Amy Hamilton: Animal Illustrations



Graphic design based artist, Amy Hamilton, uses a layering technique in order to transform stereotypical animal portraits into unique, highly attention capturing pieces. This designer “thrives” when given a creative challenge and personally I adore her animal illustrations every time I see them. Creating “visual designs for digital and print media which include illustrations, typography, layout, branding, and photography” Amy Hamilton blends a vary of traditional materials and techniques such as graphite, gouache, ink, and watercolour with Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Illustrator. Her hybrid approach to illustration is based through a fun design approach combined with realistic, stereotypical objects and animals. 

This designer uses a contrast of colour between foreground and background in order to ensure that her illustrations are not overpowered or interfered by other, unwanted elements. Hamilton uses a pure, crisp white background, kept understated behind her intense colour palate within her drawings in order to keep the audiences main attention and focus on her crafted work. I find that the high contrast in colour is a way for the designer to manipulate her audiences attention to be kept in the image that she is communicating. The unique and un-stereotypical colour palate used for these realistic drawings produces a fun, magical approach to bland and more simple animals. This designer aims to produce an illustration of a simple animal in a realistic style, using unique colours to allow her audience to interpret them in their own light. I believe that when viewing this work Amy Hamilton aims for her audience to see the animals in a more fun, fantasy style of approach to give the animals a new personality. The understated white background also allows the animal to gain the full attention of the audience. Refraining from using type of other elements within this work the drawings can be interpreted by the audience without the input of the audience, this would allow the designer to  appeal to a wider audience as she does not use specific colours such as feminine or masculine tones to be appealing. When viewing these illustrations I find their chosen audience is clearly of an older audience. The realistic approach in style would not be as highly appreciated by children or teens whereas an older audience would appreciate the talent and skill that design has. I love realism within work and the approach that this artist uses through fantasy designs appeals to me greatly! 



Amy Hamilton uses a layering technique in order to gain her unique and effective colour scheme. Keeping many of the traditional colours of the animal relevant so that the audience can communicate what animal it is as well as blending unusual tones into the scene, Hamilton creates a new personality to the animal. She takes the original animal and allows her audience to see it in a new design. 

I believe that the illustrations created by this designer produce a very soft, almost feminine approach which transforms usually aggressive animals such as bears and wolves into more appealing and friendly approaches. The expressions that these animals have are almost blank, allowing the audience to interpret them, making each design and animal illustration more personal to each person within the audience. “Very inspired by nature, she enjoys depicting colourful animals” almost giving them a colour autopsy. Her unique use of contrasting and appealing colours can also produce a new reality to the animal. Hamilton uses colours that appreciate the animals nature. Hamilton uses a very rough approach to her brush strokes, refraining from creating a very clean cut design. I adore this element of this designers work, the rough, rigid lines prevent the animal from communicating a finished look to the audience as this would almost enforce the realisation that this is the animal and would prevent the audience from interpreting the animal in their own way. 

Elements of the animals used within Hamilton’s illustrations are often enhanced, through medium. Such as the watercolour running of the Moose Antlers, the fur of the bear and so on. I believe that this is a way for Hamilton to highlight the power of the animals that she is communicating. Also elongating the scene (especially within the Moose illustration) the simple adjustment attracts the audiences attention. 

The process used by this designer of layering colour allows her to gain a perfected tone and shading within the scene. Enhancing the realism within the animal and adding depth to the image taking it from a 2D scale to almost making the audience believe it is a 3D scene, Hamilton perfects the tones, blending and deepness within the message and the animal.

Overall I love this design style and believe that the designer could use this in a range of purposed. Simple type could be added for an advertising approach, to highlight a product, to simply be admired by the audience and such. 


Sarah Esteje: Illustrations



Pen illustrator, Sarah Esteje’s drawings are hugely based on animals and human figures, communicating their beauty and realism taking the creatures out of their natural habitat and enforcing them onto her audience in a more graphic, modernised style. Seen as being “ hyper-realistic erotic portraits ” these illustrations clearly communicates a sensual style to the animals however as a viewer I do not feel this emotion from her work. I find the illustrations feminine and soft as the marking used refrain from enforcing a harsh, masculine feel toward the audience. These oversized works from Esteje, created using ball point pens, can be argued to be an overpowering tone of blue due to the materials used. Many would find this approach severely cold. Blue tones are often linked to sadness and depression, cool, winter scenes however contrasted with the pure, white, crisp background the colours appreciate one another to almost makes the audience believe that the animal is not from this world, it almost produces a fantasy style of scene. I find this style of work highly appealing as the unique and original  approach has not been used by many artists or designers prior to Esteje, it captured my attention because of the originality. As the audience would see this work at an extremely large scale they would automatically be manipulated into wanting to view more as the size and contrast of colour alongside the process would be a new sight for the audience to see.

Communicating with he audience solely through illustrations, I believe that this artist refrains from using type within her work as the drawings communicate with the audience alone. Using only imagery the artist is able to allow the audience to have their own interpretation of the scene. If this style of work were being used in an advertising purpose then type would be an extremely helpful element to use. However, I like how Esteje allows the simplistic amount of elements used to communicate her work with her intended audience, clearly an older age range, rather than overpowering the scene with more than one communicative feature. 

The only criticism I have with this designer is the purpose for the work. Viewing this set, I find the purpose of their creations is simply to appeal to the audience and create a nice illustration that they may appreciate through the craft and skill that has been used however if this style were to be used for an advertising piece then simply photography and  editorial work would be less time consuming, less cost effective and overall more realistic and appealing to their intended audience. 


In reference to the craft used in this designers work, I find that other illustrations gain a more realistic image from their craft, despite this illustrator using a different material approach, I find some of her illustration slightly “warped”, this would most definitely prove unappealing to the audience and may be a miscommunication between the purpose, concept and message to the audience.

Sarah Esteje’s work leaves her audience in awe as they are often left trying to “peel our eyes away”. These illustrations are “astonishingly detailed, capturing the distinctive personality of her subjects” however what makes them more appealing and successful from other hyper-realist illustrators? Clearly the distinctive blue tones used through the unique style of material used! I love the blue tones that this designer creates, despite being a very masculine colours Sarah Esteje is able to keep a feminine, very soft scene.”Drawing from a photograph” Sarah Esteje uses blue ball point pens as the colour is “specific” to the item, colours are often used to stereotypically linked to an object such as orange and black marking to a tiger, however Esteje allows her animals to take on a new colour, a new personality, she is giving the animals in her work a new life and allowing her audience to give their interpretation without being forced into a specific design. 

Portraiture is what I like the most, whether in drawing or photography. For my animal portraits, I really chose pictures in which they looked human, and in some of my human portraits, I love how brutish they can look.”

Sarah Esteje aims to connect her animals with the humans she gains her inspiration from. Using her animals in a human like pose, I find it appealing how she refrains from making this clear to the audience, it’s more like she is playing a game on them, discretely blending the two together! Choosing to use animals within her work Sarah Esteje believes that “Animals represent our imaginary world, childhood, tales, every kid wants to have one”. It is clear to see her work as being a “fairytale” style of design and approach, I love how she refrains from using stereotypical styles of fairytale such as princesses and magical creatures, she is portraying her sense of imaginative design. I believe that these designs communicate an almost low key, un-stereotypical approach to her fairytale theme and it has proved a lot more appealing and effective than stereotypical fantasy lands and magical kingdoms. 


Esteje has been known to create “wondrous work, full of detail and exquisite technique can turn a simple ink pen into a magic wand”. I find this statement highly correct! Overall this designer’s style and unique approach highly communicates a space between reality and fantasy with the audience. When viewing this work I forget the reality that I am in now and almost produce an imaginative world where these animals could be found, I interpret her work from what the designer is allowing us as viewers to see into what I seem to understand. Having gained an impressive reaction from her audience, this clearly highlights how successful her style and talent has been perceived. 

Javier Ruis: Illustrations

Specializing within illustrative work, Javier Ruis Flores bases himself in California and focuses his work within pen, ink and graphite design work. I found these pieces of work created by the designer on an artist and design blog. Working within digital design, illustrative work, T Short design and Character art, Flores’ illustration designs captured my attention as they stood at a clear contrasting style to his other work. ImageI love the realism in the drawing of these designs however what draws me into these pieces of work the most is the colours tones used. A blend of warm tones and the original marks from the graphite work together to produce a unique and set of tones. One criticism I do have with this work is that once one piece has been seen, work cerated similar to this look the same despite being a different context. I do however find the pure white background contrasted against the graphite markings has been chosen perfectly as it allows the initial design to be the focal point. This second image has to be my favorite. I adore the colours being used layered on top of the original markings of the materials. Unknown to why this piece has been created or it’s purpose, I simply find it appealing to view. I have not seen work like this before and it immediately appealed to me as the intricate detail used mixed with the simple colours and background allows a perfected illustration to be drawn. I find it harder to communicate with the audience through drawings alone, using type is an easier element to use as words can be included. When viewing this work I interpret it in my own way. When firstly seeing this piece I believed that the concept behind the work was to express kings of animals such as wolves and lions in the iconic ‘uniform’ of human kings. So in this piece a wolf has been given an iconic, stereotypical indian head piece worn by chiefs of the tribes. I believe that this may be the initial idea of the designer and find it an unusual yet exciting concept to work with. I like how the colours are of a bolder tone in this piece compared to the previous. Criticizing this piece in one way however is that I doubt that the colours link to the concept of the design. I think that if the designer has used colours which linked to the symbolisms of the kings of animals that the design includes then it may force the piece to work better as a whole rather than just a simple illustration. However, experimenting with colours would show which tones worked best and the colours that the designer has used work well together. If used in a campaign and given these coloirs as a style then I believe they would work greatly. Perhaps a small line of text could have been placed at the bottom of the piece to be used in a campaign styled set? Communicating with the audience I believe that Flores has taken many elements of this piece into consideration when designing, for instance blending the animal to the garment, the layout, format of the layout and choosing a discrete background colour which would highlight the illustrations within. Overall I find this pieces of work by Javier Ruis Flores extremely effective and appealing in an illustration style but I do believe they would work better in a larger set! The most appealing aspects of this work to me include the realism behind the work and the pink and blue tones used to finish off the work perfectly.

Lukas Holas: Animal Photography


Lukas Holas’ “Portraits of Animals” campaign includes amazingly beautiful black and white photographs that highlight the empowering personality of the animals that are being illustrated. Alone these photographs communicate the power and beauty of the animals that are being pictured however as an advertising approach the scene would need other elements to successfully communicate a message about the issue to the audience such as brand name, description and/or slogan. However, even looking at these photographs, I find them highly admire the skill of the photographer. I admire the beauty of the animal and the power that they are given. These “Breathtaking” images are “a matter of my heart.” describes this designer and it is clear to see through his work that his passion for the animals is clear. Photographing things that he loves is a way for this designer to capture the intensity of the scene and the importance of the  animal in it. Viewing and communicating with this set of photographs, it is clear to understand why the designer has pictured the scene with the animals highlighted against the dark and mysterious background. The contrast in colour is not only a very clever and successful approach to use but adds a seriousness to the scene. The black and white tones add a sophisticated elements to the animals, it adds power, it adds depth that manipulates the audience into wanting to view and understand the personality of the animals included in the images.  A lot of the animals are captured in natural yet model like poses, personally I interpret this as a way for this designer to capture the animals in human ways, creating a link between us and animals. 

His love and admiration for animals radiates clearly through each and every powerful close-up”. I believe that this designers love for the animals that he captured in his work allows him to gain a more successful response from his audience, he adds a personal love to his work and successfully takes his admiration for the animals as his sole inspiration, this is an element I love from this designers work, his passion not only for his trait but for the objects he is photographing.


Using black and white tones within his photographs, I believe that this designer is able to intensify the beauty and power of these animals as the features of the face such as eyes, mouth and fur is heightened and the contrast between the tones allows them to focus on the audience and capture their attention in order to communicate with them. The manipulate the audience to be drawn in and want to understand the story behind the animal, understand their personality and how they feel, this almost gives the animal a personified meaning not only within his work but within this world.

Using “simple yet elegant” black and white shots each of the animals individualities are forced upon the audience and using photography as his main medium the realism within the theme he is working within, I find this an appealing and most successful approach to use. Using “his skills in digital photography and graphic design to edit out the background from his photos and instead inserts a pure black backdrop for the animals” this designers professional approach is obvious to the audience and his process works exceptionally well in order to produce professional and appealing work to communicate to this audience. From his unique process and style, the chosen background allows the “impressive physical characteristics and personalities take the forefront” of the scene and keep the audiences attention solely on the animal that the designer wants them to focus on.


Every image within Holas’ photography set is “enhanced by beautiful lighting and incredible detail, the intimate style of these portraits perfectly showcases his very inspiring approach”, an approach that immediately captures the attention of the audience and captured them into his work. 

Personally I love how this designer refrains from using type in his work and allows the photography to take centre stage to the audiences attention. Their attention is mainly attracted to the animal being processed and they can then interpret the scene to their own, personal view, they can give the animal a background, a character and a personality. I like this effect as the work becomes more personal for the audience and does not reduce the appeal by giving the animal a specific personality and narrative. However, at the moment this image set is simply appealing to the audience, it is not created for a purpose such as supporting an issue of campaign, promoting an object or product or telling a tale. If this were used for an advertising purpose then it would most likely benefit from additional type or used in an interesting medium/place. Despite simply being an appealing and attractive photograph set I believe that or the purpose of creation the communication between imagery and audience works successfully. Overall I extremely love this designers work, the seriousness and passion that is included within the creation and process. 

Overall I believe that this designer has created an extremely appealing and successful set of images which perfectly suit the purpose of creation as well as being overall appealing to the intended audience. Also, reflecting upon these pieces I believe that he seriousness of these photographs would appeal to an older audience as children would not find the bold, black and white approach as appealing as colour. Also the realistic approach of photography would not appeal or attract a younger audience like illustrative cartoon styles would. An older audience would most definitely be appealed to this design. 

AJ Fosik: Animal Installations

Image“Fosik’s feral creations take the shape of fantastic beings that communicate through symbolized fictional gods” is a clear description of how AJ Fosik uses his animistic installations to communicate a unique context with his audience. His work creates the illusion that these animals have “powers” through clear “theological narrative”. These “Masterfully made objects” use distinctive shapes to create natural beings. Fosik blends geographical shapes and lines to create natural animal which is a unique approach to use. Alongside the natural outline of the beast being communicated, this designer uses bold colour and pattern to attack the audiences attention and gain their appeal manipulating them to focus within his work. I find the patterns link to cultural work and the “powers” of the traditions that are stereotypically given to them. I truly enjoy looking at Fosik’s work especially his “Always to Dust” collection as the colours connect and contrast well with one another in appealing yet confusing ways. This designer blends graphic, colour, format and design to create his unique installations. 

AJ Fosik has a “technicolour” edge to his wooden sculptures. Many of his designs have been given fluorescent eyes. This could easily and most obviously have been done to force the audience to be immediately attracted to these chosen features of the face of his animals however I would love to see his work under fluorescent lighting as inly chosen areas are painted in this colour and it would create an interesting and appealing view. The blend of bold, simple and eye catching colours allow Fosik’s animals to take on a personality of their own. The colours take the audience into the imagination of the animal as well as the designer and I find this a very interesting and successful approach. The eyes of an animal or person, photograph of illustration are most commonly a factor that immediately draws the audience in, within Fosik’s work they are exactly the features that do this as well as having fascinating colour/patterned borders to assist them. Often using bears within his work, Fosik uses inspiration from his home country that is known for its bears! Taking inspiration from his home town allows Fosik to have an added personal approach to his work and I believe that his pushes his work to be even more successful and it has been crafted to an even more height of perfection. Like if a person were drawing an image of a family member, they would ensure that it would be the best of their talent as it means a lot more to them. To native Americans, this animal would represents “patience and excellent teachers”. I believe that this designer has empowered his work to mimic the personalities that these animals have been stereotypically given. And I like it!

Using wood and in a sculptural installation design style to create these magnificent design pieces, I believe that AJ Fosik is able to use global origins to inspire each of his individual designs. The patterns and colours link to different cultures and backgrounds and I believe that using such a different and appealing theme throughout his work allows each piece to stand alone as well as communicating to the audience as a set. Fosik’s “abnormal fixation with carving” not only links to his work but to his career as he has created his own path to work within, making his work desired by many as they are unique. The original design style of this designer allows his work to communicate an original and personal message and concept to the audience. When viewing his work, I find it admiring to want to understand what each animal is about, what is their purpose and why have certain colours and shapes been chosen. Fosik’s aims to include the “random, chaotic and arbitrary nature of” the animals existence which he successfully completes through colour and shape/alignment. By using less recognizable iconography n his work, this designer is able to produce an imaginary personality to his animals and I find this a lot more playful than simply designing a bear to its exact likeness. Image

Mainly working in a 2D and 3D format, AJ Fosik allows his “pieces really exist in both places and that tension between the two is something I’m really interested in” therefore he is allowing his audience to understand the dimensions of the animal as well as the piece. Computer and digital art has had a large influence on Fosik’s working designs. Through digitally collaging, morphing and editing, Fosik previously used digital media to create most of his designs however he then worked from this to then create each individual piece by hand. I believe that his hand crafted work produces a more appealing effect on the audience as they can appreciate the skill that has been put into the craft rather than simply editing an image on a computer and printing it out. Looking at his past digital work as “dishonest” this designer had admitted that he prefers his hand crafted work as he ditched the computer and focused on the manual design. 

Physically removing his workspace from his home life, this designer allows his creativity to be kept solely on his work so that he refrains from creating more than one piece alike. Personally viewing this set of work from AJ Fosik, I find his designs completely appealing and interesting as I want to view and understand his concept more. The colours are key elements that draw my attention to the work. The unusual blend between 2D and 3D is a way for Fosik to immediately communicate with his audience, he is able to draw in their attention as he is communicating a different approach and design than others have used. 

Reflecting on Fosik’s work, I find that he is able to communicate traditional, cultural narratives with modernised graphic design. His work communicates “a subversive anti-religious commentary” through his depicted fictional gods that take place as bears through his installations. Assigning no specific powers, meanings or tales to each piece Fosik allows the colours and patterns to take the audiences attention and allow them to create a god like creature that the work can be, like a novel’s characters can be interpreted to who the reader wants them to be with little direction from the writer. “Spiritual iconography” is a key element within the concept of Fosik’s work and I believe that the unique concept alongside the unusual design and medium works perfectly well together. Seen as being “rich testaments to the power of his obsessive curiosity”, this designers work includes looming eyes, wide jaws and viscous expressions all created through carefully overlapped wooden shingles. I also find the angle of the animal fascinating as the animal is lunging toward the audience, as if they are attacking them, immediately gaining their attention and communicating the power struggle between audience and piece. These creations are anything but subtle and this is an excessively successful design choice by Fasik.

Overall I love these deigns!

Ricardo Fumanal: Illustrations


Spanish illustrator, Ricardo Fumanal has gained himself an impressive client list including Fred Perry, Revlon and Vogue as his work ranges between Fine Art and Fashion in his unique illustrative style. Fumanal’s professional areas delve within traditional drawing such as graphite, pens and ink to more media based work. I find his work completely mesmerizing as he refrains from allowing colour to interfere with his message/concepts. Fumanal intensifies his work with reality and clean cut drawings which I believe work well to communicate the message clearly with the audience refraining from misinterpretation to arise. I found Fumanals work extremely inspiring as it cleverly blends between reality and the illusions of fantasy that can be gained through illustration work. Fumanal’s work is often seen within advertisements and magazine editorial work, as I am working within this design area I found Fumanal’s work extremely interesting in order to understand how illustration can successfully communicate with the audience in this media area. Fumanal transforms images originally found on the internet into his own amazing designs, almost making them unrecognisable to the original. I do find his process interesting however I would personally be more appealed if he created the images from his own imagination rather than simply using one image and adding features to it, this is clearly a process that allows him to gain the realism within each of his pieces. A huge element of Fumanal’s work that proves successful is his talent to perfectly suit his drawings to the reason behind their creation. The message through his work of the product that the designer/client is advertising is clear in each illustration, this may be through colour, enhanced detail and/or medium. I prefer Fumanal’s back and white drawings to his colour designs as they add a large amount of seriousness and refrain from producing a cartoon style of approach. As my work has a serious tone to the issue that I am working with, this style of work inspired me greatly throughout experimenting with tones to use within my project. I believe that these tones communicate an extensive realistic message to the audience and the delicacy used within the illustrations clearly focusses on appealing to a more feminine audience. This could be a huge drawback if the client aims to appeal to a wider/mixed audience, like in my project I aim to communicate with a wide audience due to the seriousness and importance of the issue/concept.

In a lot of his work, Fumanal uses colour as a key element in order to highlight target areas of the scene such as advertising products and/or emphasising main words in a message. The contrasts of colour and black and white areas of the scenes depicted and created by Fumanal proves extremely appealing as the contrasts of colour attract the audiences attentions greatly and successfully gains their attention to then communicate with them. When looking at one of Fumanal’s pieces the purity of the white and bold, harsh black lining and shades work perfectly to attract the attentions of the audience. I find that the purity of the white creates an extremely simplistic/minimalistic scene, very successful for campaigns such as beauty, fashion and themes similar to this. This colour scheme would not work successfully with many projects however in a fashion illustrative style this design works very well. For my work for instance this design scheme may not work as it produces a clean cut, pretty, feminine approach to the issue.

Using intense detail in his illustrations, Fumanal is able to create a very realistic scene in order to communicate the message of the issue clearly with the audience. I find the sever shading and darkened tones very sophisticated and serious, however they are used in a less harsh tone. Personally, I prefer to delve within darkened tones like Fumanal however I believe that if used within an issue as serious as mine it may not work as successfully as a simple photograph and the seriousness of the issue is a main element that would be more successfully communicated through a photograph than through an illustration. Lines are crucial within Fumanals work. Due to the style and techniques that this designer uses such as the traditional skills and process, lines are kept simple and bold so that the features of the image are clearly communicated with the audience allowing the message to be clear and successful.

Main elements of this work that I find highly appealing is the use of black and white tones and intense shading. Fumanal’s work produces a graphic style but through illustrations and the heightened depth created by tones work extremely well to gain the audiences attention. Looking at a lot of this designers work I find the human images a lot more successful than the animals! It is clear to understand how this designer produces very fashion based scenes and styles of illustrations and I find them more successful than his advertising work. Described as having a “confrontation between figures and background”, I find that the beautiful contrast between tones and the elements between the foreground and background works extremely well as he uses a range of resources such as tropical items, spontaneous icons and tangling elements to create unique designs and scenes.

It is clear that in a lot of Fumanal’s work he is aiming to communicate the realism of the image and scene to the audience through a very soft, simplistic and extremely realistic approach. Inspirations within an artists work can be crucial to their imagination and the success of the work. A lot of fashion based media have been inspiring to this designer ranging from photography to catwalks and casting and this can clearly be seen in a lot of his work! I find Fumanal’s work successful when communicating with his audience however I believe that in an advertising format simple type would be a lot more enhancing and successful when communicating to the audience, to sell the product. For instance a simple sentence, or the brands name, slogan. I believe that this work could be furthered a great deal and could be improved to work better in the advertising media, in order to simply produce a nice illustrations that viewers may admire I believe that this designer creates his work well. When advertising a product I believe that using photography works a lot more successfully and illustrations work better to produce an image that looks appealing to the audience.