Brightness Magazine No.10

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Illustrator: Clara Encinas


Digital Journal of Illustration |


SPOTLIGHT | 18 Rita Tu

ILLUSTRATION STYLES OF THE PAST 30 YEARS | 22 Looking Back to Look Forward

I LOVE COLOUR | 28 Alan Baker has won the Benson and Hedges illustrators gold award, Gold Creative Circle award, Silver Campaign Press award. IRA/CBC. Childrens Choice award and was a Flair Creative match winner.


LOOK AGAIN | 38 Exclusive Interview with Lucille Clerc


In This Issue of

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Chris Sickels is an Indiana-based illustrator who publishes his work under the name Red Nose Studio. His elaborate 3D illustrations have appeared in numerous editorial publications, as well as books and an increasing amount of animation.

htness 10

Chris Sickels

Art Director & Editor In Chief

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Letter From The Editor


Thanksgiving Dear illustrators and illustration lovers, Although the latest edition of Brightness magazine has been published after a short delay, we are happy that the publishing date happens to be around Thanksgiving Day.


(Narjes Mohammadi)

Independent Illustrator

Editor In Chief

We want to take this fortunate coincidence to express our heartfelt appreciation for the kind support of our followers. The e-mails, books, and postcards that you have sent us in the last two years have given us the ability to continue with our mission of publishing this magazine. We would also like to thank our fellow illustrators for trusting us and sharing their inspiring works with us. We feel blessed and honored to have so many friends from all over the globe that are illustrators. We started publishing this magazine with the aim of erasing borders for art and artists. It seems as if our dream is coming true. Brightness magazine is a platform for all illustrators and lovers of illustration from all over the world, so please do not hesitate to contact us for our upcoming issues. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving, Narjes Mohammadi




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Chris Sickels



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS SICKELS Chris Sickels is an Indiana-based illustrator who publishes his work under the name Red Nose Studio. His elaborate 3D illustrations have appeared in numerous editorial publications, as well as books and an increasing amount of animation. Sickles has illustrated a children’s book called Elvis Is King! written by Jonah Winter, that will be published in early 2019. He has also created a stop-motion workshop called Full Circle that has traveled around the country, most notably to the ICON9 conference in 2016. His remarkable sculptural work is built by hand, using everything from wood, paper, and paint to found objects. As Sickels says, “just about anything is fair game” in making his artwork. | 10

Exclusive Interview

Tell me a bit about you and your background: where are you from/ where did you study? I was Born and raised in Indiana, USA. Indiana is a mid-western state, famous for the Indianapolis 500. Studied at The Art Academy of CincinnatI in Ohio (another mid-western state) Have you always wanted to be an illustrator? When did you start working ‘professionally’? I was introduced to illustration as a career around 1993-1994 when I was a Sophomore. My first editorial job was 1996. It wasn’t until about 2006 when my work became more financially stable. Your works are based on strong concepts and unique technique , What is the process you have for creating your illustrations? It always starts with drawings, if I can get a good idea on paper, I can find a way to build it. I get in trouble if I start to edit ideas based on fabrication complexity. | 11

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Chris Sickels

Exclusive Interview

We’ve talked about your background and your technique. what about clients ! How do you select the projects you want to work with? As a commercial illustrator, I am open to any project. If the budget and deadline is reasonable, it’s fair game. which of your projects has been most important to develop your personal style? Honestly, they all have and still are. How long does it take you to create the book? A children’s picture book can take 12-15 months from start of sketches to final delivery. How do you find thinking about the book as a whole – the text, illustration, design – in comparison with illustrating someone else’s text? Aside from The Look Book, all the books I’ve illustrated have been penned by writers. I have still yet to get another one of my stories out there. Editing the images and compositions to best tell the story can be a challenge, but I like working with the editor at the dummy stage so that the story visually stays on track. Have you published outside your country ? How is children’s publishing industry in your country? Is it very different from what is done in your country from other countries? I have not published outside of the USA. Yet! can you remember some of your earliest influences? Of course, Alexander Calder, The Quay Brothers, Aardmann, Tim Hawkinson, Mike and Doug Starn, Buster Keaton….. too many to list. What is the most challenging part about working in your style ? Time. Although deadlines and my family help me make the most of it. How do you get ideas for each piece of art? Drawing and making lists of words. How would you define a good illustration in 140 characters or less? I am not smart enough to answer this. But if I were to try, I’d say: A visual solution to a problem. One that can grab a viewer for 2-3 seconds and consider looking/ reading further. What do you believe is a key element in creating a good piece of art? I am definitely not smart enough to answer this one. What social media platforms do you use, and do you feel social media is very important to your practice? I once was in an audience where an art director on a panel was asked “Where is the best place for an illustrator to show their work?” The art director reached and into their pocket, pulled out their phone and said “On my phone.” Instagram seems to be working ok for me. I am on Twitter too, but it seems to be for people with stronger opinions than mine. I’ve never had much enjoyment with FaceBook but I still post work there. I n s t a g r a m a n d Tw i t t e r : @ r e d n o s e s t u d i o w w w. r e d n o s e s t u d i o . c o m w w w. m a g n e t r e p s . c o m | 13

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Chris Sickels

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Chris Sickels


An Illustration is a visual solution to a problem. One that can grab a viewer for 2-3 seconds and consider looking/ reading further.

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Exclusive Interview

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I am Rita Tu, a grad illustration student at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). I think my professor Mohamed Danawi recommend me to you on the Instagram when we talk about self-promoting. He mentioned the Brightness Magazine is a fantastic platform for young creators and artists. So I want to briefly present myself to you to see if you have any interest to feature me on the Brightness Magazine. Thank you for reading this email, and here is a little bit information about what I am doing now: I am an illustrator and a motion designer, and I used to be an animator when I was in China. I create illustrations and also animates my drawings because I want to combine the traditional beauty with the flexibility of digital tools. Most of my artworks have a dream-like feeling and attract viewers to start an unrealistic journey with me. My artworks focus on exploring unique visual language and communication in between of illustration and motion industry. In my point of view, there is a huge potential market for illustrated-motion works. Usually, I draw things separately with different mediums. Then adjust them into Photoshop and animate them into After Effects. The attachment is some of my works, and you can also view my motion and illustrations through my website.

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R i t a

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I l l u st r a t o r w w w . r i t a t u . c o m

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The Creative Space Spotlight

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Looking Back to Look Forward:

Illustration Styles of the Past 30 Years By Terry Hemphill |

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It’s impossible to talk about contemporary illustration without citing the influence of Push Pin Studios, founded in 1954 by Cooper Union classmates Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, and Edward Sorel. The artists at Push Pin led a revolution.

It’s impossible to talk about contemporary illustration without citing the influence of Push Pin Studios, founded in 1954 by Cooper Union classmates Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, and Edward Sorel. The artists at Push Pin led a revolution. “Push Pin threw everything out the window in terms of referencing style,” says Whitney Sherman, director of the MFA in illustration practice at MICA. Working conceptually, Push Pin artists freely plundered art and graphic history—from fine art to comic books—and reimagined and recombined these diverse forms, creating innovative, delightful, unexpected work. By the late 1980s, illustrators were free to combine, experiment with, and celebrate different historical styles and methods. They were just as inspired by historical art


Illustration is one of the most important forms of visual communication: it informs and observes, delights and decorates, instructs and inspires. From the first drawings man made in a cave, illustration has played a fundamental role both in telling stories and in sharing information— and it is as relevant as ever in helping us understand our modern world. Today’s artists create an astonishing variety of illustrations across a spectrum of styles and genres, informed by a rich history and extraordinary innovations in recent decades. In this article, we’ll explore some of the art and social movements that have influenced illustration over the past 30 years.

movements as they were by the punk culture of the 1970s and the era’s New York City street art scene. Graphic design also helped define the look of the decade, with publications like The Face, art-directed by Neville Brody, leading the way with its radical use of typography and layout, which inspired many illustrators and designers. Fast forward to 2017, and the idea of an art movement is laughable. Everything from Stone Age cave paintings to the latest Postmodernist art has been tossed into the spin cycle of popular culture and consumerism. The first picture was uploaded to the Internet in 1992. Today, more than 80 million images are uploaded to Instagram alone each day. “There’s no more ‘flavor of the month,’” says designer and illustrator Von Glitschka, referring to a term he and another illustrator coined for work that would be popular with creative directors for a while and then fade. “That doesn’t happen now. Social media has changed that; the way an audience interacts with a ‘look’ takes place so quickly.” David Lance Goines, a fine arts designer and printmaker in Berkeley, California, creates beautiful work that’s informed by a classic Art Nouveau look: rough line, subtle color, and hand-lettering. (Chez Panisse, 2005, David Lance Goines) But still, to paraphrase a line from The Big Lebowski, “The illustrator abides.” And we’re all the better for that. Most of the influential art movements we’ll look at here developed as reactions to the status quo. So let’s find out what those rebels were up to.

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Brad Holland (left) is one of the most influential illustrators of the 20th century. Based in New York, Holland was one of the pioneers of the conceptual way of working, a method in which an idea drives the solution for an assignment, rather than an artist being told what to produce. His visually simple, often surreal work is instantly recognizable; it changed the course of modern illustration and influenced illustrators around the world. (Prophet, Brad Holland) Illustrator John Craig (right) uses collage as his primary technique to create work for a range of publications, including Time, Newsweek, and Esquire. Craig’s images are compelling and mysterious, making connections and telling stories that resonate long after you’ve seen them. (Joker, 2007, John Craig)

ART NOUVEAU An international design movement that started in England in the 1890s and thrived for the next two decades, Art Nouveau rebelled against the historical styles that had dominated design for most of the 19th century. Art Nouveau, just as its name implies, focused on innovation, and it led a revolution in modern design. Influenced by the British Arts and Crafts movement, Japanese design and woodblock prints, Celtic patterns and illuminated manuscripts, and the paintings of Van Gogh and Cezanne, and borrowing from Rococo style, the movement quickly spread across Europe. Distinct styles emerged in each country, but a common graphic language connected them all: free-flowing organic forms, botanical shapes, fluid lines, unique display typography and lettering, and attention to fine workmanship. Art Nouveau saw a major popular revival in the late 1960s, when it was reinterpreted in numerous rock concert posters and album covers; this distinctive psychedelic look has, in turn, influenced later generations of artists.

Shepard Fairey (left) is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, and illustrator. His work is often informed by the visual vocabulary of Constructivism (for instance, geometric shapes and red and black color themes), and it embraces the Constructivists’ aim of creating art for social change. (Church of Consumption, 2017, Shepard Fairey) Illustrator, designer, and author Bob Staake creates work in a wide range of styles, depending on the story he needs to tell. His Pipko Tabac poster art gives a nod to Constructivism through its use of simple geometric elements and sans serif type. But he blends this with his distinctive, sophisticated approach to color and texture to make his own unique statement. (Pipko Tabac, 2010, Bob Staake [Instagram])

Surrealism, published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924; it it, he defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism.” While the impact of Surrealist poets and writers was limited; the artists and painters associated with Surrealism had a significant impact on the visual arts and film. In their art, Surrealists liked to place objects not usually related to one another together, in ways that were playful and disturbing. Nature and people might be carefully presented in a true-to-life style but placed in a dreamlike landscape. Surrealism’s impact on illustration, design, and visual communication has been distinct and wide-ranging. The movement pioneered new illustration techniques and showed how the world of dreams, symbols, and fantasy could be explored visually in ways that can provoke a universal response across many viewers.

MODERNISM Modernist art and the Modernism movement had a significant and far-reaching impact on illustration and design. Starting in around 1908 and lasting through the 1930s, Modernism included a series of distinct SURREALISM movements, including Constructivism, Surrealism, and The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1899 by the Bauhaus. These movements shared a rejection of Sigmund Freud, explored the relationship between historical styles, a minimalist design approach, and an dreams and reality and laid the foundation for the original and experimental use of shapes, colors, lines, literary, intellectual, and artistic movement called and layout. Surrealism. The French writer, poet, and anti-Fascist “Constructivism, Bauhaus, and other formal, rigid, André Breton, generally considered the founder of minimalist approaches to design and picture-making

The classic “psychedelic” look associated with album covers and concert posters of the late 1960s and early 1970s can be considered an offshoot of the Art Nouveau style—it’s a “retro” look that modern artists frequently refer to.

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Harry Campbell creates clean, modern illustrations that capture complex thoughts with simple lines and colors. His conceptual and editorial work can be seen in numerous newspapers and publications, from the New York Times to Mother Jones. His digital illustrations reflect the isometric geometry of Bauhaus industrial design and architecture. (Vending Machine, 2017, Harry Campbell) Chris Buzelli creates his richly detailed oil paintings for a wide roster of clients, crossing the boundaries of commercial and fine art. While his work is often more surreal, with enchanting—and sometimes scary—animals and characters, this piece, Amazon, was created for the cover of the New York Times “Travel” section. (Amazon, 2013, Chris Buzelli [Instagram])

have lasted in various forms and can be seen in today’s illustrations,” says Richard Lovell, illustration chair at SCAD. “It’s a shape-driven aesthetic that plays well with digital media, and even motion media and animation.” CONSTRUCTIVISM With roots in the Russian avant-garde, the Constructivist movement originated just before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. Influenced by the abstract style, pure form, and energy of Cubism, Futurism, and Suprematism, Constructivist artists aimed to create a new visual language to free art, design, and architecture from conventional forms of representation. Constructivist artists created both political posters and commercial advertising, forever linking the style to political activism. Strong geometry, flat color, simple shapes, extensive white space, and bold sans serif typography are hallmarks of Constructivist design. Photomontage provided a new illustration technique for the new age. Constructivism continues to influence modern graphic design and illustration, as artists combine the visual vocabulary of Constructivism with their own voices and ideas. BAUHAUS In 1919, the architect Walter Gropius was made director of Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, combining two art schools into a single institution, and fine and applied arts into one curriculum. A Modernist approach

to design education was developed; students were encouraged to experiment and find a design voice of their own. The Bauhaus’s powerhouse faculty included the painters Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, Constructivist László Moholy-Nagy, first-student-then-teacher Herbert Bayer, and architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The school explored advanced ideas about architecture, color, and form, and experimented with printing, photography, and typography. Its contributions to modern design transcend its short, 14-year life. The Bauhaus approach to design education is the foundation for design schools today, and the Bauhaus product design guiding principle of “necessities, not luxuries”—to produce quality items at affordable prices—is seen today in stores like Ikea and Muji. MAGIC REALISM Developing alongside Surrealism and Expressionism was Magic Realism. First named in 1924 by German art critic Franz Roh, it described a new form of realist painting that depicted everyday life as something familiar but at the same time as something strange or unnatural. Magic Realism found traction in the 1940s and ’50s in the Americas. Painting in a detailed, realistic style, the movement’s artists imbued their work with symbolism and a dreamlike, mysterious quality. For today’s artists and illustrators, Magic Realism

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Mads Berg (left), an illustrator working in Copenhagen, interprets the look of classic poster art through a Danish minimalist design sensibility for a broad range of clients and applications. Lightly referencing the geometry of Art Deco, Berg evolves those shapes into flowing, layered abstractions, with luminous colors and textures. (Bornholm Poster 2015, 2015, Mads Berg) Daniel Pelavin (center) is an accomplished illustrator, letterer, and typographer working in New York. In his piece 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, Pelavin interprets the streamlined language of Art Deco to evoke speed and precision, perfect for capturing the essence of what was the fastest motorcycle of its time. (1952 Vincent Black Lightning, 2017, Daniel

provides a unique approach to storytelling: with its roots in the real world, in realism, “magical” elements can intensify the viewer’s experience of the image or idea in unexpected ways. ART DECO The term Art Deco refers to the famous Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts), a large fair held in central Paris during the summer of 1925. Also called Style Moderne, the movement included art, architecture, and the visual and decorative arts: essentially everything that is included under the umbrella of design as we know it today. In the visual arts, Art Deco’s distinctive graphic style was represented by simple, clean shapes, and often, in its later period, aerodynamic curves. Contemporary illustrators and designers have explored and reinvented the shapes and typography of the era to create stunning, vital designs.

Pelavin [Instagram]) Michael Mabry (right) is a graphic designer, illustrator, and educator living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has created award-winning designs for corporate identities, package designs, and logos for a wide array of international companies and organizations. In his identity for the El Fornaio Italian restaurant group, he references the geometric shapes of Art Deco and the advertising posters of that period, but combines those elements with unique colors and textures, as well as delicate script typography, to create an original design. (Il Fornaio Corporate Identity, 1988, Michael Mabry)

bold geometry. In 1988, Sottsass dismantled the group, but while Memphis the group may no longer exist, its energy and irreverence have had a lasting impact on illustration and design, showing that it’s OK to ignore the constraints and established rules of design and explore the intersection of fun and functional.

LOWBROW AND POP SURREALISM Initially an underground art movement in Los Angles, Lowbrow and Pop Surrealism art developed in the late 1970s outside of the traditional gallery and museum scene. Lowbrow draws inspiration from a wild and wide variety of sources: tattoo art, underground comix, rock and punk music, skateboarding, figurative art, Surrealism, and pop culture. Lowbrow artists create paintings, drawings, objects, and media art full of vigorous details, combining styles, characters, and narratives into vibrant, dynamic art. Lowbrow style evolved from raw and unpolished into more painterly and refined, but it maintains a unique, often subversive edge to its craftsmanship. The groundbreaking La Luz de Jesus Gallery, which THE MEMPHIS GROUP opened in 1986 on Melrose Avenue in Los Angles, is The Memphis Group was a collective of young furniture considered one of the first galleries to feature Lowbrow and product designers led by the acclaimed Italian and Pop Surrealism artists. “It really changed things,” industrial designer Ettore Sottsass. Launched in 1981, says Mark Heflin, editor and director of American Memphis ruled the early 1980s design scene with its Illustration. “It blurred the lines between illustration and Postmodernist furniture and textiles. Vibrant and fine art.” experimental, Memphis delighted in pattern, color, and The erasing of the lines between commercial and

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Lauren Rolwing is a Nashville-based illustrator who creates thoughtful, shapedriven designs featuring bright colors and patterns. “I am very inspired by the Memphis movement,” says Rolwing. “The idea for my self-initiated project If I Lived in Ettore Sottsass’ Neighborhood actually came from a dream I had after spending the day before studying the Memphis movement.” (Shop magazine cover, 2016, Lauren Rolwing [Instagram])

fine art is one of this movement’s most significant contributions. POLITICAL ILLUSTRATION A political illustration is a picture that makes a point. It delivers a message. It might take a punch at a politician, reveal incompetence, or uncover deception. Political illustration uses caricature, humor, satire, and metaphor to produce true visual journalism that succinctly sums up complex political situations and challenges commonly held beliefs. Accessing a rich history going back centuries, contemporary artists create political illustration work across a wide variety of artistic techniques, from simple pen and ink to finely crafted painterly styles. DIGITAL By the early 1990s, the digital revolution in the creative industries was starting to get real. Before that time, “the discussion around digital design was as if computers were aliens marching into the studio, attempting to take over,” says Whitney Sherman. While the cost of hardware was dropping, the price of entry was still high, and the learning curve for the software was painfully steep. Graphic designers more eagerly embraced the new technology than illustrators, but it was a scary leap into the void for all. A new breed of illustrator began to emerge in the mid-

1990s. Some were fresh out of art and design schools, with new ways of looking at the traditional roles of designer and illustrator. They reimagined themselves as graphic artists, working across design and illustration. Others were established artists eager to experiment with the new tools and capitalize on new technology. These artists created work on the computer and were proud of it, and a new digital aesthetic emerged. By the end of the decade, the world had changed in ways no one could have imagined. The computer and software had become fast and sophisticated, with new tools that enabled the look of “natural media”: the pens, pencils, and brushes of traditional illustration. New filters and techniques provided exciting new ways to manipulate imagery. Illustrators could choose to work traditionally or digitally, or to mix the two as needed. Whitney Sherman characterizes this as a “transmedia/ hybrid approach that combines both traditional and digital aesthetics and ways of working.” Moving into today’s world, with our powerful smartphones, tablets with high-resolution screens, and pervasive fast Internet, illustrators can leverage animation and VR to extend the narrative and deliver sequential and interactive storytelling. Combining past forms with modern technologies, illustrators are forging new forms and styles of visual communication—all of it resting on a foundation that is thousands of years strong.

Brothers Rob and Christian Clayton worked together on painting, sculpture, and installations in their California studio from 1996 to 2016. Rob and Christian used a unique creative process: they didn’t work on the same piece at the same time, nor did they talk about their projects while creating. They took turns adding to, altering, and reworking the art until they both agreed it was complete. The results are organic, vivid, visual conversations, inviting the viewer to create their own narrative. They are both faculty members at the ArtCenter College of Design. (Sensing Needs, 2007, The Clayton Brothers [Instagram])

Steve Brodner is an illustrator, graphic artist, and political commentator based in New York—he is one of the most influential and widely read political illustrators working today. His work can be seen in magazines, websites, books, TV, and newspapers—illustrating journalism by himself and others. He has won many awards and continues to push political, artistic, and technical boundaries in his work. Brodner also teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. (The Court of Donald I, 2017, Steve Brodner) | 27

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Exclusive Interview



E XC L U S I V E I N T E R V I E W W I T H A L A N B A K E R Alan Baker has won the Benson and Hedges illustrators gold award, Gold Creative Circle award, Silver Campaign Press award. IRA/CBC. Childrens Choice award and was a Flair Creative match winner. He has also written and illustrated over 40 books of his own, six of which have been chosen for the book of the year list. These include the Little Rabbit series which have sold over 750,000 copies to date worldwide. White Rabbit’s color book was a 2008 IBBY choice. Over the years his work has been selected for the Best of British, and Best of European illustration annuals. More recently he has been producing illustrations for the Guardian wall charts. Clients * Guardian * Wundermans * BBC * Kingfisher books * Greys * OUP * Radio Times * Sunday Times

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1.Tell us about yourself and how did you start in the field? I come from a working class background where the expectations for someone like would be to work in a factory or at least to take up a job with regular pay and stability. I didn’t really know that being an illustrator existed as a career until my elder sister Jeannie started Art College in the late 1960s. It was seeing the work she was producing that made me yearn to explore the same path.My father died when I was quite young and so I had a sense of responsibility towards my family and didn’t dare to propose the idea of being an artist to my mother. In those days, art was not really thought of as a very secure way of making a living. My sister, being a girl, would obviously soon settle down to domestic bliss and art would become a nice hobby. That didn’t happen; Jeannie went on to become a very successful children’s book illustrator. For me, being male, the plan was a more secure conventional path; after all I would one day become a breadwinner. Although it was the 1960s, enlightenment in terms of male/ female roles, in reality, was still some years away. After taking Physics, Chemistry, Zoology and Art ‘A levels I went on to read Zoology at Hull University. Although I loved science, after one year at Hull I knew that my heart was not in it - I was beginning to struggle. I would use more and more of my revision and study time for drawing fantasy landscapes inhabited by dragons and elves. After a year at Hull, with the remains of my grant [£35.00] I took the cross channel ferry and hitchhiked through Europe, with no real plan of where I was going. My route depended on the destinations of the vehicles that stopped for me. On such a limited budget, it was tough going. I slept rough and was forever hungry. I

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carried as little as possible, a change of cloths, toothbrush, water bottle, a sheet of plastic and a map torn from a school atlas. I was determined to suffer. After several weeks, things began to go wrong, and I found myself hospitalized with Dysentery in Afghanistan, where I used up the last of my budget. With no money for a visa, I needed to return to England and illegally crossed the Afghan/Iran border and a couple of weeks later was smuggled out the other side by a sympathetic lorry driver. I jumped board a ship on the Black sea, sleeping in one of the lifeboats at night and drawing portraits to earn money by day. My first paid commissions! It was a life changing experience. Three months later I was home again feeling exhilarated and determined to pursue a life as an artist. 2. What informs and shapes your taste and style? I love colour. Some of my best memories from childhood are of colour. One of my earliest is of looking at a blue toy plastic car. It would have been one of the first uses of plastics in toys as we moved away from tin. I would take it to bed with me just to look at the colour - something to do with the mix of the yellow artificial light and the blue of the plastic transformed it into a deep and rich green/blue. Even thinking about it now can bring back that wonderful feeling that colour can give. I also remember a Rupert the bear [a children’s book] annual from 1956 and the strange magical world that Alfred Bestall created with his beautiful illustrations. Those books were packed with detail. It is often the small, what seem inconsequential things that change your life. Whoever gave me that book, unbeknown to them, helped change my future direction. Brian Froud, Arthur Rackham and Alan Lee are great fantasy artists who have really inspired me. I also love the work of George Underwood and his choice of colour.

Exclusive Interview

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3. Do you keep an on-going sketchbook for studies, ideas, and random images or do you sketch for a specific project? I don’t really keep sketchbooks but I sometime write down ideas in a small book that I keep by my desk. I collect images from magazines and file them. These are mainly for reference though. For example if I see a photograph of someone and the hands are well defined and nicely lit, then I will tear out the interesting part and put it in a file labeled ‘hands’. Next time that I am drawing and need hands then I have a file with hundreds to choose from. I very rarely draw outside a commission. I prefer to make things. Reference is really important in that it continues to add to your visual vocabulary and stops you drawing to a formula. 4. Do you have a favourite part of the creative process? I love the time when the ideas/initial sketches have been approved and I am starting on the final artwork. This is the time when I can listen to stories or documentaries on the radio or play music and drift away for a while. I also enjoy putting various components of the final illustration together in Photoshop and adjusting the colours. I rarely produce a finished illustration in the old conventional sense these days. It is done in separate parts and finally comes together on screen. 5. What’s the difference between fiction and nonfiction illustrations? I love both, but non-fiction has less dictates. The difference between drawing a dragon and a lizard is that the latter has to be anatomically correct with true realistic colours and textures. The Dragon can be anything you choose [unless the narrative tells you otherwise]. It can have 7 legs, 4 eyes, be orange and have tiny wings or no wings. It’s nice not to be too constrained and to let your imagination run a little wild. I also love creating a world other than the one we are so familiar with.

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Exclusive Interview

6. What’s the technical process? Pen_and_paper first, and then transition to digital tools? Which one do you prefer: traditional techniques or digital ones? I prefer the physicality of using paint and pen etc. I have a beautiful view from my studio of fields and the sea. It’s nice to be able to look up and rest your eyes. The digital process takes a lot more concentration and is more sedentary. It sucks you in and removes you from the real world. However, it is the most amazing tool. 7. Your illustrations are so unique, the show real characters in magical world, like Alice in wonderland. Would you tell us more about what is the process behind them? Mostly illustration is dictated by the brief and so it all depends on what is being required by the art director. In the end, it’s a job like any other and we are paid for a service. I have to run to what is being dictated. That is also part of the fun and the challenge. If it’s quite open and I am allowed some freedom, then I like to let things find their own direction and make decisions as I go along. Happy accidents can happen this way. Also as the work progresses it can take on a very different feel from what might have originally been intended. Sometimes it’s good to follow this new path. I like the unpredictability of it. 8. You are so professional in illustrating some details like feather, fair and skin. The question is why do you focus on them while some artists do not pay attention to details? I, myself, believe they has an important role in making a frame more believable. What do you think? I agree totally. I also like the process of trying to create detail and texture. It can be quite therapeutic. I suppose it is a question of trying to communicate what is being asked of you. If your style is more impressionistic then you are handing it over it to the mind and perception of the viewer. I want to decide what the viewer sees. It’s probably to do with wanting to be in control. I also agree that it is to do with

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making the subject more believable. Even in fantasy, the thing that you are creating has to look as if it belongs in a believable world. It probably has to have limbs that look like they have bones and muscles. The world that we live in is the only world that we know. Things obey patterns and form. The further you move away from this, the less convincing things become. I have tried creating weirder creatures but unless they have eyes or legs, fins, skin etc., then they don’t look alive and are less convincing. The problem is that they also start to look like something that already exists in our world. It’s impossible to be original because we can only really perceive what we have already experienced. Anything beyond that and there is no information or reference in our minds to make sense of it. An insurmountable problem! 9. What’s the best about being a nonfiction illustrator? It can also be nice to have strict rules to run to. Everything has to be pedantically correct- a good discipline and good for your observational abilities.

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Exclusive Interview

10. What surprised you the most in the research for your nonfiction books? Sometimes it’s the information that you discover when researching something. It’s a never-ending educational process. It’s amazing to get a glimpse of nature and how the world works or even the amazing things that humans create. 11. Why is illustration so important in children’s nonfiction? mostly about communication. The famous phrase, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, is so true. To describe the space that you are sitting in would take millions of words and still you still wouldn’t be able to convey the atmosphere or the detail or the colour. Even if you could, you are not capable of holding all this information in your mind- the memory is finite. An image conveys all this in one hit. The working together of words and images can be very powerful and greater than the sum of its parts. 12. what can we do to encourage great children’s non-fiction? I guess we could spend more time with our children encouraging them to see the beauty of our world. In the end, it’s all part of our education- Maybe education is the most important thing that we have. To be able to ‘freeze-frame’ something to study it is amazing. 13. I think there are few prizes for non-fiction artists. Many awards are open to fictional artists. Beside that fiction ones doesn’t get as much space on blogs and articles and publishers hardly ever publish a book with non-fictional illustrations. Why does it happen? Maybe it’s because non-fiction all arrives [mostly] at the same place. It’s more to do with technique rather than imagination. Maybe we find other peoples imagination more interesting than representing the real world. The real world is always waiting outside our window. To a certain extent it’s the old argument of why produce something representational when you could photographic it. Humans always want something new and are attracted by the unique. We become very blasé about our everyday worldwe have to be in order to function. Fiction is the perfect distraction. 14. Have you published a book outside of the UK? Tell us about them. I have had quite a number of my children’s book published in various countries and languages. I have very little input into what happens when my books get sold to foreign publishers. It is other person’s job to translate the words etc. It’s really nice to see other editions. Japanese in particular as they sometimes add little paper tabs between the pages. Also to see Arabic words or Chinese words that are so different to my own language and quite intreging. 15. What is one of the picture books from your childhood that was a favorite? Do you still have a copy? We had very few books in the house and so what were there were quite special and memorable. We had a set of ten ‘Arthur Mee children’s encyclopedias’. They were really more adult orientated in the way that they were illustrated and written but had some beautiful illustrations on the nursery rhyme pages, all printed in limited colour. As I grew older I slowly began to appreciate how special these pictures were. They also showed classic paintings and sculpture. Yes, I still have them. 16. Do you have any advice you’d like to pass on to young artists who aspire to create books? Yes, don’t stop, just keep on and on. Be really determined. You are up against people who are fanatical about what they do. Very few people become successful by accident. You have to make it happen. Follow every opportunity that comes your way. You need to love what you are doing and it has to become your life. Nothing is beneath you. Mostly, people make the success that they have. We all have good fortune and bad fortune and over the years it probably all evens out. Grab the good fortune and make the most of it. To be able to be paid for what you love doing is such a privilege. Work to the best of your ability and it’s hard to fail. Films & Animations: Online book: | 35

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Around The World

Igor Karash

ABOUT AN UPCOMING EXHIBIT IN RED AND BLACK I am going to show few graphic mini-series produced in 2017-2018. New collection of illustration work is bordering with satirical graphics mixed with dark grotesque absurdist visions. It reveals artistic reflection on and rejection of overly romanticized views towards the Red October - Bolshevik Coup in Russia in October of 1917, the event which not only created much social, political, and economical damage in the past, but also resulted in stalled democratic reforms in modern Russia. This collection is exhibited at the Russian Cultural Center in Houston, TX which will be open on October 19th and will run through December 31st.

Kremlin Theatre of Absurd series

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Kremlin Theatre of Absurd series

The Finnish Illustration Association

In November, Galleria Kuvitus hosts an exhibition consisting of Ilja Karsikas’ ink drawings, wood carvings and serigraphs, as well as four performances that combine rock music and theatre. In addition to Karsikas, the Crooked Tree team includes Marko Järvikallas, Maija Rissanen, Heikki Helanterä, Minerva Kautto, Jonne Sippola, Eetu Linnankivi, Willem Heeffer and Oona Kauhala. The vernissage is on Thursday 1 November, 7 pm – 9 pm. The Opening Party is sponsored by Stadin Panimo. photographer of the black and white images is Jonne Sippola


Searching for Something That Isn’t There AFA Gallery is proud to present a collection of new works by vinyl artist, painter, and muralist Stickymonger. This exhibition of 15 paintings on canvas is a departure from the artist’s pre-vious monumental vinyl works, which have been the hallmark of her public art installations in New York City. After embellishing the windows of the 69th floor of the World Trade Center building with her signature vinyl stickers during the “Street Art in the Sky” exhibition, Stickymonger completed two large-scale murals for the recently-launched World Trade Center street art park. Now, for her latest body of work at AFA Gallery, Stickymonger explores a new medium: water-based spray paint. With this new medium comes unique painting technique which has transformed the artist’s line from the clean, crisp style she is known for, to a more spontaneous, abstract line, which is unpredictable and full of expression. The work’s subject matter, enhanced by this new medium, depicts frosty environments and cozy characters bundled up in the midst of winter: the artist’s favorite season. The exhibition will be on view November 15th through De-cember 2nd.

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Lucille Clerc


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LUCILLE CLERC I’m a French Graphic designer and Illustrator based in London. I’ve set up my studio after graduating from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Communication Design. I work within the field of editorial design and illustration for books and magazines, mainly, but also for the fashion industry and occasionally creating interior or exhibition spaces.A lot of my personal work is inspired by London’s architecture and the relationship between Nature and urbanisation. In the past five years I’ve studied green spaces, both in the cities of London and Paris. My work is mainly handcrafted from drawing to screenprinting which allows me to create large scale compositions, architectural portraits of my favourite places and exploring their past and present lives.

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Exclusive Interview

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Lucille Clerc

What made you want to become an illustrator or artist? Well as they say no men is an island. I’ve always wanted to do something related to illustration and art, but changing this into a real thing is only possible if you have a supportive family to nurture your tastes from infancy. I was lucky to grow up in a family very interested in art, and who always encouraged me in this direction, have all sorts of books everywhere in the house, taking me to exhibitions, etc. They never expressed any concerned even when I left home at 17 to study in Paris, only positivity and I’m forever grateful for this. How did you end up working as an illustrator? I started as a graphic designer but always drawing on the side for personal projects. Slowly I started to integrate more illustrations in my graphic design work, hand drawn fonts, patterns etc. At that time I discovered PrintClubLondon in my neighborhood in London and decided to improve the skills in screen printing I had learnt at Saint Martins. I developed more personal projects, built a whole new portfolio, took part to a few exhibitions. And after a little while, clients started to get in touch for my illustrations. Now I do commissions for magazines and books because I genuinely love working with journalists and writers. And I also work at a more indulgent rhythm when I do a screen print, and illustrations for my own research and these usually end up in exhibitions or self initiated publications where I can show more personal ideas and experiments that I couldn’t develop in the commercial context of commissions. It’s a good balance this way. Can you remember some of your earliest influences? I love Victorian etchings, botanical charts, Hokusai woodcuts, The Arts&Craft movement Which of your projects has been most important to developing your personal style? Probably the work I do as a print maker, there are no limits since there is no brief, and this allows me to find graphic tricks and tools I can then use in the context of clients projects. Generally speaking the large-scale projects are also always a good challenge to learn more about drawing and time balance. | 40

Exclusive Interview

Where does an idea come from and how does it transform from an idea into a book? It’a mix of things, I have notebooks everywhere, in all my bags in case… I love walking and I find that the receptive rhythm of walking or being on a bus, or train, helps me clear my head and organize my thoughts. Then either you produce it yourself or you try to find the right people to produce it. It’s always a long journey, but it’s very satisfying when it becomes a physical object you can hold. What are some of the techniques or processes that you used in creating the artwork? I draw everything by hand. I feel that it connects with the viewer nicely, there is something more sensitive that a computer can’t achieve. The human side I guess, less standard, with mistakes, and textures. It also gives so much freedom, you can go anywhere with a pen and paper, no fancy material or electricity needed. Do you have any superstitions or self-enforced rules that you live by? Don’t call it finished unless you’re convinced it is. what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? “Look again” (my dad, who was teaching landscaping and landscape representation) Besides hard work and talent, what other traits has led to your success? (Oh thanks :) The experience is very important, and I love this job because every day is different. So I make sure there are no repeats and no routine. I work for clients of different scales for a healthy balance, and choose projects for their creative interest and because I can relate personally to their story and message. This way I work for clients I share values and interests with, so the whole experience is much nicer for all parts. A fair price is also the guaranty of peace of mind, and most of the time, longer lasting work partnership. Any projects coming up you would like to share with us? I’ve just finished a 20 m mural for the ground floor of The Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens. And the book Around the World in 80 Trees, by Jon Drori (for which I did all the illustrations) just came out.

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Lucille Clerc

Exclusive Interview

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Lucille Clerc

Exclusive Interview

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Creative Space

e Creativ Space THE

L’ANCIENNE BOUCHERIE Artist Residency and Gallery L’Ancienne Boucherie is a converted 16th century building located in the picturesque old port town of Bréhémont on the banks of the Loire River in central France. Formerly the village butcher shop with living quarters above, the building was abandoned when the last butcher left in 2012. Renovation began on the building in 2014 and it is now near completion, with the new layout consisting of three separate self-catering apartments on three levels and a large shared workshop/exhibition space on the ground floor in the former shop, which has large glass shop windows overlooking the Loire River. This workshop area is available for all of our artists to use if suitable. The exhibition space is accessible from the street and exhibitions and/or demonstrations can be easily organized in the space itself, either on a modest scale or in conjunction with the municipality, al-

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lowing for much more exhibition space in communal buildings if need be. Situated within minutes cycling distance of many of the area’s most famous castles and wineries, the property is ideally located for exploring the region known as the ‘Garden of France’. The calm, quiet riverside setting is conducive to reflection, creative work and artistic inspiration of all sorts. ETHOS L’Ancienne Boucherie was born out of an admiration for artists and craftspeople working in traditional methods even though we are appreciative of quality no matter what the style or medium. Our aim is to support the revival of the atelier tradition and to help preserve age-old techniques in the production of beautiful ‘Oeuvres-d’Art’, keeping in mind that the Art world needs to evolve and stay abreast of the modern era. L’Ancienne Boucherie is open to artists

Exclusive Interview

and writers of every discipline but preference will be given to candidates displaying a commitment to traditional working methods, where possible, in their particular discipline. RESIDENCY PROGRAMS DURATION L’Ancienne Boucherie proposes residencies to artists for a period of 1 to 6 months any time between October 15th – April 30th inclusive. Shorter durations can be arranged upon request. Artists are encouraged to offer a workshop and if possible, produce an exhibition of their work at the end of their residency. WORKSHOP/GALLERY The former butcher shop on the ground floor of the building has been transformed into a workshop/gallery space of approximately 45m2. It receives North light through the street-facing shop window and benefits from a view onto the Loire River. Easels, trestle tables, chairs, stools and drawing boards are provided. Artists must provide their own materials. There is WIFI access in the workshop and throughout the building. The workshop can be accessed directly from the apartments within the building but also has a public entrance from the street. Visual artists are invited to display their work in the gallery space by way of a public exhibition at the end of their residency. ACCOMMODATION AND FEES We do not have any ‘Residency Fees’ requirements. Once an artist has shown us that he or she is dedicated to producing works of art, music, poetry, liter-

ature, or works that combines different art forms, we accept them into our program. We are open to novel ideas and projects, despite our interest in traditional methods and techniques. The only other costs that our resident artists must assume are the following: -Logistics to and from the residency here in the Loire Valley -A monthly rental fee based upon the apartment in which the artist is housed (see options below). -Electrical and water use pertaining to the rental unit in which the artist is housed. -Foodstuffs, which can be purchased at various grocery stores nearby. -Any Art supplies that the artist may need to produce their artwork. Sending Proposals The most preferable way to send proposals is by email as one pdf document no larger than 20MB to et Links can be listed to on-line file sharing services such as Dropbox, YouTube, Vimeo and personal websites. Please write the email subject line in the form: RESIDENCY APPLICATION – Your name Deadline: Applications are welcome all year round. At any given time, there may be space available for artists who wish to begin their residency with relatively short notice.

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Brightness Gallery



This section is devoted to the works of some of the best illustrators from all around the world. As with any real gallery, ours too aims to introduce and present those creative and elegant artworks which are created by both of professional and enthusiastic young artists. However, as opposed to the real galleries, this one will not be restricted by physical barriers or geographical borders, which implies that artists could easily connect to a wider range of audience worldwide.

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Autumn Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree. I shall smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night’s decay Ushers in a drearier day.

Emily BrontĂŤ

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Brightness Need You!


We’re looking to recruit volunteers to join our team. ( Brightness ) is an international digital magazine discussing and exploring the field of illustration. We are making an effort to improve the standing of illustration as an independent profession in the world. As another major objective, we feature outstanding and creative contemporary illustration projects in various fields.

So, we are looking for volunteers to help us in these areas: - French/Spanish to English translation (assistant needed). - Publishing and collecting illustration news from around the globe (illustrator or illustration student needed) Obviously, you’ll be part of our team and we will publish your name as one of our own colleagues.

Email us at:

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Welcome Articles From Writers

Brightness welcome articles , researches and interviews from writers, activists, journalists and also from artists around the world, on topics that we deal with regularly or on topics that you think need a wider circulation in illustration subject. We are most likely to publish those articles which are well-written, concise, offer a unique progressive perspective and have appeal to national and international readers. Please keep submissions under 1000 words. Since we have a small editorial staff, we cannot spend much time editing submissions. Please send us final drafts of your work. We do not guarantee that we publish all the articles we receive. They will be published after a confirmation by twice of the managers. Please send all submissions as plain text within the body of an email - you can also attach the article, for the safer side. Please include your name, contact information. A short paragraph bio is a must. If you wish, you can also send a thumb size photo of the author. We’ll be glad to publish it along with the article. You can submit your articles to i n f o @ b r i g h t n e s s m a g . c o m One word of caution. When you are submitting articles use the word -submission- in the subject line. Finally, it is very important to respect copyright and write the names of artists who their arts are used by you in the caption.

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