Varoom 31

The Visionaries issue


Out of stock


VAROOM 31 – The Visionaries issue

This issue is about celebrating the visionary work of illustrators, the image-making that shapes our relationship with the world, that inspires us to a more creative engagement with the world. Though we often think of the visionary as something, or someone a little bit ‘out there’, just by being given the status of visionary enables unorthodox ideas to be put on the table.


Featured in this issue:


There’s a long tradition of image-futurism in Architecture, and in recent years the genre of speculative architecture has re-imagined conventional arrangements of buildings and politics, the real and the imaginary, fact and fiction. On the following pages Emma Sims, Jason Lamb and CJ Lim reflect on their visionary spaces.


There’s the Christian notion of epiphany as divine revelation, the secular epiphany as rational insight, and then there’s epiphany as moment of learning and transformation. Olimpia Zagnoli, one of the illustrators we asked to locate an epiphany in another image-maker’s work, describes her epiphany as making her “blood become sparkling”. The epiphany is a powerfully affective journey of learning. Explore with us the epiphanies of Marion Deuchars, David Hughes, Oliver Jeffers and Olimpia Zagnoli.

Mould Map: Narration, Sensation, Anticipation

For its fourth issue MOULD MAP delivers design fiction, counter-culture history, and speculative scenarios in a psychedelic, eye-frying explosion of ideas. Anticipating the future never felt quite like this, John O’Reilly talks with co-editor Hugh Frost.

Sequential Art Martin Colyer selects David Hughes’ The Pillbox

Martin Colyer discusses David Hughes’ dark new graphic novel, The Pillbox. “It presents a chilly version of an English seaside holiday, wrapped around a depraved murder mystery from 1945, involving American troops stationed nearby.”

To Boldly Go

Over the last decade stories on science and technology are part of the fabric of everyday life. Art Directors, Illustrators and Scientists themselves are rising to the challenge to visualize and explore science in astonishingly imaginative ways, in magazines, illustrated books, installations and games. We talk with three leading figures: New Scientist Art Editor Craig Mackie; Neuroscientist turned illustrator Matteo Farinella and physicist turned artist and digital games designer William Chyr.

Motion: Light at the Opera selected by Shane Walter

A recent stand out project from Universal Everything was the audio-visual takeover on Sydney’s iconic landmark Opera House sails – apparently their largest commission to date – entitled Living Mural. This spectacle was created over four months with 30, 30-second hand-drawn animations

VaroomLab Visionaries

From the children’s book as information environment, to the idea of expanded illustration to Stuckness and the hostess trolley, the VaroomLab 2015 conference sought, fast sharply constructed ideas for its Pecha Kucha presentations. Aidan Winterburn, Alice Moloney and Jo Hassall re-imagine some familiar visual and professional forms.

Children’s Books: Top of the Class Sarah McIntyre selects Liz Pichon

Liz Pichon is Britain’s reigning queen of illustrated chapter books with her Tom Gates series. Her lettering and line drawings bounce energetically off each other, looking very much like the kind of notebook you wish you’d doodled as a kid in the back of the class.

Future Imperfect

Zoe Taylor explores the highly original, fantastical work of fashion illustrator Margot Bowman whose eclectic use of media, futuristic narratives and relationships with brands is mapping a path for the commercial image-maker.

Margot Bowman epitomises a visionary illustrator. In the true sense of the word ‘visionary’, her work often imagines how we will live in the future and practically explores issues such as sustainability. Then there’s her passion for newness, her progressive attitude towards commercial work and the ease with which she works across both traditional and digital media.

The King of Kenya: The visionary and creativity interrupts us, it shifts the borders between commonly shared reality and the suspiciously. Paul Davis witnesses this shifting space on the 243 bus

Marian Bantjes: As always, Bantjes’ Varoom centerspread is a visual feast. For Visionaries glass eyes look around through dazzling angles of holographic foil.

I Wish I’d done This: John O’Reilly is transfixed by Graham Fink’s images drawn with his eyes via eye-tracking technology.