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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cats for Illustration Friday 

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When I came to tackling this topic I felt like I wanted to do something a bit geometric. While I initially planned to draw it by hand on paper, I found constructing the shapes in Paintshop worked a lot better. I also discarded the idea of colour, in favour of pure black and white (closer to how cats see things :)).

As I worked on this I remembered the cat illustrator/cartoonist, Louis Wain, who succumbed to schizophrenia (as it was then called), and whose mental illness was reflected in his increasingly abstract work - there's a Gallery here that shows a range of his work, but not from the far end, when the cats had nearly disappeared amid swirls of colour. From what I remember, Wain lived with a sister who had a lot of cats, and was rediscovered after many years of living in an Asylum, by someone who recognised the pictures he was working on. Sadly, he's probably most known these days by students studying psychology, but his work is well worth discovering.

I thought about scanning some sketches of the cats we used to have in addition to the cat design picture I've posted, but maybe some other day...

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Comments:
Woah ... your geometric design could be making me wonder my own sanity (especially because viewing during school holidays). Can see a cat's eye looking right back at me!
 
WOW-in your face cats-sharp
 
Neat, fantastic piece of graphic design!!!
 
I enjoyed your illustration today and also wanted to tell you that I found the Wain link very interesting. My mother had some very old postcards whose graphics were similar to Wain's cats on the beach. I am now curious as to who the artist might have been.
 
Really cool concept Ian! Even though it is very geometric, it still has an organic feel to it with all the curves. Very hypnotic! Well done!
 
Hypnotic--spell binding. Great job.
 
This is soooo coool!! I also recall seeing the work of the mentally ill cat artist some time ago--thanks for posting that person's amazing and intriguing work as well!!
 
totally cool!!!
 
This is captivating, Ian! What a cool idea with a really excellent result! It has such a feeling of depth and motion - it's like looking into a cat-vortex:> I like the black and white, too...works so well in a purelu graphic sense.
 
Nice one Ian. I like how you just have to unfocus a little and see only a pattern.

http://seian.livejournal.com/
 
This is a wonderful design, Ian. Thanks for the background on Louis Wain as well. :0)
 
Yes....I think they really see like this....so cool!
 
My what big eyes your have.

This explains why my cat tips his head when he looks at me...he sees me six times. Thanks soo much!

Very original and funtastic!

Smooch,
The Tart
 
Thanks Ian T! I like your cats!
 
great idea. cool design and it is also a good idea for having it as the only painting on the wall with a surprise coaster design for black and white dinner motif. classy.
 
THis is very neat!! GREAT design!!
 
I like this Ian, I am so glad I stopped by. It is not only a wonderful design, but I am sure it would make a great T-shirt, postcard, tattoo.... poster... and much more!
 
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