Illustrative Chronicles: A series examining works from the world of illustration

STIR looks at the art and design of illustration as a discipline to narrate stories of the contemporary urban, created in digital and non-digital formats.

by Rahul KumarPublished on : Aug 02, 2022

Illustration is more than just visually appealing graphics. It communicates an idea, a concept that connects with the viewer at a deeper level than just seemingly dazzling graphics. It is influenced by politics, daily life, and sometimes just playful vivid imagination. Illustrators have traditionally supported underlying text to visually narrate the story, or as an explanation to a design or process. In contemporary creative disciplines, while lines are blurring between the art and design, practitioners have employed the format of illustration delinking it from the idea of supporting pre-existing narrative. Instead, their work stands on its own as a form of expression.

Some rely greatly on bright colours, while others choose to express themselves using only black and white lines. Whatever strategy is taken, the finished graphic affects both the spectator and the author. Expressive, realistic, or highly technical illustrations in contemporary settings are employed for a wide range of art forms. With the growth of graphic novel and video game genre, illustration as a form of expression has gained traction.

STIR looks at six notable illustrators who have influenced their audience to think differently, both about illustration as an art form and about the world we live in.

1. Alex Jenkins' world of comical illustrations make you think out of the world, not just box

Sunset, Digital Illustration | STIRworld
Sunset, Digital Illustration Image: Courtesy of the artist

Alex Jenkins is a digital illustration artist and cartoonist based in South London, United Kingdom. Jenkins graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in London, England in 2015 where he pursued his bachelor's degree in illustration. The London based illustrator describes his work as exploring satirical and critical subject matter through a distinctive and vivid style. He attempts to avoid pretension while wallowing in comedy and touching on the absurd and surreal.

(Research support by Vatsala Sethi, Asst. Editorial Coordinator (Arts)

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