It’s hard to describe the kind of art that grabs my attention. As an illustrator, I’m drawn to narrative artwork. I want to know about the subject in the image. Why are they here? Who are they as a person? Like a story without words, I want my mind to immediately create the world that these people reside in and the situation that lead them here.
In my opinion, great illustrators can depict a story through a portrait or any form of art for that matter, just by the using a simple indication of location or props. I’ve come to realize however, that a figure isn’t always necessary within a work. If you can draw good and effectively, the items within the composition will speak for themselves as well as for the person they are representing. What I find most intriguing is that what you choose to be in your illustrations in some way resonates with yourself. As an object, it may not directly correlate highly with you but the parallels are there. For example, I’m working on a project now where I’m depicting the overall tone of an album through illustrations. Although I chose every object with thought and intention, not everything is something that I have a personal connection with. In return, however, the objects chosen relate to people in my life, or events that I may have been a part of at one time. Casual encounters and snippets of life where objects are there and you don’t necessarily know why but you don’t question it either.
These are all beginning to play a part in my illustrations. With this in mind, I’m learning to balance the idea of a piece of work being mine as it is something I have created but also understanding that I’m just the onlooker within the story. This starts with removing myself just enough so that my feelings and I stay anonymous, but putting enough thought and personality into the drawing that I know what it means to me personally.