Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sam Weber

Sam Weber is an incredible artist and a talented, creative illustrator. His work is most often quite striking and inspires an immediate emotional effect in the viewer. His work is an excellent example of the intersection of fine art and illustration.

The imagery chosen for his work often exceeds the basic requirement of the commission and showcases an advanced sense of design in addition to his incredible ability at capturing a symbolic moment. Nowhere else is this more apparent than in his work on a limited, illustrated edition or Lord of the Flies for The Folio Society. Folio publishes books mainly in limited editions, focusing on extremely high quality design, illustration, and printing. This results in their books being very individual pieces, with prices rising above $100 for a single book. The illustrated Lord of the Flies is sold in their online store for $47.95.

With Weber's work on Lord of the Flies, he not only designed the strikingly simple cover illustration, but also the interior illustrations themselves. The book showcases 6 illustrations by Weber presented as full color prints, correlating with each respective point in the story. These pieces are lush and evocative, going beyond simply illustrating the moment verbatim, but delving into emotional and psychological state of mind exhibited by the young characters. They each share a strong vertical composition and stark palate which draws attention to the few colors used. This quality permeates the rest of his work as well.

Of the project he says on the project page of his website:
 "Using contemporary illustration to accompany a much loved classic was an exciting challenge, made more so by the active involvement of the Golding Estate. Lord of The Flies is one of my favourite novels, and in many regards this opportunity was a true dream job." 
 This quote sheds a little light on his own relationship with this particular project. In this case it seems that he had a little bit more control over direction than his average commissions. In the world of freelance illustration this is more valuable than gold.

His work includes work for magazines such as Wired, Playboy, and Time, comic book publishers DC/Vertigo, and other book publishers such as Penguin, Tor Books, and Random House. The work at left is titled "The Fisherman's Wife" and was commissioned for the call for entries poster for the 53rd annual exhibit at The Society of Illustrators. His website showcases a wide swatch of past work, as well as revealing a little bit about his process, featuring scraps of experiments with different media and printing processes used later to achieve particular effects in commissioned work. He is married to fellow artist/illustrator Jillian Tamaki, whose work is interesting and distinct in her own right. View Sam Weber's website here.


  1. oh wow nice find.
    the compositions of his imagination are nuts

  2. He really is quite incredible. Ever since I saw The Fisherman's Wife poster in the studio class, I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. Similar experience?

  3. Absolutely. I had known about his work for some time, and I didn't realize the poster was his until I checked his website again preparing for this post. Crazy little connections.

  4. To be completely honest, at first I thought the painting with the pig head was for "Fables". Even after finding out that it was for Lord of the Flies, I still love the piece. It is a distributing image, but if that was on a book cover or even inside the book, it would draw me into wanting to read more about whatever is going on. I am definitely going to check out more of his stuff.