In Marcus’ latest project, a zine with Berlin-based publishers Present Books, he illustrates his experience in Alaska – “It’s about adventure, mysterious landscapes and escaping to live a life of solitude in our hectic times” he says. The drawings in I Don’t Want Your Future depict people clambering around icebergs, carrying their swag through forests, and shimmying past howling wolves, all amongst blistering sunsets and the deep blue sea.
In 2013 graphic designer and illustrator Marcus Gruber took up a residency in Sitka, Alaska – “the Paris of the North Pacific”. While there he developed an after school programme for local kids, taught art and illustration, and built stage sets for the local theatre, as well as hiking, sliding and rowing all over the glacier-laden island. “I love the outdoors. I love hiking, climbing mountains, floating along remote rivers in my packraft… I totally fell for Alaska, the solitude, wildlife, wilderness, it was also the first time I saw a glacier, which really got me. It’s pure magic” says Marcus.
His stage sets for the local youth theatre included props for Annie: The Musical and Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. The pieces were modular, drawn in latex paint with big brushes, made up of block colours and familiar motifs. “I draw with regular pens and pencils, but in Alaska I had no scanner. All I had was a graphic tablet. So I started to do purely digital illustrations too, with no outlines around the objects anymore. When I was asked to do the stage set paintings, I chose that style too.”
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