IXD104 Week 3- Hand to Mouse and City illustration

Martin O’Neill

Martin O’Neill describes himself as a London born Irish bred graphic artist and illustrator. O’Neill creates mixed media collages for clients within publishing advertising, design, film and interiors. He does this through a blend of collage, silkscreen, photography, paint, and digital techniques. An example of this can be seen in Plato Aristotle Excellence shown below.

Plato Aristotle Excellence by Martin O'Neill

I think the above outcome is absolutely stunning and find it hard to beat the authenticity of artwork created by hand. The blend of forms, patterns and colours included in the above outcome is truly breathtaking. Below I have experimented with collage to create an outcome for the Rock Band Cage the Elephant to reflect the brands more edgy feel.

Cage the Elephant

I feel this outcome captures a similar collage feel to the outcomes created by O’Neill however it definitely lacks the detail and elegance of O’Neill’s work. I created the above using a mix of the magazine, tissue paper, napkin and fabric cuttings. Overall I was quite please with the outcome and feel that the college and band logo combine to create an interesting piece.

I enjoy working with collage and viewing O’Neill’s work has encouraged me to return to the medium. This is definitely something I would like to experiment with further in future projects.


Olly Moss

Olly Moss is an English graphic artist that has become well know for his reimagined movie posters and work on the game Firewatch.

Olly Moss Star Wars Trilogy Posters

I love Moss’ illustrative style particularly his use of silhouettes, colour and presentation of light. I wanted to look especially at Moss’ Star Wars trilogy posters as I intend to create a Star War’s themed travel app. I love the layering used in the above posters and the incorporation of typography. The level of detail included in Moss’ work is also incredibly impressive.


I, therefore, attempted to complete a master-apprentice exercise using Moss’ Firewatch poster to see how accurately I could recreate the outcome. This was quite a time-consuming task so I only completed the mountain and tree backdrop layers but overall I was really happy with the outcome. While applying techniques such as the use of subtle gradients and low contrast colour combinations used to create light is relatively achievable in this instance as I can follow the original this is definitely something I want to experiment with further in my own work as well as attempting to produce in my own original outcomes from sketches.


Oliver Jeffers

When researching Oliver Jeffers I began by watching his Ted Talk An ode to living on earth. This was an interesting approach to thinking about the earth and how we consider the earth’s regions and other planets. It was also interesting to look at a different approach to investigating space and the universe along with Jeffers distinctive illustrative style.

Oliver Jeffers an Ode to living on earth

Jeffers simplifies his depiction of the galaxy into fun sketched child-like outcomes that have a very inviting friendly feel. I also love his use of colours and how he considers light as well as how film and illustration are combined in this talk producing an interactive and playful outcome.

Oliver is described as an artist and storyteller with curiosity and humour being the underlying themes of his work. I love his approach and the level of creativity he brings to his work. I think the combination of storytelling and illustration generates really authentic and charming outcomes that draw me in.

Tatooine illustration in the style of Oliver Jeffers

I thought this was a really interesting approach and while I feel it is more aimed at children and will therefore not be a style of illustration that I will incorporate into my app I thought I’d experiment with the style anyway using pro-create. To the left is my attempt at producing a more friendly and hand-rendered illustration of Tatooine. I have also placed it next to an illustration by Jeffers taken from What We’ll Build as I have tried to pull inspiration from this piece in my consideration of lighting and adding a sketchy feel, face on the suns, labels etc.

This was a really fun exercise but was definitely more difficult to achieve than I had expected. I also enjoyed using procreate as I haven’t really applied myself to using the software yet and this is an area I would like to develop my skillset in.


Jeremy Booth

Jeremy Booth is a graphic designer that has focused on digital illustration and describes his style as vector noir. Booth’s focus is to create artwork that is bold and memorable and has worked with brands such as Amazon, Slack and Chanel.


Above is 1 of a series of illustration created for slack as part of the brand’s website and blog posts. What I find particularly striking about Booth’s work here is the bold use of shadows giving a very clear sense of light and strong colours used throughout the piece giving the outcome a distinctive feel.

Illustration in the style of Jeremy Booth

I thought I would experiment with this style also and created a vector image of my dog shown above to the left. This was a fun piece to create. I used illustrator and tried to use the shape tool primarily to get the pop art feel that I believe is captured in Booth’s work. I also drew inspiration primarily from Booth’s Les Echos illustration show to the right, particularly with the shapes of the clouds and tree’s. I also tried to consider shadows particularly under the dog and on her neck and belly. However, on review, I think I should have chosen bolder colours for the shadows and perhaps the background scene as I feel this would have been more in keeping with the style.


Cityscape Master/Apprentice Exercise

Master/ Apprentice exercise

This week I have also completed the cityscape master-apprentice exercises which were great in helping me to consider different styles and how best to compose illustrations generally using the line, shape and pathfinder tools. The above was the first cityscape I created and overall I am very pleased with the outcome and feel that the biggest difference is the typeface used for the word India which I struggled to match.

Master/ Apprentice exercise

Above is the second cityscape and what I found was a great time-saving approach was to create one line or line of squares and copy and paste it to create the multiple columns of each building. This also had the advantage of producing consistency in the outcomes.


What have I learnt?

  • By attempting to recreate illustration already produced in master apprentice-style outcomes I can develop my own illustrative skills
  • I can create my own work by adopting styles and approaches by others to create a completely different feel to the outcomes and target different audiences
  • I can learn how to use different software programs such as procreate by practising through completing master-apprentice exercises.
  • It is difficult to beat the authenticity of hand made pieces of art and this is definitely an area I should continue to develop my skills in.

How can I apply this to my work in future?

  • Through research I can find my “niche” and discover the elements I would like to pull into my work and those I want to leave out in order to generate interesting and effective illustrations.
  • Learning short cuts and software such as illustrator and Figma is great for time-saving and I can now apply this knowledge to speak up finish times on future projects using the software.
  • It can be useful to be able to adopt multiple illustrative styles to meet the needs of different target audiences e.g gamers, children, commercial companies.

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