Drawing conclusions

UAE-based illustrators at FN Designs reveals some unique talent on home soil


Who decides what is art? That’s the niggling question at the centre of an illustrator-based exhibition at FN Designs. Entitled ‘Wild Things’, the show features the inspiring works of 20 UAE-based illustrators and graphic designers who hail from a variety of nations, many of whom consider illustration every bit as much of an art form as painting, sculpting and video installation. We asked three of the artists to give us an insight into their work.



German Fernandez

33, Peruvian, graphic designer
‘Poem of a Wild Thing’
‘Drawing is always refreshing: it’s back to basics, but at the same time a place where new ideas can flow. An illustrator is an artist – the labels come and go with time and usually tell more about the viewer than the viewed. This piece shows a wild world, where humans are placed outside. The hamster-like figures appear as something contradictory: they are devouring people, although which kind of people I don’t know. It has some roots in the genre of historical painting, which is built on storytelling. The gestures, the positions, the faces: each element is trying to capture time.’

Liz Ramos-Prado

38, Peruvian, graphic designer, illustrator and infographist
‘Hunger 1’
‘An artist can be a painter, illustrator, singer, writer or musician, while an illustrator will focus on developing illustrations in any platform and in any style or technique – creativity is the key ingredient. My piece reflects a powerful femininity. The apple can be taken as the core of the illustration in which grows all the thoughts, fears and situations this woman faces. Instead of throwing it away, she takes the apple and make it hers.’

Cholo Juan

25, Filipino, illustrator/graphic designer
‘The Man’
‘Both artists and illustrators create art, it’s just the medium used that differs. My technique varies depending on what media I use. For illustrations, I basically start with pencil, then ink. This piece was inspired by the industrial decay that happens in every corner of the world. The theme gives us a message that we have to take care of our planet, because we are the people who can either develop or destroy it.’

The Lowdown

Exhibition: ‘Wild Things’ until Wednesday February 27 at FN Designs, Alserkal Avenue (04 379 0490).
Artists: Various.
Price range of works: Dhs500 to Dhs6,500.

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