We’re delighted to be teaming up with Crossing the Tees Festival to provide exhibitions and workshops in the Tees Valley libraries relating to illustration. These link-ups include the very talented Alan Vest.
Alan’s bio is below:
Using lines, splashes, smudges and scratches with just about any material available, he creates lively and spontaneous drawings, keeping the line at the heart of the image.
When the illustrator makes a drawing he aims to keep it looking like a drawing, to create a sort of time capsule within the image just engraved onto paper. Whether it’s the scuffs of pencil, a ripped corner or a sausage roll crumb embedded in the image, it must remain in its raw format for as long as possible. Inevitably it is uploaded to a digital platform, whether it is sent to a client or his followers on Instagram. Not that it hinders the illustrator, his work is able to take on multiple platforms with the aid of digital tools as he finds it is very important be digitally proficient in this day
and age, and sharing his work to connect with the world. Vest’s drawing style is an immediate result and response to his upbringing, and hometown in Stockton-On-Tees. Through gritty, spontaneous expressions within line and material the artist strives to capture a sense of the moment, himself and surroundings.
Vest studied Fine Art at Stockton Sixth-Form college which led onto Cleveland College of Art & Design, where he studied a Foundation course, for which he received a Distinction grade. Vest chose to stay local and then went on to study Illustration for Commercial Application at CCAD, for which he was awarded first class honours in 2016. Influences range from artists and illustrators ranging from Schiele, Klimt and David Hockney to David Hughes, Ronald Searle and Bob Peak.
Opportunities were plentiful on the illustration course, and he jumped at each one, head first.
Competing against peers on live briefs, the student was able to successfully illustrate a beer label for Wylam Brewery, design the cover for an Avalanche Party EP, and secure a solo exhibition at Ernest, Newcastle. Whilst studying for his final year, Vest managed to illustrate a magazine cover for The Brussels Times, as well as his biggest gig to date, which is illustrating for the Guardian newspaper on a weekly basis.
Creative Review ‘Talentspotting’ scouted Alan Vest as one of eleven graduates as part of the ‘Gradwatch’ scheme, in partnership with JCDecaux. This showcased artwork from chosen graduates on billboards nationwide, which he was incredibly lucky to be a part of. Alan Vest strives to carry on this momentum as he enters his first year as a full time illustrator. Commercial success is merely part of the illustrators ambitions, collaborating with local clients, publications and communities also encourages him to continue his practice. There is a strong motivation behind his
work, and Vest is on a pursuit to leave a positive mark, line, or smudge on the world, through the medium of illustration.