When an illustrator conceives of a new character it takes technical skill, experience and creative fortitude for it to leap from the mind’s eye and land on the page. This process is an immersion into the imagination where an idea is whittled into shadows, colours and gradients that enhance certain features and obscure others. It is the honing of visual cues that hint at the character’s personality and back story.
 But a character is only fully imagined when we, the viewers, see them. We borrow the character from the illustrator’s hand and in our examination we add a new layer derived from personal experience and fantasy. We may impose an abstract, convoluted meta-narrative or a realist, gritty b-story. The artist fixes the lines of a character and from these contours our minds’ run free. We become the prism of constant reinvention.  This serie at The Nut showcased the work of illustrators that focus their work on character design. Long considered a fundamental part of illustration, comics and animation and a preliminary step to painting, IMAGINARY PEOPLE takes character illustration as an independent genre with its own context and value.
 Raymond Lemstra is an artist and illustrator from the Netherlands who makes small meticulous drawings on paper with a strong focus on the craft. many of his works derive from the notion of childlike wonder; pure curiosity and fantasy not yet pushed into its limits by experience.  In a clash of intent, his work simultaneously assumes simplicity and complexity, randomness and reason, flaws and perfection, which aims to inspire a sense of joy and discovery. Raymond Lemstra has been an invited artist and lecturer at Pictoplasma, the world’s leading festival of contemporary character design and art in New York, Berlin and Paris.
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