Abner…oh Abner

What better way to start the day than a post on my hero Abner Graboff. Abner was a prolific illustrator of children’s books in the 1950s and 60s.


I don’t know what it is about the illustrators of this period, but I am so drawn to the simplicity and jauntiness of the illustrations.


The way Abner used colour and simple shapes is so inspiring and his layouts are so quirky and unique. There isn’t much to be found about him online and his books are hard to come across. However there is an excellent blog post by The Ward-O-Matic which features an interview with his son Jon Graboff.


I’m hoping some of his magic will rub off on my own work! We shall see…


Hands off the computer

I’ve been finding it a bit struggle recently between getting the right balance between using the computer as a tool for my art and using my hands.  Before starting the MA I never used a computer to create art, so I have been pretty much learning as I go along  how to use Illustrator and Photoshop.  I was initially scanning in textures and hand-painted work and then using photoshop to manipulate the image slightly.  Now, as I am finding the programs much easier to use I have bypassed the scanning in of my handmade work and have been creating images solely on the computer.  Looking at the computer based images although I do like them, I feel there is something missing from them.  The imperfections and layers that make up handmade work give them that extra bit of character and added quirkiness.


You can see what I mean here.  In the piece above you can see the hand-painted mark-making, hand cut paper and layering that gives the piece it’s character. Whereas in this next piece although I like it, I feel it is missing the character from the first one.


Today I’m working on a piece which combines both the hand-made aspect and some elements created on the computer.  I’m hoping that it works more successfully as an image without losing any of it’s character.  I’ll post the results for you to judge!