Simon Pemberton

With this illustrator it’s all about texture – everything was found here:

I discovered this illustrator via a gorgeous image that really struck me in one of the assigned course reading books: Thinking Visually for Illustrators by Mark Wigan.

I loved the contrasting simplicity and complex texture all at the same time and the lovely colours and the way it seems like you’re looking out a window onto a wet and dimly lit street at night.

Apparently this illustrator has an ‘obsession’ with texture and has moved from faring it to building constructions and collages from collections of found objects and now works by scanning, photographing or painting them.

I discovered him as I was mid-way through my third assignment to design a poster and I decided to try out some texture of my own.

I looked into Pemberton’s work more and also was excited to see that he has done a lot of illustration related to nature, climate etc. which is a subject dear to my heart and just has stunning colours and compositions. For example he did illustrations for WWF or running trails.

He also did some pattern work which is lovely, making wrapping paper:

And did beautiful, if dripped in tragedy, illustration for a bushfire being reported in a newspaper:

I think what really inspires me is how from various textures he brings it together to create stunning images that have a clear message/story and with really bright and attractive colour combinations.

He is an illustrator that clearly has a lot of versatility having done illustration and design across many media/areas from books and wrapping paper to newspaper articles, editorials and development projects and brands, theatre productions.

In the interview on his website he shows how we uses twigs and dried things and random objects to also create texture in his mark making, which I find really interesting and want to try out more myself. I especially like the idea of the backwashes as this is something I really like to do to get lovely back colours and want to explore this more in my own work.

He describes himself as a mix media collage artist, using drawing as part of his process but overall its about texture and bringing that together from many things from found objects to his own mark making and then working them digitally, duplicating, layering, deleting and adding elements to get to his final result.

I realise that I end up really enjoying illustrations and artists that are inspired by nature and Pemberton is also inspired a lot by Epping forest. I also really like his drive to always create something as beautiful as possible even when trying to illustrate difficult subjects that are hard to express and so he works to express a feeling or concept or mood that and which you can really see in his work. I can completely prescribe to that, as even if I can appreciate illustration and art that is not meant to be ‘beautiful’ but evoke other messages and concepts, I also feel like I try to make sure that my work is aesthetically pleasing and beautiful as possible. Of course, this is subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but Pemberton really nails it!

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