GRAD SCHOOL CATCH-UP: ROUND #2
Following the traditional paint and brush work of Robert Hunt (earlier post here) was Craig Fraizer, a traditionalist of on the opposite side of the spectrum from Robert. Craig is a conceptual, graphic illustrator with a background as a designer and art director; a background I share and why I was very excited to hear Craig talk about his work.
Craig’s traditional process involves using amberlith, a masking film used in the days before computers when pages where laid out by hand (paste-ups) and then shot with a stat camera. He uses an exact-o to cut out pieces by hand, working at a very small scale. He said that most pieces for his figures are no bigger that 3/4 of an inch long. Working this small forces him to simplify everything down to basic shapes and captures the happy accidents of cutting things by hand. Seems kinda crazy to me to work so small but, hey, he makes it work quite well.
Craig then scans and vectorizes the shapes before compositing them in the computer, so not all of his process is so old school. When scaling the shapes and repositioning the pieces to create the illustration, Craig says he always leaves the edges as is, never cleaning up or modifying what came from the original cutouts so the hand work comes across in the final. This approach made me think that I could probably benefit from getting a bit looser in my own work and not over think the construction of things.
As you can see from his samples above, Craig’s work is always very clever and uses surrealism to engage the viewer in the conversation. I am very excited that he has a full collection of his work online, as it is such a great source of inspiration and great reference for all kind of optical illusions. I know I will continue looking back to this whenever I am hitting a wall when sketching on a new piece.
Be sure to read other updates from the Hartford Illustration MFA over on the school blog, SQUINT.