What's rockin' the Zen? Wolcott by Vampire Weekend
Admittedly, music is my weak area. I can talk books, and art, and movies, but I am pitifully unaware when it comes to music. I like this album, although VW does sound like they should be doing the soundtracks for film adaptations of Brett Easton Ellis novels. Must be that east coast texture.
Okay, I talked about music briefly, something I have almost no business doing. Now, on to my specialty, illustration.
So here's another illustrator on my list, Brian Lies. His work includes over a dozen books, many by other authors, and a few he penned himself, including Bats at the Beach and Bats at the Library.
Beach is darling and funny, with the bats applying moontan lotion and roasting bug-mallows embedded with delicious insects. And Library, well, how could I not love a book about books? Lies includes a few spreads of the bats imagining themselves into classic stories.
Lies paintings are magnificent examples of using light well. Of course, he picks a subject that suggests dark colors and deep shadows. Night scenes require very sharp and precise light sources. In Lies's work in his Bats books, the lighting becomes absoluetly theatrical. Simply showing the ordinary settings of a beach or the library at night gives them a bit of a twist. Here's a chance for little guys to get a glimpse of that mysterious and intriguing gray area known as "after bedtime". What the heck goes on then, anyway?
As an author/illustrator, Lies has hit a nice harmony. An interesting subject illustrated with skill and creativity. This is the kind of work done well enough to make an insanely difficult job look easy.