Nowadays it’s hard to find an illustrator that is producing work that is the least bit original. Austin’s Ty Wilkins has managed to do this with his clever use of geometric shapes and pattern. If I do so dare, I would compare him to a modern day Charley Harper (There will never be another Charley Harper, but you can see the similarities).
With a style so simple and to-the-point, you would figure it would be an easy task to illustrate anything. Quite the opposite. In order for a style like this to be successful, placement, organization, and perfection is key. Each illustration is approached with caution much like a designer creating icons. Each element can be viewed at small scales and translates beautifully when large. He has this style down to an art. The work he did for Target Education is so simple and oh so wonderful and I’m oh so jealous for not having done it.
The bulk of the project consists of several cute characters, in as many nationalities as possible (way to be PC, Ty!). He also created several iconic supporting illustrations, like paintbrushes, cameras, books, and apples, all of which you’d expect to see in your local elementary school. Each illustration is meticulously tweaked to perfection, although some seem to have their quirks. Those quirky details only add to the beauty and charm of the illustration. Ty was also able to incorporate the Target logo into some of his illustrations. You can see this in the lens of the camera and the leg of the dog. Genius move, Ty.
Seeing all of these illustrations together is so refreshing and inspiring. I’m so happy to see someone who takes their illustrations as serious as Ty. On top of all of this beautiful work, Ty is a humble guy. He’s always creating amazing things, and always seems grateful for the opportunities that come his way. That seems to be a rare quality in designers these days.