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Work / Illustration

Joe Gamble’s latest series broke him out of an illustration slump

Illustrator Joe Gamble’s latest series has grown from that feeling of creating a piece, but not feeling over the moon about it.

Each drawing is an interpretation of a photograph Joe has taken, a plant on a desk, a row of seats or multiple heads joined together watching the football. First the illustrator drew a line-based version but he was wasn’t quite happy with it, “so I did it again,” he tells It’s Nice That. Going at it a second time Joe started using coloured pastels instead, adding layers, depth and importantly colour to add a certain vibrancy.

However rather than disregard that first drawing, Joe decided put the first and second tries together in a sort of illustrated diptych, an approach which changed his opinion of the project completely. “After I scanned the two images I realised they worked better placed side by side rather than alone,” he explains. “There is something about the same thing repeated, it provides more context, multiple viewpoints. The two drawings bounce off each other.”

On the reflection of seeing the first couple of drawings together Joe revisited the concept of “memory, how we remember certain places or events and how as we move forward, these moments start to deteriorate,” the illustrator explains. A subject Joe thinks about a lot, and feels this series in particular “signifies this,” he says. “One shows the real, the blur of the time, the other shows what you remember and how we may remember spaces and events.”

Naming the series Slump, due to not only being a way “of suggesting decline, but also these drawings came on the tail end of a personal work slump,” he explains. “A period where I felt my work had plateaued out, so doing these has broken me out of that cycle,” showing how some of the best projects develop from a struggle.

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump

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Joe Gamble: Slump