Monday, July 11, 2016

Notes From the Shadowed City



by Arnie Fenner

What does it take to be a successful illustrator or gallery artist? Lots of things, really. Skill, imagination, tenacity, empathy, the ability to listen and observe, an incredibly thick skin, and a good dollop of luck are, of course, equally important components. But at the top of the list I would place originality. A unique voice; an ability to create works in such a way that no one else could replicate it, at least not in quite the same way and not with quite the same impact.

Here on Muddy Colors the emphasis is often on straight-forward realistic interpretations of subjects (regardless of methodology) with a traditionalist sensibility. It mirrors the (very) general preferences of genre: make the unreal real. But as Albert Dorne said, "Some artists, and often the public, mistakenly confuse technique or facility with 'Art.' An artist must have much more than virtuosity. A painting may approach technical perfection and yet be completely vacuous. And even a crudely made drawing or painting can be important if the artist has a really worthwhile statement to make."

As I've often said there's no singular, "approved" way to create art and no style or approach that is necessarily "more right" than another, no sensibility that is blessed. Even as our field has been—and is—dominated by a realist approach to the fantastic, it has also embraced through the years interpretative, graphic, impressionistic, and even surrealistic contributors to genre. Artists like Richard Powers, the Dillons, John Berkey, Hannes Bok, Bill Carman, and many others have added to the diversity, the depth, and ultimately the import of Fantastic Art. They're the non-traditionalists, the non-conformists, the spice as it were, that help to keep our field fresh, vibrant, and growing.  

I think Jeffrey Alan Love's name should be added to the spice list.



Above: Examples of Jeffrey's illustration work. Starting at top left, "A Song for No Man's Land"
for Tor.com; A Natural History of Hell cover for Small Beer Press. Bottom left, an untitled piece
from an in-progress comics project; and the cover for Wolves for Gollancz.

I've been impressed with Jeffrey from my very first encounter with his art and my respect has only increased with each new work. Deceptively simple art upon closer examination reveals incredibly complex and mature content. Seemingly stark linear works surprise with a multitude of suggestions and interpretations.

At the core of any successful illustration or painting are affecting composition and strong design; Jeffrey's a thoughtful designer and problem-solver of the First Order. At a relatively young age he is producing, as Albert Dorne said, Art.




Above: Several pages from the book.

Now Jeffrey has produced his first book. Notes From the Shadowed City is a stream of consciousness narrative that is simultaneously an existential exploration and a pure tale of fantasy. Not quite a graphic novel, not exactly a monograph it is...exactly the type of book I had hoped Jeffrey Alan Love would create. And I'm not alone in my admiration:

"What is there to say? Jeffrey Alan Love is just plain brilliant."
—Mike Mignola

"Haunting, mysterious, and timeless, Notes From the Shadowed City takes us on a journey through the stygian landscapes of our dreams and nightmares."
—Brom

"Jeffrey's haunted silhouetted world is a recent discovery for me, but like a great old battered European city, I want to excavate more of it."
—Dave McKean


Above: Jeffrey taught at this summer's Illustration Academy Summer Workshop in
Kansas City before jetting out to California to sign the limited edition copies of his book 


Produced by Flesk Publications, Notes From the Shadowed City is scheduled to premiere at the Flesk booth (#5019) during the San Diego Comic-Con International, but it's also available for pre-order right now directly from the publisher and even comes with a signed 5"x7" print. I've got mine ordered!

5 comments:

  1. Wow. Don't know what to say other than thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow. Don't know what to say other than jeeeeeeeez, this is one of the most awesomely gorgeous thing Ive seen in a while!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A few years ago, I was chatting with an artist friend about new work that we found inspiring. This was shortly after the Art Order "Éowyn and the Nazgul" challenge, and I told him that I thought Jeffrey Alan Love was by far one of the most fascinating new artists I'd seen. His two entries in that challenge had leapt out at me from a wide field of great submissions as my immediate favourites. They was so fresh and clean, and really appealed to my designer side (as well as my love for great textures).

    Five years later, I'm quite pleased to see his work continuing to receive the acclaim I feel it deserves, and I continue to find his work inspiring and motivating. Keep it up, Jeffrey - you rock!

    Now off to order this book... :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess what I love most about his work is the immediacy of both design and emotion...but then your eyes are treated more fully to the textural qualities of the pieces. Every word of praise is warranted.

      Delete
  4. Real love spell that work fast to fix your marriage and relationship after a divorce or breakup Recommended by Sonia from USA...My husband left me for no reason on 13th of June 2016. He moved in with another woman, I felt like killing myself and I've tried so many ways and so many spell casters but all to no avail. My life was very bitter and sorrowful. Then one day, a friend of mine told me about this spell caster called Dr Unity who helped him on his own situation when his wife left him. But at first i didn't believe it because i' ve tested so many of them and it didn't work.he begged me further and told me that Dr Unity will never disappoint me, he cast real spell that work fast, so I decided to try this spell caster called Dr Unity. I contacted him and i told him my problems and gave him all the necessary information he required. He just laughed and told me never to worry that my husband will call me back in less than 28hours and i believed and he told me what to do and i did it, and after he has finished casting the spell my husband called me and started begging. He apologized and came back to me crying for a second chance. Today i and my husband live happily like never before. I can really say that this spell caster is powerful because of his work my husband is home again. I'm now the happiest woman in USA and ever since he has shown me love like never before. Thank you Dr Unity I will forever be grateful to you. You can reach him on his email: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com or call him on his mobile number: +2348072370762 if you have any problem you are facing now Just contact him and he will help you, i give you 100% guarantee . once again thank you Dr Unity

    ReplyDelete