Thursday, 7 May 2009

Gillin Blease

I have been a fan of Gillian's for quite some time, noticing her very intelligent work in the guardian. I always read the text that accompanies the picture she has produced and am always in awe with how she has deciphered such dry content of politics and make something truly interesting. Gillian
has the most simplistic way of representing what she is illustrating. I feel that she obtains a strong balance within her work In terms of her aesthetic and how she handles content. you can see her interest in modernism is prevalent. Like the modernists she lets the machine create her visual language.

Although she has strengths in communicating a message on a wide level, combining wit with a strong universal language her style visually is a very shared style, that is to say it is not very individualistic, her content and the way it is delivered becomes her style not the way in which it was constructed. If one is an illustrator you are commissioned for your “style” whether it’s the appearance of your work or the content that is within it.

After doing some research I found she was influenced mainly by two great historical designers, Olt Aicher and Lance Wyman. They all use the most minimal of designs to represent the things that they are illustrating but fall short of abstraction and remain in the real world, the things they are representing are clearly recognizable. In terms of aesthetics her work looks not just similar but the same as her influences. They have a limited colour pallet and utilize simplistic geometric shapes. The use of semiotics is prevalent, so only the most stripped down signs are used.

Although Blease’s seems simpler visually, the designs are forever more complex because of the careful considerations and reservations required to pull them off. I feel the key to Blease’s success lies in her acute judgement for striping elements back without loosing their universal meaning and understanding. An example of this would be the way she treated an image for an illustration about oil in Iraq. The job of an illustrator is to illustrate not obfuscate. But my question is why can you not have the best of both worlds, good looks and brains to boot?

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