Monday, 20 December 2010

One Question Interview #21: Luke Pearson

'The Egg', Pearson's contribution to 'Solipsistic Pop 3'

What can be said about Luke Pearson that hasn't already been done so? People love his work, and it seems to be fairly unanimous that he's one of the most promising up-and-coming talents in British comics. He was one of our absolute faves during our Solipsistic Pop 2 coverage, and he's only continued to impress us (along with the rest of the internet) in the time since. 

In addition to having new work in Solipsistic Pop 3, most excellent publisher Nobrow have just released Pearson's latest comic, Hildafolk. Understandably, we had high hopes for this One Question Interview, and we certainly weren't disappointed, with Luke giving us a detailed insight into his style, visual interests, and what separates his taste in illustration from his taste in comics.

Q: Through your comics and illustration, it's clear that you have an interest in geometry and/or patterns. What can you tell us about this and how it relates to your work?

"I think the geometric thing comes from the interest I developed in angular, mid century illustrations while doing my illustration course. I'd take a lot of inspiration from poster art, old book covers and 50's animation design and I started making illustrations using just the polygon lasso tool in photoshop, which is when the triangles began to appear. I like illustrations that are built up of strong, readable shapes and often boiling things down to their simplest geometric forms is the best way of doing that.

I would say that my taste in illustration and my taste in comics are not the same. With comics I'm generally drawn to inked lines and circular, cartoony forms which makes my aims quite different. So I direct those illustrative influences at the page compositions and titles and such instead. I really love the diagrammatic nature of the comics page. When planning out a page you're essentially arranging geometric shapes in various patterns and there's unlimited potential for what that pattern could be and what it could mean for the reading experience. I think the patterns I actually include in the imagery are a reflection of that (I also just like knitted jumper patterns).

When I'm thumbnailing my layouts, I kind of get a kick out of looking at the pages and pages of various combinations of sketched out squares and triangles within rectangles. It's like I'm writing and experimenting with this bizarre, esoteric set of symbols that only I can understand and I find it totally cool. Because of this strange joy I think I often try to draw attention to the design of the page, rather than allowing it to discreetly do its job. I'm hoping in the future I can master that without compromising on the actual storytelling.

If you check out my tumblr I sometimes post the kind of inspiration I'm talking about and you can sort of piece together how my influences combine."

We're very grateful that Luke gave up some of his time to answer this question for us, and we hope the rest of you won't hate us for momentarily slowing his mighty pencil. In addition to his excellent above-linked tumblr page, you should absolutely positively go slam your eyeballs against his blog, which contains all manner of wonderful examples of his work. We've just ordered our copy of Hildafolk, have you?

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