Graphic Illustrator Aaron Campbell Reveals Latest Installment Of Dream-Like Landscapes

For Vancouver-born digital artist Aaron Campbell, a perfect day is one where you “get into a productive mind-frame and just can’t stop working”. His ongoing project, the six part series Clouds and Gradients, uses rich colours and impeccable detail to open a door onto the photoshop-fabricated fictional city of Fleetwood, and serves as concept art for the graphic novel project on which he is currently working.

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A lengthy series, it seems to be the happy product of many such perfect days, and the natural progression of a broad range of interests that all fall under the general umbrella of ‘storytelling’:

“It’s all of the different media I’ve enjoyed over the years coming into one: video games, tv shows, movies, story books etc.”

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First and foremost an illustrator, Aaron began working on the six-part series in mid-2013, having designed for a range of commercial clients including Nike and Adobe since leaving university. Clouds and Gradients gives the viewer an insight into the personal side of this imaginative mind’s portfolio: the images give you a real sense of home, and manages to make you nostalgic for a small-town British Columbian town you never even knew.

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Exploring vivid colour palettes and detailed lighting techniques with his signature use of tactile gradients, Aaron’s is a dream-like environment. But what happens there? We get in touch with the man in the know.

The Plus: Tell us about Fleetwood – what inspired this location?
Aaron Campbell: Fleetwood is based on British Columbia as a whole, which is where I’ve spent my entire life. I’ve always loved the feel of small town BC, the mountainous landscape, the coastal setting, and its unique Canadian flavour. I rarely ever see stories set within British Columbia, plus I know the province very well and love living here.

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TP: What kind of stories are we going to see being played out here?
AC: Really anything I come up with can be set in Fleetwood, which can give great opportunities for lots of crossovers and cameos (which I love in stories).

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TP: Could you give us any teasers?
AC: My most developed story is one about a middle-aged man who loses his wife to a disease which causes him to become depressed and relapse into alcoholism, but his wife’s dog ends up changing his life in a very unexpected way. Another story is about a young farm girl who discovers a hidden world up in the clouds, which causes her to embark on a journey to save one of it’s inhabitants.

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TP: You’ve said you particularly love gradients – why is that?

AC:
I felt gave my work a sort of Pixar-ish look, having limited texture, and having everything looking a bit smooth and plasticky, which has become a staple of my illustration style.

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TP: Are any of these story-lines ones we can see in this set of images?

AC:
The full series mostly depicts the different environments of the town which will eventually be seen in the stories. Some things can be seen a few times, such as the water tower, “Chompy” the boat, and the red truck which is owned by one of the main characters.

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TP: Can we expect to see more of Clouds and Gradients coming out soon?

AC:
Yes, most likely by the spring or summer!

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Click here for the full series.

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