June Tate is an endearing illustrator. Her work is cute, in the most refined sense of the word, and is balanced with a comical twist. As a result her works are guaranteed to make you smile, whether you’re chuckling from the humour of one of her animations, or smiling at the sweet characters in her illustrations.
June’s two main influences, William Steig and Maira Kalman, have an illustrated disposition which echoes in her work. “They both have a sense of wonder for the world that comes through in their art,” the illustrator explains. “I love lines that are scratchy and a little rough, but still have an elegance to them. I like to see humanness in a drawing.” Humanness, or relatability, is certainly evident within June’s work. It is displayed in the minor details of her illustrations, the cheeky smile on a gymnast’s face as she poses, or the slight worry in another character’s face asking ‘okay to pet this thing?’ with their hand on a little animal. The mix of narrative content in June’s work also allows for her illustrations to be appreciated by all ages. A fan of illustrations from children’s books, her drawings capture nostalgia too. One book from her childhood, Eloise, is a particular influence. “The illustrations have splashes of colour and quick lines that look like they were made with effortless brilliance”.
Within June’s animation work, which she creates with collaborator Zach Johnston, is a blend of humour and philosophy, inspired by Cartoon Network show Adventure Time. "It’s that sweet spot of cute and profound that really blows me away. In my own animations I often have an earnest, slightly dopey creature who turns out to be the most enlightened.” However the biggest influence on June, and aptly the most adorable, is her grandmother whose career involved designing wallpaper and neckties in Brooklyn. “Her hand-painted patterns remain my favourite things to look at. She had a reverence for tiny things that made every thing she touched beautiful.”
Each piece of June’s work is a wholesome insight to her mind. “Illustration and animation are a way for me to connect to other people. Both mediums value individuality, it’s often my weirdest drawings that come from deep in my imagination that people tend to enjoy the most”.
- Mariana Malhão's illustrations depict "a world inside a world"
- Max Siedentopf offers silly but significant advice in his latest series, Instructions for World Peace
- XZY explores the “visual alchemies of the phenomenon fake" in its debut issue
- Steven Bliss' distant yet familiar series, Boys
- Friday Mixtape: Shopping pick a mix of bands to be excited to be about
- Illustrator Cécile Dormeau on body diversity and defying convention
- The Guardian unveils redesign across print and online
- Aron Klein's captivating images of the Bulgarian demon chasers
- The rebrand for Russia’s tourist board uses Suprematist geometry laid out as a map
- Compare your selfies to fine art through the Google Arts and Culture app’s newest feature
- Coca-Cola reveals custom typeface, TCCC Unity, inspired by its modernist heritage
- Graphic designer Bryan Rivera references mistakes and imperfections in his portfolio