Jo pointed me in the direction of this really interesting article from Creative Review titled 'The F-Word'. It looks at the current trend of folk style art in the illustration world and explores why it has become so popular.
There was one issue discussed that I found particularly intriguing - that illustrators have stopped thinking about what digital software could do for them and rather started thinking about how they can rewire it to suit their needs. I think this is a good point and somewhat relevant to my work. I have to make sure that I never let the digital technology become the driving force behind my work.
The article also discusses the reasons why folk art is suddenly everywhere we look, from fashion and home-wares to TV adverts. One theory is that larger brands may want to be associated with the organic feel of the artwork in order to appear more 'green'. However, I think it's only natural that everyone wants to jump on the folk bandwagon - it's on trend at the moment so everyone is going to want that look for their company.
One artist who is discussed in the article is Sanna Annukka, who has Finnish heritage and a love of Finnish landscapes and nature. "While advertisers may have cynical motivations for tapping into the folk trend, its foremost practitioners are referencing something that has personal significance." Annukka is proud of her background and Finland has always had a big influence in her work.
It was interesting to read that folk is considered a dirty work (hence the title), with no-one ever asking agencies for 'something folky'. Apparently 'homespun' and 'wholesome' are more commonly used!
"No doubt the trend wheel will turn again soon but for now, it's all about the folk."
(Sorry the scan of the article is so small, I couldn't get it to go any bigger when I loaded it on here!)