Decor by design

Straight from the pages of popular children's books and cartoon series, illustrations are making a big impact in the home as art decor and homewares.

Artist Eamon Donnelly of EAMO'S Milkbar said there has been a resurgence of illustration, especially in the home.

"In the modern era, an illustration can bring a sense of texture and fluidity that counters the clean lines of modern architecture and design," Mr Donnelly said. "There is a rather large focus on wallpapers and cushions where illustration features quite heavily, including textures, the hand drawn line and hand printed fabrics. This can be paralleled with the resurgence of illustration as a professional practice during the past 10 years."

A back-lash against digital media, and sophisticated and metallic designs has also helped renew the popularity of this old fashion art.

"After the boom of the 1970s and 1980s for illustration, we saw photography and computer based design become the status quo for most of the 90s, whereas in the last decade this resurgence for illustration can be considered an antidote and one could argue that we are now in a new boom era for illustrators," Mr Donnelly said.

Illustrations can be personal, have a significant meaning or bring up an old memory.

Mr Donnelly said his audience responds to nostalgic illustrations.

"There is something that triggers a good memory, taking the viewer to a simpler time," he said. "Although my work is not specifically commercially driven, for instance there are many pieces in my catalogue that have a very limited audience, when I create my own work it is often out of a sense of nostalgia, so as the creator I hope that feeling will translate to the audience."

Print and digital production manager at Hakar Design Harris Karatzetzos said artist illustrations were used as fashion for the home.

"Illustrations in the home are, as with most embellishments, used to represent oneself and one's individuality," Mr Karatzetzos said. "Just like a particular t-shirt design print represents your wistful and carefree nature you can achieve the same goal with a vector art piece on your feature wall for everyone to see. And just like with fashion, a design that is too garish and can be a bit too much to look at, so too can this be a crime in the home. Art within a home should complement the room rather than be the centre piece and the all-defining feature."

Depending on the artist, an illustration can range in shape, design and colours.

When choosing illustration for the home, Mr Karatzetzos said not to choose an illustration which just fills a gap.

"You will find later on that it will end up in the attic or among the other riff-raff during council cleanups with all the rest of the meaningless trappings," he said. "Look for something which comfortably sits within the theme of your room, or at least with your personality. It could be something you know will remind friends about your personality and provide a talking point."


■ Harris Karatzetzos:;

■ Eamon Donnelly:

■ Illustrations (left and middle): Harris Karatzetzos.

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