• Lead

    Jonathan Zawada: Printed Pages Winter Cover (detail)

Illustration

Publication: Jonathan Zawada, the brains behind our latest Printed Pages cover

Posted by James Cartwright,

Jonathan Zawada is the multi-talented Antipodean LEGEND responsible for the tropical cover of our winter magazine. A maker of things, painter of pictures and designer of rugs Jonathan’s work is hard to define specifically, but it’s characterised by its quality; you can guarantee if it’s come from his brain it’ll be real nice. In between flights from LA to Sydney we hounded him relentlessly until he answered some questions about his work and designing this cover in particular.

  • Cover2

    Jonathan Zawada: Printed Pages Winter Cover

For anybody who doesn’t know your work explain a little bit about what you do…

For years and years I was one of those annoying pseudo graphic designers who also did things like building websites, doing illustrations and art directing photoshoots for clients like Warp Records, Nike, The New York Times, and lots of other mostly fashion and music clients in Australia. A couple of years ago I moved to Los Angeles and shifted focus a bit and now I say I just make stuff, primarily for exhibition but not always. In the last year I’ve made marble tables, oil paintings, digital prints, wool rugs, lamps, drawings, clothing, textiles, installations, videos and worked with people like Carl Burgess, Romance Was Born, DA Wallach, Mark Pritchard and Illangelo.

This isn’t a particularly wintery cover, what was the thinking behind it?

Well, since moving to LA I’ve discovered how horribly oppressive repetitive and Groundhog Day-like perfect weather can be, so much so that I’ve essentially forgotten what any sky other than blue looks like and what shape any tree other than a palm is. Working with people in London and Europe throughout the year via Skype I’ve found myself trying to match their complaints of sub-zero temperatures and torrential rain with comments like “Yeah it’s unbearable here, it’s been blue skies and perfect temperatures for nine months straight”. I think I even had a $350 bounty out on anyone who could provide LA with a one hour storm.

Talk us through your process for creating this kind of piece.

My illustration work process has always been quite straightforward and clear – unfortunately for glamorisation purposes that means I tend not to do much in the way of sketches or versions as the vision presents itself in my head in quite a resolved state. I normally get a brief, think about it a little while I’m working on another job, forget about it entirely as I get distracted by other things and then at some point while I’m washing dishes or changing a nappy a pretty much finished idea will pop into my head. Occasionally I’ll do a very crude and ugly sketch in a notebook but in this case I just went straight into the computer and started drawing the final piece.

Finally, I’ll shuffle around all of the colours I’ve been working with in an effort to find a combination that feels a little more interesting than the normally predictable one that I started with, as much to help me see the piece with fresh eyes and spot any flaws as anything else. Then I send it off and keep hitting refresh on my bank account until I see the extra zeros get added.

Was it ok to work with us on this or were we trouble right from the start?

You guys were great to deal with but the prostitutes you sent over to say thank you were really aggressive.

Give the people reading one piece of advice that’s going to help them get through this winter…

Just think of poor old me, who has now left the northern hemisphere winter for the next couple of months for summery Sydney by the beach – will I never get to see a cloud or feel raindrops on my head?

  • Rough2

    Jonathan Zawada: Printed Pages roughs

  • Rough3

    Jonathan Zawada: Printed Pages roughs

  • Rough1

    Jonathan Zawada: Printed Pages roughs

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. Dcgoblin-wrestle_905

    In Dayoung Cho’s illustrated world, it’s the Goblin Olympics and the bunny’s on top. Tumbling top-to-tail with the tiger, it’s cheered on by an amorphous cyclops whilst a duck-billed platypus and rhino await their turn in the ring.

  2. List

    We love Thomas Slater. We love how he manages to dollop a fat helping of fun to subjects from art school to financial advice, how he so accurately distils the defining characteristics of his subjects in one fell swoop, and how his work offers a universal joy which makes him appealing for near on every audience imaginable.

  3. Listemi_ueoka_readings1

    One of my teachers had a pet hate of adverbs and adjectives. “Cut the fluff!” he’d yell after reading our essays. Emi Ueoka’s delicate drawings illustrate his point perfectly; why use more lines when a few create so perfect a picture?

  4. List

    When it came to designing the second billboard for our ongoing partnership with London Graphic Centre, Jack Hudson seemed the obvious choice. Ever since we came across his work four years ago and swiftly swept him up into our Graduates class of 2010, we’ve watched with awe as Jack’s career has gone from strength to strength. He has a supreme ability to make communicative images still steeped in charm and personality, and so we knew he would rise to the challenge of our broad “back to school brief.”

  5. Main23

    It’s all well and good making art and illustration that focuses in on humdrum observations of our meagre existences, but wouldn’t you rather have a whole bunch of images that dip their toes in the sci-fi pool of chance and dance through the stars on pronged, mythical wildflowers? I know I would, which is why I’m particularly pleased with stumbling across the work of Singeon, a French illustrator whose horny, mythological drawings and paintings are like an ever-changing ecosystem, ranging from small watercolour doodles of food (standard) to double-headed medieval babes in outer space (not so standard). He’s part of team Flickr, so if you like what you see here I urge you to go and check out even more of his work over here on his page.

  6. Main

    Switzerland-based artist Pascale Keung makes delightfully diverse work which is inspired by her chosen country’s stunning natural landscape as often as it is by wild fantasies. This series Muttsee is an example of the former, a collection of images about “a very special place in the Alps of Switzerland” where she goes to fish with her friends from time to time.

  7. Joselistculto-charles-39

    The artist known as José Ja Ja Ja not only creates damnedly detailed drawings and works as Professor of Illustration at the European Design School in Madrid; he also brews beer. Unfortunately, as I have yet to sample SALVAJE, I’ll have to laud the brilliance of his illustrations instead.

  8. List

    If you’re concerned that your bookshelf is starting to look bit run-of-the-mill then allow us to present you with a new publication to blow the others out of the water. Eventually Everything Connects is a new publication by Loris Lora, published by Nobrow, illustrating the largely unknown but absolutely fascinating commonalities which joined many of the architects, designers, filmmakers and photographers working in southern California in the Modernist era.

  9. List

    I’m all for embracing new modes of experiencing literature, but when choosing to read novels on an iPad or tablet requires that you select a dull digital alternative cover – one with a hunk of Helvetica slapped thoughtlessly over a low-res image, or similar – I can’t help by find myself reaching for a paperback. Fortunately publishers like Frenchies Les Livres Mouvants are a step ahead of their game, commissioning beautiful books covers for their digital reads which will even out the playing field.

  10. Main1

    Say welcome, one and all, to Noam Weiner. This Israeli illustrator’s recently ramped up her editorial work, illustrating for several national newspapers and magazines, often with a political or satirical bite. In an illustration for an article on criticism, she cleverly combines a deal with the devil with a hearty dose of mutual back-scratching to make a point about the tangled relationships up the tower of power. We prefer her work at its most minimalistic, when she conveys maximum meaning. Of her older work, the simplicity of her comics version of the classic kids’ adventure book Hasamba is captivating.

  11. Main

    The work of Brian Edward Miller is a cross between the digital and the retro: his sketches could easily be found in the satchel of a 1950s art student, but when put into the computer and twiddled with they look just as at home in a high-tech animation for a company like Adobe. “My goal is to provide quality illustration and storytelling with the professional hard working ideals my family modelled to me and to chase down that elusive vintage aesthetic which played such a powerful role in my childhood,” Brian states on his site. Judging by the list of people who have commissioned this guy of late, it seems like we’re not the only ones to find his work impossible to look away from.

  12. List

    I don’t think it’d be an exaggeration to claim that we were bowled over when Toni Halonen dropped a bunch of new work made in a radically different direction earlier on this year. What’s more, being the dutiful deliverers of all things exciting in the art and design world it only seemed fair to let you know that he’s made even more in the aforementioned bright, blocky aesthetic since then, and it’s still top notch. Alongside commissions for Bloomberg Businessweek and Trendi Magazine Toni has also been working on a huge A-Z project for commissioning kings KENZO Defying the tried and tested solutions to such a brief, however, he’s put together a series of offbeat and brilliantly weird images, from cuddly punks and stair-sets to a sideways wheelie in a red sports car. Toni, we’re really into what you’re doing. Can we be friends yet?

  13. List

    Blastto is the pseudonym of London-based Spanish illustrator Carlos Llorente, a 33-year-old designer and illustrator originally from Guadalajara. His portfolio is packed full of surreal illustration and graphic design for predominantly editorial clients, but there’s also animation and app UX thrown in for good measure. Blastto’s work is defined by its bold colour palettes, whimsical subject matter and aesthetic diversity – his images range from solid digital linework to textured geometric forms; sleek 3D renders to experimental type design. All of it is imbued with a sense of experimentation and fun; and when you’re creating illustrations about the rigours of a daily routine, a sense of fun is pretty essential.