each of the 9 episodes’ title sequence received a different ending, highlighting the particular character or characters to be the focus of that episode. '

Monday, 22 June 2009


I asked Otto a few questions,[ unfortunately I cant post it all on here. ]

Is there any artists or illustrators you are particularly interested in

or influenced by? Who is you favourite?

What other influences do you have, cultural or social?

Not so many illustrators, my favourite ones where Andrej Klimovski, 

Paul Cox (the french one), Jeffrey Fisher, Luba Lukova, and older 

ones like Gerd Arntz, Cieslevisz, and then way back the russian ones 

Rodchenko, Mayakovski, Klutsis,...

But more so I like to look at baroque painting, especially italian. 

With more modern influences I look mainly at film art, French 

nouvelle vague, Japanese and European movies, basically independent 

film makers. Culturally I'm not really fixed, as I don't have any 

artistic family background. But I usually follow the guideline of 

form following function.