Lennard Kok’s recent zine is about reading, or looking through, a book. As you turn the pages, you see illustrations of turning pages.
Usually, a book is a four-sided, three-dimensional object. Occasionally, if you’re sunbathing by the sea or lounging on the pool-side, the pages can get damp and salty. Some people look after their novels, others crease the corners and bend the binds; Lennard’s zine beautifully illustrates these eventualities.
“I look at more books than I read”, Lennard explains. “I get inspired by how it physically feels, by the sequence and how the order is laid out”. Using deeply satisfying symmetrical lines, the illustrator explores a publication’s geometrical shape, creating a zine that is both minimalistic and elegant.
A grasshopper leans back, dwarfed by gigantic pages. An Anubis cries over a novel, and a skeleton holds a book between his creaking fingers. “I was looking to create figures that usually don’t read”, Lennard tells us. “Seeing them do it, makes them more human, which creates an odd contrast as they’re clearly not”.
Why is it, that when you’re seen with a heavy-weight 500-page novel spread out upon your lap, your immediately assumed to be a genius or a swot? The figures that Lennard illustrates appear smarter and more relaxed than they would otherwise. “They feel like characters you could really start a conversation with”, he explains.
Lennard chooses a clean aesthetic, using bold and black lines because he wants to tell a story as simply as possible. However, this new work explores colour, using bursts of pink and red, green and orange. Having struggled initially to find a colour palette that effectively matches his style, the artist feels this is an exciting step in a new direction. We can expect more vibrant illustrations from him in the future.