I’ve been following Dan McPharlin’s work for a few years now, ever since his miniature synthesizer models started showing up on Matrixsynth. I fell in love with his perfectly crafted, perfectly photographed (seriously, the photography is almost cooler than the work itself) paper music machines. But after being introduced to his graphic/illustration work he quickly became one of my favorite artists. His illustrations are very reminiscent of another favorite of mine, Roger Dean, and are evocative of that prog-rock driven 70′s sci-fi art scene that, when done right, is just downright incredible.
So it’s been great to see Dan’s work start popping up all over the place, like here, here (Prefuse 73 cover), and here (Jakub, you really should have know better!). Beyond the visual beauty of his work, it’s just great to see someone being creative with such a novel medium. He brings the mind and eye of a designer to a world previously reserved for 60-somethings hiding out in their basements building model railroads. To see him wrap all this up and successfully translate that future-past-that-never-was aesthetic into commercial projects is a good thing indeed.
You can check out more of Dan’s work at his flickr.
On a side note, he’s posted some shots of his home/work-space here. Are you kidding? Amazing. My house looks like it was built of scraps from a 19th-century Troller Boat that ran aground in front of a hippie commune. Seriously, parts of a boat were used in the construction of this house, I am sure of it. Anyways, I am disorganized at best, slovenly at worst and I don’t think I have the skill set to keep such a meticulously minimalist situation like that up for any length of time. If I win the lottery I will get one of those modernist prefabs and put it in front of this house. I’ll then carefully place completely unusable angular furniture and German-designed objects all around it. Finally I will place a single synthesizer with wooden endbells and an analog sequencer on a white table with a molded plywood chair in front of it. When people come over I will tell them that’s where I get all my work done and then I will sit them down at a walnut coffee table with various important looking design books stacked neatly on top of it and expound on typography theory and then chastise them for not understanding the difference between kerning and leading. After they leave I will go back to my real house and eat a sandwich in my basement and watch Adult Swim and then not clean up the plate for a week or so.
I remember seeing Omni magazine when I was a kid and wanting it. For some reason I was never able to get my hands on an issue, so I still don’t know what it’s about, something to do with sci-fi apparently. Anyways, the covers and style are excellent regardless of the content. You can find an archive of all the issues here, although the images aren’t very large.
I’ve seen these sort of retro-future space colony illustrations around here and there but never knew the original source until today. NASA has posted a good sized collection of full resolution scans of the original artwork here. Apparently these were part of a series of NASA studies on space colonization:
“A couple of space colony summer studies were conducted at NASA Ames in the 1970s. Colonies housing about 10,000 people were designed. A number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made. These have been converted to jpegs and are available as thumbnails, quarter page, full screen and publication quality images. There are 16 images presented below.”
Assorted work by designer Olle Eksell to kick off your Tuesday right. What great typography! (It’s all late 40′s, early 50′s work.) All of the above are scanned from a book I picked up in Tokyo. I thought I had stumbled upon the secret of all secrets when I found it, but you can buy it on Amazon just as well.
Monocle Magazine has an impressive roster of illustrators. Featured above is work by: Andrew Holder, Takashi Kuwahara, Raymond Biesinger, Satoshi Hashimoto, and Adrian Johnson. Each of them contributes to the magazine periodically.
Outside of the Monocle world, I am most familiar with Adrian Johnson. (Check out the Grain Edit interview). For whatever reason I come across his illustrations all the time. However, of the four listed above, Biesinger’s work resonates the most with me. I love his simple graphic approach and limited color palette. You can browse his work, Monocle and otherwise, on his website.
I can always identify a Patrick Rocha illustration because of the strong angles on body figures or his style of drawing hair. One of my favorites is what he did for the JDSY – Adage of Known album cover which is a illustration of a women slowly turning into a deformed monster, another part of this drawing is the use of only red and blue colored pencil was always grabbing. My mother(professor at MIT for fine arts and portfolio preparation) always told me if I was going to get into graphic design then i’d need to relearn to draw again but that was 6-8 years ago because employers would want you to be an illustrator too, do you think that will ever came true?
Below is a song by JDSY that always floors me, it worth seating thru like a well composed classical piece that flows thru 6 different sections in the matter of minutes.
JDSY – Else2