Pop art has gone in and out of fashion in different parts of the world at various times since it began in the 50′s. We’ll take a look at some popular artists in Western Culture that helped start this movement, as well as some more current Superflat trends in Japanese art. You can also learn to create these styles in Photoshop with the tutorials presented. Then learn to distinguish these styles with some great articles on this subject. Let’s get some pop inspiration.
Art & Artists
This artists is a commercial and fine art success. He is the founder of the Japanese Pop Art movement termed Superflat. He has a distinctively cute anime influenced style. Here is a link to an interview he did with Wired Magazine. Here is the opening of that article, “Takashi Murakami is often billed as the next Andy Warhol. Like the American pop art icon, he fuses high and low, pulling imagery from consumer culture to produce visually arresting, highly original work.”
Nara is a Japanese artist associated with the Superflat movement knows to drawn influence from a wide range of sources, such as anime, manga, Walt Disney, graffiti, renaissance paintings, illustration, and punk rock. These images derived from multiple pop sources are depicted in a childish fashion, though the emotions living beneath the surface in these paintings are palpable.
He is one of the most famous pop artists from the movement of the 50′s. Warhol often is the artist that comes to mind when we think of Pop Art. Some of his most famous work is of famous people, commercial items, and depicted in screen prints. A few of the Photoshop tutorials below are influenced by his work.
This is another well-known artist from the Pop Art movement of the 50′s. He had an inclination towards exploiting past styles and commercial styles in a witty fashion. I really like his work that looks like stylized comic book illustrations. Big dots put together like halftones forming quintessential comic scenes, like this painting called “Blam”.
Julian doesn’t fall in either the early Pop art movement or the Superflat movement. He is a more modern pop artist. Check out his site that uses a desktop metaphor to present much of his digital based pop art.
This tutorial is fairly complicated. The photoshop process uses alpha channels to emulate the setup of multiple screens used in screen printing. Color Halftones are added to imported drawings. The drawing process involved creating multiple images that will be placed in the different channels. Everything is fused together in Photoshop. The final effect has a cool screen printed feel, and the process makes for a unique design.
Pop Art Portrait
Create a simple and fun Pop Art style design. The techniques in this tutorial show how to blend linear elements with layer styles. It also covers inverting photos to match the feel of design. The result is a stylish poster design.
Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Effect
This tutorial shows you how to cut selections from a photo and then apply color overlays to these different areas of the image. Cutting out and turning up the contrast on the Shadows creates a strong stylized look. In the photo used, it forms an outline as well. This is a simple tutorial to follow.
The art of screen printing
This tutorial covers an old school workflow. The design all starts in Photoshop. Then it gets traced in Streamline and worked on in Freehand. The process ultimately shows the design go through the screen printing process to create original limited run posters.
Photo Pop Art
This tutorial shows a quick way to give a simple Pop Art style look to a Photo using some layer blending modes and the Cutout filter for effect.
Other Cool Stuff
Yoshitaka Amano: Master Of Fantasy
This interview of Yoshitaka Amano covers the career of this artist. Japanese Pop Art is discussed throughout this article, and the Superflat movement is briefly mentioned. Yoshitaka explains how he was influenced by American Pop Art when working in Anime. Then how later Japanese Pop Artists were influenced by the style of that anime produced. This bridges the gap between these two movements. Also, some great work displayed in this article.
Getpopart.com / DJT Gallery
This gallery website has some good information on American Pop Art. It gives a concise history of the movement. You can also find samples of works displayed in the gallery and a biography of each of the artists as well.
Pop art Wikipedia
As usual, Wikipedia is a great resource for nearly anything. Once you’ve gone through many of the links in this article, and you’re left wanting more, check out the Notable Pop Artists section here, as it links to more Pop Artists work to review.
Superflat Artists Panel
Some notable Japanese Pop Artists are featured in this article. Here is a good quote on this subject from that article as well, “Most superflat artists use a combination of their fine art skills and that in the commercial world. Their design elements can be seen in numerous consumer products such as handbags, dresses, ashtrays and toys. But at the same time, their work is shown in prestigious galleries all over the world. I think it’s the balance between art and commercialism that makes it so interesting to anime fans and fine art lovers.”
How to Recognize Pop Art From Japan
This article gives a rundown of what to study to recognize and appreciate Japanese Pop Art. Part of that process is studying other Pop Art to see where Japanese styles differ. It then goes on to suggest studying things like Manga to further appreciate the influences in this style of art.