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Work / Illustration

Patrick Sluiter’s soft-hued 3D figures exude quiet melancholy

Smooth, soft-hued and wistful characters make up the bulk of Patrick Sluiter’s portfolio, an aesthetic niche he’s cleverly carved to make them instantly recognisable. The New York-based graphic designer and illustrator uses unsaturated tones and satisfyingly rounded, rendered forms to convey an “atmosphere of silence”.

“If I were to give my work a short description it would be quiet melancholy,” Patrick explains. “The figures are primarily inspired by emotions and serve as an open door to connect with whomever is looking at it. This helps dictate the colour palette, because I want that quiet tone to always be present.”

Patrick makes his works in Cinema 4D, which he’s been using for two years, and finds inspiration in the work of other artists such as Geoff McFetridge, Alexy Préfontaine, Mike Lee, Thomas Hedger, Xavier Cardona and Liron Ashkenazi Eldar. Elements of each, from the liquid-like shapes to the expressive figures and pink hues, can be spotted as influences to Patrick’s work.

Recently he’s completed commissions for Giphy that saw him move into jollier territory, with more vivid colours and comedic subject matter. In a month he made 10 animations to be displayed in “virtual gallery”, Time Frame.

“All the animations grew from an idea of a lucid dream that seemed tangible, but would have a sense of abstraction. Some were more ‘out there’ than others but my favourite was a couple that have an outlet and plug prong for faces. There’s a clearly sexual undertone, but the goal was to show compatibility and the subtle motions you use to communicate to your significant other.”

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