Partners In Design


Artist Spotlight: ALINA URUSOV

Haven't done one of these in a while, so figured I'd go ahead and ring in the new year with a spotlight on another up and coming comic book artist for 2009. This particular spotlight will also act as a bit of a comparison piece, as this artist has some striking and curious stylistic similarities to another one of my favorite comic artists. So on with some more on Alina Urusov:

Alina Urusov, a Russian native now residing in Canada, is relatively new to the comic book scene but not to the media world. Previous to her work on Marvel's popular reboot of the James Middleton/Joe Quesada Hit, NYX, Alina was working on special effects work for the 'Boondocks' television series. Alina has just now begun her venture into comic books, working on mostly cover work and some interior work on upcoming Marvel Comics titles such as 'X-Force'. Alina sites among her influences Gustav Klimt, Joshua Middleton (More on that later), and Claire Wendling.

Below is some of her work:

I think it's safe to say after seeing her samples, that she is heavily 'influenced' by her stated favorite artists. Now I want to leave a discussion open to everyone reading.. How far does an artist go before an influence becomes a direct rip off of their personal style? To add some fuel to the conversation, below are some samples of Joshua Middleton's work:


Shalimar said...

This is a tough debate for me to have. I personally am one of those people that really gets thrown off when, in the middle of an arch the artist changes and everything is different. Imagine Friends came back on the air, but all the characters were replaced by different actors. Throws you off, and it doesn't feel like the same thing at all. You have to reacquaint yourself with new faces, new styles and dig past all that to get to what matters, what keeps you buying issue after issue, the story. Because face it, if we buy a comic and the art is remarkable, but the writing sucks, we most likely wont buy another issue. But I digress. I really enjoyed NYX when it came out, the story, writing style and above all the art blew my mind. Different to what I was used too. Middleton's work has this atmosphere to it that I want to just jump in and be a part of it. The fact that this new artist came in and took over, and emulated Middleton's style actually did not upset me at all. Mostly, because what I said before, I became used to seeing these characters in a specific way, and the fact that it continued to be consistent made me very happy. And it also helps that the new writer really captured the essence of the original book. So on that note, I am happy with NYX, and where it is right now. Can we ask if maybe Marvel hired her because of her stylistic proximity to Middleton, or did she adjust herself to fit what he left behind. Do we have any example of Pre-NYX work?

Laz said...

I completely agree with what you said on the energy of a book. For a book that's long-lasting (such as Uncanny X-Men, which has been running for years and years now), It's expected. But i believe at the very least, story arcs should remain consistent. The one thing about Alina's hire that is confusing to me is that they merely hired her for Covers. She would certainly have been perfect for interiors and it would have been very very consistent with the essence of the book. The interior artist currently on the book is competent enough, but the style still doesn't feel right. Middleton's strength is creating a controlled cartooniness to his work. It's detailed and photo realistic enough to create a sense of true organicism and it's very kinetic. I love Alina's work for this very same reason, but one thing that really struck an odd chord in me about her work is that she seems to be a chameleon for each of her favorite artists. The second one from the top is extremely Klimt, and the rest are very much Middleton. She has no definite style.

But question is, does that really matter or not?

Alexandra said...

I agree with the both of you in that I dislike when a new artist takes over a comic title and his/her style jar us because we are used to the previous look and feel. So I like that Urusov continued the style started by Middleton for NYX. I would have to look through her non-NYX/Marvel work to see if that is her personal style, because if it is, then it's drawing too closely from her influences. Considering one of them is still alive and extremely popular (Middleton), that's not too good. Cover 6 of NYX seems like a departure from the previous covers, so I wonder if that is what her work typically looks like...