Fathoms: The Art of Michael Manomivibul
Deep dive From aquatic adventures to knightly heroes, ink artist Michael Manomivibul’s artbook invites you into his imagination
Ink artist Michael Manomivibul invites you into his imagination – from aquatic adventures to knightly heroes.
Another crowd-sourced effort, Fathoms is the first art book by illustrator Michael Manomivibul (who has a workshop on page 102). He’s best known for the artwork on The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition and his work summons atmospheric feelings of mystery and adventure.
Michael’s art is distinctive, and that’s partly a matter of technique. He works in Sumi ink, building up with layers of ink wash, playing with texture and value, then finishing with digital colour or glazes of coloured inks and watercolour. But the power of his work is its imagination. From deep-sea divers and terrifying tentacles to heroic knights and brutal beasts, each scene is suggestive and gives the viewer a welcome opportunity to complete the full story in their minds.
This softback book is beautifully printed on heavyweight paper and almost every piece gets a full page, enabling you to examine and enjoy every detail. It’s just shame that at just 82 pages, it’s a fairly slim volume. There’s a small amount of text, printed in a font that makes the book reminiscent of a children’s title. Indeed this collection offers a deep-dive into the imagination, from an artist who deserves to be more widely known.
Bubbles, 2009. “A piece about release,” says illustrator Michael Manomivibul.