2 April 2018

Style development

Character-centric works throughout the years

Hot pot hat

1999 - 2013 Japanese inspiration

I began drawing around 1999 out of an obsessive infatuation with Japanese manga and anime. I wanted nothing more than to understand that aesthetic and learn to recreate the same elegant lines, shapes, and color combinations. For a long time my preferred coloring technique was soft, blended digital painting in OpenCanvas. But due to a growing software incompatibility, I gradually switched to simple gradients and a methodical approach to cell-shading in Photoshop.

Throughout this period, fan-art and a group of autobiographical original characters were the things I liked to draw the most.

42 days
Personal work from 2006
Second place winner in a manga magazine competition (2009). The theme was "miracles"
Tobi tadaima
Original character work from 2013
Liea Original Characters
Original characters in condensed 'chibi' form (2014)
LongMu Banner
Banner for a previous portfolio website (2014)

2014 - 2015 Angular and clean

Towards the end of 2013 I got bored and began experimenting with stylizing my characters. I wanted to see how much more angular, elongated and minimalistic I could make the anatomies and colors before it would 'break'. Letting myself be guided by the movement and sharpness of the original sketch lines, I aimed for a clinically clean but also quick and dynamic look. I also began drawing animals as study objects for this.

Feeling like I was on to something, this period turned out to be one of my most productive to date in terms of style development and finding an artistic voice.

Shanghai Baby
Shanghai Baby - 2014
Burning man girl
Burning Man hipster - 2015
Fanart - 2014
RIP H.R. Giger Alien
H.R. Giger tribute - 2014
Kumiho Korean fox demon
Kumiho: Korean legend of the foxtail demon - 2015
Tiger and rabbit
Animal studies - 2013

2016 - 2018 Looking for texture

Adhering to the angular style started to feel restrictive, especially because my interest were beginning to move more towards the idea behind an image rather than its stylistic execution. I began looking for ways to speed up the process, but at the same time I was increasingly drawn to natural texture in digital art. Between 2016-2017 I got a job as a design thinking consultant and got a lot faster at quickly prototyping ideas into illustrations.

The time I saved I spent exploring areas that conversely required a lot of time: textured brushes, gouache, Chinese ink, and finding a way of integrating these textures into my digital work.

Spirit of the Woods
Spirit of the Woods - 2017
Birthcard Freddy
Birth card - 2017
Hotpot hat
"The Hotpot Hat" character design - 2018
Hotpot hat gif
"The Hotpot Hat" process - 2018
Character design challenge: dragons and dragon riders wip
CDC Dragons & Dragon riders: process - 2018
Character design challenge: dragons and dragon riders wip
CDC Dragons & Dragon riders: process - 2018
Character design challenge: dragons and dragon riders
CDC Dragons & Dragon riders: "Rescue at Dawn" - 2018
Onsen coffee monkey
Onsen monkey - 2017

I continue to work on mixing clean, almost graphic minimalism with texture and a hand-drawn feeling, and these experiments are far from finished!