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Talking about: four of my favourite illustrators

BA (Hons) Illustration student Lorna Cook talks to us about her top four illustrators, how they inspire her own practice and what she loves most about their work.

Zoe Barker

Zoe Barker

Zoe Barker is a local award winning illustrator and artist. Her clients include The Telegraph, Radio Times, Penguin and BBC to name but a few.

Her clever use of more traditional media including coloured pencil, watercolour and pen is what initially drew me to Zoe’s work. Beautifully meticulous illustrations draw attention to the charm, often overlooked, in the mundanities of everyday life.

Zoe has also been very generous in her advice and honesty about the nature of a freelance career and the challenges it can present.

I would recommend her interview with Creative Boom, in particular her discussion about ‘freelance anxiety’ to anyone who shares similar concerns as the prospect of graduation and facing the ‘real world’ looms! 

Edward Kinsella

Edward Kinsella

As someone who enjoys representational drawing, I am always looking to find a balance between realism and a more stylised approach to illustration.

Edward Kinsella is a great inspiration to me. The way he collages textures and more expressive marks with areas of meticulous, almost photorealistic tonal observation to create illustrations that are not only striking, but also possess great storytelling capability. 

Kinsella has also shown his fine art and illustrations in a number of gallery exhibitions. I find it really inspiring and motivating to see such a successful illustrator bridging the gap between these two disciplines.

It demonstrates that more traditional art styles can not only inform and accompany, but also be applied to contemporary illustration contexts. 

Levi Pinfold

Levi Pinfold

Levi Pinfold is a children’s book illustrator who works both on commissions and books of his own. What I admire most about Pinfold’s work is the balance he achieves between realism and stylised illustration.

Many of his illustrations possess an almost dream-like quality. They provide the viewer with a palpable understanding of the worlds in which his characters roam.

It’s all the more impressive knowing that the majority of his work is done by hand using analogue methods such as graphite, gouache, watercolour or egg tempera inspired by the likes of Andrew Wyeth.

As someone who is passionate about the value and potential of more traditional drawing methods, I find it really inspiring to see such a successful illustrator using digital software as a tool, rather than a sole means to create work. 

August Lamm

August Lamm

August Lamm is an artist, writer and musician (because who says you can only be good at one thing?), currently based in New York. Her work is somewhat reminiscent of great printmakers like Rembrandt, Durer and Goya in her impressive use of line and cross-hatching. 

Despite a spinal disability which sometimes limits her mobility and ability to draw, August continues to push herself and the boundaries of her practice. Her attitude is inspiring.

Personally I think it’s important, as a creative, not to fear trying something new or be ashamed to be an amateur at a new process.

August also explores paint, colour work, writing and even music, sharing her experimental process through frank, beautifully-written captions on her Instagram (@augustlamm). I love seeing her attitude shine through her illustrations.

You can dive into Lorna’s work on her Instagram @lornaroseartist.

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