Paul Madonna – Inspirational Creative

My colleague and Rabbit Heart co-creative Paul Starkey bought a couple of books a few weeks back that brought out a more than typical covetousness in me.

Utterly smitten…

I immediately fired up Amazon, and picked up copies of the two books for myself… another colleague did exactly the same…

Everything Is Its Own Reward & All Over Coffee (this last link features “a look inside”, whilst the former has a short video of someone flicking through the book) both by Illustrator/writer, Paul Madonna.

Images from –

Paul Madonna‘s work is breathtaking, in its simplicity as an idea, and its teasing out of the sublime beauty in the everyday. It put me in mind of Bernard “Butch” Belair‘s non-commercial work, just more so… Like graphic versions of Tom Waits lyrics they applaud the back street and the mundane, the traffic signal and the battered tile roof. While his lyrical text adds a counterpoint, reminiscences, little memories, sinister warnings of the weaknesses of the human heart, like the subverted platitudes of Jenny Holzer‘s work.

His fantastic understated image of a small but well loved kitchen, and the mini-narrative of the sloping floor, burnt batter mix and “the light shining through her dress” (above) will haunt me for a long while to come… both books have made me look at my city with new eyes all over again, a city that through my work with the Hull Urban Sketchers I thought I’d begun to see clearly…

Along with the Glyn Dillon‘s Nao of Brown*, picked up the week before, Maddona’s graphic narratives remind me of the power of the medium that, as Scott Mcloud says, still hasn’t hit its stride yet.

This last link is a short piece of film that gives some idea of how Paul Madonna thinks/works, pulling together the design for a mural of an area of the city that was being pulled down.


*Glyn Dillon (mentioned above), writer artist of “The Nao of Brown” (below) is appearing at ThoughtBubble this year… See you there!

~ by hesir on October 8, 2012.

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