This week’s artist spotlight post is about another big influence of mine– although this artist is from a long time ago. Alphonse Mucha the Czech illustrator, alive and active mostly during the 19th Century, is very influential and inspirational to me. I wrote a long research paper in college examining the ideas behind his work (and how it fit into the Art Nouveau movement)… one on which I made an “A,” I might add.
Zodiac – © Alphonse Mucha
I think that art history is a very important piece of education that every successful artist should have. Even if you did not go to college for art, in my opinion it is endlessly important to study and learn about what art is, where it was been, and who has been doing it. Everything in art influences everything else, and studying how it was evolved is not only critical, but fascinating. Because I took extra history classes in college, I had the pleasure of learning about Alphonse Mucha, the Art Nouveau movement, and how it has influenced artists and illustrators alike since.
Champagne Label – © Alphonse Mucha*
Mucha’s work ranged from simple decorative panels to posters (most notably being those for Sarah Bernhardt’s plays), from beautiful fine art paintings and drawings to the breath-taking Slav Epic. He also did sculptures and a variety of jewelry designs, all of which are inspirational, beautiful, and delicious to look at.
Apotheosis from the Slav Epic – © Alphonse Mucha
I’ve many an art book about him, and have studied about him at length– which is why you can easily see elements of his style pop up in my work from time to time. I am very into decorative art, and it shows. Go take a look at my Gallery and see if you can determine how each of my pieces was influenced by Alphonse Mucha. If you can’t, you should totally do some reading about Art Nouveau, and check out the official Mucha Foundation website to learn more about this fantastic artist. I would write more in depth here, but after writing a fifteen page paper about him, I feel like I’ve written all I can write. Perhaps I should post it here sometime for others to peruse. Interested? Comment and tell me!
*… for those of you very attentive readers who were inspired to visit James Jean’s blog last week may have noticed that Jean has just done some alcoholic beverage bottle designs of his own. I love seeing parallels like this!