"When creating on the street I feel far freer, even if I have a pre-prepared sketch. It's so much more immediate, the canvas is so much bigger, it rains, you get cold, you get wet, you interact with people walking by and time is always, always against you."
Begoña Toledo, Boxhead
Art Bastion - Miami, Florida, 2015. Credit: Jimmy Chung
Begoña Toledo grew up in Zaragosa, Spain and cites the streets as her first home. Beginning her creative career with traditional graffiti inspired by the likes of Morky, The London Police, Wayne Horse, Kid Acne, Delta, Microbo and Kaws, Toledo studied the theories of the Situationists and the psychological relationships people develop with their surroundings at university in Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Rumney Guggenheim - Brooklyn, New York, 2015. Credit: David Wilman
A move to Amsterdam saw Toledo take a more serious view of street art and, surrounded by a 'wonderful' group of writers and artists, Boxhead was born. She states that her style was a natural progression rather than a conscious decision and describes her technique as "character-based, bold colours, cartoony, geometrical." Her focus is the nature of human relationships and she looks forward to eschewing the narrative and concentrating on creating surreal, highly emotional pieces.
Boxhead has exhibited extensively in her home town of Zaragosa, Utrecht, Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York and Miami, in addition to London; the city she now calls home. She was also commissioned by Vegan footwear brand Toms to design a limited edition pair of shoes with her excellent mark on them.
She is featured in our 2017 release, Women Street Artists, available from Graffito and Amazon in the UK and EU and available in the States from Inqling Press and Amazon.
Here at Graffito, we would like to thank Boxhead for all her help and enthusiasm with Women Street Artists and special thanks to the excellent photographers who captured her work so wonderfully: Jimmy Chung, David Wilman and Claude Crommelin.
Water Lane, Camden, London, 2014. Credit: Claude Crommelin
Matt Ryan Tobin is a designer and illustrator from Ontario, Canada. From a young age, his passion has been found in creating – from doodling to photography to playing guitar. This synergy between illustration and music led him to design apparel for his own band, Dead And Divine. Other bands, such as Underoath and As I Lay Dying were impressed with what he was coming up with and commissioned him to create branding and apparel for them.
Tobin’s love for poster design was born when he saw the poster for ‘Lost Boys’ for Mondo by James Rheem Davis. Always an avid film fan - even having considered working in the film industry before music stole his heart – designing posters for the films he so loved was a perfect match.
Perhaps one of his most revered posters and his first officially licensed print (which Graffito fell in love with and featured in Movie Posters Re-Imagined) was for Tarantino’s True Romance for Odd City. The poster swiftly sold out which was particularly flattering for Tobin, at that point virtually an unknown. That great poster helped cement him as the esteemed designer and illustrator he is today – we look forward to seeing what's next!
See more of Matt's work at www.worksofmattryan.com and follow him on social media:
MOVIE POSTERS RE-IMAGINED is now available here: http://goo.gl/9Uszdx
Handiedan is an Amsterdam-based artist and designer. With a degree in photographic design from the Academy of Arts and Design St Joost in the Netherlands and self-taught skills in illustration and graphic design, she started working as a mixed media collage artist in 2007.
Contrary to the minimalistic style typical of Dutch culture, Handiedan's work is exquisitely detailed, exhibiting an abundance of influences ranging from Victorian to the classic 1940s pinup. Interestingly, each of Handiedan's 'models' is created by assembling anatomical parts of different pre-existing images, resulting in figures who seem to pop and curve out of their surroundings, which incorporate old postage stamps, antique currencies, playing cards, music sheets and all sorts of odd antiques, even cigar bands.
Her artwork has been shown throughout the world including her sold-out solo shows at Roq la Rue and Thinkspace Gallery, and shows & fairs at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Spoke Art/Hashimoto Contemporary, Scope Miami, Phone Booth Gallery, Black Book Gallery in the US, Unit 44 in the UK, Mondo Bizzarro Gallery in Rome and museum La Halle St. Pierre in Paris. Plus mural projects like 'Wall\Therapy' in Rochester NY, 'One Wall' with Urban Nation in Berlin and 'White Walls' with Unit44 in Newcastle.
See more of her work at www.handiedan.com and follow her on social media:
Facebook.com/handiedan Twitter @handiedan Instagram @handiedan
Mailing list: http://www.handiedan.com/contact.html
The Pinup Project is now available: http://goo.gl/SBBzy3
Dieselpunk celebrates steampunk's successor subculture and shows why it is a fast-growing sensation of its own. Edited and introduced by Stefan, a dieselpunk legend, the book is packed full of art-deco aesthetics, Jazz-age glamour, military structures and extraordinary machines. It is not to be missed.
Outspoken Frenchman Sam Van Olffen is a massive personality in the dieselpunk and steampunk movements, who works tirelessly to create stunning 'retrofuturistic' imagery. Controversially stating "science-fiction is dead", Van Olffen believes we need to look into the past to find something new, and his artwork achieves this brilliantly. From fantastic landscapes to intricate vehicles, Van Olffen's immensely popular work epitomises the wonder the genre can inspire in its audience.
What was the spark that made you become an artist, and specifically a dieselpunk artist?
First of all, I don't consider myself a dieselpunk or steampunk artist, but more of a “retrofuturistic” artist, even if I don't only do retrofuturistic stuff.
Retrofuturism is a main part of my artworks because I think the moment has come to give to the past the paint of the present. Why? Because according to me, science-fiction is dead, and futurism is dead, too. Retro-futurism is maybe one of the genres that can be assimilated to science-fiction. Cyber punk is more Anticipation than science-fiction now, and except for time travel and meeting the aliens, everything has almost happened. That’s why retro-futurism is interesting, because we need to go back to the past to find something “new.”
About the spark, I guess it's probably the same that gives vocation to a kid to be a footballer or an engineer. It's the vocation, although for me, it's combined with passion. More generally, it's a fundamental incapacity to be able to or want to do something else besides creation. Art and my life are mixed; it's a continuum and I can't imagine doing something else.
What's your process of starting a piece of art?
Sometimes to do an artwork is like cleaning the house or washing the dishes: the most difficult part is to start. I have a list of what I would like to see. It can come from an idea, a concept, but as you can suppose, between the machines, the mutants, the cities, the robots, and the monsters, the list is very long. But when the idea begins to become something, there is no equal to seeing the artwork born and spending hours to make it exist. It's only when I am very tired that I stop. Usually the day is over and I did not see it fly by. It's not a traditional way of living. Between two pictures I take a rest for one or two days and I start a new one again. I don't know what Saturday or Sunday are.
What or who are your influences?
If I am influenced by other artists, it's subconsciously. I should say the science-fiction movies that I grew up watching, with the limitless imagination of a few artists like Philip K Dick, Herbert Georges Wells, Simon Bisley, American drawers, classical painters, or even graphism in general, like the old European advertising of Cassandre, Mucha, or the Italian and Japanese movie posters of the 60's or 70's. Actually, I am very impressed by the art of Kris Kuksi.
I like almost everything in science-fiction, even if as I said before, I don't think there is still science-fiction. According to the writer Harlan Ellison, there are no more science-fiction artists. Maybe he is right. It's as if the SF like we knew has disappeared, and maybe it explains why steampunk and dieselpunk rise up today. To have the feeling to discover something new, we need to go back. It's a paradox.
Give us your thoughts on how the Dieselpunk scene has evolved in the past three/four years.
Good question. I don't think the dieselpunk scene has really evolved. I think it's more of an aesthetic than a genre, or I should say it's not totally a genre yet. If dieselpunk were a chess game, it would be the beginning. The pawn has just started to move; who knows how the game will finish? For example, there is no great dieselpunk movie or dieselpunk music, just a big hit video game (Bioshock). It's not enough to talk about a genre.
See more of Sam Van Olffen's stunning art at vanolffen.blogspot.com.
Dieselpunk has just been published.
A big name in the dieselpunk and digital art communities, Waldemar Kazak, an artist from Tver, Russia, is most famous for his fabulous cars and planes. An enthusiastic and meticulous mind, Kazak began his career in publishing and advertising after leaving art college and moved into drawing after realising the artistic freedom computers and tablets allowed. With a vibrant online presence, his dieselpunk artwork is celebrated all over the internet and beyond.
Where have you worked and how did you get started? Do you do this full time or only in your spare time?
For a long time I worked with books. After finishing art college it was difficult for me to find work. The Soviet Union collapsed and there was chaos everywhere. I undertook any work possible - I drew for packages for vitamins, cards with Zodiac signs, and so forth. At last, I got work in a publishing house. Not as an artist, but as a pupil. We did educational literature which was really interesting and we worked with good authors. But it was hard, and it took me a while to master the computer. My main program was Aldus Page Maker. I hated it. After that I worked at an advertising agency and I was the art director of a small publishing house. But I still didn't draw. I didn't draw for twelve years because it wasn't necessary.
I started drawing accidentally. I had a tablet and used it for cutting and retouching. But once I needed to draw pineapple leaves for a juice package. I understood then that the computer opens new opportunities. I began to draw for myself and then I showed off my portfolio and I got my first job as an illustrator. Now I only draw. It is my work. I love it. I have no big customers, but there are patient clients.
What techniques do you use in your work? What materials do you work with?
I use very simple methods. At first I sketch using a pencil, then I scan and add colour on the computer. Sometimes I start doing sketches on the computer, but that isn't so good for me. It's difficult to see the correct proportions and ratios on the screen. So I prefer working with the pencil.
An important thing about my creativity is that I don't like to work with photos. It is a disgusting process: it does of the artist of the addict. Yes, it's possible to look at a photo, but when you start drawing stay far away from Google photos!
I regret that I seldom draw from life. But I've begun attending drawing classes and feel like it helps my work.
Did you study art/design? Where? Was it a positive experience?
I studied design (if you can imagine design in the USSR), drawing and painting in art college. It was the happiest time. We studied from nine in the morning and went on until eight in the evening. We were eternally hungry, but very happy. I had really good painting and drawing teachers but it's a pity that I didn't study composition in much detail. I am also very grateful to my colleague in the publishing house, Ilya, who helped me to master the computer too.
How would you define 'Dieselpunk' and what does it represent to you personally?
Oh, it's difficult for me to describe it in Russian and almost impossible to describe it in English! It's such a style of force. Real, honest force. I think that it's a style for boys because it all consists of devices and cars. All the same, it's magnificent! These magnificent streamline shapes of planes and cars and these magnificent skyscrapers all come from times of art deco.
See more of Waldemar Kazak's eye-popping and often very funny work on his DeviantArt profile (waldemar-kazak.deviantart.com) and in Dieselpunk.
The book celebrates steampunk's successor subculture and shows why dieselpunk is a fast-growing sensation of its own. Edited and introduced by Stefan, a dieselpunk legend, Dieselpunk is packed full of art-deco aesthetics, Jazz-age glamour, military structures and extraordinary machines. It is not to be missed.
Dieselpunk has just been published.
Steampunk Graphics features all kinds of wondrous visions of the Victorian future that never was. Including the works of Michael Dashow, Industrial-Forest and Kazuhiko Nakamura, it's not to be missed by any fan of the steampunk movement.
Acclaimed artist Michael Dashow fell in love with the steampunk scene when he was asked to judge a competition by CGSociety.com. Excited by the steampunk theme, he broke the rules and entered the contest himself (despite the fact he wouldn't be allowed to win a prize) and has been hooked ever since. Working as an artist and animator for several video game companies and having illustrations published in all kinds of publications, Dashow is making huge waves within the steampunk movement.
How would you define 'steampunk' and what does it represent to you personally?
My favourite description of steampunk is science fiction as imagined by the Victorian Era. To me, steampunk represents hopefulness. In today’s world technology is fascinating and amazing but also has a much darker side - there are so many negative things that it can be used for. steampunk escapes that by depicting era in which the periods new scientific discoveries were exciting and adventurous and were going to make life better for everyone. Steampunk also represents a time when individuals could potentially create technology themselves: These days creating something amazing is complicated: It takes tons of specialists with deep pockets and an entire manufacturing plant. In Steampunk, you can imagine someone off in a workshop somewhere with a pile of metal, some gears, a wrench, and some brass goggles and something wondrous would come out of that. I think that’s why there’s such a synergy between steampunk fandom and the Maker movement.
What is it about the Victorian/steam aesthetic that has made it popular in your opinion? Why now?
The idea of simpler technology that is beautifully hand-crafted and basically comprehensible is a refreshing change from today’s mass-produced high-technology. The philosophies dovetail nicely with the growing Maker ethos of making and hand-crafting things ones’ self. Also, the aesthetic of brass and wood and metal and rivets, etcetera, has so much more personality than the more commonplace aesthetic of vacu-formed plastic and aluminium. People recognize that difference and respond positively to it.
What techniques do you use in your work? What materials do you work with?
Most of my work starts on paper. I develop lots and lots of sketches and thumbnails in my sketchbooks before starting a piece. The best ideas and concepts get refined – sometimes on paper, sometimes digitally. Pencil work is scanned into the computer where I adjust it and then paint over it in Adobe Photoshop. I tend to work in lots and lots of layers, with the line work on top and I carefully block in each area of colour on the painting, and add more layers for shadows and light. I then spend a lot of time adjusting all of the layers to try our all different colour schemes before settling on one and fleshing out the painting more.
The coloring process generally takes me about 20-60 hours depending again on the complexity of the piece. I can generally get a piece done in two to three months… given the fact that I’m usually not in a rush and I’m always balancing work- and family life while I’m painting, so I’m just working a bit at night each day and some on weekends. But I’ve also had clients need pieces faster and I’m able to put more time into something if a deadline demands doing so.
Lifelong New Yorker Jeff Grgas has been perfecting his craft since watching his father doodle as a child. Working under the alias 'That Banana Media', his career kicked off when dubstep giant Getter noticed Grgas' artwork and he's since been so overwhelmed with offers of work that he's had to turn many requests down. Unafraid of offending viewers, Jeff's oozing portfolio includes all kinds of gruesome cartoons, including festering pig heads and three eyed monsters. Mixing a grisly imagination with a taste for the shocking and a talent for graphic design, That Banana Media has cooked up awesome designs for artists renowned around the world.
What was the spark that made you become an artist, and specifically a designer of dubstep graphics?
I watched my father doodle on a napkin as a kid and I thought that was the coolest shit. That’s where my love for designing came from, but I developed my style over the years from observing techniques and styles of other artists.
Designing for the dubstep scene happened unexpectedly. Honestly, I never thought my work would have been noticed in such a saturated market, but people really like my stuff. My first design I did was for Getter. I did it for free and it was never really used for anything, but once he put the word out that I do illustration work, my inbox just kept on filling up with artwork requests. I feel like I belong in this scene and the people associated with it have been good to me, so dubstep will always have a special place in my heart.
Which DJs/record labels/events have you done designs for?
Getter, Sluggo, Mantis, Cyberoptics, Captain Panic!, Desolve, ‘Where’s the Drop?’ Radio, Creation, Sadhu, Smile Child, Webster Hall NYC, Dub All or Nothing, TOKE Clothing.
Where does an idea for a design typically come from?
The deepest, darkest confines of my brain. I usually just start drawing lines and build an image from there. My work is haphazardly thrown together at first and it’s a really frustrating process.
How clearly do you have each image in your mind before creating it? And how long does each design usually take?
I never truly have a clear picture in my mind as to what I want to do. Most of my work is a conglomerate of stupid ideas that I just decided to throw together. For example, the shirt I designed for Sadhu is his head with this mutant tumor with eyeballs and a mouth with a set of teeth coming out of his head connected my metal tubes. Like what the actual fuck. It makes no sense, but it materialized in my head that way, so therefore my idea was born. Once I’m done with my sketch, the process takes anywhere from 8-15 hours on average. The most time I have spent on a piece is 40+ hours, but it was well worth the time spent.
What are your influences and sources of inspiration?
I like things that others find disturbing. I’m influence by the oddities of the world. The more fucked up it is, the more it’s captured my interest. I feel that it is reflected in my work. If its messy, gooey, bloody, slimy, dirty, etc. If it offends someone, that’s what I want to capture. I like having that shock value.
Give us your thoughts on how dubstep and dubstep graphics have evolved in the past ten years.
In the past ten years, ideas for dubstep graphics have evolved tremendously, but then again, any form of art is considered evolution if you really think about it. Original ideas are always popping up, fueling the design world with new inspiration every day. In my familiar realm of the dubstep scene, I see elements from all kinds of designs from other genres of music coming together. I enjoy dubstep on the heavier spectrum, so it’s not out of the ordinary to see an album that looks like it would belong to a metal band or tour merchandise that looks marketed towards scene kids at Hot Topic. All mediums evolve together to make up a worldwide collective. In ten years, music, art, technology, fashion, and the ways of the world have changed and will continue to change until we get sucked into a black hole and time itself stops.
Check out more of Jeff's eye-popping work at facebook.com/ThatBananaMedia and in Dubstep Graphics - the first book to showcase the unbelievable design creativity emerging from the global dubstep phenomenon.