Our featured artist for this issue is New York illustrator Brett Affrunti. We’ve worked with Brett on several other publications, and he always hits the mark in translating our stories into works of art. We had the chance to catch up with Brett in between projects to ask him: “What inspires you?”
Growing up, did you always want to be an illustrator? When did you realize that you had a very special talent?
I always wanted to be an artist, but it wasn’t until college that I realized I could get hired to make art the way that I do now. Illustration is perfect for me, because I’m the type of artist who wants to make art for people to see out and about in their daily lives – in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, etc. I’ve had the ability to draw well since as far as I can remember. I used to draw my favorite baseball cards and G.I. Joes from when I was about three years old.
I find inspiration in whatever is going on around me. New York City is such a great place for getting inspired.
What is reportage drawing, and what drew you to it?
Reportage, for me, is the act of documenting the world around you by drawing. I’ve always been a bit of a people watcher – I like to take in the scenery and observe. What better fit for me than to observe and draw as I’m doing so. I had two great mentors while I was in art school who turned me onto reportage drawing, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. It’s both relaxing and invigorating for me.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in whatever is going on around me. New York City is such a great place for getting inspired. I also find inspiration in history, film and music.
What would you consider to be your dream project?
Oh boy, I have so many dream projects. One dream project would be to do a series of illustrations and drawings for the “I LOVE NY” campaign. Also, I’d really love to work on some movie posters – my wife and I collect illustrated movie posters from the 1960s and 1970s!
Check out more of Brett’s illustrative style featured in our story on Contract Riders here.
LIGHTS Magazine is all about event production. Do you think illustration has a place in event production? How could you use your illustration skills to improve an event?
I think illustration absolutely has its place in event production. Illustration does not have to just be printed in a magazine or newspaper – it can be used in animation, banners, set design, etc. I would love to use my skills to work on some kind of Pink Floyd-style light show, or stage design.
New York, NY
To see more of Brett’s work featured in this article, download our issue from the Apple Newsstand here.