The artist that I have chosen to be a focal point of my study is Instagram cartoonist Luis Quiles. Not much is known about Quiles other than that he is a French freelance artist, most of his career and home life is kept private and is currently unknown to the puplic so I am unable to provide a biography. I have chose to look at his work because I found his work very appealing and it inspired me to focus on a topic that’s very controversial which is ‘Children in War’. His work seems incredibly relevant at this current moment in time with the uprising of Donald Trump’s presidency and the inevitable conspiracy of world war 3 and he is constantly produces new pieces on his social media regarding current topics every week as well as releasing a series of books based upon his art and the messages they convey such as ‘Riots’ or ‘Revolutionary Road’. I believe his work inspired this idea because the vast majority of his work consists of violence against women and children through oppression, war and politics. Quiles expresses his views on these matters through text and shocking imagery in his art works. As I am a female child myself I was attracted by his work and it made me want to research more in depth and create work in his style. I feel very strongly about the current conflict in today’s society so felt it would be an appropriate topic to focus on. I myself am also a Cartoon and illustration artist so that’s why I chose to go down this route of artistic style. I had the opportunity to talk to Quiles over Instagram messaging where he claimed that he had a ‘rough childhood’ that influences the things that he draws, however he didn’t touch on it more than that as he claimed it was something he does not like to talk about. However he stated that with some ideas he doesn’t always ‘want to draw them’ he just feels like he ‘has too’ to convey a message.
Quiles creates cartoons and characters from existing sources with controversial and aggressive text that involves the viewer in the struggle of the particular character. Most of his work includes text in black or white letters surrounded by a speech or thought bubble or he will try and include them in the scene like a title on a newspaper or scrawled on a chalk board. I have included two of his pieces pictured here that have some of his most recognizable slogans. They read “Starving Wars” in which he emphasized the ideas of western culture through unfortunate children in developing countries. He depicted two starving children dressed as Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker from the popular movie series sat upon the recognisable movie title font but instead of reading ‘Star Wars’ he chose to play on the words and replace it with the word ‘Starving’. He drew this piece to appear as a movie poster to portray how we will often only notice things if they are advertised to us, for example, one may only donate to charity if they have seen it being advertised on TV rather than just considering those more unfortunate than them anyway. Another slogan on one of his most recent pieces reads “maybe Allah is great, but I am a little piece of shit” in which he touched on the idea that terrorists are not an accurate example of Muslims, their religion and their god and how they are actually just bad people that are not a good enough representation of the Muslim community. He says ‘maybe Allah is great’ to portray the idea that we need to consider that their god may actually be great and not the god that is conveying the same views that radical terrorists claim that he does. He states that instead the terrorists are just ‘a little piece of shit’ and not ‘great’ like ‘Allah’. Also, claiming that they are ‘little’ also suggests that they are not a big example of the muslim community and are only a ‘little’ representation of it.
Quiles helped my own artistic style flourish, I have always enjoyed drawing cartoons and illustrations however after studying Quiles style of cartoons I have picked up on ideas that I like to include in my own work, like emphasis on oversized features, use of text to convey a message and using more shocking imagery. Ive also improved on colouring and cartoons by looking at how Quiles colours and shades his to emphasize certain objects and body parts. Even though the vast majority of Quiles work is digital and I prefer to work with paper and pens I still feel there is a way I can mimic that digital touch. Though I have my own cartoon style and I don’t mimic Quiles personal style I feel that Quiles greatly influenced all of my final pieces in the styles that he tries to convey and his use of text.
The second artist I decided to study was a graffiti artist as over the past few years it has been known that the world of graffiti and cartoonism has began to merge, both different styles attempting to convey the same messages through satire and snappy slogans. In my sketchbook I have included a couple of news articles titled ‘Political Satire in Graffiti and Cartoons: Interview with cartoonist Simon Key’ and ‘Political Satire in Graffiti and Cartoons: Interview with Street Artist Hunto’ I decided not to study these two artists as they don’t really touch on the War topics I was focusing on, however I do feel like the news articles are relevant to note the merging between the two genres of art and supports why I decided to study it also.


I'm Katy

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