Why do we love illustration so? It’s a tough nut to crack really, especially when your days are spent hunting for brand new picture-making talent to show off to the world. Sometimes it’s the polished vectors of expertly layered digital work, at other times we get all hot under the collar for immaculate screen printed fades. But more often than not we get excited by drawings that look like things in the real world, because the primitive part of our brains simply cannot handle the idea that something flat on a page looks like you can reach out and touch it. It’s flipping magic.
Zoe Barker is an illustrator gifted with these powers of visual trickery, using watercolour washes and intricately textured graphite to create portraits, still-lifes and character designs that convey impressive visual depth. Her mastery of contour and shadow transfers across all of her chosen media and from monochrome to colour – in fact her tonal washes are up there with the best we’ve seen. Tasty business indeed.
- TFI the weekend! Here's the Best of the Web, as deemed by It's Nice That
- “Legs eleven, droopy drawers, dirty knees”: A clock that uses bingo calls instead of numbers
- Great new work for The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek from Oscar Bolton Green
- Dots, blocks and fades layered up in multifaceted exhibition identity for The Hague’s Royal Academy
- Patty Carroll’s bizarre photos hide women in chaotic, hand-built scenes
- Dougal Wilson’s Morris Dancing-heavy first music video in six years
- An insight into The Guardian’s newly released brand guidelines
- Art and architecture get exhibitions and galleries: graphic design should too
- Graphic identity lovers rejoice: “an unprecedented catalogue of modern trademarks” is here
- Russian photographer Erik Panov's latex and salmon themed fashion shoot
- Photographing the choreography and chaos of the England cheerleading team
- Japanese artist Tatsuro Kiuchi is back with more beautifully finished illustrations