Trying to choose a mere four images to represent someone as prolific as Calef Brown is, well, quite frankly rediculous - but alas, here I am, attempting (rather poorly!) to capture a snippet of what is an incredible body of work.
I first stumbled across Calef's work on Etsy, where his magical (and often offbeat & upbeat!) drawings and paintings immediately caught my eye. But of course, I was way behind the eight ball, as Calef is an artist who has been working as a freelance illustrator, writing and illustrating books, educating and exhibiting for over twenty years.
His children's books have the most brilliant names: Polkabats and octopus Slacks, Dutch Sneakers and Fleakeepers, Flamingos on the Roof, Pirateria: The Wonderful Plunderful Pirate Emporium - just to name a few. And throughout these, as well as fueling his Facebook posts, he has a perpensity for nonsense verse and automated word play - taking us on a fantasmagorical journey of humour & genuine delight.
Then of course, there's Calef's rather crazy surrealist 'doodles' and sketches, where there is no holding back. I particularly love these for their jam packed activity - characters and scenarios jostle for space on the page to create a complex visual play yearning for closer inspection. Check out his 'albums' on his Facebook page for further examples, as the drawing above is quite reserved compared to some of the others!
|The King of the Tire|
His paintings continue his distinctive style to depict whimiscal scenarios, his infamous eccentric characters and gorgeous, pensive portraits such as the one below. The colour palettes are often instantly recognisable, ranging from more of a vibrant pop with retro influences - to dusty hues - to simple pen and ink lines. Calef is a master at composing his page with balance and rhythm - elements that are undoubtably inspired by a love for music.
It's apparent when you look around the internet (see the links below), that Calef is incredibly generous with sharing his work and processes. So please enjoy slapping on your explorer's hat and click away to appreciate an artist whose warmth and ingenuity is clearly evident.
> Illustration Friday interview
> Seven Impossible Things interview
> Offset guest
> Illustration Mundo interview