Creativo Illustrator Portfolio
My name is “Creativo” and for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved drawing, painting and making collages. As a child, the excitement and fascination of opening an illustrated book, magazine or comic book has never left me. Like most children, the impulse to create is not unusual, but I was obsessed with producing images of my own well into my teenage years, a time when that artistic impulse leaves most people.
Like most fledgling creatives, I started out by copying images from comic books and magazines, but as my confidence grew, so did my creative ambitions. I began drawing and writing my own magazines and comic books, both at home and at school. I had a teacher who was very supportive and let me use the photocopier to print my work. This was around 1992, so well before home scanners and Photoshop allowed you to prepare and print your own work. Looking back, those comics were very crude, but they showed ambition and I loved getting my work out there to an audience.
By the time I attended art college in 1993, I was looking at everything and everyone, widening my knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, and absorbing all the different styles and approaches like a sponge. I discovered the surreal collages of Andrzej Klimowski, the visceral paintings of Francis Bacon, the eclectic styles of Jim Dine, the dreamlike draughtsmanship of Brad Holland, the bizarre photography of Joel Peter Witkin, the haunting canvases of Edward Hopper, the delicate watercolours of Jon J Muth, Julek Heller’s masterful illustrations for “The Ancestral Trail” and many more. I became influenced by Victorian photography and early cinema, particularly German Expressionism and contemporary directors like Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton and David Cronenberg.
I began to draw with different pen nibs, experimenting with line quality, to paint and cut paper, to experiment with computers and photography. A whole world of opportunities were opening up for me in terms of how I could create my own images and find a visual voice of my own.
Literature has and still does influence my work. From the poems of Kahlil Gibran and Omar Khayyam, to the short stories of Bram Stoker.
I think of my own illustrations as a doorway into an alternate reality, a dreamscape where human emotions, memories and ideas are explored. I tend to focus on the spiritual rather than the literal, using mixed media to convey a feeling and atmosphere. I like playing with the viewer’s perception of what the image they are looking at actually is, is it a drawing, a painting, a photo?
Each use of media brings with it it’s own attributes and emotional weight. A gestural drawing for example, could be used to describe the free-flowing movement of two figures dancing or a bird in flight. A paint and collage image could be used to evoke a more psychological theme. All these decisions before starting a new piece is very exciting.
My ultimate goal is to create a meaningful, cohesive body of work that moves and excites the viewer in some way, just as all the great image makers who have come before, move and excite me.