Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have a commercial design background. Looking back over the seventy odd food paintings that I've done so far for this artvegecookbook, it seems like a strong influence. I'm not sure why this surprises me. My natural style was always somewhat illustrative, clean and clear in a graphic design sense, and cartoon influenced. This was part of the reason I headed toward medical illustration and animation. It suited my style and it helped me help other people. That's called going with the flow.

But now that I'm painting, following my own agenda and free to work in any visual style, the bold graphic element is very clearly still there.

In pondering this, I realised that it may be a product of what I am grasping for in my work. I aim for 'essence'. For the underlying or intrinsic special something of (in this case a recipe) to be rendered in a visual form. That's what I do. It's what I've always done. In medical illustration the essence is the distilled medical/anatomical information made crystal clear for a non-medic. In graphic design it is the logo which at a glance captures just what a company or brand is about. Done well, these become icons.

Icons by necessity tend to be bold, graphic and clear. An icon has a job to do. It encapsulates a huge amount of information. It represents a much larger set of associations and ideas and sends it's bolt of understanding to anyone who dares look. It has to be clear and recognisable. I am aiming for icons. For creations that capture the essence of their recipe and send a bolt of yes, of course, that's it exactly.

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