The way we interpret everything is strongly influenced by the times we are living in; creatives will always respond in a way that reflects their time and attempt to capture the spirit and ideas of that particular period, an example of this particular principle is the development of the Winnie the Pooh characters.
Winnie the Pooh was first created by A.A Milne in 1926; the illustrator he chose for his original books was E.H Shepard, whose drawings were quite simple, black line drawings – which was one of the typical styles for 1920s illustration – his characters are modelled quite heavily on the stuffed teddy bears that were the popular toys of the time, not only that but A.A Milne’s inspiration when he was writing his books were his son Christopher’s personal toys (Christopher himself was also the inspiration for the character of Christopher Robin in the stories).
When the original books were reprinted in the 1970s Shepard added colour to his line drawings to bring them more up to date with the style of illustrations that were starting to appear.
When Walt Disney were given the rights to the Winnie the Pooh characters in 1961, the characters developed much further and became the familiar children characters that we know today – because they were created for animation purposes the colours are much flatter and brighter, the design of the characters themselves have become much cuter and cuddlier to suit the time period as it was during the 1960s that illustrations became much brighter and, due to Walt Disney, much more joyful and innocent.
Over the years more and more platforms have become available for illustrators and creatives to work on, not only does this allow for more freedom to express and develop idea, but it means that artists can break away from the typical platforms and branch out into more unusual areas that are better suited to their work and the audience that they are providing for.
An example of a creative that is currently working in an unusual format that portrays their work in an interesting way is Banksy; his graffiti work can be found on walls, floors, posters, flags and pretty much anywhere the public could look; although his work may seem to many people as vandalism, his images often portray his personal opinions on a variety of subjects; including politics, religion and the police force. Once his work had become better known and well-recognised, Banksy began creating exhibitions of his work, and even sneaking pieces of his work into famous museums and art galleries as a way of sparking interest and his own brand of controversy – although creating exhibitions seems like a step backwards as far as branching out goes, where Banksy is concerned it is a whole new platform for graffiti art to experience.