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Issue Eight


ISSUE EIGHT

FEATURED CREATIVES 08

MONIQUE VAN STEEN

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EGO RODRIGUEZ

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DENISE HERMO

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CHRIS REBUSTILLO

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CHARLI VINCE

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ANDREAS NITSCHKE

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SARAH ROSSIGNOL

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PIERRE-PAUL PARISEU

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JEN HAWKYARD

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SARA VIDIGAL

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OJO AGI

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JOANNA MARCJANNA

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KENVI LIANG

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TONI HAMEL

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH INK & ARROWS: WWW.INKARROWSMAG.COM TWITTER & INSTAGRAM: @INKARROWSMAG FACEBOOK : INK ARROWS MAG

*IMAGE BY CHRIS REBUSTILLO

TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Alexandra Lucas ASSISTANT EDITOR

Bronte Billings

SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN UNTIL JULY 1ST 2015 FOR MORE INFOMATION ON SUBMISSIONS VISIT WWW.INKARROWSMAG.COM/FEATURED


WELCOME TO ISSUE EIGHT! It was a long process to get this issue out but it’s finally here for everyone to to enjoy. Thank you all for the support and feedback while we worked on this issue. It really means a lot to know that everyone loves the magazine and is willing to support us. This is issue is hopefully going to be the start of something amazing for Ink & Arrows Magazine. So, keep your eyes on us over the next couple months for news and updates! I hope you all enjoy this issue and get inspired to create. Also, thank you to Ojo Agi for being our cover artist this issue! Alexandra Lucas editor-in-chief

ILLUSTRATION BY DENISE HERMO


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WWW.MONIQUEVANSTEEN.COM TWITTER: @PINTORAVANSTEEN TUMBLR: MONIQUEVANSTEEN.TUMBLR.COM INSTAGRAM: @MONIQUE_PAINTS FACEBOOK: /PINTORAMONIQUEVANSTEEN BEHANCE: /MONIQUEVANSTEEN

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF; TELL US ABOUT YOU AND YOUR CREATIVE GENRE. My name is Monique van Steen. I am a Dutch painter living in Barcelona, Spain. My work focuses on the social pressures I feel to be “beautiful”. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? When I was a model, which was a few years ago now, I found it weird to see the final results of the photoshoots. [I would think] Why did they get another model? It had me quite confused. I was apparently beautiful enough to be paid as a model but yet so much Photoshop was done to the original images. Then it dawned on me – all this beauty business is unachievable goal for any women. Yet… I too buy those creams that promise me to become gorgeous like the photographs in the ads. I feel addicted to these images. They attract me massively.

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So, I use them as my inspiration. Work is a mix of the want for warning and the need for running in the rat-race that is beauty. I ask myself, when I’m working on a project, how far can I go before my Beauties become monsters? How big can I make the eyes? How much more sensuality can I put into the lips? The intuitive, flowing lines of dripped enamel on top of the well-calculated acrylic paint, hints that there is more beauty that I want to give to the public. But it’s their choice to read or ignore this [meaning]. WHEN REFERRING TO YOUR WORK, YOU USE THE WORD BEAUTIES. WHAT DOES THE WORD MEAN TO YOU AND YOUR STYLE? I refer to the work Beauties in the very same way the fashion world uses it. Close-up photos of faces.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I would say my style is a cross-over between urban, pop-surrealism, and neo-expressionism art. Not really easy to box [into a category]. YOU’VE TRAVELED QUITE A BIT. HOW DID YOUR ADVENTUROUS EXPLORATIONS AFFECT YOUR ARTISTIC LIFE? As for many creatives, I found that the road ‘to get there’ is long and unpaved. At one state, I considered to let it all be, and live a “regular’ life, quite the struggle and do what regular people do. Then out of the blue, a long traveladventure knocked on my door. I gladly took it and enjoyed seeing various countries. Due to some circumstances my travel partner and I got stuck in Miami for, at least, 6 weeks… And that’s when the need to create reared it’s funky head. After a few weeks, I felt that if I didn’t


express myself visually I would become very miserable. So I found myself livemodel sessions to attend. And it charged my batteries every evening that I went there. At that point I KNEW that art is a basic need to me. So, I figured if I had to make art in order to be happy, and being gifted with a never-ending source of drive to make that… That’s a god given need. Not to be wasted by spending time in an office. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO CREATE ART FOR A LIVING? My advice would be: Just do it and don’t stop!

will see yourself become better and better. But make sure you are doing it for your own fulfillment and not for the likes. You won’t find your final satisfaction in them. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON YOU ADMIRE. WHO WOULD YOU PICK? I would love to meet Kate Moss. I would love to be able to say “Thank you for being such an inspirational muse [to me].”

RANDOM QUESTIONS. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO GO IN BARCELONA, SPAIN? Barcelona is a great place to be, no matter where you go. It’s such a beautiful city. Apart, from having a beautiful city, the beaches are very nice, too. When I look for a quieter place to go, I go into the hills that surround the city. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF TEA? I LOVE herbal teas. I love each and every type/flavor of them, as long as there is no artificial flavors added.

They will try and talk you out of it, but ignore them and make more art. You

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? I am Ego, a humble creative being and illustrator, I like to draw things, things that pop in my head, things that get my attention, things that inspire me for whatever the reason. I like to sketch as a tool for thinking, pulling whatever occupies my head. WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? I like to outsource and feed into art, movies, music that can inspire me on whatever I’m working on. Sometimes can be just a shuffle through few magazines, others, collect pictures around or maybe watch a couple of movies and then just sketch , and sketch, trying to brief what I want to say and how, while breaking down lines around. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Figurative and linear is a clear way to describe. Dark ideas in bright colours could be another, more personal. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I’m pretty receptive to everything around me, so it could be a movie, a song or some random object in the street that spark some ideas. I usually write things down or make few sketches and come back to it when I have more time or a

more elaborated concept. By norm there are always elements, themes and concepts that interest me, in my that had been nurturing for years and keep growing, so I usually get a pinch of it and start new ideas from it. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR STYLE? I think with so many years drawing and always exploring new ways. I don’t like to stick to what I know best, I am always eager to try new things out. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT TO REPRESENT IN YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS? A story, I like to have a narrative, like a snap of a tale. I like to make people think too. WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING A FREELANCER? Trying to find time for your own projects, when you concentrate the most part of your time and energy for work, it is hard to get time for your own stuff. THE EASIEST? WorkIing for myself. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR OR HAVE YOU WORKED INHOUSE SOMEWHERE? I’d been always a free spirit.

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WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? CAN YOU TELL US A ABOUT THEM? I have a going on project, designing the art for a game apart for my usual art for some venues in London. On the personal side I’m trying to put together the “Fairy Tales” a series of drawings inspired as the name can tell by Fairy tales, in this case there’s a play of words, relating to the more homo-erotic vibe about them. I would like to create some little collection of cards or prints with them. Maybe a booklet. FROM YOUR WEBSITE BIO YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE MACABRE. HOW DID YOU BECOME SO INTERESTED IN THE MACABRE AND THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT? I think that’s not something I grew interested in but something I grew up within. Since I was a little kid I had a fascination for monsters, freaks, anomalies and the darker bits in life. One of my favourite doodles being 5 or 6 years old were, Monsters ballrooms, with vampires dancing with werewolves. I was obsessed with the Egyptian book of dead and greek myths. I guess as the most part of the kids I felt a bit out of place and disconnected, instead of moan in a corner about it I investigated it and create an outcome from it. RANDOM: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN LONDON? Diversity, the constant changes, the evolution of the city. The people. DOES YOUR SPANISH HERITAGE/CULTURE INSPIRE YOUR WORK? Not sure, because I moved away quite long time ago, but I guess the fact of growing on a rather dark region full of culture and folk did help my imagination and creative anxiety back then.

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SOCIAL MEDIA: website: WWW.EGORODRIGUEZ.COM twitter: @EGOTHEGO tumblr: EGORODRIGUEZ.TUMBLR.COM instagram: @EGOROD

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? Denise (Soledad) Hermo, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on december 1988. People call me De and I run my graphic studio Hum. When I was 3 I went for the first time to an atelier, and since then crayons where always in my pockets. When I finished my degree in advertising I thought: “Damn, you needed to do arts!”. I followed art direction in a creative school and since then I walked into the design and visual art path. Now I live in Brussels with my dear Christophe, opening doors as a freelance illustrator and designer in the region. WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? When it comes to create personal artwork, I like to flow with unexpected triggers - it can be a walk, a talk, a thought, a song, a landscape, any input is more than welcome - and after some unknown connections, and idea bob up in my head. Next it comes the paper and some sketches around this idea and then a refine moment, where I pay particular attention into composition and shapes. When it feels good, the brushes make their part by adding colors and textures which is the most excited part of the process. I use gouache and ink pens. Then I digitize the artwork and keep on working from the screen, sometimes to make patterns or just light retouches. When it comes to commercial artwork I also use vectors and when it’s possible I like to mix manual and digital techniques. Beside the results, I find the creative process truly pleasant. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Fresh. My illustrations talk about small things; little moments of joy, emotions trying to get along with thoughts, interpretations of things that I’ve lived, micro-worlds. This process of saying something without words but visuals is fascinating, I’m happy when the viewer experiment a sort of fresh feeling when sees at my work, like a pause, just this feeling of relief for a moment. I like to express simplicity, calm and real things. HOW DO YOU CREATE A STORY WITH YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS? In one or other way I think that all my illustrations are connected with each other, one follows the stories of the others. My idea somehow is to build environments, so the stories comes up when I imagine myself surrounded in different escenarios. I try to reproduce those scenes where I would like to be part of. A big part of my work are patterns and far from being just decoratives, what I like of them is that they has something to do with an endless surface wherethe viewer can get immerse completely and complete the story on their own.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR BRANDING STYLE? My approach to branding is closely connected with my artwork as illustrator. I like to create illustrated brands, fluid and fresh designs, spontaneous, colorful and with a touch of free traces. I think this is not only reflected in the final design but as well in the whole process. I find that the connection with the client and a clear communication is a very important aspect in order to bring good and happy results. I would say that my branding style is for people that want their brand to be authentic and natural. DESCRIBE THE PROCESS YOU USE TO CREATE A BRAND. 1. Interview with the client and talk precise over their product / service, what is the aim of the company, where do they want to get, which values the brand should transmit, to who we are talking, etc. 2. With all this inputs, I make a selective process and establish the concepts that needs to be implicated in the brand. 3. I sketch prototypes, many of them, from different approaches. And then I propose a clean version of the ones that work better. 4. Feedback, adjustments, color proofs, application proofs, and more proofs. 5. When everybody is happy with the design, I do last retouches and I deliver a brand book with the uses, applications, colors, typography and every element that the client needs to know before placing the brand somewhere. The process can go forward with identity development, promotional material, website design, etc. HOW MUCH DO YOU LET YOUR OWN PERSONAL TASTE INFLUENCE THE BRAND YOU’RE WORKING ON? In this point I think that in the visual and communication market there are more and more professionals who print their own style in their brand work. Design became something more than just giving communication solutions to companies. It’s a world on it’s own, it tends to build it’s own code and the personal approaches of designers, I believe, make this even richer. So if you ask me, personal taste is always there, though it’s important to keep the goal clear in mind. When you work for somebody else you first need to

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listen, then apply a solid conceptual base and take justified decisions according to the needs, (don’t add anything for whim) and in between those steps a pinch of personal style is good. It’s rewarding when clients choose you because they like your style. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON THUS FAR IN YOUR CAREER. My favorite project was the design of a cooking magazine issue for Perú. It was very much fun having the freedom to run the entire editorial design, diagram and illustrate every recipe, cover, with no restrictions but: “texts needs to be justified”. WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT BEING AN ART DIRECTOR? The fact that you can never get bored! One day you see yourself painting the windows of a shop, the next making a logo at your desk, the next in a stand of a feria painting freely... It has no ending. WHAT QUALITIES ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR AN ART DIRECTOR? Creative mind, curiosity, cultural baggage, good eye, visual understanding, problem solving, ability to make people say: wow. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? Somebody advised me once, always search for inspiration in remote places. If you are willing to create a brand, let’s say for a coffee bar, don’t expect to find inspiration in another coffee bars because you’ll keep on doing the same things. Instead search on the art nouveau style that the bar might have, find inspiration into the music style that you can listen there, into the story of the owners or whatever... The clue is to make new connections in between ideas or concepts. I have two main sources of inspiration. One is culture, sometimes an exhibition, museums, concerts, a nice reading. And the other is nature with all its multiple beings and beautiful harmonic elements. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ILLUSTRATORS? Well, these are 5 setpoints that I try to keep in mind and might be useful for others professionals: - DISCIPLINE. This means everyday - like brushing your teeth -, turning the illustration into a daily routine. And if for any circumstance you don’t have enough time-space, try to integrate the practice of illustrate with the other activities you do. In this aspect, is not about the amount or the quality but the persistence. - EXPLORE. When you think you have get to the point, go for the next one. This is an endless process of exploring and growing. Make focus (on a technique,


subject, field, etc), develop (do many of those), and then move on to the next step (progress). - LEARN from mistakes and don’t get annoyed with them (actually, join them). Somebody asked me the other day while I was happily painting, if I wasn’t afraid to make a bad brushstroke and arruine the whole piece. And I thought, well it hasn’t cross my mind until now you say it. There might be always a drop of fear in the moment of creation, the fear of failing and a sort of tension that brings along. Just a few words: it’s pointless, let it go. And if it goes wrong, try again. - DON’T FOLLOW the current (and if you do, be aware of it). It’s hard sometimes because it comes with the feeling of being accepted, so it sucks you. I truly believe that the best choice is authenticity. - BE HUMBLE. Always. Gain confidence in yourself and walk you own path open and humble. Arrogance just hide fears... For the rest, don’t take it too personal, live simple, do introspection, grow your positive thoughts and be a good person. RANDOM: WHAT ABOUT BIRDS DO YOU FIND SO LOVEABLE? I think that people get attached or feel more attraction to things, colors, people, according to moments in life, mood or mental state you have in a certain period. I would say that during my last 2 years I started a big “emancipation process” in many aspects of my life and I guess that birds print on me this impression of freedom, lightness and happiness that I aspire.

Beside, I’ve seen how different is to walk in the grey winter streets of the Belgium without any sound and to walk in a sunny musical street with birds hanging on the trees. They can really cheer you up! I find birds a spice that makes the difference. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES IN BRUSSELS? My favorite spot in Brussels is the little park that is 50 meters from home, it’s a communal garden that has a hidden income in Viaduct street. There is a bank in the middle of a small hill that holds a cute tiny sculpture of Pinocchio standing on his nose. I always go there to relax and draw. Sunday market in Plaats Jourdan is also one of my favorites, a parking lot that becomes a lively social encounter, vegetables everywhere, organic coffee and delicious Moroccan food. They say that the best french fries of Belgium are right there in the middle of the square, I can not tell... WHAT LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK? I speak spanish as my native tongue, then english, I’m learning dutch at the moment (ready to have an easy conversation) and trying to understand some french (I hope to improve it in time). LINKS: INSTAGRAM: @dehermo FACEBOOK: /hum.ilus PINTEREST: /dehermo WEBSITE: www.dehum.com.ar

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? I’m Chris and I’m an aspiring artist/illustrator and designer in California. I was once an architecture student, but through the process of getting my degree in architecture I fell in love with graphic design which also sparked my interest in becoming an artist. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid but neglected it during my high school years since I didn’t really see myself in the art industry, it was just a hobby (same with graphic design, I took a class during my senior year in high school but never considered a career on it) so I didn’t bother improving and nourishing my skills. I did take a beginning art class during my freshman year in college but other than that I’m mostly self–taught. I do plan on going back and taking art classes though, because I still have a lot to improve on and I don’t have the discipline and patience to teach my self whatever else I need.

LINKS TUMBLR: chrisrillustrations.tumblr.com INSTAGRAM: @chrs_r BEHANCE: behance.net/chrisr7x​

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? Sometimes concepts just come to me out of nowhere, sometimes while listening to music or looking at pictures, watching TV, etc. Even then I don’t jump to my desk and start drawing or making graphics. They are stored in my head for next time and sometimes to refine the concepts even further. Sometimes I don’t do it out of laziness, haha. Although, once I’m in the mood to create something then I just pull one of the concepts from my brain and maybe scribble a rough draft before working on the final version. For my illustrations, after I’ve finished making a pencil illustration I usually color them in Photoshop. Sometimes I have a color scheme in my head; sometimes the colors just happen by accident. When it comes to graphic design, the color scheme is most definitely planned, sometimes they change but not by accident. Often times I finish the project in one go but there are times when it just doesn’t work. When that happens, I usually take a break by either doing another project or not do anything at all. Although, even when I consider a work finish, I still have a knack of editing or modifying it. I guess, unless it’s something I have to deliver to someone, an artwork for me is never truly finish.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I would say that my illustrations tend to gear towards whimsical or fantasy. They are very colorful as well although before they were only in black and white. When it comes to graphic design, I tend to borrow from minimalism and flat design. I’m also trying to master creating illustrations in Illustrator using geometric shapes akin to low-poly art. It’s not something I make often since it is very time consuming and it involves three stages. Also, it’s very detrimental to my wrist, haha. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Anything can inspire me but I would say that these 4 are my major source of inspiration: nature, music, culture, and architecture.   Music and cultures give me stories and general concepts for my artwork whereas nature and architecture give me my characters and settings. It’s not always the pattern though; I don’t always need all 4 to create something. HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN GRAPHIC DESIGN? There’s something about album packaging that really drew me in, possibly because it really sets the atmosphere for the music. They say never judge a book by its cover but there are times when I’d buy or listen to an album just because I find the artwork to be intriguing and/or beautiful and the opposite happens when a cover artwork is just not something that interests me.   I do believe that my opinion on the quality of the music is swayed a bit by the album packaging. Of course, there are definitely times when the music is just not up to par with the packaging and vice versa.  WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT GRAPHIC DESIGN? I love it when an idea clicks and everything else just falls into place. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL PROJECT? It’s probably no surprise but I would love to create the packaging for an artist’s album (especially the ones that I admire), I want to translate or interpret the message or story that the artist is trying to tell with their songs into some visual artwork. I actually had the opportunity to create a cover art for a small independent band in Australia (Aureus). It was such a great feeling holding the physical product in my hand, I know it’s really cheesy but it’s a dream come true, haha.

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HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT RE-BRANDING YOURSELF? This is actually hard one; it’s quite challenging to condense all the things that you are into a unified brand. To this day, I’m still in the process of making a brand that truly represents me and what I do. I’ve changed my “brand” a few times already, but I think every change gets me closer to coming up with a brand that, as I’ve mentioned previously, truly represents me and what I do. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR ART? I ­aspire to inspire others through my art WHAT DO YOU ADMIRE IN OTHER ARTISTS? Their ability to draw, create, and design whatever is on their mind. Their talent just never fail to astound me; I’m always so wowed and inspired by their works that sometimes I just can’t wrapped it all in my head. I also admire their patience, that’s another thing I still have to master. RANDOM:   WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOLKLORE? I spent a decade of my life in a small town in the Philippines and my hometown is ripe with so many tales.  One of my favorites would be the mermaid that lives in the river that runs through my town and preys on anyone she/he takes a liking to.  There have been numerous fatal drowning incidents in that river and I guess this is their way of explaining those deaths and/ or to scare the children. They would often advise us to wear a silver safety pin whenever we go down the river to ward off the mermaid or something. YOU DO QUITE A BIT OF ALBUM COVER ART, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES YOU? I listen to any type of music from Metal to Classical, Pop to Country, and anything in between so the genre doesn’t really matter to me. It all depends on the individual songs; some songs are just blooming with ideas and inspirations that it’s easy to stimulate my mind’s eye.

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TWITTER: @charlillustrate TUMBLR: www.cvinceillustration.tumblr.com INSTAGRAM: @charlibvince BLOG: www.charlivince.wordpress.com

WELCOME BACK! INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? Hi there! I’m Charli, a Norwich based freelance illustrator with a love for science, natural history and dogs. My work mainly centers around wildlife and the animal kingdom with a heavy focus on the biological workings and conservational status of these animals, a lot more so since finishing my degree. I really enjoy being able to inject a certain degree of scientific accuracy and relevance into my work while still enjoying rough lines, bold shapes and plenty of colour. I also love crocodiles… SINCE WE’VE LAST INTERVIEWED YOU FOR ISSUE FIVE, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN? ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY NEW PROJECTS YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT? I’ve been very well, thank you! I got my degree, had a successful end of year show with NUA and managed to not fall into a full-time-job-that-I-don’t-enjoy-rut that I know too many unfortunate graduates do. I’m currently working my way through a few commissions and collaborations but I have a vague but exciting plan for a series of kids books in the near future. They’re going to be focused around bringing the importance of conservation and wildlife into a kid’s perspective, with a particular look at trying to persuade kids not to be scared of spiders! I’m also aiming to start working with

museums and wildlife trusts and hopefully having my illustrations used within their campaigns or whatever requires illustrating. Seeing my work in the Natural History Museum is a bit of a nerd dream for me. HAS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS CHANGED AT ALL? My process isn’t really something I think about, but now that you mention it I don’t think it has hugely, but I am getting better at not staring at a blank piece of paper until I give up out of frustration. On so many occasions, people (practitioners, students, tutors, everyone) have stressed to me that should you find yourself staring into space not know where to start with a drawing, just draw something. Anything. And for so long I’d underestimated the importance of this advice but it genuinely works. So I suppose that has changed, which is a good change. DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW TECHNIQUES YOU’VE LEARNED, THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? I’ve become better any merging my digital and traditional works. Previously, attempting to do this would often lead to some nice traditionally drawn lineart then some horrible, contrasting digital colour. But, either through accidental practice or pure fluke, I’ve sussed how to create a synergy between the two and end up with pleasing, compositionally sound illustrations.

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Aside from that, the techniques I’m working on are mainly professional practice and learning the ins and outs of the industry. Of course I’ll carry on practicing my drawing skills and basic abilities throughout my work but learning how to have a career in it is what’s the priority at the moment. Social media, promotional skills, networks, the paperwork, the finances, all of this is what can make or break an illustrator at this stage, so I’m determined to get it right. WHAT HAS BEEN INSPIRING YOU LATELY? The sciences maintain their position at the top of my list of inspiration sources. This encompasses anatomical drawings, scientific discoveries/news, museums and their exhibitions, anything that falls under that radar is bound to spark something off in my brain. I’ve also found that hoarding illustration and visual stimuli is a really useful resource to refer to when you hit a bit of an art block. I’ve been using Pinterest to hoard these things for a while now, it’s useful to have something so accessible and so full of images whenever I need it. Keeping track of other artists and their work is also a huge source of inspiration and motivation for me as well. A steady flow of social media news and email subscriptions has kept me in the loop with what’s going on with other practitioners. Seeing them flourish and watching their new work take shape has really helped to motivate me into working harder and trying to get more people to see what I do. YOU JUST HAD YOUR OWN SOLOEXHIBITION, TELL US ABOUT THAT, WHAT WAS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE? Since it was my first solo exhibition, it was an unnerving and unpredictable to begin with. The usual worries of; what is nobody turns up, what if something falls off the wall, what if I’ve forgotten something really important… But fortunately, none of those things showed themselves to be a problem at all! It all went smoothly, with some prints sold, lots of people turning up to the private view and a few more people popping in over the course of it being open. Despite it not being hugely successful financially, I learnt a lot about what’s involved in launching and running an exhibition, what I did right, what I could have done differently and other valuable lessons that I would have otherwise not learnt without doing it myself.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR ZINE ‘LAVISH’? Lavish started off as a plan for a spin-off zine from the same theme as The Ugly Bestiary. Both projects focused on the appearance and connotations of certain species of animal having a negative impact on their funding and publicity in terms of conservation. It’s a subject I feel strongly about and trying to erase or get people to rethink the negative reputations of these animals (spiders, snakes, insects etc.) is something I’ve been trying to do with The Ugly Bestiary and Lavish. Lavish was a far more relaxed and humorous approach to the subject, with the illustrations being less focused on anatomical and scientific accuracy and more on visual appeal and creating a character out of the animal. This has lead me down a route filled with the possibilities of children’s publishing and narrative illustration as a way to communicate this message to a younger audience. The zine itself is finished, printed and was available to buy at the Oddly-Fauna exhibition (my solo exhibition) as well as now being available online. I did have more ambitious plans for it but the time constraints in terms of getting it finished before the exhibition meant I had to dial them down a bit, so I may well be revisiting it in the future.


RANDOM: YOU’VE MENTIONED BEFORE YOU HAVE A LOVE FOR SCI-FI, WHAT ABOUT THE GENRE CAPTIVATES YOU? I’m going to try to hold back a nerd essay on this one… The ‘what if this was real’ approach to sci-fi is what makes it so fascinating and exciting for me. It first started when I was a kid and I watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind for the first time and imagined the space ship from the movie hovering above my garden and this blew my tiny little mind. Since then, I’ve loved the themes of space travel, future technology, robots, and even more so now since science and technology is leaping forward with such huge strides most of the sci-fi we can watch is verging on plausible. Despite the fact that my love for sci-fi doesn’t necessarily reflect in my work, I’m currently working on changing that with a new collaboration with a friend of mine on a sci-fi concept art project. It’s in it’s very early stages but it’ll hopefully evolve into something awesome.

Faces are also a hugely fun and enjoyable subject for me. I’ll often go to Jarrolds (a huge shop in Norwich, UK), sit in the cafe and draw people as the come and go with their tea and scones. I could do that for hours… Drawing faces from my imagination is also a great way to relax. It’s also a testament to how valuable life drawing is; as I continue my practice with drawing the faces of real people, my fictional people look better and better. WHAT TIME OF DAY DO YOU FEEL THE MOST CREATIVE? It used to be the evening, back in the university days, but now I find that if I manage to get up early enough the mornings are the most creative. It’s the cliche sense of a ‘fresh start’ and all that nonsense that helps most I think, it allows me to view the day itself as a project rather than just what I’ll be working on. But to be honest, some mornings can be just awful and some evenings can be a creative goldmine so it depends on what sort of mindset I’m in.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOU FAVORITE THINGS TO DRAW? Wildlife and anything in the animal kingdom have alway been my favourite subjects. For my whole life I’ve loved the feeling of getting the anatomy right on an animal, since it’s so unlike our own in subtle ways it’s so satisfying to find these subtle differences and be able to communicate them to people. I also love exaggerating the forms and shapes of animals. The angles you can create and textures you can work with are just so much fun when you have a basic knowledge of the skeletal workings and anatomy of the animal. If I’m feeling stressed or had a particularly naff day I’ll often turn to drawing dogs or foxes. Might sound odd, but the shape of their legs and the direction their fur goes in is so damn relaxing to draw especially since I’m so comfortable with the way they should look, I’m able to draw them in an incorrect but coherent way.

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TUMBLR: andreasnitschke.tumblr.com FACEBOOK: facebook.com/andreas.nitschke.330 WEBSITE: andreasnitschke.com

INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? I am a German based collage artist, living in a small town named Bielefeld. After my studies in fine art I experiment with collages and direct my focus on collage-art. I tied in with collages, which I have done already long before my academic studies. WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? My creative process is very minimal, clear and modest. I cut and paste fragments of found photographs together - in very small and comprehensible doses - so that my personal trail, my approach, remains traceable for the beholder. My collages don’t swarm; they are not abound with hundreds of paper shavings or opulent shreds. My work is characterized in emptiness, there is no plentitude of single components. It’s a form of distillation. Resistance and selfeffacement. The less I paste together, the more significant is their expression and poetry. The more silent the “making of”, the louder they can unfold their effects. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Unpretentious, little and reserved. But - like hot spice or a small peppercorn - with a deep impact on the finish! HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN COLLAGE ART? I think it is a reaction to the picture overkill in mass media. We were overflowed with images and I want to place towards this flood of pictures a little poetic and artistic dyke.

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HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE FOR YOUR IMAGES WHEN CONSTRUCTING A COLLAGE? I have to control myself, my input. It’s a selfrestriction… There lies a danger in putting your foot in it if you make Collages with bodies and faces, which are so exposed, dynamic and scary, like lots of the Collages I make, for example. I have to break up early enough. But also imbalance and failure can develop great art. When art is too perfect, too clean and too thought-out, it is boring. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? I find my inspiration in magazines and books and also in cinema and literature. But all must be contemporaneous! I hate those retro-minded and accommodating collages, which are looking pretty with their yellowed and catchy attitude. There is too much nostalgia in the collage art scene. Hardly anyone reflects the today. WHAT DO YOU HOPE OTHERS SEE IN YOUR ART? First of all I want to entertain. I have no fear of contact with something like fun, horror or brutality. But it has to stay ambivalent. And I hope that others see that ugliness could be wonderful. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON THUS FAR IN YOUR CAREER. My last solo show. I think, always the last projects are those with the most and greatest commitment. So I am curious about my next exhibtion. The simplicity. The serenity. Collages - in the best sense - are on the one hand restrained and deceptively simple on the other hand.

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HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT TITLING YOUR PIECES? With titling my series, I want to rise and iconize my paper work in another and literally level. I love to play on words. A good title can give your work a new dimension and context. HOW DO YOUR SURROUNDINGS AFFECT YOUR WORK? My surroundings don’t affect my work that much. I feel like a cosmopolitan embedded in the virtual life of the internet. My interests are not limited in my surroundings, that would be a sign for poverty, I think, and damning indictment if I am not able to look beyond my own nose, beyond my surroundings... WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO VISIT? Exhibitions. Galleries Bookshops. Cinemas. For my inspiration I try to visit as often as possible big European cities like London, Berlin or Hamburg. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS/ CREATIVES? I love the disturbing paintings of Gottfried Helnwein. Or the early work, the watercolours of David Salle. I like Jenny Saville. The punk style and habitus of figurative painting of the early eighties in Germany impressed me, too. The Punk movement, of course. There lies a closeness to collage art… the low-brow, the immediacy is similar and comparable if you think of Dada or John Heartfields political collages. I don’t like that wannabe-art which often appears so ambitious and deadly serious. I am still a fan of urban art, comics and graphic novels. And… a good tattoo can amuse me, too.


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TWITTER: @slrossignol TUMBLR: Sarah Rossignol Illustration INSTAGRAM: @slrossignol WEBSITE: www.sarahrossignol.com INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? Hi! I’m Sarah Rossignol and I am a UK based illustrator and artist. I work mainly in fashion, beauty and lifestyle nowadays but I’ve enjoyed narrative-based work in the past and definitely wouldn’t shy away from it! WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? My process focuses mainly on drawing. During my time on my degree my tutors always pointed out that my sketchbook drawings were the most engaging – even over painted final pieces. I love the organic texture and look of paint so I wanted to keep that a part of my process too. In the end I settled on the process I work with now – drawing over light paint washes and painting back into them for the details and final touches. Occasionally I will work digitally but even then I work with pencil drawings and like to layer textures over the digital colour to make it look less flat. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Loads of things. I think it’s vital to have a varied visual library of material you find inspiring. Fashion is one we’ve already addressed but there are other things like literature, photography and film. Music can

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also be inspiring since it carries a narrative too. And of course there are artists and illustrators who have inspired me. The list is always changing and growing but James Jean has always been a favourite. John Bauer & Alphonse Mucha are nonmovers too. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Surreal, dream-like and often quite moody. Although I’m focusing a lot on beauty and fashion nowadays I think my history with working a lot with narrative means a certain mood often carries across. Especially since I loved working with things like Greek mythology which can often be quite dark. WHAT ABOUT FASHION INSPIRES YOU? Fashion is so creative be it either on the catwalk or on the street. It can be so many things – cold, stern, chiq, sexy, vibrant, whimsical, funny. It all depends on the person and how they want to express themselves. I think there’s something quite fantastical about it as well – particularly with high fashion – a sense of the surreal and dream-like. Designers are often working with a certain era, look or feel in mind so a collection can carry a narrative in it and that is quite inspirational.


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WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT ILLUSTRATING LITERATURE? I’ve always engaged well with narratives and characters. When you read a book it’s a much more creative and interactive experience than watching a film. Visually there’s always a wealth of material to work with – the characters, the setting, the mood etc. But it’s non prescriptive so you can put together the scenes in your head, fill in little details, change things around. It’s always so much fun and satisfying when you get it out on paper.

WHAT DO YOU FIND CHALLENGING WHEN ILLUSTRATING LITERATURE? Creating an image that does the story justice. If your illustration doesn’t match the genre of the story or any of the messages the author is trying to relate then it can be upsetting – it’s like anything that’s been packaged badly. This often means pushing yourself to create an image outside of your comfort zone – it’s challenging but great in the way that it helps add a varied range of images to your portfolio.

DESCRIBE YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECT THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON THUS FAR IN YOUR CAREER. I think this would have to be the work I did for Noctis Magazine covering London Fashion Week 2015. I had to produce one image a day since the material they wanted me to illustrate was coming in from the shows (catwalk & backstage) rapidly over the long weekend. It was so fast-paced but really fun and I loved the designs I got to illustrate. Some of the images even got a bit of social media attention from the designers themselves which is always humbling.

RANDOM: WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER? There are so many I can’t really choose... but...I’m really loving Edeline Lee at the moment and Elie Saab has been a favourite for a while. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR? It’s a draw between Haruki Murakami & Thomas Harris – it really depends on my mood.

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WEBSITE: pierrepaulpariseau.com INSTAGRAM: @pppariseau BEHANCE: behance.net/pierrepaulpariseau

INTRODUCE YOURSELF - TELL US ABOUT YOU AND YOUR CREATIVE GENRE. I am an artist and illustrator working for clients in North America and Europe for many years. I also exhibit my personal work regularly. “Evoking currents of surrealism and pop art, the creative work of Pariseau invites us into a world of images where everything is possible. From his fusion of collage and digital medium; from his visual articulation of thoughts, moods and emotions, emanates dreamlike scenes, strange theatrical dramas while remaining intriguingly accessible. Happy coincidences, anecdotal events inspire the artist in a fantasy that translates into images made of vibrant colours, stunning juxtapositions and hypnotic reveries that are always compelling. His anthropomorphic creations seems to request storytelling but never impose one. Here the creatures are sentient beings , with emotions and personality. They are a metaphor for our behaviour. The intensity of Pierre-Paul’s work confuses and attract in a way that does not dictate to the viewer, but stimulate imagination to explore unrestrained. An invitation to discover enigmatic mixed media images that captivate and intrigue.” HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN MIXED MEDIA AND ILLUSTRATION? I always loved art but didn’t really start before I was in my twenties. I did a few clumsy oil paintings then but soon discovered the technique of photocollages. I was amazed by the surreal imagery that could be created using a few “cutouts” from photos in magazines; I had found my medium. At the beginning my collages were very simple. I used a pair of scissors and glue for many years. Later on my photo-collages became more “sophisticated” and I started to exhibit in cafés, cultural centers and galleries. Not much after I decided to build a portfolio and go see art directors of publications around town. I received an immediate positive answer, it was the beginning of my career as an illustrator and it goes on since. I would say that now my images are a mix of collage, acrylic paints, water colour and digital transformation now. WHERE DO FIND INSPIRATION? My big influence, at the beginning, was the surrealist artists like Dali, Magritte, and others. Everything that is surrealist, in painting but also in literature, in poetry and in movies. Photomontage pioneers also like John Heartfield, Max Ernst, Jacques Prévert. Rapidly although I became inspired by a lot of things coming my way, in my surroundings, to a point that it is difficult to name anything in particular. I always carry on me a notebook in which I can write (mainly) and draw ideas for new images, for titles of work, etc…

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I can also write down notes not necessarily related to my inspiration of the moment but about music I would like to listen to, exhibitions I would like to see, websites I should visit. I write down interesting parts of books I’m currently reading, etc. These notes also feed, indirectly, my inspiration sometimes. I have written a large quantity of these notebooks; sometimes I browse into them to look for an idea, but most of the time I concentrate on what I have written recently. So everything can inspire me now, I listen, observe, look; I am interested in cultural and social lives. This enriches my visual vocabulary and allows me to better translate my ideas and emotions. DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? I’ll describe step-by-step, as clearly as possible, how I do a picture. For example let’s talk about the creation of a picture for a magazine article. I start by reading, a few times, the article and letting it warm up in my mind for some hours, and then I gather all kinds of cutouts that are related to the subject. I have many boxes full of these cutouts in my studio, more or less classified by categories. I also look in magazines and other sources to find more elements if needed. Looking for these I keep my mind open in case I find something interesting that is not necessarily related to the subject but can nevertheless be useful. It is important to surprise myself, not to arrive absolutely at the end with the picture I had in my mind when I started. Many times (but not always), at the end, the best pictures are the ones that were imagined all along the process, not having in mind a clear idea at the beginning. After I have gathered more or less what I need to start I scan each cutouts and apply, in Photoshop, a high contrast of black and white to them (which take away their colors). To achieve the perfect contrast, I sometimes have to do it in parts on the same piece. Then I make each item transparent. It is on a similar shape, underneath, that I put the color. I repeat this for all the scanned elements. I compose the picture like this, piece by piece. Of course I often go back to search for the best cutouts needed to complete the image and take out those I don’t think really fit. The colors can be added also by placing a hand-made layer of watercolor, acrylic paint, color pencil, etc, under the black and white layer that is now transparent. These colors can be used independently also, without a top layer. Lines done with pencils can be added, and so on. I use my pen tablet from time to time. I intend to add more of these handmade textures in my work in the future. Sometimes I displace the colored layer so it is not exactly under the transparent one. Of course there can be other features I use in Photoshop depending on the need, but basically this is how I work. When I think the picture is done I “let it sleep” a bit and come back later on (after a good walk outside for example) looking at it with a fresher mind. I can then make a last minute change if necessary. I wish that my illustration can question, amuse, create a smile, puzzle and, of course, stimulate the reader to read the article.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT MIXED MEDIA? If the medias are fit to be together the result will be awesome, otherwise change the chemistry. AS A MORE EXPERIENCED ARTIST, HOW HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED OVER TIME? The changes in my style came naturally, step by step as I experimented with the medium. My images are a mix of collage, acrylic paint, watercolor, pen and digital transformation in Photoshop. At the beginning I was doing more traditional photomontages from cutouts, with scissors and glue. Then came the computer, but as time went by I wanted to have more possibilities to change colors, modify the cutouts. Playing with Photoshop, ideas, forms, colors, compositions and contrasts I have found a simple, efficient and aesthetic way to reach this goal. All this with flexibility, keeping an unifying logic. With this new way of working, I enjoy the extra freedom it gives me and I believe it has an impact on my inspiration. At the same time this freedom helps me serve my clients in a more efficient way. In fact the experimentation process has no beginning and no end, with an open mind it is a continuous flow. It takes different directions depending on your needs. People usually associate my work with Pop art, Pop Surrealism. This is because of the colors and compositions you find in most of my images. At least I can say that I never intended to be Pop but always (almost) was surreal. This change in my style allowed me to last as an illustrator but also had opened the doors of galleries and other exhibition venues to my personal work. WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING AND MOST REWARDING PART OF BEING AN ARTIST? The most challenging for me is to keep a regular flow of clients, the most rewarding is the result of creativity, the art that appears in front of your eyes that surprises you. WHERE WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOUR ART IN THE FUTURE? I would like to see my work all over the world and be invited everywhere to present it. RANDOM QUESTIONS: HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR COFFEE (OR TEA)? I like my coffee short and strong. FAVORITE PLACE(S) TO VISIT? I’ve travelled a lot in my life, especially when I was younger. Everywhere I have been was a wonderful and enriching experience, in tough times and good times. TOP 3 BOOKS. Impossible to say. I am a big reader and have read so many important books for myself. Let me recommend these books i’ve recently read: 1) “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan W. Watts 2) “The Dance of Reality” by Alejandro Jodorowsky 3) “Physics of The Future” by Michio Kaku

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? Online I’m known as Jezhawk - a name I just sort of picked up over time and now it’s so ingrained I can’t really move away from it - otherwise I’m known as Jen Hawkyard. By day I’m an Art Director working for a fabulous Digital Marketing Agency near Toronto, Canada, by night I’m a freelance illustrator and all in all creative type. My creative genre spans a wide range of things, for work I get to immerse myself in web, and internet technology, user interface design and much much more, whilst in my spare time I love to explore my illustration. It’s difficult to fit my work into a particular genre but I think the main theme is often colourful, vibrant, whimsical and unique artwork. WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? It does differ from piece to piece. Some pieces - especially the more abstract digital photo manipulations are largely unplanned and simply exploratory in nature. Usually I have some kind of goal in mind before I start - for example, improving my skills at digitally painting faces, or getting back to my roots with some traditional pieces. The more illustrative pieces are normally started with a pencil sketch that I then scan in and start to work on in photoshop. By then I’ve usually collected a bunch of photo references and inspirational pieces that have helped set the tone for the piece. Then it’s just many hours of grunt work and tweaking and refining. Some pieces I don’t touch for weeks on end as life gets busy and I get back to them when I have time - other pieces won’t leave me alone until I get them done and finished. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I love to play with texture, colour and light, and most of my pieces are vibrantly coloured whether they be digital or traditional. Often my work is of a mythical nature or describes some kind of creature. I’ve been told I have a knack for capturing eyes well and I do enjoy making artwork that really captivates the viewer and encourages them to look closer at the details.

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WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Hmmm, I think the question is what doesn’t! I tend to stay away from artwork that has been “done” or is overdone in this industry. For example in digital art I see an abundance of the female face or figure so I don’t find that particularly inspiring to work on - I’d rather work on something that hasn’t been explored very much. I also grew up drawing animals, so they are my first love and I thoroughly enjoy creating artwork of creatures in all their shapes and sizes. One artist who has inspired me deeply is Susan Seddon Boulet and also Roger Dean - there are many many more but those two I have followed for the majority of my creative career. DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON THUS FAR IN YOUR CAREER. i don’t know that I have a favourite per say - some I like because I know I really struggled with it, and to have got it finished meant that I personally broke through a creative barrier or learnt a new set of skills in order to succeed. Autumn, for example, was the first painting I really pushed hard on lighting and colouring the human face - it was a new area for me to explore in my artwork and it was a challenge. Winter King, also is another favourite of mine because it was an old piece I created in college that I recreated more recently and it was one of those rare occasions where it came out better than what I could see in my head! WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT WORKING WITH A DESIGN TEAM? Working with a team of people, especially creative people is just so rewarding because you get to see each person’s interpretation of a concept come to a fruition. It’s always fascinating to know how I would design something and then see a completely different concept come from another team member that you couldn’t have even thought of because they are drawing from a whole other pool of inspiration. WHAT QUALITIES ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR AN ART DIRECTOR? I think you have to be able to draw from a seemingly never ending supply of ideas to help find solutions for design problems. Often designer’s get stuck or can’t see the solution and it’s my job to try and help show them another way or guide them in a certain direction without being overbearing and dictating the whole thing. Similarly, trusting in another creative’s abilities and vision and being willing to take the risk and see it through. You also have to be very good at time management and priority management to get everything done in a day!

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WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL CREATIVE? Immerse yourself in creativity. It’s the only way to survive. I don’t think you can be in the creative industry without it infiltrating your whole life and that passion shows to your clients and your peers and overall improves your work. As a professional you have to be able to be creative on demand, and this is naturally - very demanding! You have to learn how to tap into your creativity when you need to and know how to refuel when you need to as well. Also, change it up from time to time - if you’ve always worked in Illustrator, maybe do something in Photoshop, or try oil painting - I think the more flexible a creative person is, the better we are at what we do! WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CREATE A CONVERSATION BETWEEN A CLIENTS’ ADVERTISEMENT AND THEIR VIEWERS? For me this would mean being somehow able to first off grab the attention of the viewer for more than the millisecond it takes for them to get distracted and move on. After you’ve got their attention, how do you keep it? Do you say something funny? something tragic?- ideally you associate with them on some personal level - the things we can relate to are often more memorable or have more of an emotional impact. Similarly peeking their curiosity is also a great way of starting a conversation with the viewer. The important thing is that you end it in a memorable way so that they remember what it is you’re advertising! WHAT DRAWS YOU TO DRAW WHIMSICAL AND CHILDLIKE ILLUSTRATIONS? Hmmm tough question. I think I’ve always been drawn to something that feels magical, something that is intriguing and makes me take a closer look. Maybe that’s the iridescent way that light plays on a bird’s feather, or just the deep colours and spark of light in the eye of a creature - the window to the soul. I also, love children’s books and buy them frequently. There is something so magical about following a story based largely off its illustrations and I would love some day to create a children’s book that was as memorable to a young child as so many books were for me growing up. WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DRAW? When I first started drawing when I was a kid I obsessively drew horses. I still love to draw horses but I have a love-hate relationship with them now because I’m just such a perfectionist with their anatomy. Currently I’m really enjoying exploring animals again with my latest series called Totem, which are all created with pencil crayons. I like trying to capture the essence of the animal whilst also exploring colour and texture to create something totally unique.

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RANDOM: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO COLLECT? Books. I have no control when it comes to books. Otherwise Pinterest has taken control of my hoarding/collecting habits which is far more spacesaving. FAVORITE FONT? I couldn’t say, I don’t particularly have a favourite, I just try and use what is most appropriate to get the job done. I have always admired Gill Sans though it’s such a classic, clean typeface. IF YOU COULD BECOME ANY ANIMAL REAL OR FANTASY, WHAT WOULD YOU BECOME? A dragon for sure. Who wouldn’t want to be a dragon!?

LINKS: TWITTER: @jezhawk TUMBLR: jezhawk.tumblr.com INSTAGRAM: @jezhawk FACEBOOK: facebook.com/jezhawk PINTEREST: pinterest.com/jezhawk


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WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? The best for me happens when my mind needs to draw and to show feelings. That moment in which you have something in your head and you need to take it out. When I am sad, angry or happy is always a good moment to create. In this moment what I need is leave my hand free to work. I use a different process when I work with collage, I use to play with all the options that the puzzle gives to me ,just mixing the images that I like and drawing by parts. DO YOU PREFER TO CREATE ART TRADITIONALLY OR DIGITALLY? I like to create art in the traditional way, for me this creates a special texture and relation with the artwork but, sometimes I do not have enough space to work traditionally besides that the scanner not always catch the colors that I have in my artwork and I need to add something digital. YOU ALSO SEEM TO HAVE AN INTEREST IN FASHION. TELL US ABOUT IT. I studied fine arts as well as fashion design so I am really influenced by it. Girls in my work are inspired in fashion magazines models besides I always take care of the details in the clothes.

INTRODUCE YOURSELF - TELL US ABOUT YOU AND YOUR CREATIVE GENRE. My name is Sara, from Madrid, Spain (1984). Nowadays I am living in Barcelona, studying a fashion design Master. I have been also living for a year in the Netherlands during an internship. I studied fine arts and fashion design. I am an illustrator and a fashion designer. I love fantasy, the surreal, and the contrast between cute and creepy stuff., so my art is a mix of all of it plus my feelings. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN ILLUSTRATION? Yes, since I was really young I have been buying comics and watching anime (Macross, Ranma, Sailor moon‌), I have also drawn some comic stories and illustrations where I have drawn my classmates and me. I have always had a special relationship with drawing, it is a need for me. WHERE DO YOU LOOK TO FIND INSPIRATION? I use music to find inspiration because of the way it makes me feel so music is really important for me to create. The kind of music that I listen depends on the project I am involve. Sometimes I am not in the mood of listening music, then I take a look to my art books, magazines, books, films and to the internet to search for references and ideas. If I am completely blocked I just go for a walk through the city. Finally as an other artists I use to represent myself in my own work in certain way, so I am used to draw girls.

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WHAT ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? I am proud of all the evolution I did when I was studding in the Netherlands and all the exhibitions and art projects that I was part of. I have also been in Morocco participating in painting workshops with orphans and in an exhibition in the theatre of Rabat with Moroccan artists. The Netherlands experience changed my mind and the morocco experience changed my heart. RANDOM QUESTIONS // WHAT WAS THE FIRST CREATIVE THING YOU DID TODAY? I am already thinking in the next project I am going to do because I have just finished a big one, so I am not drawing today. FAVORITE DRINK? I really like light coke but a month ago I discovered melon soda, a Japanese drink, and I love it too. FAVORITE PIECE OF ART? I got shocked the first time I saw The Garden of Delights from El Bosco, I fell in love with this amazing piece of art that is exposed in the Prado museum, in Madrid . If you come to Madrid you must see it! IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD IT BE? I love Tokyo, but I am not sure if I would like to live there. I would like to live in my city, in Madrid, but with the possibility of travel a lot. WEBSITE: www.saravg.weebly.com

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE?

My name is Ojo Agi and I’m a self-taught artist from Canada. I’ve been drawing since I was a child, only recently taking it more seriously. I love finding other artists and getting inspired by their creativity. Seeing the innovation and originality of others inspires me to create.

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?

The toughest part about the creative process is getting inspired. Of course I can choose to draw at any time, but the result is so much better when I get the impulse to create. I somehow manage to capture the emotions of the portraits more

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accurately and make them come alive. Once I’ve decided to create something, I assemble my tools and begin drawing. I usually use a couple of reference photos and my imagination to create the image I want. When I’m truly inspired, I can finish the entire portrait in a couple of days. If the portrait starts taking me weeks to complete, it’s a sign that I no longer connect with the image.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

I’m still working on developing my style, which to me means creating recognizable work. I think a lot of my portraits feature strong highlights, piercing eye contact and an element of ambiguity.


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WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I’m inspired by so many things. When it comes to my art, I think I’m really drawn to subtle emotions. A little squint to the eye or twitch in the lip can suddenly give life to a portrait. The faces become ambiguous, as people try to discover what emotion is being portrayed. I think that’s led to a lot of people identifying with my work— it can be sad or happy, vulnerable or strong, coy or cold. The ambiguity lets you choose what you want to see, in some ways reflecting your own emotions back at you.

WHAT DO YOU TRY TO PORTRAY WITH YOUR ARTWORK?

Going back to my inspirations, I think that’s what I’m trying to portray: ambiguity. It’s about recognizing that individuals are complex and intricate beings that can never be so easily stereotyped or classified. We all have multiple identities with a range of emotions, with the right to embody any trait whenever we choose to. I want to diversify how we view people, particularly women of colour, and understand that people have the agency to be who they want to be without the burden of society’s labels.

YOU’VE WRESTLED WITH THE TITLE “ARTIST,” WHAT DOES BEING AN ARTIST MEAN TO YOU, DO YOU THINK YOU’RE CLOSER TO ACHIEVING THAT “AM I AN ARTIST” GOAL?

I can’t help but think the title “artist” is a bit overused. But I’ve settled on the fact that the word means many different things to many different people. For some, being an artist means having a creative spirit. For others, being an artist means having a natural talent for the arts. For others, being an artist means having your entire life devoted to your craft. I was too focused on the latter definition, feeling that what I was doing was insufficient to label myself as an artist. In accepting that there is a spectrum of what an artist looks like, I’m more easily finding comfort identifying with the title. Just like with anything else, it’s only a component of my identity—it’s not the full story and it doesn’t need to be.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTERS OF DIASPORA HOW DOES YOUR LIFE AFFECT PROJECT, WHAT INSPIRED IT? In short, Daughters of Diaspora encompasses YOUR ART? what I try to portray with my artwork. In As I deconstruct my experiences, emotions and identity, I try to reconstruct them in my artwork. I’m often trying to represent myself or share my perspective through my drawings. Even though they’re not based on my face, I often think of them as self-portraits.

recognizing that individuals have multiple identities, I want to centralize the experiences of Africans in the diaspora. Many of us are a product of multiple cultures and I was inspired to create a space where we can have these discussions and celebrate the different elements that make us unique.

HOW DID/DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR LINKS: STYLE? I believe I’m still working on it, but the answer is WEBSITE: www.ojoagi.com always practice. The more you draw, the more you discover what you like. I frequently try new TUMBLR: www.ojoagi.tumblr.com materials and methods I discover through other artists to find out if it’s suitable for me. If I like it, INSTAGRAM: @ojoagi it becomes another component of my “style”. If FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/artbyojo not, I now know that those particular mediums or processes don’t work for me.

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? I’m Joanna, an artist, illustrator, stuffmaker, provider of pretty images based in Poland. I do collaging, drawing, mixed media art, whatever feels right at the moment.

inspiration, not something to be followed carefully. I try to make my works personal, even if they are meant for illustrating someone else’s thoughts. As far as I’ve learnt, a good illustration has to be able to exist on its own, without the text.

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? Pretty much intuitive. I try to not plan too much before I start an artwork because I feel like it blocks me. I’ve been trying to fight this habit of “thinking what to draw”. I like to surprise myself with the results of my creative process. I want to have fun, I think the viewers can sense whether you had fun making an artwork or not. Maybe that’s exactly what makes good art.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Whoa that’s a difficult question, I’ve never really thought about it. I think what I aim to is to make it playful, bold, a bit “childish”, a bit trippy and not too polished. My favorite technique is probably to combine found images with ink drawings.

Probably my favorite way of working will be to browse my sea of cutouts, find the one that catches my eye at the moment – call it “a protagonist” of the collage – glue it and then add other elements, cutouts or doodles. Or find a full-page photo and draw on it. Or paint an abstract stain and then add other things. Mostly it’s just a vague idea as a starting point. If working on an illustration for an article, I take the text only as an

WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION? Mostly on the internet. Tumblr is a great place for it of course. I watch movies, listen to the music, look at art, look around myself – just like any other artist I guess. Also nature inspires me a lot, I live in the country so say I have an easy access to it. It sort of recharges my creativity. I find that fascinating that there is a plethora of different shapes of leaves for example. This is an endless source of inspiration.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT COLLAGE ART? The idea of using found images to construct a completely new one. Also I often feel like I’m giving a new life to old books or magazines that no one wouId surely ever need anymore. I just like to work with something found, it’s easier to start an artwork this way for me than with a blank page. Collage is a cheap, accessible medium that allows you to work fast, which is what I’m drawn to. HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE FOR YOUR IMAGES WHEN CONSTRUCTING A COLLAGE? Actually this is what I pay most attention to. Composition is everything in every medium, though I think collage is especially all about it. I dare to say that your drawing skills don’t matter, “meaning” of your artwork doesn’t matter if your image isn’t thoughtfully composed. But answering your actual question - I just look for the perfect combination of shapes and colors (and “meanings” too) until I’m satisfied. I can’t really tell you how do I know it’s “right”. I just do. But it takes practice, just like everything else. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL PROJECT? Hmm, a collaboration with a photographer, I guess. They take pics and I doodle on them or cut them into a collage. Maybe, a fashion shoot. I would love to see more things like this in fashion magazines. HOW DO YOU USE COLLAGE TO TRAVEL TO A DIFFERENT TIME AND SPACE? I just arrange places I’d love to visit or events I’d love to witness for my own enjoyment. I imagine myself being elsewhere, somewhere unreal, long time ago or long

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time in future. In reality, I enjoy the simple act of being in different places too, exploring, especially at places I have never been before. I think it somehow conveys into my art. WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO COLLAGE ART? The easiness of it, like, why struggle to make a person look “real” at a drawing if I can use a photo of them? I think it was at Rookie mag where collage illustrations first caught my eye. I was like “this looks so easy, I could be doing this”, so I just started out. Though it turned to be not that easy as I thought at first. WHAT ABOUT JAPANESE ART INSPIRES YOU MOST? The weirdness of it. This subtle creepiness present even in innocently themed artworks, not to mention these not-so-innocently themed. At the moment I’m digging works of artists like Takato Yamamoto or Toshio Saeki, and also works of graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo, whose posters are the best I’ve ever seen. Studying them it’s a great lesson of this finding-the-right-balance thing. There are so many elements at his works but there’s no mess, everything is perfectly clear. Also I admire how he takes commercial commissions as an opportunity to fill his works with personal meanings, symbols from his own past or dreams, proving that graphic design doesn’t have to be purely usable thing saying nothing about the person behind it. This is an attitude I would like to maintain too. As a viewer/reader I can see lack of this kind of works in magazines, on websites etc. As for formal issues, it will be usage of strong, black line, flat, homogenous areas of color, lots of ornaments or


patterns. I find that very interesting how Japanese art had been developing over the centuries in completely different ways than here in Europe – while European painters had been focused on trying to make things look three-dimensional, inventing things like perspective and chiaroscuro, Japanese seem to been never interested in that. I have a theory that depicting objects in realistic and detailed way but without lights and shadows, adds to this creepiness I mentioned. Try to imagine your surroundings completely lacking of these features. It would be weird as hell. WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE SEE IN YOUR COLLAGES? Something that is not there in real life. I am drawn to everything unreal or weird, because that’s how I understand beauty, probably. Reality can be so boring, trivial or ugly at times. I guess I aim to change it, as far as I’m able to, even just a little bit. Like I said, for me my work is a trip. If I could invite anyone to go on this trip with me, I’d be more than happy. Let’s just go to some surreal realms together. RANDOM: WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO GO? I enjoy finding myself in desolated places that no one goes to. I like to wander aimlessly, I’ve always been drawn to this state of being “nowhere”, on the road. But probably my favorite destination will be the seashore, which is like an hour of biking from where I live. WHAT SONG IS STUCK IN YOUR HEAD RIGHT NOW? At the very moment I have “Insomnia” by Yellow Magic Orchestra playing on repeat. It’s sort of hypnotizing. FAVORITE BOOKS? My books for collaging. Especially these 90s popularscience books for kids, A4 size, hard cover, lots of great pics on subjects like physics, technics, nature, astronomy, etc. They are ace. LINKS: WEBSITE: joannamarcjanna.tumblr.com

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? Hi, I am Kenvi, a junior student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I like doing illustration, graphic design, printmaking, and animation. WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? For illustrations, I usually start with brainstorming, doing multiple sketches and research at the same time. When I have a solid concept and sketch, I will start drawing things in detail, as well as coloring. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Warm and colorful, with a little bit of childishness. WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT ANIMATION? Definitely timing, I had some problems making the time looks right when I first started doing animation. WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST? Children’s picture book and Japanese animated movies.

LINKS:

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT TO KNOW ABOUT ILLUSTRATING? I think observation and practice are the most important. The more you draw, the better you drawing skills can be.

TWITTER: @kenvi1993

WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN ILLUSTRATION? Probably around 10, I just love drawing, doing illustrations is a part of my life now.

BEHANCE: Kenvi Liang

TUMBLR: kenviliang.tumblr.com INSTAGRAM: @kenvi_liang

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS? Japanese artist Komako Sakai and German artist Qunit Buchholz WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL PROJECT? It is hard to say, I have so many ideal projects. I think that will be the project I always have passion and interest when doing it. WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO SHOW IN YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS? Childhood memories and nostalgia are my main themes, I also like the topic about natures. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEDIUM TO WORK WITH? Watercolor, pen and ink. Recently, I found that computer software, Photoshop, is also fun to use.

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INTRODUCE YOURSELF, TELL US ABOUT YOU & YOUR CREATIVE GENRE? I am an visual artist from the outskirts of Toronto, Canada but I was born and raised in Italy. My academic and professional background is quite varied: I hold a BFA, a post-graduate certificate in computer graphics, and collected a few years of undergraduate studies in Psychology. When I moved to Canada eons ago (1985) I abandoned the ups-and-downs of the artist’s life and fell prey to the allure of a steady pay-cheque. I worked as an interactive media developer for about fifteen years, developing digital applications at a time when the internet was accessed through Netscape and Mosaic, and ‘I’ wasn’t a prefix to anything but simply a pronoun used to refer to oneself. Eventually I grew tired of that, and in 2007 I returned to my first love which is art-making. It took me a couple of years to get reacquainted with my art practice, trying to develop my own visual vocabulary and technique. In 2009 I felt ready to show my work to the public for the first time since university. I guess the adage “it’s never too late” really holds some truth. WEBSITE: www.tonihamel.net TWITTER: @ToniHamelArtist FACEBOOK: facebook.com/toni.hamel.artist TUMBLR: tonihamel-artist.tumblr.com

My creative genre eludes classification - most of my work is graphite on paper with the occasional watercolour wash which makes it more akin to Illustration perhaps, but it has a particular conceptual framework that places it the ranks of the Fine Arts. Although representational, what is represented is not the physical realm but intangible concepts and ideas - all those years spent visualizing graphical user interfaces came in handy, I guess. I refer to my work as “an illustrated commentary on human frailties”. I create narratives that question our behaviour while focusing on themes of universal interest. It is content-driven, an assemblage in which every element is selected based on its ability to support the message I want to convey. I like to juxtapose contemporary ideas with vintage-inspired imagery and traditional rendering. This odd mixture somehow creates a cognitive dissonance that people seem to find both appealing and intriguing.

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WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? Life. If not my own then it’ll be that of others. I’m a news junkie and a documentary buff. I’m fully immersed in reality. I use my work to analyze it, document it and interpret it perhaps in the hope that I might be able to eventually change it. WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT YOUR ARTISTIC STYLE? Each artwork requires an incredible amount of research, which is very time consuming and at times frustrating when I can’t find what I’m looking for. Since my drawings are rendered so precisely (they are often mistaken for prints), many a times even a little unintended mark will force me to discard it completely, which means that I must re-do it from scratch. I am quite anally retentive when it comes to my work, almost OC at times. The jury is still out as to whether that is a good or a bad thing. OVER THE YEARS HOW HAVE YOU GROWN AS AN ARTIST? The evolution is constant, and I like to think that my best work is yet to come. Looking at my work from even a couple of years ago I definitely see an improvement at the technical level as well as how the concepts/ideas are visualized. Since my subject matter is always somewhat difficult (social, political, environmental issues are at the core of my practice), I have found that as of late my work has mellowed a bit - it used to shout, now it simply whispers. Yet this change in tone has by no means diminished its power, if anything it has in fact strengthened it. I’ve learned to use humour and satire to express difficult arguments, whereas in the past the work was visually more confrontational and aggressive. I do at times fear that I might become too comfortable with my own style, that new work will just be a duplication of the old. So I welcome opportunities that push me out of my comfort zone and into unchartered territories. STORYTELLING IS A MAJOR PART OF YOUR STYLE, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT CONSTRUCTING A VISUAL PIECE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT? I am indeed a storyteller, and as such I approach each new body of work as a writer would approach a new novel, or a director a film. That is the main reason why my work proceeds in series. I’ll select a topic that I find deserving of further investigation, and will research it as much as possible. At the same time I collect visual references from old books and magazines, manuals, films and documentaries and whatever else I can find

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while sketching down ideas and compositions. I will then select some elements from different images and bring them together in a sort of mental collage that is capable of supporting the story I want to tell. When the individual artworks are shown together in a gallery setting they read like a complete story where each piece is a ‘chapter’ of the same narrative. THE SYMBOLIC IMAGES YOU USE SEEM TO ALWAYS FIT PERFECTLY WITH YOUR WORK, HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON WHAT SYMBOLISM WORKS BEST FOR YOU? At times it’s an instinctive process, and at others it’s a much laboured one. It’s a fine balance that keeps me on my toes: I try not to utilize metaphors that might be too ‘cheesy’, as in overused and common, yet I have to adopt visual references that will evoke in the viewer the right inference. It’s unfortunately not a process that gets better with time, as each artwork presents its own challenges from this point of view. But that’s how I chose to express myself, and I think by now I’ve learned to live with it. HOW DO YOU USE YOUR OWN LIFE TO INSPIRE YOUR WORK? My biology has ‘blessed’ me with Bi-Polar Disorder, a mental illness that causes constant mood swings. My days cycle through elation and despair, extreme happiness and tremendous sadness, incredible highs and terrible lows. It has shaped me into the artist that I am today, and have learned to accept it and in fact use it to my advantage. My most poignant pieces were created during periods of low moods, whereas my most humorous ones were done during periods of mania. Just by looking at each individual artwork one can determine the type of mood I was in while creating it. I can be read like an open book. Sometime I think that if I didn’t suffer from this disorder perhaps I wouldn’t even be an artist. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING ARTISTS? Keep on practicing your craft, be true to yourself, and if you are just starting out in the Fine Arts do enter as many juried shows as you can (google the judges’ names first, though) because it’s all eventually simply about exposure and name recognition. Don’t rush into it, but do take your time to develop your skills and widen your knowledge base. The world awaits you.


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ISSUE EIGHT - INK & ARROWS MAGAZINE  

Features interviews from creatives; Ojo Agi, Chris Rebustillo, Ego Rodriguez, Jen Hawkyard, Joanna Marcjanna, & many more. Grab the full is...

ISSUE EIGHT - INK & ARROWS MAGAZINE  

Features interviews from creatives; Ojo Agi, Chris Rebustillo, Ego Rodriguez, Jen Hawkyard, Joanna Marcjanna, & many more. Grab the full is...