Since we last checked in with Philadelphia-born illustrator George Wylesol, he has been busy working on commissions for The New York TImes, Bandcamp, Oogst magazine, the University of Texas and Vinyl Moon – in which he created a gatefold cover and a 22-page newspaper-sized comic.
George has also just published his first “real” book, which is a collection of comics published by South London-based Avery Hill Publishing. “In the collection are three comics, The Rabbit, Ghosts and Worthless. I’ve also self-published a smaller zine called Porn and I’m just about to publish a Risograph zine called House through Tan & Loose press,” George tells us.
When we featured the illustrator in August 2016, George was drawing “in the most basic, no-frills way possible” yet the illustrator has developed his approach further and feels he’s really loosened up. “My drawing in general has gotten a lot simpler and quieter as well. I’m always tweaking my process, so I’m currently experimenting with bringing more hand-drawing back into my work,” he explains.
A range of subjects are covered in George’s work with everyday scenes often accompanied by abstract and occult-like symbols in a multitude of vibrant hues. “I’ve been looking at a lot of found imagery lately, which has been inspiring. The Public Domain Review on Facebook posts a lot of old, kind of forgotten imagery scavenged from abandoned corners of the web like Internet History, God Bless this Home, RoomHole, Craigslist Mirrors,” explains George. “I find this out-of-context, unplanned imagery really compelling and I’ve been using references from long-abandoned image hosting sites lately in my work – it feels more candid.”
George’s work is wonderfully weird and unexpected, and he’s trying to find the right balance between his client’s expectations and the more experimental aspects of his personal work. “I stress a lot about whether my clients will find my work too abstract to use, or if my concepts are either too conceptual or too cliche. I’m working around this by sending clients a lot of different ideas, some ‘safe’ and some ‘weird’. I’m always thrilled when the client picks the weird idea.”
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