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Interview: So Young Selects The AUB GradList Illustrators 2022

We are excited to partner with the Arts University Bournemouth for the third year and to select and show off some of 2022’s graduates from the Illustration course.

The work chosen ranges from Risograph prints and 3D Animation to kitsch ornament sculptures. We caught up with the selected illustrators to get an insight into their work and highlight some of our favourite pieces.

Charlie Riddle – @charlieriddleillustration

What informs your practise? 

Normally the unusual things I notice when I’m out and about, I have perfected the art of people watching and being subtly nosy. I also tend to bounce ideas off anyone I know who’ll listen.

Tell us about your Final Major Project.

For my major project, I produced a children’s book inspired by Northumberlandia (a giant land sculpture of a lady near Cramlington in Northumberland, designed by Charles Jencks). Much of my work is inspired by my home county of Northumberland and the culture of the wider North East, which allows me to explore its landscape and traditions in exciting and often humorous ways.

My book follows Northumberlandia on her journey to see the Northern Lights, during which she sees a variety of sights – from a lighthouse in the middle of a street to a giant spoon in the middle of a field!

If you could work with a dream client, who would it be and why?

It would be amazing to get a book published, perhaps with a publisher like Flying Eye Books, who produce really lovely children’s books. 

What advice would you give students starting the course in September?

Make the most of being a student – allow yourself time to experiment with different ways of working and exploring ideas. Take a deep breath, and have fun!

 

Katrina Sadovnikova@katrinasadovnikova

What informs your practise? 

My practice is mostly informed by my current interests in life – small things I learn from the books I read, podcasts I listen to or films I see, or even just a story that has been told to me by a friend. For example, the final project I did at AUB was inspired by some interesting writing and imagery I stumbled upon while conducting research for my dissertation titled “The Evolution And Meaning of Sexual Tactile Grotesques”. But I have to say that usually, it has to be something bizarre, silly, or questionable to spark curiosity (and later inform my practice).

Do you have a preferred process? How do you like to work?

I like to immerse myself in work when I am creating a new illustration. Since I mostly make digital art, the process of creation is mainly just me slumping in front of a computer or an iPad for several hours until I go cross-eyed. As much as I love this arcane process, it is very unhealthy but I use blue-light-blocking glasses and am planning to purchase a standing desk in the future.  

How do you want people to feel when they see your work?

When people look at my illustrations I want them to feel slightly uncomfortable, a wee bit strange, and mostly silly. All in all, I want people to be transfixed by the image because the style is childish and playful, but the message is often the complete opposite of childish or playful. I want the juxtaposition of the style vs message to fry the brain a little bit.

What direction would you like to take your work post higher education?

I would love to work as a part of a team for the first few years after finishing university, in a company or a brand as an artworker, because I really thrive when I work with other people, especially creatives. In my final year of university, I had the opportunity to work with a team of film students that asked me to help promote their graduation film (“Bloodshed”), and I couldn’t have enjoyed this type of work more!

After a few years of working as a part of a team and getting to know the industry, I plan to become a full-time illustrator as a freelancer, or perhaps I’ll get a master’s degree, who knows.

 

Maia Arstad@moioillustrations

How do you keep yourself inspired?

A lot of my inspiration comes from what I see happening in the world, both on a small and large scale. Politics and world events definitely influence the motifs in my work, but so does everyday interactions and everyday people. Most of all I get inspiration from other contemporary artists . I see something really cool someone else has made, and that sparks a different idea or interpretation and I just take it from there.

How did you develop your personal style?

It took a long time, that’s for sure. I definitely started showing some restraint in my work, trying not to over-develop pieces or render too much. I really just tried to simplify the process to enhance my own experience. Focus on the things I like drawing, like hands, people, vibrant colors, little round noses, chunky shoes and so on.

If you could work with a dream client, who would it be and why?

It’s a little silly, but my dream client would be the Norwegian milk company Tine. Every year around Christmas and Easter they release fully illustrated milk cartons, and because milk is such a significant part of Norwegian culture I’m sure that if I got to illustrate the packaging everyone in the country would see my work.

Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

Hopefully employed, living in Oslo, and maybe with an adopted cat if I’m lucky.

 

Pav Mateeva@pav.mateeva

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned being at AUB?

When working on a project, if you’re too comfortable with what you’re doing and it’s too easy, then you might not be challenging yourself and pushing your practice enough. Experiment and make it weirder!

How did you develop your personal style? 

I don’t think I have a particular style. Risograph and screen printing influenced me in terms of the colours I use and how I create artwork in general. I always think about how I’m going to print it. I often use pink and blue but I feel like I always change something about my ‘style’ or my process when I work on a new project like the way I draw characters, how realistic it looks etc. I think I’ll get too bored otherwise. Plus although I’ve come a long way in uni and I like my work I want to continue trying to improve and I think we all should.

Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

I will ideally be working in a printmaking studio in London surrounded by creative people that share my passion for printmaking and illustration. Although I plan to not stay in London for too long we’ll see if I get sucked in or not… Also making artwork for bands or just finding a way to connect my art with music in some sort of way would be great! If all goes well and I manage to balance all of that I will continue making comics and print and bind them myself and hopefully sell them together with prints that I’ve made.

What advice would you give students starting the course in September?

Don’t forget to do your own thing and just sketch for yourself. A really good way to keep yourself inspired is talking to your coursemates and tutors and drawing with your friends. Use your years in uni to really experiment a lot with your art and do all that crazy stuff you were too scared to try. Don’t care too much about other people’s opinions because art is subjective and just enjoy it!

 

Owen Cox@owen.a.cox

Do you have a preferred process? How do you like to work?

The best part for me is idea generation. That can happen anywhere and its the real fun problem solving stage. For me its making small and fast drawings in my sketchbook just to play around. When I’m actually developing an image I can spend hours fussing over the right shade of green. Slowly I’m becoming more of a ruthless editor.

How do you keep yourself inspired?

I think the best advice for this is to do an unrelated activity. If you want to get good at painting fences maybe try karate. New ideas can come from anywhere if you’re open to it.

How did you develop your personal style?

There’s something to be said for looking at art you like and trying to make art like that. But ultimately you can only draw how you draw. The more you draw, specifically from life, the more your drawing style will reveal itself.

Who are the designers and illustrators you admire most?

Wilfrid Wood for portraits, Yann Kebbi for landscapes, Pablo Amargo for wit, and Micheal DeForge for poetry.

If you could work with a dream client, who would it be and why?

Someone like Rough Trade would be awesome. I think they’re a great company with a great product. I also think of Lucy & Yak and the New York Times.

 

Maia Flavell@maiaflaiart

What made you want to become an illustrator?

I get inspired by lots of things; weird electronic music, the old-fashioned ornaments in my Grandma’s house, a banana peel on the side of the road. The main purpose of my art is to express the world I see in my mind. It is colourful and abstract. Illustration allows me to do this. To focus on my visual language without always having to have an in-depth explanation or grand purpose for my art. It’s just how I see the world, expressed through my creations.  

Do you have a preferred process? How do you like to work?

At the moment I love to work with clay but I’d say I love to create anything with a physical outcome. There’s something satisfying about holding art and seeing it in a space, even if it’s just a print. I think after so long looking at screens during the pandemic, I yearn for something more tangible. 

How do you want people to feel when they see your work?

When people see doll limbs and kitsch Staffordshire ornaments they usually think they’re ugly or creepy. Especially when I add all those holes into the clay. It freaks people out, and I love that. I love ugly gross things made cute and colourful. I suppose I want people to look at my art and think, “that’s really weird… I love it!”

If you could work with a dream client, who would it be and why?

Not so much a client per say, but I’m dreaming of making some work for Glastonbury Festival one day. It’s just happened this year so it’s fresh in my mind, although I haven’t been for a while, I used to go loads as a kid with my mum and sister.  There’s something so magical and nostalgic about that place and I suppose it feels like a part of me is already there. Festivals always feel like one massive living, breathing artwork to me. I’d love to contribute something artistic and really be a part of it. 

 

Gabriele Favaretto@gabriele3disasters

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt being at AUB? 

It is never too late to start a new path. Moreover, you can always learn something new and be inspired by things you’d never expected. 

If you could work with a dream client, who would it be and why? 

I’d love to work for the channel Adult Swim and in particular, I’d love to animate an episode of the tv series Mr.Pickles. Another tv show I’d like to cooperate with is Midnight Gospel from Netflix. The reason is that I just love inappropriate and trippy stuff. 

How do you want people to feel when they see your work? 

I’d like them to feel curious about it, I’d like them to feel weird and puzzled, so they want to look back at it more than once. The intention is to stimulate the audience to be active. I want them to make their own interpretation. 

Who are the designers and illustrators you admire most? 

Thomas King aka Everyones_ favorite, Raman Djafari, Jordan Speer aka beefstrong, and Harry Bhalerao, just to cite a few. 

What direction would you like to take your work post higher education? 

I would like to keep producing music videos and short animations and try to make my work more and more recognizable. 

 

Paemika Jianpinitnan@puay.ay

Tell us about a typical working day.

I’m an introvert so I like to work in my own little room with some music on. Night time is the best time as my brain will be fully working.

How do you want people to feel when they see your work?

I would love to make them at least smile with the cuteness or the humour behind it.

How do you keep yourself inspired?

I often use something that I like doing at that moment as an inspiration as well as looking on social media for techniques that would motivate me too.

Tell us about your Final Major Project.

During the summer before third year started, I found my new hobby which is collecting art toys. That inspired me to make my own collection. I created cute yet have a satire message into my work. The messed up situation in my country make me want to spread the awareness and help people to stand up for their rights and justices that they deserve.

Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

Maybe having my own line of art toys or working on something that relates to it.

 

João Levezinho@joo.kye

What made you want to become an illustrator?

Hopefully this doesn’t sounds too pretentious but I don’t think I have necessarily pursued wanting to become an Illustrator, I think the path that I have decided to take led me where I am today. I was heavily influenced by family and I was and still am to this day constantly exposed to art and creativity. My personal liking for illustration, and the choice to enroll at AUB as an Illustration student came from the freedom and variety of directions this area offers. I mainly focus on Animation, but I was able to explore, and I was given the tools to explore different niches within my practice which allowed me to broaden not only my creative process but also my outlook on my practice.

Who are the designers and illustrators you admire most?

Jamie Hewlett, Freddy Carrasco, Raman Djafari, not to mention @yeahyeahna on Instagram are a few of the artists that will forever inspire my work, and that constantly and unknowingly feed my practice.

What direction would you like to take your work post higher education?

I think for the past 2 years everything has become a bit too digital, I’m looking to take my practice off of the screen, and explore my work though more traditional methods such as riso-printing, screen-printing, lino-printing. I’m looking forward to see how it’s going to translate onto a more physical outcome, I have already played around a bit with it but I want to push it further and experiment more. My wallet might suffer but I know it will be worth it.

Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

I hope to see myself feeling accomplished and confident about where I stand with my work. This next year will be the first time where I’m developing projects without any educational support whatsoever. It sounds scary, and it is, and it’s definitely going to be a challenge but I am excited to see what the future holds for me.

 

Louise Bassou@louise.bassou.creations

What made you want to become an illustrator?

I think the need to communicate with others. My dyslexia has impacted my ability to communicate the way I want to and can cause a lot of frustration on my side. Illustration was a way for me to show the world through my eyes and feel understood. Since then, seeing all the different uses for illustration has made me appreciate the art form even more.

Do you have a preferred process? How do you like to work?

My work is inspired by the process used in Risoprinting. Even when my work is digitally created, I am very influenced by print. I like to work with shapes and distinct colour palettes. I try to start every piece with a mental brainstorm of what sensations I want to create and why. For me, understanding the foundation of my ideas helps me build strong work that I can look back on and still understand my goals while improving with every piece I create. 

How do you keep yourself inspired?

To keep myself inspired, I go out of my way to see expose myself to other art forms! While looking at the work of other illustrators can make you see your work in a different light, I find that listening to music, watching movies etc. sparked so many ideas because of the different forms of media. I also get so many ideas while talking with friends, the deep and long conversations about life and topics we are passionate about, always give me the drive to create.

What direction would you like to take your work post higher education?

I still have so much exploring to do with my work. I plan on taking on projects that excite me to continue to grow and explore different facets of my work. Working with a group of creative and nightlight each others work is a personal goal of mine. I have many ideas and I am so excited to create and share them.