Jan Siemen sees illustration as a hobby, a side project to his graphic service company Sons of Ipanema. “I needed a little change so I created a few illustrations and found my own style and just started posting them on Instagram,” explains Jan.
Influenced by cartoons and old surreal paintings, Jan plays with light and shadow to create an atmosphere. “I’ve always liked the vector format and its own aesthetic,” he says of his style. “So I tried to combine the forms, shapes and colours you could get out of vector tools with my conceptual ideas and grainy texture.”
Inspired by the everyday, Jan often plays with perspective and visual puns in his work. Throughout there are instances that make the viewer look twice, with diving boards being used the opposite way, a giant origami dog on a lead and people climbing over a keyboard. In terms of Jan’s creative process he often notes down and scribbles out his ideas as a starting point. “If I like something very much I start with the final illustration,” he says. “I set up shapes and forms, colours, lights and shades in Illustrator and add some texture and colour adjustment in Photoshop.”
Though he mostly creates illustrations for fun, when working on briefs and commissions, Jan enjoys the challenge of working with a direction in mind and a “finish line to cross”. He’s careful to keep his own style in check though, and hopes to convey “all the emotions you can have” depending on the illustration.
- Rachel Louise Hodgson’s drawings challenge traditional ideals of beauty
- Sam Conniff rouses the Nicer Tuesdays audience to Be More Pirate
- Koln Studio designs artist's catalogue using improvisation and fun
- Friday Mixtape: a collection of hits from music focused design studio Lost Art
- Khichdi (Kitchari) brings together 846 photographs of India, and its people, taken over ten years
- Offshore Studio's Christoph Miler reveals the ideas behind Migrant Journal
- Portfolio tips from top studios: what to leave in (and out) and how to get noticed
- Advertising giant Ogilvy undergoes global rebrand and “re-founding” by design agency Collins
- Ikea reveals collaborations with Solange, Lego, Adidas and Olafur Eliasson
- DesignStudio rebrands UEFA Champions League, using light as its “centrepiece”
- Secret 7" is back and includes a web-based expressive typographic artwork generator
- Crayola launches a makeup range based on its ubiquitous crayons