Every once in a while we’ll lose track of an illustrator whose work we really admire, only to have them burst through the doors of our studio like some long-lost prodigal son, armed to the teeth with new work to show us. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it sets our pulses racing and we sit face-to-face with them and their portfolios, our faces glowing with the utmost joy.
Last week Raymond Lemstra was that prodigal son, and (to mix more metaphors) he bore glorious illustrated fruits for us to enjoy. His process hasn’t changed since we last saw him – he’s still producing laboriously crafted pencil drawings tinted with soft watercolour hues – but he’s been amassing a shed-load of new work that’s brimming with his trademark charisma and energy. There’s shamanic totems of ghoulish faces, oddly-proportioned men smoking curiosity cigarettes and frantic collages of weird creatures scuffling in mid-air. Kind of like a Miyazaki scene drawn in cross-hatched graphite. Yeah, exactly, AWESOME!
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