To follow the first issue of the printed magazine for friends at Design Collector, I was invited to collaborate with the amazing, incredible, fantasic Oleg Dou for the second issue coming this summer. I've been mesmerized by Oleg's imagery for some time now. I never knew quite how to categorize his art for myself. I've always gravitated to more handmade work even if it's finished digitally. I feel that same handmade quality in Oleg's work, despite its more digital guise at first glance. In Oleg's words, "I'm an artist, but sometimes, some people call me a photographer. It's not true. I'm an artist who uses photography as a medium for my works." (Check out the full video of Oleg's work process presented by Adobe here.)
I had Oleg's hi-res files for Masha and White (below) for over a month and toyed with several ideas for a collaboration. I have to admit I was a little stumped for a bit. I had thought to do a "tear-out" effect and only illustrate certain features of his characters and place them over the original. I had thought also to embellish filligree in the negative space and lightly over the face... the usual fair of illustration/photographic collaboration. After sketching and brainstorming however, I reallized anything I were to add to Oleg's originals would not be an improvement, but would instead detract from their simplicity and power. I didn't want to tamper. Let a good thing alone—they were perfect as they stood. Instead I decided to create illustration "based" on his pieces, redrawn in my style, whatever that means. The two would sit side by side for a spread. The following 2 images were created quickly in a few hours (pencil, watercolor, digital). They will appear in the second issue of Design Collector Magazine, along with more artist collaborations from some friends. Huge thanks to Design Collector and to Oleg for having the trust to let me mess with his beautiful work.