Liam Brazier is an illustrator and animator who likes to switch it up, sometimes applying a sketchier style while also enjoying clean lines and simple forms. With Liam’s drawing skills and experience in varying fields, it’s something he can comfortably play around with.
For now, we take a look at a selection of his more graphic, stylized work. We like the way the film-inspired images are broken down into their simplest forms while still being recognisable.
Clever colour choices create blends that contrast against the harsh shapes and also give an almost magical feel, which goes perfectly with the SciFi/Fantasy theme. He was kind enough to have a chat with us about his work and being an illustrator and animator.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My birth certificate names me Liam Brazier, my fiancée alternates that with ‘Idiot’ (I answer to both). I have drawn since … forever and perhaps blindly never really pursued anything else. I like drawing and, in my own reasoning, that always seemed enough.
Your portfolio includes a variety of different ways of working, such as more hand-drawn illustration to vector-based designs. What kind of process do you use and how does it vary depending on what you’re doing?
Every image always starts with an idea— it may be a title, a composition I’d like to try, a colour combination I’d like to explore and so on ignited by the subject matter. Even though these days the work tends to be drawn directly on the computer with the magic wand that is Wacom I still feel my method is in the same genetic petri dish as pen and paper. I don’t, and never have used vectors (even though I should). I have nothing against them at all, I can list a gargantuan amount of illustrators producing awe-inspiring work with them, but for me they feel alien, clinical, less tactile during the creative process. They scare me basically.
Personally, I can never see a time when my hand is as comfortable manipulating a Bezier curve as it is sketching a line, but who knows what the future holds.
Do you approach illustration and animation projects differently?
Animation takes a lot of preparation, a lot of planning— both things which bore me to death. I often fly head first into an illustration because it is the ‘doing’ that interests me the most (seeing something be created before my eyes). I know having all the t’s crossed etcetera is certainly a sensible way to work regarding animation, but it sure as hell sucks all the fun out of it for me.
Thankfully, I’ve learnt I can be more fun, more casual, more creative with my approach to animating in the recent year or so and as such it is incredibly rewarding. Sparks of ideas need to come from the friction of working something out whilst doing— that’s why they are called sparks.
How would you describe how your style and way of working has developed over the course of your career? Has there been anything that has affected it in particular?
It sounds arrogant (something I despise in a person) but I’ve come to the conclusion I can ‘draw’— years of study at least made me comfortable with that. As such, acodemically you are taught to get closer and closer to real-life facsimiles which, in illustration, is the absolute enemy of style. I’ve always somewhat followed the adage of doing the opposite of the expected so it has led me to try different approaches (again; purely to keep my own interest).
The ‘style’ for which I am most well recognised came from one such diversion. I had a stack of coloured paper to hand and a can of spray adhesive, and as a university student thinks “I’ll just use this instead of leaving the flat and actually buying a pencil” I started creating two dimensional forms with the shades of paper. This, over the years, has evolved into the ‘geometric’ (call it what you will) way of working I find natural now.
What kind of things inspire you outside of art?
I am a big music fan. Love listening to it, experiencing it live. I would theorise it’s something to do with the fact it is devoid of the visual, something that encompasses the rest of my existence. I still pick up a guitar to help focus my head when it gets a bit jumbled.
What advice would you give to someone at the start of their career as a freelance artist?
If I’m anything to go by then just stubbornly keep doing what you love. People will eventually come around to your way of thinking.
Do you have anything planned for yourself or your work for the rest of the year?
I have some more gallery showings lined up in the US that i’ve kindly been asked to partake in— all tied to charities so hopefully I can assist in raising some money for some good causes there.
Outside of that I will just continue to do what I always do, illustrate and animate, and hope everyone doesn’t get sick of me!
© Liam Brazier, 2012