Saturday, 8 January 2011

Delivery and Medium

In order for an illustrator to communicate his ideas to his target audience he must choose the appropriate platform. These platforms can have many purposes such as advertising, branding, publishing and textiles and can exist in a range of sizes and formats such as billboards, magazines, brochures, wall papers, fabrics and many more.

One of my favourite prominent American pop artists is Roy Lichtenstein graphic artist, painter and sculptor. His work was heavily influenced by both advertising and the comic book style, Lichtenstein began his first Pop paintings using cartoon images such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck using the techniques of hard-edged figures and benday dots to represent certain colours resulting in the appearance of commercial printing. Lichtenstein’s unique techniques are truly mesmerising it fascinates me how he can use millions of small benday dots to create colour and tones to a person’s face and the colours he uses are bright and powerful that scream off the page in order to grasp the viewers attention.

Brad Hamman, one of the leading digital artists working in the field today took inspiration from Roy Lichtenstein. Brad Hamman is a New Yorker he has appeared in many of Americas leading magazines and national publications such as the New York Times Wall Street Journal, Barrons, and Los Angeles Times. He has received significant recognition for his digital illustration and advertising campaigns for companies such as DKNY, Honda, Dannon and many more. His work is a combination of Adobe Illustrator Vector art and Photoshop he tends to specialise in the creation of custom comic book and superhero images, portraits and pop art romance recreations.
An example of Hamann’s most recent and well known piece of work is the advertising campaign for DKNY Be Delicious Pop-Art Optic edition. Donna Karan commissioned him to create Pop Art inspired illustrations for DKNY Be Delicious Limited edition fragrance. The new, limited edition apple which was launched in July 2009 in a flacon shape of glass, part decorated with green dots and a green cap in the upper part of the flacon. It’s outer layer is surrounded by pop-art design. A comic was drawn by Hamann and presented together with the new, limited edition fragrance; the comic was made to reflect the spirit of New York. The campaign so far consists of half a dozen poster images, including a two page comic strip, plus packaging art. The images appear in full page ads, beach towels, posters, taxicabs ect. Hamman’s Be Delicious packaging includes benday dots, lettering and speech balloons which is very similar to the pop art style and designs of the late Lichtenstein.

I have also been inspired by Roy Lichtenstein and have incorporated his style in my third project (Welcome to Biad). I used a similar technique to produce a stylish and modern publication (Student Handbook).

Roy Lichtenstein

                                                                      Brad Hamman

Ilutrators can utilise both commercial and non –commercial projects while still representing and delivering the same message.
An artist who I am particularly interested in is Banksy. Due to living in London I have been able to visit a few of his pieces in Camden and Bricklane.

Banksy He has represented himself in many different mediums including street graffiti, films, exhibitions and museums.
Banksy is a graffiti artist whose work originated from the Bristol underground scene which involved collaborations between artists and musicians on a non commercial basis between the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Banksy’s art combines humour with graffiti done using stenciling techniques. His work has been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
Banksy has always chosen to keep his identity a secret because revealing his identity as graffiti artist would have lead to some very large fines.
Banksy’s decision to keep out of the limelight was intended as a rejection of the art world and the associated commercialism. Over the years Banksys popularity has grown mainly due to his anonymity. Banksy is a strong believer in the non commercial side of his art however his graffiti “bad boy” status is long gone. He is now a fashion icon having dedicated museums in Bristol and London, exhibitions to sell paintings and merchandise (selling postcards, art books, T-shirts) and as of 2010 he even has his own film.
Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop highlights the difficulty of making money as a graffiti artist.  However a simple mention from Banksy in his film was enough of a collaboration to be commercially beneficial for his friend Mr Brainwash to reap the benefits. People are reported to have spent thousands of dollars on Mr Brainwash’s art.
Banksy has proven that by using different mediums both commercial and non-commercial he has been able to represent his original Graffiti street art and deliver the same message and still be profitable. 

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