Robert Paterson

Robert Paterson (Canada) 06/2018


Robert John Paterson approaches each illustration with the goal of expressing the most while showing the least. Equal parts 1940s science fiction and 1960s graphic design, he loves to tell stories with pictures by communicating complex ideas with simplified shapes and colours.

“My art practise truly is a representation of my passions and experience, I love telling stories and am so grateful I have the ability to do so visually.”

“Ho Guidato Tutta La Notte” (I Drove All Night…)
Partially inspired by a song by Roy Orbison, partially a reaction to my time away from home. This painting is meant to be a reminder the most wonderful things in life are worth working hard for. Graniti is a beautiful town hidden away in the mountains, I would like people (locals and travellers) to see this piece and be reminded how special this place is. This is a painting about love, romance, anticipation and coming home.
I like to think of my style as complicated minimalism. I love using simple shapes and flat colour, but creating complex images. This piece is a fair representation of this approach. I want it to seem like an abstract geometric mosaic at first glance, and the realisation it is an interpretation of a Sicilian village as a little surprise second. The words overlay across the image making a tiny reflection of the night. To me, even though driving all night is the long and hard part, waking the next day at your destination is the great reward. This is the reason I choose to show the town as mostly day with a hint of night.

Robert John Paterson is a talented illustrator, designer, and printmaker who proudly hails from Canada. When approaching each illustration, his aim is to convey the most meaning with the fewest elements. Influenced by both 1940s science fiction and 1960s graphic design, he relishes in the art of storytelling through visuals, utilizing simplified shapes and vibrant colors to communicate complex ideas.

Robert’s artistic practice is a genuine reflection of his passions and experiences. Despite being discouraged by his high school art teacher from pursuing a creative career, he defied the odds and applied to the Art Institute of Toronto. Following his graduation, he secured a position at an advertising agency where he eventually climbed the ranks to become an Art Director. However, he found himself disenchanted with this role and made the decision to further develop his artistic skills at OCADU in Toronto.

Driven by an innate desire to explore and seek inspiration, Robert embarked on a journey to Europe. Along the way, he embraced various residencies, participating in poster shows, creating animated short films, and painting murals. These experiences broadened his artistic horizons and nurtured his growth as a creator. Now back in Canada, he dedicates himself to producing art, striving to maximize his creative output.

Robert John Paterson’s artistic endeavors encompass a range of mediums, allowing him to express his unique storytelling abilities. His distinct style, blending elements of science fiction and graphic design, captivates viewers and invites them into narratives told through his visuals. With an unwavering commitment to his craft, he continues to make art that resonates with audiences, leaving an indelible mark on the Canadian art scene.