Currently located in Chicago, Anthony Sudol has been working as an illustrator and designer who’s style focuses on strong shapes, fun colours, and quirky imagery. Anthony’s designs are made up from exuberant gestures that are adorned with pattern, they have their own interior lives, and suggest an action or ritual. “I want folks to be able to see my work in the spaces they inhabit every day to live and love with them.” – Anthony Sudol.
Explain your thoughts and process behind the design submitted
I wanted the design to feel celebratory and hopeful to reflect Surge Activism’s noble goal of promoting ethical ways of coexistence between animals and humans. The natural imagery and harmonious figures dissolve and combine into a floral, interspecies celebration.
Who are your biggest influences?
More and more I look toward working artists who are using their platforms to make a living and share things they care about. I feel suspicious and fatigued by the big bad art market and have trouble relating to brand name artists whose production is facilitated by well-equipped studios and talented assistants. Lala Albert’s (@plslala) gorgeous handling of figures and environments always has me coming back. She’s a master of a beautiful, quiet tugging of heartstrings. I admire the focus on the natural movements of the human body and the innate curiosity we have toward our environments. Kevin Sabo’s vibrant caricatures and physical handling of every part of the painting makes his works vibrate on the wall (@kevin__sabo). Oda Sønderland’s work is narrative, feels ripe with superstition and symbolism and it too feels very concerned with how humans encounter and handle their own bodies and environments (@odaiselin)
What would your dream freelance job be and why?
I’ve got tons of small little dreams. Making mosaic table tops for a cute coffee shop. Design patterns for a mid-level fashion house. Be commissioned to make a portrait of the first female president of the United States. Who knows? I’m down.
Is there an underlying message you aim to communicate through your work, if so, what is it?
Art making is a kind of therapy for me so often the products of my labor are self-expressive. I used to sneer when people only wanted to “live, laugh, love” but when it comes down it…what more are we living for? What desire could be more succinct than that?
What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment?
Recently I rewatched Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Beyond, its gorgeous animation and unnerving parallels between our present Covid-world situation––one character asks another “where is your mask?”––Nausicaa’s incredible strength and warmth in the face of a complex struggle between nature and nations still feels so instructional and urgent even now nearly four decades after it was made. I’ve also been jamming out to a lot of fun weirdo alt J-Rock like Haru Nemuri and Wednesday Campenella. Stuff that makes going on a walk to the hardware store feel more like being in the centre of an anime opening sequence.
Where does your passion for your craft derive from?
It’s one of the things that make me feel really good. To share my abilities with others and especially to make things that people want to be around.
Any exciting plans for the future you would like to share outside of this collaboration?
I’ve got a couple small projects in the works, including another shirt drop with Everpress and a revisiting of an old shirt at Buddy Chicago (links forthcoming). Keep an eye out.