The comics of London-based illustrator Liam Cobb have had us falling head over heals countless times on It’s Nice That. Whether it’s a series, a book or a prize he’s won, Liam’s name crops up often as a measure of a great work with an instant narrative that makes you stop and stare at an image for far too long.
But for the illustrator himself, his portfolio has been going through a little bit of a reshuffle: “I had been drawing comics for a while and wanted to try something else in-between working on stories,” he tells us. “I wanted to create some work that wouldn’t take as long as making a comic does, and would allow me more freedom to play around.”
The result is a number of singular architectural drawings which sit in-between being technical and illustrational. Usually appearing regularly on Liam’s Instagram feed, the illustrator hints to his followers at how these projects are coming along. This is first through sketches, through to black and white drawings before morphing into a highly coloured final product, full of sigh-inducing shadows and Risoprinted grain like colour palettes.
The process of taking time to concentrate on just the one image rather than comic panels has given the illustrator time to reassess his practice too: “Working in this way has helped to refine my style and allowed me the chance to make bolder imagery,” he explains. “I also feel my way of making comics has influenced the way I produce stand-alone illustrations.”
Detail is in the continuing factor from Liam’s comics through to his new stand-alone illustrations which create an objective story on their own. Characters looking over a balcony for instance or a lone car at the side of the road, Yayoi Kusama inspired mushrooms and pumpkins, or even just the rug design in someone’s apartment gives the viewer a sense of what Liam’s trying to convey. “The images still have a loose narrative running through them,” Liam points out, “but it’s more suggestive.”
And while this style of illustration has been a little bit of a break, a bit of an experiment, he doesn’t plan on stopping. “I’d like to keep creating more work this and make more comics,” says Liam. “This recent work has made me want to expand my practice more too; exploring different mediums and ways of storytelling.”
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.