My practice has always been rooted in reality and illusion, coming from an optical art background with influences such as Bridget Riley, my goal was to grasp the viewers’ attention for as long as I can. So, when I entered term 2 of illustration, I was given the opportunity to show my interest in a new light through print.
The Booklet was created from an extract of a story called Thin Cities, in which I imagined a fictional world with a floating mask I named ‘Zenobi’ as the narrator becoming less and less powerful as the story goes on until his shattering, symbolising that the city had forgotten its history as the desire for the future blinds the people of the present or the past.
The process was also very tricky for me as a predominantly black and white artist, I struggled to find colours which would ground this world in reality. I imagined Zenobia, in which the booklet is set, as an arid landscape and so chose earthy warm colours but leaving areas white to highlight areas of interest as the illusion of the booklet is knowing where to look.
Overall, this project has become a template for all work that has come since and sparked printmaking as a large part of my practice and the use of composition continues to get stronger. My work since has been rooted in observational drawing with optical illusion still prevalent in my illustrations.
Words: Thomas Goddard, Illustration, @tom_goddardart