Ian Jones is an Artist and Illustrator from Nottingham, England. He works using a blend of traditional and digital techniques to create rich layered images that feel quite painterly and utilise bold colour and contrast. He has worked as an Artist for about 7 years since graduating with a degree in Graphic Design. It was during his degree that I first started using the Computer in conjunction with traditional skills. His work as an Artist involves creating work for Gallery display and creating bespoke Artwork through private commission basis. He also works as an illustrator for books and publications. Most recently he has been working in the area of Graphic Novels.
Many things inspire him as a firm believer that inspiration can come from anywhere and at any time. And sometimes in the most unlikely of forms. His inspirations include Mythology, Visionary Art, Ancient Cultures, Scifi/Fantasy, Graffiti, Surrealism, Sculpture, Pop Art.
He’s also quite heavily inspired by Music, explaining “Images very often form in my mind whilst listening to atmospheric music. It can also inform my choice of colour, rhythm and texture. I’m a big fan of the Cure and The Smiths and was always fascinated by the way that these bands used upbeat tunes and jolly rhythms that contrasted with very often, quite dark lyrics. This has rubbed off into my Art practice and I love to juxtapose in a similar way in my work.Contrast in all forms is always a good thing in Art as far as I am concerned.”
His work usually starts life in the Digital realm, using a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet and a Mac. His primary Application of choice is Photoshop cs6 but he also uses Corel Painter and Pixologic Zbrush. Much of his work is created using a combination of these three, as he explains – “I love the sense of freedom, spontanaeity and randomness that custom brush techniques can give.”
He starts almost all of his work in a very loose fashion laying down big strokes with shape dynamics turned right up in PS. Sometimes this will just reveal a shape or form that he just runs with. “I am a big fan of creating order through Chaos. My online name Nonsense-Prophet comes from this idea of seeing form in the random and making sense of disorder.”, he told us, “I will then go off and gather reference photographs to manipulate. I have a huge library of photos and textures that I draw from. Sometimes I also sculpt a base in Zbrush to work from. This base is then textured up with manipulated photography and digitally painted to blend everything together. Sometimes I work with Models from DeviantArt, some of whom are happy to let you use their images to work with providing that credit is given.”
Ian is a lover of steam punk imagery, saying “I love mixing organic/natural forms with technical/industrial shapes. Steampunk also utilises vintage and antique elements which is something that I like to include.”
There are many Artists that he finds inspiring and is constantly looking for new Artists to learn from and be inspired by.
Dave Mckean was one of the Artists that first inspired him to take up Digital Art. “His Sandman covers blew me away when I first saw them”, Ian explained, “and I have been a massive fan of all of his work ever since. Andrew Jones is also a huge influence. I share a lot of the same interests as Andrew such as Shamanic, Visionary Art. Many of Andrew’s techniques and tutorials have schooled me in creative/imaginative use of software. Alex Ruiz, Jean Michel Basquiat, Dali, Menton3, Christopher Shy and Johnathan Hickman are all big influences also.”
Almost all of the Artists mentioned are Artists that work in Comics and Graphic Novels. This is a genre that Ian finds inspiring. Recently he has been working in this field in conjunction with a couple of different writers. “I have a couple of books that I have worked on coming out in the future. The most recent is about a man’s journey through life with Schizophrenia, this subject matter really suited my Art style.”
Ian is also working on his own Graphic Novel which he hopes to publish in the future. This is in the early development stages at the moment but is taking shape slowly. It is a dark tale set within a mysterious forest realm, inspired by Norse mythology and pagan Gods. He’s looking to secure funding for this project in the near future possibly through a Kickstarter project.
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