Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ursula Vernon

Digger by Ursula Vernon. Updates Tuesdays and Thursdays

Ursula Vernon is a children's book writer and illustrator. She's created a couple of children's books; Nurk The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew and Dragon Breath. She has also illustrated an online web comic called Digger which is about a wombat that gets lost in a tunnel and drawn into a strange and hilarious adventure. She has illustrated packaging for a line of tea that a friend of hers launched. She is also the creator of the Bitting Pear of Salamanca, better known through online memes as the LOL Wut pear.

I first started following Ursula's work back in 1998 when she was painting bizzar frogs with wings for fun, and working as an accountant or something equally non interesting. Her career as an illustrator started to pick up as she worked on Digger. She protested for years that she was an inappropriate person to illustrate a children's book, as much of her personal art includes strange phallic images and others of naked hooded women with gears. But in the past 6 years, her personal work has started to take on a more cartoony child friendly feel as well. She still throws in the odd phallic with wings or some such to maintain sanity through pushes towards book illustration deadlines, but the majority of her recent work is more G-rated.

She tends to illustrate in very simple pen and ink sometimes with watercolor or colored pencils, or pen and ink like strokes in a digital media. Her personal work tends to venture into every kind of media she can get her hands on, with lots of mixed media pieces. She has an outrageous sense of humor. Her writing and her illustration blend together to support each other, and I would almost say that a lot of her art which isn't intended as illustration, falls a little flat without the accompanying blurb posted along side. I think she can't help but think in both words and pictures.

The thing I really love about the way she's illustrated Digger, is how the large areas of black feel like they were painted in, and then the white details feel like she's gone back and carved them out of the black, almost like black figure pottery.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this work. It does seem quite funny. As i viewed a few strips of the comic there was the gofer drawn in such a serious pose, but it looked absolutely hilarious. The pen and ink I believe she made it in is very well done, and adds intensity, even with comedic affect.