There’s something very disturbing about John Holcroft‘s work, but in a very good way. Checking out his illustrations, you can’t help but feel as if you’re seeing something forbidden. The fragility of the system, the obscurity of your career; the lack of romance in today’s world. The characters’ passions are their torture and there’s only one way out – embracing the absurdity of the modern world. Working from a studio near Sheffield, UK, Holcroft manages to connect two completely different eras. Drawing inspiration from 1950s screen print posters, he creates satirical illustrations that depict the things that are wrong with our society.
“My work is concept rather than character based,” Holcroft told Bored Panda after being asked if he ever feels like a character in one of his pieces. “However, when working on an illustration whether it’s a commission for a publication or a self-promotional piece I imagine what it’s like to be in the situation of the concept. It helps to communicate to the reader more if they can related to the person in the image.”
“My biggest concerns about society are that we are too reliant on devices to the extent of obsession,” the artist said. “There is also a large proportion of young people that have ‘dumbed down’ and see platforms like YouTube as a new standard in entertainment, watching mindless drivel by people who either just want to be famous or want to viewing figures for ad revenue. This has become acceptable and the norm.”
“How some people can be easily lead to believe things that the media tell them, whether it be about elections or referendums some people believe what they read on social media and tabloid newspapers instead of seeking out the facts.”
Despite all the grim colors in his work, Holcroft likes to think he’s optimistic, believing that everything’s gonna be OK regarding, for example, climate change. “But the pessimistic side of me gets restless when I don’t see very much movement politically. My biggest frustration is that little people like me and you don’t have a voice, we are shouting at the governments of the world to do something, millions of us with out metaphoric megaphones shouting ‘the world is in crisis, what are you doing about it?’. All while large corporations are profiting on the pollution without a care in the world.”
The artist also tries not to get involved in anything religious or something that may offend others, unless it’s for a really good cause. “The reason being, primarily this is how I make my living and I produce show pieces to attract work and I don’t thing I will be very popular if I alienate my potential clients. Although magazine articles tend to cover interesting subject matters they don’t like to upset their readership.”
Note: this post originally had 57 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.