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 Arntz, Cieslevisz, and then way back the Russian ones
Rodchenko, Mayakovski, Klutsis. 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.