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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

raw talent :: illustrator jonny wan

Get ready to be mesmerized! Sheffield, UK artist Jonny Wan is pretty much a bad ass illustrator. I love love love his unique style of illustration and MY OH MY does he know how to create some designs that make you sit up and take notice. Much of his art revolves around facial expression, pattern and shape and every one of his designs seems to spring off of the background. I had the chance to interview Jonny and this is what he had to say about his art.

When and how did you first become interested in design?
I have always had an interest in design but never really knew what area of the creative industry I wanted to settle in, it wasn't until my final year at art college I decided that illustration was the discipline I wanted to specialize in and to have that specific craft as my career. The reason i chose illustration was because of the freedom that the discipline has. Its not really art and not really graphic design and has no rules, also I found it something that came very natural to me and was the most comfortable way of working and expressing my ideas to the world.

How long have you been an artist?
I don't really consider myself an artist but more of a visual communicator. With the amount of advertising and branding bombardment we are subjected to every day I find it more important not just to create a beautiful picture but to create an illustration that has meaning, a message, something that captures the audience for that split second and gets them to think and become intrigued in your work and message.

What is your favorite subject to illustrate?
I don't really have a favourite subject to illustrate, a lot of my work is ongoing experimentation and I strive to discover something new with every new piece that I work on to take to the next, whether it be a new way of drawing eyes or a new colour palette. A lot of my work draws inspiration from ancient cultures so I guess i am fascinated with the aesthetics of many ancient civilisations and how they represented themselves visually.

What is your most difficult subject to illustrate?
The most difficult subjects to illustrate are the ones that really challenge you to convey a complex idea in the shortest amount of time. As a visual communicator I thrive on these kind of challenges, the best feeling is when you get that eureka moment regarding and idea and can transition this idea onto the screen/paper with your own visual interpretation and style.

Favorite time of day to create?
Mid morning right after my latte! though some of my best ideas have come from random parts of the day that's why i always carry some form of notepad with me so i can jot down exactly when and where I thought of it.

A typical day for you would be...
I'll get up go for a run, get some breakfast and be working by 10am, getting all the formal stuff out the way first e.g. emailing, admin etc then I'll start working on any briefs or ongoing work till about 1/2pm I'll break for a bit for lunch then carry on working till 5/6. I guess that is the default working day but the beauty of working freelance is that you are really flexible and sometimes i can take the morning off and work late at night. Another thing is that it never really feels like working, I count myself very lucky to be doing something I am addicted to for a living.

Biggest accomplishment? Defining my own unique voice in illustration.

You absolutely cannot go without... My mobile phone and Coffee. 

What are some of your upcoming projects?
A few editorial work for magazines and also some pattern design! Also working on a few pieces for an exhibition in Sheffield happening some time in May!

In my spare time I like to...
Doodle and shoot hoops!
What  or Who inspires you?
Sorry to be a cliche but everything really does inspire me, from sweet wrappers to textures on walls, I'll look at anything and if I find it visually stimulating and try and figure out a way I can introduce it to my illustration style. I am constantly striving to evolve my style and make it applicable to numerous subjects.

Name some of your favorite tools or mediums to use?
Vintage Canon AE-1 program (learning to shoot with old school film!), fisheye lens, Sharpie markers. I have always loved the colour crimson. Illustrator and Photoshop.

Favorite type of cake/cupcake?
I could go on forever in this section but to keep it short I'll stick with lemon and poppyseed loaf and blueberry muffins!

Coffee or tea? Both are mandatory!

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To see more of Jonny's work please visit his links below.
Thanks again Jonny!


Anonymous said...

pretty cool art! keep it up jonny!

uberkraaft on April 14, 2010 at 2:45 AM said...

Jonny = Ace!

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