Shackleton's Journey by William Grill: I love this book! The detailed factual account alongside the delicate yet powerful illustrations make it compelling reading. There's a wonderful mix of imagery: portraits, scenes, equipment, maps and vignettes, which can give it the look and feel of a sketchbook, but at the same time make it so much more than that. The immensity of the undertaking and the experience of the explorers comes across wonderfully in the sheer volume of illustrations, alongside the expansive, sweeping landscape spreads.
House of Illustration opens! I confess, I have yet to visit. But, I am delighted that illustration has a home now! It's increasingly being taken seriously as an art form: Somerset House's illustration showcase Pick Me Up has proved itself as a hotly anticipated annual event. And just look at the proliferation of quality, illustrated, independent magazines that have hit the shelves over recent years. With the opening of a dedicated space for illustration exhibitions, and it's commitment to showcasing new illustrators with it's illustrators fairs, the opening of the House of Illustration is really cementing illustration as a credible medium. I'm gutted to have missed the Quentin Blake exhibition (which apparently was rather excellent) and the Paddington show, but I'll be visiting Granary Square as soon as I can!
I've come across a ton of fantastic new illustrators in 2014, but if pressed to name a favourite I would have to go with Nancy Liang. She first caught my eye with her 'midnight games' illustrations (see earlier post) and she's since added a whole bunch of new work to her portfolio. I especially like her monochrome images, which have a calm, mysterious quality about them. I got particularly excited by her GIFS: