Skip to main content

Draw The Truth - An Evening of Reportage Illustration

I went to a talk at Chelsea organised by EYE magazine and the Association of Illustrators, in which illustrators Lucinda Rogers and Olivier Kugler spoke about their work, and curators Isabelle Bricknall and Olivia Ahmed spoke about the legacy of Jo Brocklehurst, and the new exhibition at the House of Illustration. It was a great experience to hear illustrators that I have admired and used as inspiration for my own work speak about their work so informally. 

Lucinda Rogers:
I first discovered her work during my foundation course, and I have admired her illustrations ever since. She was also one illustrator that I looked at during the Palimpsest project this year. My main reason for wanting to go to this talk was to see Lucinda talk about her work, as she is one of my favourite illustrators. 

I really enjoyed her talk, as she spoke about what she is interested in conveying through her drawings and her process. She spoke about looking behind the scenes of an environment, whether thats a kitchen, city dustbins or someone's workspace. She is drawn to the everyday, but particularly to things that come and go, such as phone booths. By drawing them, she can return back and see whether they are still there or not. It is like capturing a moment in time, an atmosphere, an emotion through drawing. One thing that I found captured my attention was when she showed us a photo of one of her illustrations in progress, showing her process. I always find this exciting to look at, because it is more personal, and shows how an artist arrived at their final piece of work, just like looking through their sketchbook. 

Olivier Kugler:
I looked at Olivier Kugler's work during the Palimpsest project, as I admired the way he told the stories of the characters he met. This inspired me to focus my end outcome of that project on the characters of Spitalfields Market. 

Olivier talked about how he enjoys exploring different cultures, and was inspired by the Tintin stories at a young age. I enjoyed listening about how he came to his current style of illustration. He said that a tutor suggested he add colour to his line drawings so that they don't get lost, and he then started to use photoshop to colour in his scanned sketches. He started using text in his work after drawing at a parking lot. He met Alberto, and they talked about his life whilst Olivier drew him. He started to use text in his work to explain the story of Alberto, and this theme has continued ever since. Olivier illustrates people whose lives are being affected by current events, such as refugees. 

Jo Brocklehurst:
Jo Brocklehurst was inspired by her life drawing classes and her tutor at Saint Martins in the late 1940s. She kept going back to those classes, even after she graduated. She was interested in drawing unusual characters and costumes, and later went on to draw from life in nightclubs. One thing I found interesting was that when she was in the nightclubs drawing, she would often wear sunglasses. This, along with the darkness of the club, must have made it very difficult drawing conditions. However to overcome this, she sometimes used UV paint, so that she could see what she was painting.