• 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. Karansingh-mop-int-list

    The glorious coming together of pattern, shape and colour makes for a joyous experience and that’s why print designers are held in such high regard. Last week we commissioned Animade to turn three eye-poppingly good Pucci x Orlebar Brown patterns into trippy GIFs, this week we’re turning our attention to profiling creatives we believe are among the best around when it comes to working in this area. We are proud to present these #mastersofprint.

  2. Jg-street-demon-int-list

    Got the mid-week hump-day gloom, friend? Allow me to do away with it for you with a bumper-pack of animated GIFs by the talented hand of illustrator and animator Julian Glander. He once came up with a clever app which transformed colour data into sound for an eight-note synth and made us all into synaesthetes for a day, which was intricate and complicated enough to warrant a dose of fun to follow. A gang of tiny blob men whirling their arms over their heads at impossible speeds? Yes, please. A tiny man on a bicycle riding in tiny circles forevermore? Go on then. Great things are in the pipeline for this master of 3D shapes, bulgy eyeballs and jumping hamburgers. You mark our words.

  3. Tim-brown-int-list

    As a one-time news journalist (albeit at a very low level) I have a real affinity for reportage illustrators. George Butler is one of the best around and this new film by Tim Brown which follows him on a three-week trip to Afghanistan provides a great insight into his finely-honed talents. On his first trip to the war-torn country George was embedded with British troops, but he hungered to draw the locals whose lives had been so irrevocably changed over recent years. “I was always aware that over the walls there were millions of people getting on with their lives,” he says.

  4. Angiewang-int-main

    Angie Wang is FANTASTIC, she’s hands-down my absolute favourite new illustrator. Her work is an explosive, jelly bean-coloured tangle of cool girls, comic books, hair, nature and clouds: dreamy waves of cuteness and attitude floating along on the backs of ghosts. Some of her drawings may appear silly and adorable, but underneath the fuzziness is a melancholy wisdom of the world around her. She has an ability to capture what only the best kinds of comics do: aspects of life that are loving, scary, otherworldly and magnificent.

  5. Zeloot-int-list-2

    Look at the giant bulbous characters! The boy clamping his hand between his own giant gnashers! The tiny hairy willy floating in mid-air with a bunch of other body parts! This collection could be the work of one woman only and that woman is Eline Van Dam, aka Zeloot, a Dutch illustrator with a taste for the funny, the weird and the generally brilliant. She’s been hard at work of late with a stack of commissions for the likes of Vrij Nederland and The New York Times among others, all of whom are thoroughly enamoured with her unique style. As are we.

  6. Barzilai-int-list

    If you’re currently experiencing some love-related dramas allow me to gently suggest you don’t take them to Pauline Barzilaï for sorting. The French illustrator’s new project Les Peines de l’Amour, a sweet illustrated series on rose pink paper, takes a great sledgehammer to tender affairs of the heart, and smashes them all to pieces with a brutally funny satirical edge.

  7. Die-katze-int-list-2

    You don’t really see them in the UK anymore but there was once a time when fag machines populated bars, clubs, railway stations, street corners and children’s swimming pools so that everyone could readily get their hands on a dose of sweet lady nicotine at a moment’s notice. There’s still a few lingering in Switzerland though, so Daniel Peter and Alice Kolb have found a more family-friendly and creative use for them.

  8. Marta-monteiro-int-list

    Remember Marta Monteiro, whose series of Lilliputian heroines effectively encaptured all of our best Borrower-themed dreams last summer? The illustrator based in Penafiel, Portugal been busy at work since we last checked in, creating all manner of editorial illustrations for the likes of The New York Times and the Washington Post, not to mention some self-initiated projects which have materialised into beautiful books, like Sombras. Her work gives the impression of an illustrator still refining her style, which in her instance is immeasurably exciting, lending her a versatility and an authenticity few manage to successfully pull off. We’re especially enjoying the piece for The Man Who Knew It All, a giant-headed polka-dot dress-wearing lady borrowing the brain of another.

  9. Moonhead-book22-list

    It’s so reassuring to hear that a job at a top ad agency can be secured from an interview on no sleep, feeling “a bit spaced out.” While it’s possibly not the best career advice, that’s exactly how Andrew Rae landed a role at BBH, he told us in his talk at Offset festival. We’re huge fans of Andrew’s work, which over the years has included creating characters for the Mighty Book of Boosh, beautiful botanical illustrations and the wonderful, heartwarming and psychedelic graphic novel Moonhead and the Music Machine.

  10. Jasongalea-int-main

    I came across Jason when I was ogling at this poster for the Panache Spring Fling featuring White Fence, yet another ear-watering gig that I won’t be able to make it to because it’s across the Atlantic. Panache is a boutique booking agency in LA which represent bands like Ty Segall, Chris Cohen, Jacco Gardner, Fuzz, Juliana Barwick, U.S Girls…I could go on. In keeping with its roster it commissions the likes of Melbourne-based visual artist Jason Galea to make the posters and sleeves look as cool and apt as possible. Jason clearly knows what he’s doing with these posters, record sleeves and animations. This is the work of someone who has studied the music visuals of the past, sat around a Ouija board, reincarnated them, and smoked the spirits up in an acid-green infinity bong before splurging them out as art. It’s okay to rip stylistic qualities from eras gone by, but only if you, like Jason, genuinely love the music, and know exactly what you are doing.

  11. Andyrementer-sanmarinostamps-int-list

    Here’s some things you probably didn’t know about the tiny Republic of San Marino. It has no railway. Its 33,00 citizens enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world. It is famous for its stamps, which are widely collected by philatelists, or stamp collectors. This last revelation is the one that concerns us here, because we found out yesterday that illustrator, artist and long-time friend of the site Andy Rementer has just designed a set of stamps for The Philatelic and Numismatic Bureau of San Marino, themed around fantastical interpretations of 3D printing.

  12. Chrissie_macdonald_17_theredlist-int-hero

    From walks on Hampstead Heath and shelves bursting with books to cinema tickets and old magazines, Chrissie Macdonald takes a very analogue approach when she starts work on a new idea. Screens take a backseat as she rifles through her collections of stuff, filed in boxes alongside perhaps less useful collections including a “Keanu Reeves file,” shown in all its glory on the huge screen at this year’s Offset festival.

  13. Icinori-int-main

    French duo Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller are a couple united by their unbridled love for print. When their visual arts/illustrative forces are brought together they go by the name of Icinori, and create some of the most beautifully considered, traditional publications, pamphlets, concertina books and posters around. Considering the staggering detail present in every single image they piece together and print, it’s shocking how much new work they’ve just whacked up on their site.