In no relevant order, here are our most influential artists and creators of beautiful imagery.
Ethereal and spiritual imagery, James Jean takes us to spaces unknown in realms unseen. His soft and emotive linework, well balanced colour palette evoke a sense of wonder and mystery. His characters are graceful in posture and refined in personality. Working with DC Comics he illustrated the covers for the comic book Fables and has also worked with Prada, designing backdrops and garment patterns. Unlike other comic artists his visual composition is less rigid and more liquid, envisioning the moving dimensions of magic in the Fables comic or his own imagination in his personal work.
Son of the famous Katsuhiro Otomo who created and directed the famous Manga, Akira, Shohei Otomo renders Japanese characters into life using biro and digital methods. His characters have a strong Manga style combined with a Film Noir aesthetic. Even the grainy texture he achieves reminds us of the noise on an old film. His work, like many of the classical japanese artists is refined and seems methodical, displaying objects and characters together to form an overall feeling about who this character actually is. Overall the combination of Western and Eastern influences coupled with bold black & white tones leaves us awestruck.
Oil Painter and digital artist Ashley Wood’s work is chaos and order combined. Messy but visually pleasing, his impressionist style harks back to the classics – with a twist. Robots at war, wastelands, zombies and monsters all feature in his works. He has created various comics (Robots vs Zombies) and even worked with Hideo Kojima on the Metal Gear Solid comic, more recently releasing a comic with Die Antwoord. We love Ashley Woods’ work because it evokes so much emotion, he captures movement in his work – while using a restricted palette. There is an almost childlike scribble technique, that when looked at closer seems non-accidental. He also has his own toy company ‘3A’ – which make his 2D creations into sought after 3D objects!
Creator of Hellboy and the dark horse “Mignola-verse”. Mike Mignola is a staple in comic illustration, he utilises a simple two tone technique – there is only light and dark. This looks incredible combined with his blocky style and vibrant colour scheme. It also works as a metaphor for the light forces fighting the dark, every image a masterpiece. Mike Mignola shows how style can push an image forward, he plays in the realms of what we as a viewer expect and breaks the norms of typical classical artforms.
Famous for his own comic creation Madman. Allred’s style is reminiscent of commercial art of the 50s & 60s. A reminder of the American dream served in the backs of newspapers and magazines of the cold war era. Familiar to the first Action Comics – Allred is able to reimagine modern characters and stories in this style. He presents a visual account of comic history packaged with both historical characters like The Silver Surfer and modern incarnations like those in iZombie. His application of a broad range of high tones and dynamic colours makes the artwork pop from the page, demanding the viewers’ attention. Not only a great artist, his stories delve into the realms of human existence and what it means to be a ‘superhero’. By doing this he breaks the mould of what we expect from the seemingly innocent art-style.
Know any other awesome artists we should check out? Leave a comment!