I studied graphic design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design. The two most important lessons that I learnt during the course were that at its heart, design is really only concerned with problem solving and that a great idea is always better than a great technique. This realisation was never more important than during my career as an art director in London advertising agencies – places where ideas are the most valuable currency.

Great ideas are about simplicity and about stripping away the unnecessary or the merely decorative. Op Art is a dramatic example of the visual power of simplicity.  Some of the most memorable artworks from the movement are even devoid of colour, tone and variety of line and shape.

Apart from the major artists like Riley and Vasarely, it was M.C. Escher who became most influential in my own development as an an artist and designer. His work has an elegance of idea and execution. When I look through his body of work I see behind it the countless initial ideas, the failures and dead-ends that came before the final piece. By the time that the viewer sees the completed work, there is a sense that it has always existed. His ability to create a visual magic that is greater than the sum of the visual parts will never fail to inspire me.

I strive to make my work look effortless and even obvious – trying to keep it a secret that it took many initial pencil sketches before it even began to take shape on the computer. I work on an Apple iMac and use Adobe CS4 – primarily the Illustrator program. I am most at ease with Illustrator simply because it thinks like I do and it looks kindly on people who can really draw in the old-fashioned way.

I believe it is important to look beyond the narrow confines of western art and design for inspiration in one’s own work and I spend time researching arts and crafts from other times and other cultures including Japan, Polynesia, first nation America, and Africa. It is humbling to realise that artists and craftsmen for millennia have wrestled with and resolved the same visual problems that I try to do today.


6 comments on “About

  1. Your text and art is interesting to me. I also like M C Escher and design. It seems to be lacking in the Pop Art that I see in some cases. I was in Graphic Arts in the 60-70 era and left it to pursue something less ridged, yet love great design. You are a master of that. My web site on World Press needs to get current. I have been working and showing and now I need to start working again more than showing. You are inspirational because you show me a successful person coming from a similar background, albeit mine was not as accomplished as yours.

  2. Interesting site. I’m using one of your images for a talk I’m conducting on oblique projection. Not many good images available in oblique seems to be that it plays second fiddle to isometric.
    I remember Ravensbourne I used to go to Sunderland!
    Good luck with your work, Jan Indrans.

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