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January 8, 2008 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Pomme Chan makes rococo nouveau illustrations, with a felt-tip/vector art feel. Roughly 60 images to explore through navigation on the left.
posted by klangklangston (23 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:35 PM on January 8, 2008

Nice! I like her (his? haven't gotten that far) work.
posted by desjardins at 5:39 PM on January 8, 2008

posted by klangklangston at 5:43 PM on January 8, 2008

I like the clarity of line combined with a profusion of detail. Lovely.
posted by Mister Cheese at 6:01 PM on January 8, 2008

I'd never heard the term vector art before and now here it is again.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:06 PM on January 8, 2008

FYI, vector does not properly refer to the STYLE of art. Vector graphics maintain sharpness when enlarged, in contrast to raster graphics which pixellate and then become incomprehensible. Pomme's art LOOKS like vector graphics (because of its smooth quality), but actual vector graphics can only be created digitally.
posted by desjardins at 6:18 PM on January 8, 2008

Thanks, Mr. Klangston! So much to look at in each picture, a lot of motion, and it's simple.
posted by not_on_display at 6:19 PM on January 8, 2008

Yes, thanks Mr. Klangston.

Just the shot of inspiration I needed.
posted by mmrtnt at 6:29 PM on January 8, 2008

"FYI, vector does not properly refer to the STYLE of art. Vector graphics maintain sharpness when enlarged, in contrast to raster graphics which pixellate and then become incomprehensible. Pomme's art LOOKS like vector graphics (because of its smooth quality), but actual vector graphics can only be created digitally."

I believe that she is doing some of her work digitally; while it's a pretty loose usage, I think of vector art as being tied to a lot of the smooth linework that the advent of Illustrator made suddenly popular, cheap and easy to create. I tend to think that tools influence (greatly) the final output, and I think that a lot of the current illustration vogue is tied to that influence of vector tools.
posted by klangklangston at 6:44 PM on January 8, 2008

I can't wait to see the next generation of tools to help artists, say in 10 years or 20 years. Dunno much about art, but I think good art can be created through any medium.
posted by not_on_display at 8:48 PM on January 8, 2008

I am with desjardins on use of the term "vector art". It isn't a style. When we refer to vector art it is a term used not for style but as a technical term that tells us how we can use the artwork in our computer programs and helps dictate final usage options.

I don't know about the greater world at large, but if the term "vector art" starts getting thrown around as a style of artwork, the design workers of this world who use digital artworks to build their files *points to self* are going to get mighty irritated with files that pixelate when they increase them by more than 20%.

So, klang, I love you baby, but I got to put my foot down and stop the trend before it starts. Think of the childlike people in the design studios!
posted by Salmonberry at 9:19 PM on January 8, 2008

Klang, did you coin "rococo nouveau"? Because we were trying to figure out what this look is called, and rococo nouveau totally works.
posted by taz at 9:25 PM on January 8, 2008

Damn, I was hoping there was a "real" term for this kind of thing. "rococo nouveau" is pretty evocative, but rococo always seemed more repetitious, while things in this style are usually much more 'fluid', with less repetition, and usually along a path. At least that's what stuck out in my mind.
posted by delmoi at 12:04 AM on January 9, 2008

It actually looks like the term "vector grunge" is already popular.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 AM on January 9, 2008

Not a million miles from Stina Persson.
posted by rog at 1:05 AM on January 9, 2008

Hmmm, I wonder if ol' Pomme is a fan of Aubrey Beardsley
posted by mattoxic at 2:54 AM on January 9, 2008

Yeah, I had never heard of "rococo nouveau" before, either, but now I am going to work it into conversation at the first possible opportunity, just to mess with people's heads. It's a great term, Mr. Klangston (that's what we're calling you now, apparently).
posted by misha at 7:17 AM on January 9, 2008

You doesn't have to call me Mister Johnson.

As to rococo nouveau, yeah, I was just kind of casting about for a better term than "vector art," and thought it fit. I'm happy to cede prior coinage to anyone who's got a cite, but a quick google didn't reveal anything (too many folks saying "rococo/nouveau" to refer to French architecture).

The reasons why I think it fits—

Both rococo and art nouveau had emphasis on decorative arts, and I think that a lot of the curvilinear shapes and flowering motifs can be associated with AN pretty easily, but the rococo would imply a frilliness and over-decoration (along with the emphasis on "cute") which I believe distinguishes this art from a lot of the decorative simplicity of AN. Grunge seems to apply more to the textural grime and splatter that's related, but I'd say distinct.

The problem with "rococo nouveau"? Well, it's another "critic" applying a genre term sloppily, irrespective of any real movement (at least as far as I can tell), and it's something that's likely to make sense immediately to people with an art history background, but not necessarily more broadly.

As for "vector art," I'm fine with looking for another term, but it should still imply that smoothness and flatness that are currently vogue. If I say "vector art," and imply an aesthetic, most people know what I mean, but I'll happily use another term if a better one presents itself. (Of course, granting "rococo nouveau" a broader acceptance would be ideal ;) ).
posted by klangklangston at 10:39 AM on January 9, 2008

That Beardsley stuff is pretty neat—I'd seen some of it before, the King Arthur stuff, but never most of the rest.
posted by klangklangston at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2008


I generally agree with you.

As desjardins stated, "vector art" is very much technically correct but it says nothing about the stylistic properties of any work that is produced that way - and it lumps in too many distinct styles together. (Ex. - corporate logos are often created from vector images for scalability purposes - and most of them are rather dry, aren't they?)

But I do understand your reluctance to apply "rococo noveau", even if that's the best descriptor I've ever heard for it. As someone who has an occasional interest in art history, I have to say that most of the terminology is downright terrible - it's easy for someone to get lost in the verbiage. To an outsider, someone who hasn't had a rigorous education in all of history's styles, the words make no sense at all. Rococo? Perfect example of a word that has no English language context other than its art meaning. Or what about a better example, Modernism? That means nothing semantically outside of the art world that is at all consistent with what it refers to within the art world. Not all contemporary art is modern art - yet, in plain English, they mean precisely the same thing. Maybe surrealism is one of the few exceptions, it means exactly what it looks like.

Blame the critics, indeed. There are so many appropriate adjectives from the many European languages that pool into English vocabulary that it is only lazy and/or arrogant to purposely choose obscure or confusing descriptors to art movements.

I also agree with the "trendwhore" designation, as this particular style seems to be used gratuitously and tastelessly in modern illustrations and communications. The elements in many of these ultra-busy pieces seem to exist mostly without function, not even from a visual design perspective. My best guess is that the purpose is simply to induce ADHD in the viewer. It must make experienced illustrators cry when they see that there's such huge market for this stuff.
posted by brianvan at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2008

"But I do understand your reluctance to apply "rococo noveau", even if that's the best descriptor I've ever heard for it."

Oh, apply the hell out of it. I'm just saying that as far as I know, no one else is calling it that. If you start to call it rococo nouveau, then people will know what the hell I'm talking about.
posted by klangklangston at 5:17 PM on January 9, 2008

I like both "rococo noveau" and "vector grunge". I've not quite articulated it before, but I've thought of it as "exploding vector art" when I've seen it. This style seems to be showing up a lot lately, and I think the mixture of clean lines with blurry, graffiti-like stuff is interesting.

I've been thinking that it might be an offshoot of the popularity of stenciling, actually. The splashing and spraying bits look like what you get from an otherwise clean-lined stencil when the stencil doesn't quite touch the surface you're painting, and many stencil artists use this effect consciously, to create explosions and so on as a part of otherwise clean stencil art. I'm thinking someone saw that effect and went with it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:41 PM on January 9, 2008

Ah, very nice thank you! I've seen some of this work before, but it's always been nameless. Interesting to see there's a debate in the community about what to call it. Whatever it's called, it's some kind of pretty.
posted by librarylis at 2:32 AM on January 10, 2008

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