Yesterday after a long and tiring few days, I was delighted to arrive home to an array of packages, one of which included a print by one of my favourite illustrators, Jago Silver. I first discovered Jago's work when I found his book 'Thoughts to make your heart sing' by Sally Lloyd-Jones which is a collection of 101 simple yet profound thoughts on the Christian faith each accompanied by the most stunning illustrations. I'm pretty sure it's meant to be for children but I just couldn't let it out of my sight, and since then I've even met a few grown men who also love the book haha.
Finding that book made me realise the type of illustrator I wanted to be. Throughout school and college I had always been very comfortable working in many different medias and loved the diversity of it. Leading on to university I was told that I needed to find my 'visual language' in order to stand out from everyone else and be recognisable, but as someone who loved a bit of everything this left me a bit lost and for my first 2 years of university I had no idea which direction I should be heading.
Jago Silver's illustrations taught me that illustration didn't have to just be cutsie or quirky and weird but that it could be really powerful and dramatic. As someone who couldn't get enough of light, shadows and texture when drawing this was something that really intrigued me. For that reason I took the time at the end of my second year to experiment with Adobe illustrator and from that point on created all my university projects using computer aided design. Ever since then my tutors told me that my visual language was really starting to develop, and by the end of my time at university it seemed to be the main thing my work was praised for. (I had never been the best at the ideas and development process but this seemed to be the strong point of my work.) So because of that Jago is up there with my top favourite illustrators and I just had to have something of his to put in my room.
As an illustrator I am always pinning images left right and centre of illustrations that I love. Surprisingly though, I have never really taken the time to buy a print or even some lovely illustrated books. After following Jago's creation of his series 'The Cruel and Curious: Hinterland' on Facebook, I fell in love with the grungy textures used to create each piece and when he started selling the prints in his Etsy shop I just couldn't resist!
His prints were presented in white frames so naturally I had to copy him and do the same! I think it definitely makes the colours pop! I look forward to the day when I can have a wall full of picture frames all containing different prints like a little art gallery in my own home. I wonder what will be next in my collection...