Design

Yonatan Popper > Illustrator spotlight

by Itay Blaish | 07.08.13

While reading my weekend newspaper, I came across those beautiful “old school” illustrations that I’m seeing quiet a lot of lately. I decided to find out more about the illustrator that was giving my newspaper such a well-deserved breath of fresh air.

This is how I met Yonatan Popper. I later found out that this is not our first encounter! I realized that Popper graduated Shenkar College of Engineering and Design a year after my own graduation.

I believe that Yonatan’s illustrations are exactly what newspapers are missing nowadays, whether it be his old school Communist style or his cool yet simple ideas. Mostly, I feel that these illustrations just look very well invested and are lots of fun!

I met up with Yonatan and he graciously answered a few of my questions:

What’s your major inspiration as an illustrator?

Yonatan: I would say that I gather my main inspiration from old comic books such as Spider-man, Watchmen, X-men, DC Comics (Batman, Superman), Asterix and so on. During my childhood years, I used to collect comics that I loved but could not yet read them as it was before I understood English. However, I was fascinated by the illustrations and they still resonate in my work to this day. Another big inspiration is pop culture, screen printing, futuristic posters, old communist propaganda and things we all know from day to day life. I spend a major portion of my time on the Internet, especially on Facebook, Youtube and various blogs, searching for interesting materials and looking at artists that I like such as: David Maingault, Tropical Toxic, Joan Cornella & Alex Maleev.

What’s your advice for young illustrators? How can they promote themselves?

Yonatan: I’d tell them to get up and work as much as they can. Never stop working, even if an illustrator has a completely different job or line of work. Illustrators still need to find time to work on illustrations that they want to do. Once they complete the work they want to do, they should try and get it out there ASAP, meaning to actively post their stuff on Facebook, Tumblr, Flicker, try to send it out to newspapers, magazines, etc.

What do you feel is the next trend in Illustration?

Yonatan: I think that because the market in general and the illustration scene in particular has gotten highly saturated with digital paintings, the trend is moving back towards the basics (at least for appearances’ sake). Therefore, illustrators try to provide that basic feel by using specific techniques – water-color paintings, screen printing and other more ‘hands on’ methods of illustration.

Yonatan’s Flickr
Yonatan’s Vimeo 

 Yonatan Popper For ‘Musaf Calcalist’, 2013

Yonatan Popper for ‘HaMagazin’, by ‘Maariv’group
The Longing Sailor, 2013, Digital Illustration Year of making, inspired by late 80’s Israeli movies
Futuristic Journey , 2013, Digital Illustration, Editorial work for ‘SofShavoua’ weekly paper by publisher group ‘Maariv’

Self Portrait, Yonatan Popper, 2012
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