Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 | No Comments
Q1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What inspires you, and how you got started in art and illustration?
I began my ‘career’ when I was very young. I watched cartoons and played a lot of computer games. I started drawing cartoons. When I was in highschool the somewhat boring math classes were inspiring as well. I filled my excercise books with drawings inspired by isometry. My mathteacher always gave me trouble because my mathbooks contained more drawings then calculations and formulas.
The streets became my creative outlet, where I tried to brighten up the streetlife with my graffiti. It was mostly the action itself which gave me a kick. It’s a wonderful feeling when nobody is watching you when you are creating something.
My time in highschool was mainly about drawing, so after an education in graphic design I ended up at the Art Academy, where I studied illustration. I graduated almost a year ago, but most of the time I’m still working on my own work instead of assignments.
Q2. The central characters in your images are most often animals rather than people. Can you tell us a bit about the stories you?re telling in Catburger, Tiger and Spaghettiman?
When I draw people I always have the feeling I have to have some comparison. That’s difficult for me. My solution was born out of necessity. For example when I don’t know how to draw an arm a certain way, it becomes a tentacle. I can’t draw a human the way I want to, so animal-like creatures are born.
My work has an alienating effect this way. In short, it’s really difficult for me to explain the story behind the illustrations, because the story creates itself while I’m working on it. Yes, there is a certain idea or fascination behind each illustration, but I like to leave the rest up to the viewers’ interpretation.
My way of creating illustrations is very intuitive and from the subconscience, which makes it hard to create illustrations for a client. I see myself more as an image creator than an illustrator.
Q3. Your Lowlands Freakshow series of posters very cleverly incorporates typography into the illustrations. What role does design play in the way you put together illustrations?
As I said before, I have also studied graphic design, where I learned to use typography. With the graffiti, letter-design became more illustrative. I still love typography, but unfortunately I’m not using it as often as I want to.
Q4. We loved the T-shirt design on your website. Can you tell us about that design, and where can we get one of those shirts?
In the design “captured cat” my fascination for isometry and organic forms flow together. I created this design and handmade the shirts with screen printing. I only made a small number of shirts and sweaters, which were sold out inmediately. I would like to create some more designs for t-shirts in the future.
Q5. Your use of colour is really striking! How do you approach deciding colours for your images?
I used to hate colouring when I was little. Especially when I was forced to colour within the lines. The use of the computer is perfect: the paint bucket is my best friend now. I experiment a lot with the use of colours. The colour-combination in my graffiti pieces were never crazy enough. Now when i’m finished with a illustration I ask myself wether or not it can be more extreme.
Q6. Given the opportunity, what would be a dream project for you?
I’m already doing what I love the most. So a dream project would be one i’m being paid for.
S&TM: We’d like to thank Levi for taking the time to do this interview.
All images © 2011 Levi Jacobs.