Shahane Hakobyan

Shahane Hakobyan is an image and print maker based out of London. She has recently graduated from the London College of Communication, where she obtained a BA in Graphic and Media Design Illustration.

Shahane’s work is inspired by the people and cultural situations she relates back to her travels: the processes she works in, the merging of her thoughts with her movements, as well as abstract expressionist/expressionist artists that have inspired her. She has had the experience that many don’t have from a young age – She’s moved around from Armenia to St. Petersburg to Paris and Dubai. All of her travels are what define the majority of her work.

“‘Sleep Paralysis’ is a series of images representing the artists’ own personal experience of the phenomenon, the internal struggles, the psychological strains, and the horrifying ghostly presences which roam around the time of sleep. A second series of photographs are taken using models who resemble the artist, touching upon a theory by anthropologist Michael Winkelman. Winkelman suggests that we are predisposed to see human like spirits because our minds are accustomed to perceiving the world as having qualities like ourselves. Thus the terror and fear of being trapped inside our own bodies is only explained to ourselves, in our own minds, as that of a Stranger, an outside figure, in most cases a spirit.”  These photographs represent a great emotional ordeal within the artist’s practice, expressing the core of her practice as well as what emotionally drives her, herself, within her work. The photographs twist and turn and reflect, allowing the audience to create an emotional response with the artist and to engage within her work.

To view more of Shahane’s work, visit her website here – http://cargocollective.com/shahane

Sarah Dimech

Sarah Dimech is an artist based out of London. She has recently graduated from the London College of Communication with a BA in Graphic and Media Design with a pathway in illustration.

Sarah’s work predominately revolves around found imagery and objects. The artist takes inspiration from these artifacts, using their narrative to intersect her own. In working with found imagery, the artist enjoys the physicality of them, using them as a process of engagement with objects and images that hold memory. Sarah believes in the ancient Indian idea that everything already exists, thus we cannot create or invent, but only rediscover. In following this belief, the artist uses found objects and imagery in a new context, playing with the meaning and tapping into the emotional resonances such objects evoke.

Sarah’s sketchbook is a great representation of how these ideas make way into her practice. The work is completely transformed and reconfigured – Shapes taking the forms of what once were portraits of people, precise patterns contributing to these portraits – Sarah recreates each found image as her own.

To check out more of Sarah’s work, visit her website here – http://www.svpdimech.com/

Jinzhen Liang

Jinzhen Liang is a London-based illustrator specialising in fashion illustration and textile print. Jinzhen recently graduated from the London College of Communication with a BA in Graphic and Media Design, pathway into illustration.

Jinzhen’s illustrations are haunting, yet intriguing. Inspired by the artists’ surroundings, Jinzhen creates dream-like, stoic figures wrapped around complex shapes and patterns. The artists’ passion for fashion illustration is apparent, evident in figures themselves – The artist explains, “Due to my own passion to fashion, I prefer to add fashion elements into portrait drawings to produce works that can express my feeling to the fashion world.”

To view more of Jinzhen Liang’s work, check out the artist’s website here – http://cargocollective.com/liangjinzhen

Robert Marshall

 

Illustrator and graphic designer Robert Marshall has a style that’s slick, professional, and purposeful: you could easily assume he’s been working the industry for years, whereas he’s actually only just graduated this year (that’s with a degree from the University of Cumbria if you’re interested). 

His book cover design for Chandler’s The Big Sleep was actually the first thing that really caught my eye when looking at his website: the photo collaged flower design is really striking, and shows a really strong grasp of aesthetics and composition that carries on through everything else that he produces. Filters and noise layers also add a kind of personal touch that stops his work from having that overly clinical ‘photoshop’ effect that many graphic designers can fall victim to- Robert instead takes that clean editorial vibe and mashes it with his own strong independent aesthetic.

And whilst his posters and book covers are gorgeous his personal and zine illustrations are simply wonderfully vibrant and bold: slightly retro aliens and geometric monsters (whist only a ‘bit of fun’ in his own words) are some of my favourite things that I’ve seen all week.

So really, I recommend checking his website out as much as I can really- for between the silly monsters and clean-cut design work I’m sure there’s something you’ll enjoy.

 

 Robert was also lovely enough to give some answers to a quick few questions here below:

What would you say is the biggest inspiration for you in your illustration work?

I love strong shapes and colours so I would say collage is a big inspiration to me and that is how I see my way of working. The illustrator who has inspired me the most though is Matthew Lyons. His colours and textures and compositions are amazing plus I love the sense of drama he gets into his work.

Is there a particular piece of work or moment in your career so far you’re proudest of?

My facourite pieces are probably the Bagatelle cover and Porn Monsters. Proudest moment is getting my work in Digital Arts in the showcase section.

What are your future plans now you’ve recently graduated? 

My future plans are to make some collective zines with other illustrator friends and also to try and get an agent. 

Your work has a very definite style and tone to it, have you always worked in this way or has your style been a recent development?

I haven’t always worked like this it has been a very recent development. When I first started my course I was really hung up on getting a ‘style’ but my tutor told me to take my time and not to think about it. Instead work in whatever way or technique interested you at the time and what felt right for the work then your style would evolve and develop itself. After three years I can see now that what he said was true and my current style came very naturally from playing about.

And finally, are there any particular musicians or perhaps radio shows/podcasts you like to listen to whilst working?

I listen to a range of music whilst working but the main ones are Andre Williams (he is brilliant you should definitely check him out), MF DOOM, Boiler Room sets and Mark Mcguire.

 

LINKS:

Website 

Ines Neto Dos Santos

Ines Neto Dos Santos is an artist based out of London. She has recently graduated from the BA Graphic and Media Design course with a pathway in illustration from the London College of Communication.

Ines’ work focuses deeply on physical spaces and her relationship to them – In doing so, her practice becomes a type of therapy for the artist, guiding and paving the way for her work. Despite studying a pathway into illustration on her course, Ines’ work takes other methods into her practice, as well, be they photography, video, painting, or sewing. She doesn’t allow her practice to dictate her work, but rather, her work to dictate her practice – There are no filters or rules to her work.

In her ‘Space // Movement’ series/book, the artist spent a year with four London-based dancers who collaborated with her to create this project. The artist explains that, “Space // Movement has been an almost year-long project, aiming to explore 3-D negative and positive space through movement and the body. A collaboration with four London-based dancers, Anna-Lise Marie Hearn, Kathy Richardson, Lizzie J Klotz and Yasmin Sas. The four dancers have a very particular space-body awareness, thus working with them to understand these abstract, impalpable notions was fundamental for the project. Throughout it, there was an incessant search for the physical representation of movement – through mark-making, rather than film or photography. By using drawing materials attached to their bodies, the dancers produce an image – a drawing of movement, evidence of a moment in time.”

 

To check out more of Ines’ work, visit her website here – http://ines-ns.com/

– Killian

Lijia Tang

Lijia Tang is an illustrator, image maker, and pattern designer based out of London. Recently, Lijia has graduated from the BA Graphic and Media Design course at the London College of Communication, with a pathway in illustration.

Lijia’s designs are very elaborate, intricate and colourful. The artist describes her work as being very influenced by her native Chinese heritage, as well as her love of animals and nature – This can be seen in her reoccurring imagery, depicting fictitious, fragmented creatures that the artist creates.

The artist has also been able to successfully transfer over her designs to a more commercial output, with the creation of her silk scarves series. These mirroring, complex designs work well with the silk fabric she chooses to print them on, creating an effortless, elegant approach.

Lijia’s ‘Kings’ series is a great example of how all of the artists’ interests and skills come together well. Based off of her interest in her Chinese heritage, this project was formed off of the kings of the Qin Dynasty in China. Using different animals to depict each king/queen of the dynasty, Lijia uses each animal and elaborate pattern to represent each figure’s history. The portraits in turn are mesmerising.
Check out more of Lijia Tang’s work here – http://cargocollective.com/lijiatang

– Killian

 

 

Time to Get Better Clothing with Margate’s Alex Foster

This week I was charmed by Margate’s very own Alex Foster and his eclectic and humorous graphic illustrations. Working with print, designing editorial wonders or making the bride smile with adorable wedding invites, Foster’s got it covered alright. Wait, did I forget to say the boy does zines too? Fresh out of Middlesex university, this young spud of a graduate has not only focused his attention on his studies but worked with a variety of clients too with projects from widely distributed magazines to an upcoming children’s book.

Not only that but the wizard has thrown his talent and know-how into his illustration cauldron, boiled it down and poured what was left over some pretty, awesome t-shirts and merchandise too, giving birth to his latest project, Get Better Clothing.

After two sell-out collections under his belt, summer 2013 brings a collection with inspiration drawn from Foster’s childhood toys and nature, bringing fun and naivety to the brand. Designs include playful cowboys and indians battling it out on mountains whilst tattooed bears show off their ink all available from the beginning of August. Foster makes sure Get Better Clothing is as eco-friendly as it can be too, using water-based inks, organic bamboo based t-shirts, paper packaging and recycling where ever possible.

So now, not only can you appreciate the boy’s immense talent as is but you can kit your wardrobe out with it as well – from a fashion girl’s point of view that’s a win win. I also like to think of him as a bit of a social media hussy treating his beloved clothing child to it’s very own blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Go on, eye up Foster’s illustrations at his official website over here, you know you want to. Or if you really, truly want to go the extra mile and have a face-to-face perve on it then head on down to Margate’s Harbour Arm Gallery where Foster will be showcasing illustrations relating to his seaside hometown in exhibition ‘Coming Home‘. Of course, if you hadn’t guessed it, the exhibition is run by the man himself showcasing talent from some of London’s top illustration and sculpture students and graduates following the theme of hometowns from sunny seasides to cool California, wherever that artist calls home. It will be running from 24th-30th July. 

Also exhibiting in ‘Coming Home’ are: Chris Alton, Chloë Greenfield, Mark Holihan, Eileen Kai Hing Kwan, Amy Stevens, Liz Tweedale, Maddy Vian and Dawn Williams.

 

 

ALEX FOSTER OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GET BETTER CLOTHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Lisan Ly

“It could be autumn leaves in a park, reflections in a lake or walking past a skyscraper. I believe beauty can exist anywhere, when you look.” The unmissable Lisan Ly and her global explorations are the foundation for similarly global ambitions. Flying the flag – or should I say flying her scarf designs – proudly in the air for all to see. One would perhaps need an atlas to explain the sources of inspiration behind the beauteous creations of the British born designer. Malaysia and Thailand are a few of the many pins in her map.

Lisan painted a picture for me, describing how ‘temple tiles, vibrant florals and beautiful insects’ played a role in shaping her explosive colour pallete. Chinese and Vietnamese heritage are another ingredient confidently stitched into the surfaces designs of the London College of Communication graduate, who makes reference to England’s Kew Gardens and Japanese kimonos as research points for the delicately balanced designs of her impressive debut October 2012 collection. “I absolutely love travelling and try to see as much of the world as I can. It’s an amazing source of creative inspiration.”

Lisan’s work displays a considerable level of technical excellence, perhaps stemming from previous studies at Kingston University; not in design, but computing. To this day innovative techniques and quality craftsmanship such as (deep breath) hand illustration, computer aided design, screen printing, pattern cutting, laser cutting and embroidery, all contribute to the elegance. Much labour and attention to detail has been woven into the fibres of this ‘wearable art.’ There is certainly much more than meets the eye.

Making reference to two of my favorite words – ‘organized chaos’, Lisan explains how her creations “aim to reflect beauty in the world and embody the simple pleasures in life” and I think she is successful in her intentions. Her luxurious but playful designs breath a level of sophistication that would make a perfect gift for the perfect woman. Lisan has great admiration for the likes of Alexander McQueen, Yohji yamamoto, Elie Saab and the prints of Basso & Brooke, Erdem and Peter Pilotto – but keep your eye on the catwalks, and listen out for the alliterate brand name – ‘Lisan Ly’ that will hopefully one day stand alongside the work of such well-known designers.

Emily May

Emily May’s illustrations are simply lovely and adorable in every way, with a sweet style that suits any kind of commercial brief. Having done work for ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Cath Kidston among many others whilst even helping redesign an entire PDSA shop in Leeds, she’s got an impressively full portfolio for someone who only graduated in 2010 (that’s from Leeds Met with first in Graphic Design).

My favourite pieces of her work have got to be her cat and dog print designs (the dog one you can see on the left here), which are intricate and cute in equal amounts. Her style is mainly based on her detailed line penwork, but she also uses a fair bit of digital colour to add variety and tone, which works very well.

She was also lovely enough to answer some quick questions for me, so here’s a little interview for you:

What part of your career or portfolio so far are you most proud of?
Supporting myself as a Freelance Illustrator for nearly 2 and a half years has been a massive achievement for me. Its a terrifying prospect for any young creative to come out of University and try to make it on their own in the real world. I’m proud of myself for having the guts and determination to stick it through and get to where I am now. In regards to my portfolio, though its pretty awesome seeing my illustrations printed in magazines or on peoples sweatshirts, I think I get more of an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I sell a print in my shop; knowing that a person wants to hang my drawing in their home is the loveliest feeling.


Do you have a dream commission, or do you simply enjoy the act of creating in general?
I don’t know if I have a dream commission really, I just love any work that comes my way where I can put my own creative twist on things. For anybody that has seen my work, its probably quite clear that I’m somewhat obsessed with animals and working for the PDSA was probably the most rewarding project I’ve ever done; so getting commissioned by the RSPCA or WWF would be beyond amazing. I could easily spend all hours of the day drawing kittens, so to avoid this I prefer working to a brief, that way I keep myself challenged.


All your animal drawings, but the cats in particular, have such a great sense of character- but are you a cat or a dog person?
I have 100% belief that my dogs love me more than anybody ever will in the whole entire world, and I also believe that the only reason my cat is rubbing up against my ankles right now is because he wants to be fed. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t live without either and I find them equally as hilarious with buckets of personality – and that’s what makes for a great drawing.


What  does the immediate future hold for you and your work?
I’ve got a few things on my plate right now. I’m currently working on an illustration for Cath Kidston and I’m very excited for when that goes to print, and I’m also working on an animation project which is scary new territory for me but something I’m really enjoying. 


And lastly: what or who is the biggest influence on your life and work?
If I had to choose one person it would be my granddad. I remember from a very young age sitting on his lap whilst he looked at my drawings and showed me how to improve them, I believe I have inherited his perfectionist ways. He worked at Gaumont British Animation as an animator and created the more than beautiful series ‘Animaland’. He is such a skilled illustrator and painter and he’ll forever be my biggest inspiration.

 

LINKS

Website

Etsy Shop

Blog

Twitter

Sylvia Moritz

Sylvia Moritz has never strayed from artistic disciplines, having studied Graphic Communication from an early age at Die Graphische in Vienna. Encouraged by her college tutors to cross borders, the multi-media artist and designer flew the nest at 19 en route to America. Here she discovered a lot about herself and her discipline, studying Illustration in Boston, and partaking in a six-month printmaking course in San Francisco.

On the back of a range of practical and industrial skills acquired from her travels, Sylvia enrolled at the University of the Arts London. In 2012, she found herself back in America on an erasmus exchange programme, this time showing The Big Apple what she was made of, in a six-month intensive at The Parsons New School for Design. She made the most of state of the art facilities, gaining advanced knowledge in branding and packaging design from peers such as Lance Wyman (Mexico ’68) as well as honing her illustrative expertise, mentored by reportage fanatic Veronica Lawlor.

The Austrian is an advocate of both the use of traditional and digital techniques that work hand-in-hand with one another, and such an ideal is conveyed in a lot of her work. Observations of Moritz’s surroundings play a vital role in shaping the direction of her practice. Usually with underlying environmentalist attitudes, her stunning mark-making qualities display a meticulous attention to detail and an enviable dedication to the creative arts. She continues to develop her style and relentlessly pushes herself to improve with every project she participates in. And the hard work has paid off, recently winning a Best of Year award with the D&AD for a project with the V&A.

Sylvia must be congratulated on her immaculate level of craft, her delicately balanced tone and liberating colour combinations. In the main image we capture an insight into her exotic amalgamation of geometric elements that satisfy the eye hypnotically – a feat of technical excellence comparable to that of the late and respected Escher. One can only hope that Sylvia continues to lead us on inspiring journeys through her labyrinthian creations. I have full confidence that she will.

 

 

 

Sarah Kilkenny Design

It’s often the case that creative types draw a lot from their childhood, after all we are each one of us products of our upbringing. It was natural then for Sarah Kilkenny to make the move from embroidering with her grandmother in Manchester to studying fashion design full time at the Edinburgh College of Art. Following a slew of fashion opportunities in sixth form, including the Fashion Awareness Directive and the Vauxhall Fashion Scout programme, the latter of which granted Sarah the research award, the young designer gathered enough confidence and experience to continue her passion into higher education. She is now entering her fourth and final year of study.

Often cited as the fashion capital of the North, Manchester plays host to a number of creatives, many of whom have been featured as part of the ‘Born in Britain’ project. Between the experience her home town has leant her, and those which she has learnt in Edinburgh, Sarah’s style is one that is comfortable and cool. Growing up around many artistic influences has allowed her to broaden her own repertoire and she cites illustration and writing as areas of interest to be explored, as well as photography, film, and design and the impact and relationship they share with fashion design. As well as this, the designer talks about the merging of fashion and academia as a growing trend, alluding to Anja Aronowsky Cronberg and her work at Vestoj, and with such a multifaceted nature to her work, Sarah imbues creation with meaning, drive, and interest.

Currently, her work is largely fashion design with a focus on surfaces. Studying at the ECA has lead to an endless number of awesome opportunities, including the chance to work with high-end designers Duchamp and Michael Kors, both of whom selected Sarah as a finalist in their design competitions. The accolades don’t stop there, either, she also made it to the finals of the British Alpaca Society Student Knitwear Designer of the Year Competition and the Mackintosh Competition, narrowly missing out on the top spots. The latter two competitions were of great importance to Sarah because of their positions as forerunners in a long line of British heritage brands, which, alongside Gola, support and sustain the tradition and economy of Great Britain. That’s why, when a young Scottish brand announced her as winner of their design competition, she was so enthusiastic to see her designs realised. That’s all under wraps for now, but watch this space.

Inspiration comes from many areas, but Sarah stresses that they are mainly visual ones. Feelings and characters play into her ‘imaginary muse’, but the main theme is a focus on perception through vision. Work with other creatives is also impactive, and she describes working on a collaborative sketchbook project that involved sharing visual illustration ideas and building upon them as a group of artists.

This summer, Sarah has embarked on an internship with another heritage brand, Pringle of Scotland. Living and working in London, Sarah tells me that she will be ‘assisting with all areas within the design team, knitwear and wovens but predominantly knitwear as this is where I have been specialising this year. Also research, colour palettes, fittings and working with the lookbook shoot’. The formal part of her training begins here, but she is no stranger to the hard-faced world of the fashion industry, and has previously worked with clients such as Chanel on their 2013 Metier D’Arts show in Edinburgh.

Sarah admits that the future is anyone’s guess. She’d like to do an MA in Womenswear, but with such an extensive and impressive CV already, the sky really is the limit for this impressive young designer.

Top Photo: Coat, Sarah Kilkenny; Hat, Emma Lawrie; Top, Catrina Murphy; Trousers, Birgit Saviauk. Model: Marju Kaps.

Sarah may be contacted at: sarahkilkenny91@gmail.com

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Laura Callaghan

Laura Callaghan’s work is just oh so very Vogue in every sense: the definition of elegance and beauty.

Strong women with intense stares and impeccable dress sense is a reoccurring theme in the London based artist’s work, no doubt at least partly due to her weekly fashion illustrations for The Sunday Telegraph and various works for those such as American Apparel. The illustrations she does are always full of detail and beautiful patterns, making them lovely prints and pieces of artwork in their own right.

Normally working in watercolour (switching between black and white for a stately effect and full colour for a vibrant one) Callaghan also regularly releases new screen prints and tote bag designs, which never fail to have eye catching designs on them that’d make anyone envious.

She also looks to be gradually doing more narrative pieces, which promise to be very interesting: there’s an achingly romantic melancholic vibe to her style that would translate very well to comics or graphic novels. The bold yet slightly jaded girls that populate her prints remind me of the protagonists of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World; fully modern and totally self-aware.

 

LINKS:

Her website

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