Gotta switch that serious palette up from time to time. Pose based on a photo by Turkish fashion photographer Akif Hakan Celebi, who ain't one bit afraid of using colors.
The only one who's got my back
is my shadow
– The Sound of Arrows
Channeling my combined love of Russ Meyer, old movie posters, Café Racers, the 60s and Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. It all started with a wonderful cover for the magazine Salut Les Copains (1966) where Françoise Hardy struck a similar pose.
I'm a big fan of Blondie in general and Debbie Harry in particular. She's sported so many memorable outfits and looks throughout the years and as you can see in the (yellow) rough below I had a hard time deciding what kind of top to dress her in. The iconic Vultures graphics were a no-brainer though.
For this illustration I was also going for a more textured line, as opposed to the sharp ink lines I usually do.
A few illustrations from my third art book (Color Blast vol 2.5) inspired by Mia Farrow and Rosemary's Baby, one of my all-time favourite movies. Letting my love of bold colors, typography and the 60s shine through.
In April 2014 I was invited by Glenn Barr to be a part of the Lyric Show at Inner State Gallery in Detroit. Each artist was asked to submit one 12 x 12 piece, the size of a vinyl album cover, inspired by the title or lyrics of a specific song.
I decided to illustrate the song There Is A Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths. And more specifically the lines that go:
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure – the privilege is mine
I photographed a toy car and bus I had for reference and perspective. The toy car being a VW Polo made me think about Morrissey’s 4th solo album “Vauxhall and I”. Apart from being a British car manufacturer Vauxhall is also an area of London noted for its gay clubs. So by changing the VW Polo I had drawn to a Vauxhall (Astra) I was also able to make those connections.
Media: Wax crayon and gouache on the gatefold sleeve of The Smiths’ “The Queen Is Dead” sleeve.
Illustration based on a scene from The Ipcress File (1965), one of the most beautiful films I've seen. And if there's anyone I'd love to look like, it's Michael Cain as Harry Palmer in this film. Shot by Otto Heller and directed by Sidney J. Furie. And once again I'm flaunting my fascination with the 60s and low key drama.
Ran across a very unusual and gorgeous photo of Elijah Wood on the cover of Corduroy Magazine. The photo was taken by Peter Ash Lee and just screamed out to be drawn. It might also have been the first time ever that I had to draw beard stubble. Weird and fun.
I was asked to do a pinup for Barnaby Ward's graphic novel Sixteen Miles to Merricks. Check it out, it's great!*
*If not the pinup, at least the graphic novel.
An exercise in abstract coloring and building of volumes.
Dolly Parton's New Harvest First Gathering era has always been the one that's attracted me most from a purely visual standpoint. I have quite a few tour programmes from Dolly's career and the late 70s stand out. David Gahr shot many of my favorite Dolly photos, among them the one referenced for this portrait.
Playing around with typography and backlight.
This was my third art book, named vol 2.5 since it contained some reworked art that was previously published in vol 2. For this volume I wanted to work in a bigger format and ended up with spreads in A2 (23 x 16.5 inches). The book was handbound with pink thread and an open spine and a textured cover stock.
The introduction was written by American artist Glenn Barr.
Once again I was inspired by a great photo of Françoise Hardy (and Jean-Marie Périer) when I set out to do this stylish couple. I (obviously) didn't go for likeness but I liked the pose and remember being really fond of their clothes. At one stage the guy looked like Justin Theroux, one of a few man-crusches I have (Michael Cain and Ben Gibbard being the others), but then he changed back to where he were. See roughs below.
A personal illustration that later was printed on a huge canvas. Wanted to do heroics in repose and find that I often gravitate to these silent and low-key expressions and poses. A bit melancholic.
Like stars in the sunshine
Like tears in the rain
Me doing my best to channel the amazing Italian designer and illustrator Gianmarco Magnani. Who also got a nod on the frame of the bike.
Piece inspired by a few lines from Dolly Parton's song The Grass Is Blue. I dare you to take a look and/or listen and not feel all mushy inside. Poor thing...
For the MTV Video Music Awards in Japan we created an event that turned Tokyo into a treasure map. Viewers and fans were invited to search for 200 MTV EyeDolls all over the city, prompted by flyposters at the event’s affiliated retailers, clues online, television idents and posters. Find the dolls. Discover the prizes.
Each EyeDoll was special because it came with certain awards. The ultimate prize was the silver colored EyeDoll in an edition of five pieces, granting you a backstage pass to the MTV Video Music Awards and many other things.
Within the first week the EyeDolls were being traded on Japanese auction sites. The story was picked up by the press and when the MTV team tried to hide the last set of dolls, hundreds of people had figured it out already and were lying in wait.
Agency: KesselsKramer, Amsterdam
3D & Animation: Fido
Character Design: Jakob Westman, Arno Peters & Nils-Petter Lövgren
Illustrations: Jakob Westman
Vinyl sculpts: Supreme Asia Pacific Ltd
Is it design or illustration? I don't know... it's usually a bit of both when I'm working.
Illustration based on a great photo of Terence Stamp and Jean Shrimpton by David Bailey. The likeness isn't quite there, but it catches the zeitgeist of the source material and it was fun to work with the rough crayon lines.
Logo design for The Cabomba Brothers ad agency. Streamlined final design above and a rough and early exploration below. I quite liked that but the client found it a bit too tough and moody. They were probably right, and the final art is much more playful.
This illustration was originally drawn as part of a family portrait of the Petrellis from the Heroes TV series (see below). I later revisited the illustration and redrew Claire and took a more liberties with her palette (above).
Illustration inspired by a series of photos by Harri Peccinotti, first known for his legendary work for Pirelli Calendar in 1968 and 1969. Since then, he’s been a major influence in both art and fashion photography. If you’re not already familiar with him I suggest you check him out. A compilation of his work can be seen in his book entitled H.P. by Harri Peccinotti, published in 2009.