Thursday, July 26, 2012
Illustrator: Stephen Cheetham
Posted by Francesca Harris
Stephen Cheetham manages that ever elusive challenge of creating intelligent work that is thought provoking, culturally relevant and most of all, humorous. Themes including drinking, smoking, London life are all done in his signature style of clean lines, a simple, appealing colour palette; held together with that touch of playful innocence and comedic relevance to make the message within easier to take.
I stumbled across his work at the Handsome Frank exhibition ‘Tweet- A-Brief’ where Handsome Frank asked their twitter followers to send in ideas for briefs to challenge their illustrators. Stephen designed for the brief ‘140 Characters’ by @siulendesign – a clear reference on Twitter’s 140 character allowance. His piece was reminiscent of an identity parade – a 140 strong army of iconic characters from films, TV shows and other popular culture. You could spend all day looking at the piece discussing and musing over the detail, witty quirks and spotting those characters that you know and love transformed into Cheetham’s signature style.
I think Stephen’s work is meant for mediums such as this. A display to enrapture passers by and make them stop and smile, discuss with their friends, or strangers, and laugh at the good humour and nostalgic air of those long forgotten movies.
I can see his work branching out into animation, and perhaps educational works to inspire young adults in a way that is engaging to them.
To see more from Handsome Frank and their exhibition visit: Handsomefrank.com