Dutch illustrator Seb Ikso Agresti is a graduate of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Yet, it was his extra curricular activities that helped him to hone his illustrative practice.
“I was disappointed by the programs offered at my university. I gained most experience taking classes elsewhere and working as an assistant for numerous painters and illustrators including Joost Swarte,” explains Seb. Consequently the illustrator has created a distinct style, an identifiable colour palette and a tangible texture that flows through the works. “I like to make illustrations that can stand as works on their own,” the illustrator tells It’s Nice That. This is an aim he certainly fulfils in his pieces, whether it be a poster or a book cover. “I am much more interested in communicating a certain mood or a metaphor than literally drawing out a paragraph of a story or article. It’s a challenge to find the balance, but that’s what I really enjoy about working as an illustrator.”
Compositionally, Seb’s illustrations consider and use space alluringly, filled with tones varying from orange to a deep purple. Seb achieves this by viewing the compositions “like an empty stance on which I place objects much like a still life, or with characters awkwardly standing around or looking at the viewer,” he says. “I guess it’s my own feeling of disconnect with the world at times that gets translated into the drawings.”
The objects featured in the illustrator’s works are “little drawings from observations and photos, reducing them to simple shapes”. Sea’s process to culminate these elements begins by drawings everything by hand using pencil. “I use a lot of tracing paper to adjust the composition, moving elements around and refining my drawing. I then trace the final composition on a lightbox with pen and ink, colouring it all in by hand.” Therefore Seb’s illustrations have a charmingly tactile quality; he creates illustrations you want to touch.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.