Also new to Thought Bubble are 3 more books: Pages On A Theme - A5 risograph instricate drawing zine, 24 pages, £4. Masquerade - 24 x postcard book produced collaboratively with 11 other artists, £8. Museum of Mythical Creatures - A5 risograph colouring/activity zine, £3.
As well as these books are new badges, jewellery, xmas card bundles and A3 prints along with all my usual swag.
I get a few emails every now and then from students enquiring about my processes and academic musings as a practicing illustrator.
Recently, I answered the following question, and surprised myself with how much my two-pence worth filled the Text Edit file. I thought some other folks might have wondered the same thing and if they, too, might find reading this of some small use to their studies and artistic endeavours. So here’s the Q & A for all you internet folks:
Do you think it is best to have one recognisable style throughout your work or to have a number of styles that act as collections to showcase the range of your work?
It certainly depends on the artist. ‘Style’ is a naturally prevailing visual tendency and can sometimes over arch other aesthetic variables, such as process or medium. Some artists portfolios will be greatly varied in processes and media, but still have a stylistic thread that runs through the whole body of work. Other artists have a very honed specific skill set, which is as individual and distinct as their style. Neither is right or wrong.
The important part is that the artist takes ownership of their processes, skills and therefore their portfolio’s content and style, and is aware of it’s wider context. So basically: don’t make work you think other people would like, make work you like. Style is a dynamic thing, it changes and evolves the more work you make, and the more experience you gain - and to define your work in specific, fenced-off groups is to pin down and potentially curb the natural evolution of your own creativity.
I think artists need space to experiment, they need space to fail. Failing is necessary, you need to learn what doesn’t work, so that you can step closer to what does work for you, your ideas and your process.
Identifying areas of your portfolio that are appropriate for different contexts (editorial illustration opposed to children’s book illustration for example) is great, but forking off in two disparate directions to satisfy those different contexts I think is less important.
A coherent and succinct portfolio is the most important thing for me. I want interested parties to ‘get’ what I do from looking at my work, and to ‘get it’ pretty quickly. I want this, so that they can confidently hire me to make more of these things - that I enjoy making and I can make well.
Yes, work on a range of styles if you think it showcases your skills, but don’t have them at odds with each other, don’t let them confuse interested parties as to what it is that you actually do.
I don’t think artists have to please everybody, or be able to make work for any given brief. Being specifically skilled is great! It means you’re brilliant at the thing that you do, which is infinitely more fulfilling to the artists and impactful to interested parties than trying to be merely competent at everything.
Here’s the full list of contributors (in addition to the fantastic editors):
Kristyna Baczynski, Becky Barnicoat, Dan Berry, Fred Blunt, Gareth Brooks, Clark Burscough, Abe Christie, Stephen Collins, Joe Decie, James “Couk” Downing, Rick Eades, Jonathan Edwards, Liz Greenfield, Isaac Lenkiewicz, Dan Locke, Gary Northfield, Luke Pearson, Philippa Rice, Jack Teagle, Donya Todd, Timothy Winchester, Ben Wright.
Preview pages to follow!
You can also get this from me at SPX, or if you’re in London at Gosh! Comics. Still working out the deets on mail order if you live in the UK and don’t want to pay the astronomical international shipping, although you can certainly do that if you so desire.
See what these goofball aliens are so excited about in The Hic & Hoc Illustrated Journal of Humour Vol 2: UK. Edited by @joelist & @lizzlizz. Out now in the Hic+Hoc store and debuting at SPX this weekend, joy!
#comics #spx #hicandhoc