Illustration is one of the most versatile art forms in today’s visual culture. It crosses the boundaries between fine art and drawing. The label illustration has always formed the debate as to whether it is art or is it commercialism as it is often partnered with the publishing industry. Contemporary illustration has pushed boundaries drawing influences from Graffiti, computer games, fashion and painting animation. Martin Whittam’s illustrations are modern day influences inspired by the artist L S lowry. Lowry was famous for street scenes, scenes of life in the industrial Northwest of England. In mid 2oth Century he developed a distinctive style best known for his urban landscapes and peopled with human figures often referred to as ‘matchstick men ‘His use of stylised figures with no shadows and lack of weather led his critics to label a ‘naïve ‘. Whittam’s quirky illustrations are modern day influences inspired by the industrial north. whimsical studies largely in watercolour reflecting everyday life and street scenes, characterized by animated figures, shop signs and modes of transport in the industrial north.

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