Category Archives: Illustrators

Illustrator: Derek Gores

This guy’s art is very frightening… not because of the effect of the work on the viewer… that’s really attractive. It’s terrifying because of the ‘fine art’ skills that appear to go into composing these collages.

“Where to be” – 30″ x 30″

The picture disappears as you look closer. Instead of the details of the overall image being revealed the underlying depictions on the collaged elements become visible and the larger scale structure vanishes.

Drawing back from the image and looking at a distance the individual elements merge and create the larger whole picture.

“Cleverness du chat” – 48″ x 48″

The canvas ranges in size from 6 inches (the butterflies) to 4ft or more. This is an important factor because it means that the images within the elements tend to be at a certain scale – taken from A4-sized publications – so the relative scale between those elements and the overall picture has a fixed scale relationship.

“Sinatra – The Joker’s Wild” – 48″ x 48″

This one is particularly interesting as it focusses on one subject – Frank Sinatra and delivers both a portrait and a kind of ‘mood board’ effect.

This leads to many questions about restricting the source material for the collages. It might be amusing to pick a restricted publication range… such as ‘travel guides’… in order to create a collage about something geographical or vacation-related.



Illustrator: Ronald Slabbers

…has a predominantly graphic approach to illustration using vector shapes that are clean and sharp edged. The look is stylish – creating its own sense of what the world looks like through exaggeration and simplification.

Catching my eye are the men in suits. They are huge, imposing figures with wide shoulders and narrow ties. Although many of the human figures adopt these proportions the men in suits look the most imposing. Wide legs, not to the extent of The Fa Side, but enough to be solid trunks.

Slabbers has created man conceptual illustrations, children’s books, comic strips and info graphics. Some of these are done less graphically with more hand shaded effects. He has also produced art to go on your wall!

The conceptual illustrations are very strong – because the concepts are communicated clearly and the graphical style enables the clarity of communication. The concepts are obviously refined until they stand out.

Illustrator: Anthony Burrill


He did that. Catchy, isn’t it? Is he a poet more than an illustrator?

Burrill (with two R’s and two L’s, jut like me) makes big, bold statements in woodblock printing or in a graphic style. The words are often positive calls to action disguised as old corny phrases.


sounds like Do not know… but it’s spelt much more positively.


means ‘speak up’ but sounds like advice from your homies say to you just before you have to go and talk to the cops.

The Anthony Burrill style I sometimes think of as the end point of design… it defies improvement because everything that is surplus is gone… more design cannot make it any more clear and simple.



Illustrator: Jeff Fisher

So… on may way here tonight…

I was looking through the essential reading tomb “Fifty Years of Illustration” to find a contemporary illustrator who I like and I came across Jeff Fisher whose cover for “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” is enormously widely recognised. He’s a good one to start with I think, so I start to look him up.

Moments later I find this…


…the cover of the actual book I found him in is his illustration… apparently. With monumental irony I cannot find a credit in this book for the cover art!


Anyhow here’s another book cover which is also lovely. Jeff Fisher’s style often includes a lot of text. This one is quite geometric – no transition or accent, no serifs, all letter parts of a similar or matching width. On Captain Corelli the letters have serifs, and there is a high contrast in widths similar to Times Roman – the font is more similar to Copper Plate.

The Fifty Years of Illustration cover uses several contrasting lettering styles – at least five on the cover – employing outlining, 3d effect, low contrast tall lettering, a serif and an ornamental style. It’s a beautiful effect but obviously breaks the ‘4 font rule’ limit.


Illustrator: Klaus Pamminger

Cut print on VEL-422 cardboard
11 1/5 × 17 1/2 in
28.5 × 44.5 cm

Pamminger’s technique for this work, which might be part collage part paper-marquetry, and photography, confuses the sense of sight in a rich, maybe confusing, manner. The effect is to never quite know what is in front of you as the interpretation shifts like an illusion.

The sound, analytical, reason for this is that each of the surfaces in a scene have been replaced with new imagery cut from another image. The way it is done varies. Often it results in the appearance of the surface becoming a mirror – which explains to our senses why we see a new image in that surface, but other substitutions play on our sense of place, scale, orientation and appropriateness. We can’t rationalise it, we can’t live with it as it is, we are always looking to see how it works.