Jonathan Vermersch’s illustrations are heavily influenced by his time spent studying animation; they feature elongated limbs in constant movement, as well as miniature scenes easily transferrable into the perfect GIF. Unable to “resist stretching and exaggerating proportions”, Jonathan’s illustrations depict distorted figures in playful interactions. Joking to It’s Nice That that his use of perspective was initially inspired by his height – from “viewing everything from such extreme above angles” – Jonathan reasons that distortion “adds dynamism, movement and drama; it creates rhythm in a way”.
Jonathan’s illustrations, also inspired by yoga and meditation, are all about rhythm and harmony. From the way that the figures are placed in relation to each other, to the cool colour palette, the artist’s works exude balance and control. Jonathan’s creative process is also disciplined, it involves “patience and perseverance”. Sometimes he redoes “the same drawing twenty times before [he] is relatively satisfied”.
Jonathan’s illustrations are visually pleasing, in part, because they are so simple, there is a regular pattern to them. “I am more and more drawn to making my visual language as efficient as possible”, he explains, “taking out elements and leaving the essentials is quite a hard task”. He believes illustration is there to provide an “understanding of a concept through the use of visual language”; claiming that these symbols “help us create a mood, personality and certain message. I feel the simpler your language, the more flexible and apt it is to build those”.
In their uniformity, Jonathan’s illustrations speak of intimacy and cycles. His repetitive depiction of a house is symbolic of what “we are carrying as luggage in terms of experiences, memories, personal struggles and hardships”, the artist explains, “it also represents a certain comfort zone, something that is quite hard to avoid”. The artist aims to explore the dynamics of relationships and social media in a surrealistic manner – drawing “an arm stretching endlessly around another person and a body going through a phone into cyberspace”, for instance. Jonathan’s drawings are bizarre and playful, but in their regularity and bodily harmony, they conjure up a sense of calm.