This time of year makes me feel pretty festive in a way the official holidays never do. Graduate season is upon us and as we at It’s Nice That gear-up for our annual graduate showcase, it’s near impossible to ignore the abundance of post-graduate glory surfacing from the masters courses. And why would we?! Especially if their body of work is anything like the Royal College of Art illustrator Ruby Fresson (illustrating as R. Fresson).
Harnessing with utmost respect the same aesthetic tone in its careful cymk separation, the fine-outline detailing and colour of Jean Giraud or Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo comics, Ruby makes the work her own with beautifully-realised narratives run through with a special humour which she has quoted (“probably to herself”) as being “difficult for me to be seriously funny. I find I have an aptitude for being funnily serious” – which I thought was pretty apt.
The work lends itself wonderfully to panels and the painterly quality of the colour plus the space she gives its subjects, grants each frame a sort of extra, epic significance which only that sort of attention to detail can provide. It also allows great narrative potential between seemingly random images that appear in the same format and style, like a big disjointed comic or a really, really slow animation or, maybe, just a really fantastic portfolio that gives you plenty to read into.