Daria ShepelenkoComment

In the Wilds

Daria ShepelenkoComment
In the Wilds
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Sometimes you see a drawing style you wish so badly was your own. Today, this belongs to Nigel Peake. Able to apply his talents broadly, he illustrates, photographs, self-publishes small run zines and even collaborates with architects. His recent book, In the Wilds, features lovely-sweet illustrations of what he calls "quiet places": rural buildings and backyards of all sorts, some scattered mid-tornado, others standing intact eerily, some more raised high on stilts. He also makes aerial maps, inconceivably detailed things that remind Ryan of his hometown—just warmer, brighter, cozier. Other pages are dedicated solely to variants of single items, like a log or pinecone, or are dotted with gentle birds and other little creatures.

These locales are rendered using many endearingly sloppy pen lines and/or warm watercolour washes evocative of fall. Occasionally splashes of bright colours punctuate his black-brown-beige-red-green palette, evoking Wes Anderson's films and Criterion covers. His work will make you yearn for small town life, even if you've never been in one. It's pastoral, nostalgic and dreamy. It's just him and where he has lived and loved living. It even has moments of strangeness. The book itself has a welcoming, homemade feel. The cover has a soft woven texture, and the page stock feels closer to tree than most—nicely fibrous. This collection is the largest offering of Nigel's work released and we'd advise to jump before it's gone.

Co-written with Ryan Eyraud.