I really admire the talents that some people have. Particularly visual artists. There’s a number of different illustrators and artists whose styles I admire and they tend to be pretty diverse.
When I was in school, I would have given my right arm to be traded with the drawing arm of Feng Zhu –concept artist extraordinaire who runs his own concept design consultancy.
The guy has galleries of work that he’s done for various movies, games, products, etc. Just about everyone in school admired his way of portraying a concept with such ease. I even bought a copy of his DVD on Quick Sketching, and it’s amazing to see him work. He shows how he does his work starting with a 1″ x 1″ thumbnail sketch and somehow in “three easy steps!” (okay maybe a few more than that), you got this fully inked and marker rendered robot.
So what it really comes down to is a lot of practice and a good dose of natural skill and talent. Now that I’m out of school and sketching is no longer a ‘requirement’ (but I still should try and do it now and then…) I have the luxury of sitting around and admiring his work without the pressure.
In a completely different style of illustration is the work of Monsieur Z.
There’s a good chance you’ve seen his work on cards and postcards. I love how stylized his work is, using mod-ish patterns, exaggerated figures and the occasional designer chair :) The final illustrations look very slick, but it’s great to see the initial sketches in his gallery section.
And then there’s Lori Joy Smith, my favorite kid-friendly artist, who is based out of Vancouver.
She recently did a commissioned work for us, and it’s simply perfect (not shown though). Check out some of her work here , in her blog, and in her Flickr gallery. I absolutely love the subtle expressions and mannerisms that her characters have. The next Lori Joy Smith work that I’ll be purchasing though, will probably be in the form of work she did for Jack and Lily shoes: