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Illustrator Spotlight: Anil Rinat

Process, style, color and influences: get to know the talents behind the illustrations we love

Illustration: Anil Rinat

Tell us about yourself. How did you find your way to a creative career?

My Name is Anil Rinat, I’m from Israel but I moved to London in 2019. This year, I relocated to Cardiff in South Wales with my girlfriend to be close to nature, but still in a city.

Like most illustrators, I’ve loved drawing since childhood. But it wasn’t until I studied in the art program in high school that I really felt the emotion you can get from a painting and how deeply you can get into someone else's creations. I felt inspired to create my own subversive visual worlds which is what led me to study visual communication in Bezalel, Jerusalem. I chose the illustration program there.

I’ve been working as a designer in a tech company since I graduated from university as well as creating my own work. I find that having a design job relieves the pressures that I see on freelancers so that I can be selective about which projects I take on. It also means that I can freely pursue my own passion projects in my spare time. Aside from illustration and animation I also love to make electronic music and have recently started tattooing.

How did you find your medium and style, and who and what influenced you?

It's important for me to continue developing my creative practice by exploring different directions and mediums. I love to work with all kinds of software and my technique changes often. To some extent, this alters the visual language but at the same time, I aim to find some consistency in my style.

The things that influence me are the people around me, the music I'm listening to (80% Cocteau Twins), different experiences, and the artists I like. I think one reason I love Cocteau Twins so much is that Elizabeth Frazer also sings in gibberish, so even though the lyrics technically have no meaning you can feel what she is trying to communicate through the power of the emotion in the music. Japanese art and Japanese pop culture definitely have a big influence on my work. The characters, the color, and the shapes were always the things that most fascinate me, especially artists like Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama, Hayao Miyazaki. Other artists that have influenced me over the years are Gary Baseman, Lorenzo Mattotti, Ori Toor, Gastón Pacheco, David O'Reilly, and Untitled Army.

What subjects are you most fascinated with?

I'm fascinated with characters, geometric shapes, and the relationship between them. I love to play with compositions and find the movement and flow inside a static image. My drive for creation is being able to express this surrealism and invent abstract “worlds”, this opportunity does not exist anywhere else in life. I always try to have positivity and a “love energy” inside my work, that's why my characters often have big smiles and hug each other. At the same time, I recognize the chaotic nature of humanity and somehow reflect some of this duality in the composition. When it comes to 3D, I love to explore areas where there are fewer possibilities in 2D illustration such as lighting, camera angles, textures, and materials. I really enjoy adding these new elements to my characters themselves, giving another layer to their expressions and story.

How do you create characters, what inspires them, and how do you use color?

When it comes to ideas, especially for commissions, I often start by sketching with a pencil on paper. For my personal work, my favorite thing currently is to go straight to c4d / zbrush and start playing around. I prefer improvising to planning, allowing the tools and different methods to guide me. The only rules are simple shapes and smiling faces, so I have something to start with.

It takes me time to figure out how to use color with every piece. I like to try lots of different options. I have a favorite palette (I especially love bright yellow) that I like to start with and then I explore different combinations. I'm not strictly sticking to the same palette and really my method is just to play with it until I’m happy enough. With 3D there is the lighting element which makes it more complex but fun.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on?

It's hard to answer but I think I would pick a personal animation project I worked on during the first lockdown of 2020. It's called Quarantine. I'm happy with the 3D style I’ve managed to achieve in it, which is somehow similar to my 2D style, and the fact I pushed myself to work on it every single evening (still working as a designer during the day). Also combining two passions of mine - making electronic music with making visuals was really satisfying.

What’s next for you?

Recently I’ve started tattooing. I work remotely as a designer/illustrator which can be isolating. With tattooing it's a completely different professional relationship with your clients because it's more personal, talking with them for a few hours while drawing on their skin. To have my drawing on someone permanently really brings it to life and is very fulfilling. I’ve also been spending a lot of time researching Japanese tattoo history and have been collecting old field guides from eBay. I am currently working on getting my UK driving license so that I can make the most of the beautiful nature in Wales which I think will feed into my work, especially the tattoos. So I definitely would love to keep exploring this avenue now and see where it will take me!

Rapid fire round

Weekend: Lounge in bed or go out and party? Lounge in bed or go to the food market around and cycle to the park.

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Cats or dogs? Both!

Favorite season? Spring

Cinema or Netflix? Netflix

Pool or beach? Beach

Computer or sketchbook? Both

Text or voice note? Voice note

City or countryside? City next to countryside

Getting dressed: Colorful or monochromatic? Monochromatic with a touch of a color



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