Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Illustrator Inspiration: The one and only Shaun Tan

I love Shaun Tan. I think everyone should love Shaun Tan, especially for a home grown talent. I met someone the other day who went to school with him and it elevated a rather ordinary person into a golden status in my eyes, sad isn't it?! Anyway I've accepted my shallowness as just another part of my all encompassing need to dominate the world, it's a rather good excuse for most things really....anyway as I was saying Shaun Tan is great. I mean look at this:

I love his fearlessness in his drawings, illustrating books that deal with social, political and historical subjects using surreal, dream-like imagery that usually poses more questions than it answers. Like the bull picture below:

I recently watched a great lecture given by Shaun Tan at the University of WA (you can download it on line here). He shows this image as one where the viewer has no idea where the bull is pointing, if it is the right direction to go in or if the girl has even asked the question. I admire that he is happy to leave the illustration open to discussion. I find it really hard sometimes with a concept driven idea like HiiRagi to not spoon feed people what it is all about, to be honest I think most often it is best to leave it up to the viewers imagination and in turn it creates a relevance that is all their own.

One of my very favourite images is this one:

So beautiful in its melancholy. It shows how sadness feels like rather than what it looks like and I'm now starting to sound like a complete art wanker so I will stop. Over to some more pictures:

And just one last thing! It took him 5 YEARS to complete The Arrival. I panic when something takes me more than a week to nail. I think there's something to be learnt here....or not. If all else fails, just buy print of his art here.

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