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.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.