flat art

different illustration styles by ciro correia

I discovered illustration surrounded by tall book filled shelves within the dimly lit art and design section of the tertiary institution library I attended. It was a revelation, up till then I had feverishly pursued Graphic Design as a career. Then one day I discovered tome after tome of illustrations that spoke to me on a level I had not felt before. I wanted to be able to tell a story, illuminate minds with lines, colours, brush strokes and shapes. Back then there were no Illustration courses offered anywhere near me and even though Design was deeply satisfying I worried that I'd sell my soul to the marketing machine (ironic) so I switched to Fine Art hoping I'd gain the opportunity to speak through my art. I squandered the opportunity but gained something completely different instead. One of the reasons I was drawn to illustration at art school was the way a picture could speak without words or help words take on a different dimension. Experiencing that kind of communication makes me very happy. Painting for me is still something that I can spend my whole life doing, I could go without sleep or food- hermit myself away from all people while I paint.

This post contains images that are a result of a mixture of work done in photoshop and illustrator. The subject of this post is really about me exploring a different style. This style is very different from other things I've done. Styles are changeable for me - I think I have a promiscuous heart when it comes to styles of art and design. I want to be able to experience creating them all. Some people have said that not defining oneself to a particular style is a sign of an immature artist. There are artists and designers who I respect that have said this and I understand what they mean by it, when I was a younger artist and designer I was unsure and struggled to find direction but now things are different. So, my desire to move across a range of styles does not come from a place of immaturity. Sometimes, the people who hold this criticism as if set in stone do so because of a lack in their own abilities. I do have my own personal preferences of course, and whichever style I work in - I always seem to find my own voice within them. 

3 styles of crocodile by ciro correia

I've always enjoyed working across different styles. From photo-realistic work to very stylised work. There are so many levels of stylisation you can break things down into, here I've worked on character designs done in varying degrees of stylisation creating different illustrative styles. 

These sketches were done in Photoshop- depending on their end purpose I'll either take the sketches into Illustrator and work on them there in a kind of 'flat' character design or I'll reiterate them in Photoshop until I'm happy with the results. 

Photoshop versions

Illustrator version