“As an illustrator you need to understand the human body – but having looked at and understood nature, you must develop an ability to look away and capture the balance between what you’ve seen and what you imagine.”
Illustration is a tool used to distill what may not even be visible. Yet when looked upon, an understanding is derived from the work. Exaggerations and bold colors are all features commonly found in illustration, and are of particular use when trying to hit the balance between a tangible image and the emotions the illustrator wishes to evoke.
The Polish artist Roman Klonek noticeably puts these features of illustration to practice. With large spaces of popping color and skillfully placed thin lines, his illustrations brim with quirky character (the kind of quirky that doesn’t make one cringe).
Klonek favours the practice of woodcut printing as it allows for imperfections, which is hugely advantageous in his opinion. These imperfections lend to a handmade essence which amounts to further character. A major inspiration behind his work is the olden style cartoons pre Mickey Mouse (e.g. Oswald the Rabbit), Klonek stating “it’s this ‘low quality’ that is the quality. You can see it’s handmade!”
Klonek’s use of humanoid animals also allows for the characters to have a personality encapsulated in a simple manner. Their forms and appearance all work towards informing us what these creatures are, essentially. By adding human like features within the picture, there’s an element of relate ability integrated as well.
Klonek tells a story within a single printed snapshot, with exaggerated features and basic shapes, we collect an understanding of these narratives. These simple pictures, tell a simple tale.