Idyllic mountainous landscapes are fine and funny domestic settings are good too, but it’s not often we see illustrators tackle the subject of intricately designed custom weaponry. We appreciate Joe Melhuish’s new project all the more for its originality. He first started drawing bizarre pockets knives that look more like the jumbo Super Soakers while researching for a commission for “quite a big pop musician,” and soon became fascinated in the way weapons might grow to become an accessory to one’s identity.
“The project with the singer fell through,” he explains, “but I kept exploring these themes and started introducing elements like the USB interfaces, the weird signage and faux Japanese characters. Most of my extended research for the designs of the weapons ended up being based on technology pieces and glossy 90s food, fashion and sports advertising.”
One series down, and he hasn’t got any inclination to stop any time soon. Instead he’s going to illustrate more, and make them even weirder. “I think for the future weapons I’m going to push the design of the knives further into the realm of the grotesque. More violent but ultimately unusable, freakish consumer projects.” Lock up your water pistols and your kids’ cutlery folks, Joe Melhuish is likely to be using it as inspiration.