It’s been a woefully long time since we featured the work of Stuart Kolakovic on the site, but luckily in all that intervening time he’s been remarkably busy honing his style and turning out stunning pieces of illustration for an impressively diverse array of clients. Stuart’s trademark folk-inspired style has gone from strength to strength the past few years and he’s clearly mastered the art of working at pace, recently illustrating a whole book in a mere two weeks.
With so much imagery to show we’ve picked two of Stu’s most recent projects to whet your appetite; both inspired by English folk tales and rich with the kind of visual imagery that he’s ideally suited to. The first, The Death of King Arthur is a cover illustration for Chaucerian expert Peter Ackroyd’s latest work. “What made the commission especially appealing” says Stuart “was the amount of free rein I was offered, both in terms of content and also its physical design; french flaps, uncoated stock, embossing, spot colours, foil printing – all the bells and whistles I could ever want.”
And the results are pretty impressive, featuring the heavy red, gold and blue colour palette – that Stuart usually reserves for his personal work – to immortalise the legendary English king with a morbid sense of drama.
The second king-themed piece comes in the form of Carol Ann Duffy’s Wenceslas, a fully illustrated retelling of the traditional carol. For this Stuart had only two weeks to create all the imagery – a deadline that seems unachievable given the detail of his drawings. But the final pieces are stunningly delicate, and a testament to the skill of an illustrator still very much on the rise.