Lew Keilar :: Commonwealth Bank    

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When it comes to live scribing, Lew Keilar is the king! He was recently invited to scribe at a Commonwealth Bank event at UNSW as part of the Cyber Security Education Lab launch – seems his talents with a whiteboard marker are not a well kept secret. Watch the full video here.

Insights/foresights :: with Simon Barrett

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Introducing Simon Barrett, The Drawing Arm’s Co-Founder and Resident Illustrator.

Simon’s distinctive and often humorous style combines bold typography, blatant colour and bemusing characters to ‘tell it how it is on the tin’. An expert on the ever-changing design and advertising scene, he dons many a hat to deliver work across branding, design and illustration projects here at The Drawing Arm.

Most recently Simon’s illustrative talents were engaged to rebrand the world-famous, New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles. But he is just as proud of his packaging work for Aussie-made beef jerky brand, Jumping Jerky.

And he’s just launched his brand spanking new website – featuring a collection of Limited Edition prints (limited to 100 pieces only, delivered worldwide)!

We hit Simon up for his insights and foresights into the industry. 

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What’s your dream project or brand to work on?

I get pretty excited about every job that comes into The Drawing Arm. I don’t hop around in the background like an excited pup expecting a job will be mine, instead I get equally excited about helping curate who we put forward for an illustration job, as I do about working on a job (or thereabouts).

So, from a business point of view – setting up The Drawing Arm and seeing it flourish into a commercial illustration agency has been a big dream project to work on.

From a brand point of view – commercial illustration is an interesting world. On one hand, you see brands aligning themselves with a style or styles that talk the same talk as they want their audience to, on the other you see illustrators who really refine their style so brands have to fit with them.

I’m a massive believer that ‘fish don’t climb trees’ that is, we align the right illustrators with the right projects, you can’t make someone draw something and make it look completely right if it’s not their thing – it generally ends in a tonne of effort and a poor result.

SO! From a dream project point of view, I’d like to produce my own work, get published, make people smile, paint massive canvases that hang in amazing galleries around the world and travel, a lot (with the occasional childrens’ book and packaging project in between).

What do you see trending in illustration this year? 

Positive affirmations written in calligraphy and b&w desert photographs with illustrated planets mostly…jokes.

There’s a lot of talk about how virtual is becoming almost too virtual and people therefore don’t respond to it (car ads, property renders, architectural).

I think the art of detailed sketching of renders (theatrical and fashion style) will surge and become more apparent in mainstream and I think good typography will continue to reign supreme.

We’re very picky at The Drawing Arm, we try our hardest to represent talent that we see working really well in the commercial world.

We try to have a healthy balance on our roster of talent who we believe will be of huge benefit to people seeking to commission illustration and people we see, eventually, becoming a huge benefit to people seeking to commission illustration!

The commercial world of illustration and advertising is often very trend based, so you see styles move in cyclical forms.  

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Name your top three Instagram accounts to follow?  

@thomascampbellart – because his art is wonderful and keeps me bright.
@kookslams – because it reminds us that life ain’t that bad 🙂
@thenationalgrid – shameless self promotion of our sister company who produce brilliant branding.

In the future all art is destroyed, and you can only save one piece – what would it be?

’Pegasus’ by Jean Michel Basquiat. I’m a big believer of noting thought as it happens.

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To check out more of Simon’s work or to write his next brief, click here.  

Artist Spotlight :: Rohan Cain

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Ro is a super versatile illustrator and tackles many different styles, but his favourite medium is textured, layered, cut and collaged paper! With a lateral mind and storyteller heart, his fav illustration project to date is his work for Laneway Festival 2015 – he says it was right up his alley (or laneway, to be more precise).

Kareena Zerefos :: TEAMEVENT

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We work on all sorts of wonderful illustration briefs over here – so when TEAMEVENT said they needed a live artist to attend a Bat Mitzvah we thought, what fun! Kareena came to the party (literally) and was an absolute hit, creating gorgeous 5-minute sketches of the guests in their party frocks.

Artist Spotlight :: Marty Schneider

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Marty’s mad illustration skills have been used to great effect across the advertising, publishing, fashion and music industries. A fan of the night and the first three hours of the day, Marty reckons that life is essentially about amusement, enlightenment and paying your bills. Naturally, he thinks his solar powered calculator is the most notable illustration prize he’s ever won!

Artist Spotlight :: Russell Tate

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When asked about his pets, Russell describes them as “CC3232; an accurate web colour for goldfish” – an appropriate response for someone who lives and breathes illustration as Russ does! He cites his most illustrious job to date as illustrating space shuttles for NASA – you could say his career in the creative biz has reached dizzying heights!

Artists Abroad :: Mark Long

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Based in the UK, Mark illustrates a regular column for The Independent, using brushes, ink and good ol’ fashioned print techniques to create expressive, humorous and carefully stylised images. His subject matter is varied – people, animals and anthropomorphised inanimate objects – nothing is off limits and the sky’s the limit for Mr Long!

Mulga :: NSW Business Chamber :: Skillsroad

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If you happen to spot a sorbet-loving gorilla out on the roads, you’ll know you’re looking at the new Skillsroad Caravan. The vehicle, emblazoned with an eye-catching Mulga original, is taking to the streets, offering job placement support to 15-24 year olds looking to kick-start their careers! Warm fuzzys (of the primate variety) all ‘round!

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