While last week’s match featured a battle between contrasting styles—the cerebral vs. the visceral and the designer/programmer vs. designer/illustrator—consider this week’s line-up a battle of the beguiling and bewitching Brits.
Both Neil Duerden and Mathew Star Thomas are self-described illustrators who combine organic vector art with fairy tale photography. Both create balmy, breathy work that teeters between the real and the surreal. But that is where the similarities stop. Look a bit closer and you'll see where Thomas is naively dreamy and hallucinogenic, Duerden packs a power punch of provocation.
Perhaps this match will be more than a raunchy, rancorous volley to and fro, but rather a timeless test of wills. Either way, behold the empyrean challenge between the Master of Sublime and the Hot and Hungry Wolf and remember: one man's quest is another man's conquest.
The Man: Neil is a self confessed Mac monkey based in a rural miners' cottage 20 miles north of Manchester, UK. He creates work that combines elements from mixed media and photography with complex, interlacing vectors to create pieces for multi-national clients, all over the world. He's always on brief, hungry for commissions and looking for the next big thing.
The Mood: Manic
The Man: Couscous Kid is the work of Mathew Star Thomas, an illustrator and designer based in Bath, UK. Impossible to pigeonhole, Couscous Kids' dream-like, innocent style compels his audience to dance eerily through life. At first glance, all is as it seems (with hints of sixties abandonment) but upon closer inspection, his work reveals 21st century humor and physical freedom hidden among the sublime and ridiculous forms and characters.
The Mood: Panic. (Psych) Limber. Yeah, that's right. Limber.
Debbie Millman is a partner at Sterling Brands and a writer for Print Magazine and the design blog Speak Up. She is also the author of How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer (Allworth Press). She teaches at the School of Visual Arts; she is a National Board member of the AIGA, and host of the Internet talk show, Design Matters.
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Congratulations to Mig Reyes, Layer Tennis Season 3 Champion.
Thanks to all the players, commentators and fans who made Season Three of Layer Tennis a big success. And thanks to the crew at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and all the folks at Adobe Creative Suite for making it possible. Watch this space (or sign up for Season Tickets or follow us on Twitter) for news about some special exhibition matches being planned and about Season 4.
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