I'm Gilbert Ford and I work inside of a converted old studio inside of a pencil factory in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with many other illustrators. I do editorial illustration, advertisements, children’s books, and product illustration. I have recently authored and illustrated a picture book called FLYING LESSONS, published by Disney.
My work is influenced by elements from the classic era illustration and animation, but told with a modern twist. My pictures are either colorful and saturated, or in a minimal color palette based on screen printing. My personal work, whether created through writing a story, creating a screen print, or doing variations on a singular theme, tries to press the boundaries of how we commonly perceive things- both visually and verbally- through a cartoon world of bizarre comparisons, abstract analogies, and clever puns.
This was done as my response to an art show about the great out doors. Rather than do a pretty picture about nature, I wanted to comment on hunters who enjoy the great outdoors and the violence hidden beneath the surface. I love creating visual puns and I thought it would be fun to turn the actual hunt into the actual outcome-a dead deer.
Here is a visual pun for a project I started called "Faces in Places."
Can you find the woman lost at sea?
This was a variation on a theme of shoes for a series on "High Fashion."
The bizarre shoes are paired with an idiom or a slogan associated with
women in advertising, poking at the absurdity of high fashion.
This is a continuation on the theme "High Fashion" and combines
fashionable attire with playful animals and objects.
This was done for an article about public forum theatre where the audience
is part of the play. I decided to make the piece more about the audience
and have the spot lights hitting the people in seats.
This piece was done for NPR where the logo had to be included in the
piece. I was supposed to illustrate how NPR affected my daily life. Since
I spend a lot of time working alone, I wanted to say that NPR keeps me
connected to other people. In the image, radios and computers are streaming
NPR programs and the radio waves swirl and unite outside of the city windows,
connecting the isolated spaces to a larger whole.
This was for a holiday card for Writers House. I was supposed to illustrate
the actual building in a holiday setting, but I was more interested in
telling a story of what happens inside the building with all of the people
reading manuscripts and answering phones. I also wanted to contrast the
cool twilight with the warm interiors.
This is a personal piece after hearing the news coverage on the economy
where people are trying to stay afloat with all of the obstacles of technology,
finance, housing, etc. out to sting them. There is also the identity issue,
where it is difficult to make out who we are as we try to define ourselves
with the changing economy and the rapidly accelerated technology.
This was a spread for my book FLYING LESSONS about an airplane seen as
a "strange bird" trying to fit in with ordinary birds. In this
scene, he tries to rest on a telephone wire, but scares off the rest of
I created this animated teaser to promote the book. I also wrote the
song to show the playful and heart-felt somberness of the story.
Gilbert B. Ford