Category: Behind the Project

Behind the Project: AniWall

In this series we will look deeper into a work that was especially admired in our community: AniWall, created by Bram Vanhaeren. Bram, a 24 year-old artist with a strong passion for portraits – and risk – was kind enough to share with us his process and inspiration for this recent project as well as his own strategy to make his creations successful!

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Most people would be surprised if I told them it only takes me about two hours to complete a portrait! I believe the energy in my work comes from the fact that I don’t – or can’t – overthink about it. It is created within a very short period of time with a lot of energy and emotions. I love to embrace my small errors during this creation! I am all about – “Wow I love this song, this artist moves me! Let’s put this into a portrait”. I then draw for one hour, add colors, animation, music … Breathe and before I am able to judge the project I publish it on the web! I release it and watch the reactions. As you can see I embrace the chance to fail. I love it; I try to bring it as pure and honest as I can.

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Behind the Project: Lil BFFs 3 (Cartoon Edition)

Do you remember the names of all your best friends growing up?  Kevin Coppel, Austin McDonald, oh, and don’t forget Spider-Man!  Dennis Salvatier‘s Lil BFFs 3 takes us back to the good ol’ days when we would hang out with our friends every Saturday morning.  His work shows that just because we grew up, doesn’t mean we can’t still be pals.  

How did you first get interested in graphic design and then later do it professionally?
I’ve been drawing since I could remember. In first grade we watched Pete’s Dragon and we were asked to draw a scene from the film. Not only did I draw my favorite scene, but I drew my second and third and fourth because I was asked by my classmates to draw there’s for them. I always knew I wanted to be creative but it wasn’t until getting into art school that I saw the potential of design in my life. I was supposed to be an animator, but back in 1999, the industry was shifting and the competition was becoming even more fierce. I decided if I wanted to work I had to fall back on my design skills (which were terrible at the time) but I worked at it and honed it and learned to teach clients about design as opposed to just designing for them. That’s what set me apart.

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Many of your projects feature cartoon and comic book characters.  Do you seek out clients that will allow for you to make works featuring these characters, or are you really lucky?
I believe strongly in personal projects. They keep you creative and sharp. It’s through my personal projects that I’ve secured more paid work and a better clientele. People can see that you’re having fun by looking at your work and it get’s people excited to have that same energy on their projects. But in the last 3 years, I decided to take on only projects I’m excited about. In my early years, I got paid a lot of money to work on projects I didn’t believe in — there’s more to life than getting paid. 
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Behind the Project: Best of 2014

Middle Earth, Gotham City, and wherever it is The Wild Things are.  What connects these seemingly distinct worlds is the art of illustrator Nico Delort.  We got a chance to find out what makes him tick, and he how comes to visualize these worlds in his own unique way, as highlighted in his Best of 2014.

Your illustrations have an impressively large range, from the films of Werner Herzog to Charlie Brown, and yet you’re able to make them all visually work together when placed side by side.  How do you go about choosing your subject matter and adding your unique visual style to it?
As far as choosing projects go, I usually always pick things that resonate with me on either an emotional level or an aesthetic level – also projects that I know I can put my personal touch on, like if someone asked me to do, say, an Adventure Time piece (as much as I love the show), I’d have a super hard time doing something because it’s so far from my own aesthetic and I’d have to change what makes it unique to fit my ‘vision’ and I don’t want to do that.

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Can you describe your creative process when making an illustration?
For client work I always start out with a few thumbnails – once we find something we agree on, I move on to Photoshop to make a first draft of the selected thumbnail. All the preliminary work for my pieces is done digitally, as I love the flexibility the medium allows. I only move to the final ink artwork once my digital comp is 100% tight. I print out the lineart, transfer it on clayboard with carbon paper and then ink and scratch away.

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Behind the Project: Silverblack WOOL Campaign AW15

Starting off as a retoucher, Henrik Adamsen eventually quit his day job to become a professional fashion photographer.  We were lucky enough to get to know Henrik, the incredible artist behind the project, Silverblack WOOL Campaign AW15.  Find out why it wouldn’t be a bad idea to follow in Henrik’s footsteps, if you’re an aspiring artist.

Could you talk a little bit about how you started off as a photo retoucher and your development into a photographer?  What was that progression like?
It was actually a very long transition from being a retoucher in the mid 90s… Then moving to London and working there for a while as a retoucher, then AD-assistant / artworker, moving on into graphics design/ArtDirection, and somewhere in there I started shooting just for fun.  That then turned into something serious – so I kinda had to give up my day job. I just started getting too many jobs, that I either had to take days off to do, or to take care of them in the evening. In then end, it was the best decision I ever made – I highly recommend it!

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Behind the Project: Stolen Childhood | drawing series

Visual artist, Henrique de França, uses pencil and charcoal in Stolen Childhood | drawing series to reveal elements of his own childhood, as well as themes of Catholicism in Latin America.  Henrique was kind enough to share with us his process and inspiration for the drawings.  There were many drawings that he chose to not include in this project, and it’s safe to say that all of us here on Behance can’t wait to see them!

What was your inspiration for this project?  Is any of the subject matter in the illustrations autobiographical or inspired by personal observations?
This project is a collection of drawings I made throughout the last five years within the theme of memory. The subject, for me, automatically brings childhood to the center of the series, and although not biographical, I like creating images that resemble my own childhood and things I experienced when younger. The series also discusses themes such as catholic upbringing in Latin America, which I like to portray as a contemporary artist.

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When you set out to make these drawings, did you know how many you wanted in the series, and what they would each ultimately look like, or did it develop as you went along?
No, I cannot be sure of how many drawings I will have at the end of the series when I start it. I go with the flow and the need to explore the theme.

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Behind the Project: Moving Time

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Gem Fletcher collaborated with Photographer Mads Perch to create the beautiful series Moving Time. Gem Fletcher is an Art Director who works with photographers around the world, creating award-winning photography, marrying highly conceptual art direction with the unique visual style of her collaborators. We were lucky enough to gain more insight into their project from Gem!

What was your inspiration for this project?
I’m really interested in the idea of destabilization. This takes different forms, sometimes it can be about creating an illusion, leaving the viewer questioning the construction of an image and sometimes it’s about exploring the tension between reality and fantasy.

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With this project we wanted to play with using projection as a material, a method of transformation within the framework of a traditional portrait.

The project was something Mads and I had discussed for several months and although we had some specific technical and aesthetic ideas, we also wanted to leave room for play and exploration. Read more →

Behind the Project: Geografia mágica

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Carlos Arrojo created illustrations for the book “Geografía mágica” by Ana Cristina Herreros. He is well known for his use of watercolor and design, and considers himself a versatile illustrator and a responsible person who knows how to adapt to each project. We were lucky enough to hear more about his process and inspiration for the illustrations.

What was your inspiration for this project? How do you decide which color palettes to use?
When I start a project, I usually review documentation looking for ideas. In this case it wasn’t so necessary because I relied on personal drawings done previously. Siruela contacted me after seeing some watercolors where I played with the ambiguity between figure and landscape, recreating spaces and volumes by weaving lines. The book is called “Geografía mágica” and contains a number of legends about Spanish geography, with anthropomorphic mountains, enchanted lakes, giants, demons, heroes…

The content is very inspiring so it facilitates me to do the job. About color, I’ve worked with a lot of freedom, leaving me. My intention was that colors of each illustration transmitted the magic and fantasy of the histories, that’s the reason of that coloring.

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Behind the Project: Anything Made of Paper

In this series, we look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Brandon Ray is a self-taught animator specializing in stylized paper-based animation. Since he launched Paper Brain Productions, the company has won five awards at various international film festivals. In 2013, he was asked to create the music video for Bill Carter‘s song, “Anything Made of Paper.” Read ahead for more information on his process and how he came up with his ideas!

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What was your inspiration for this project? What does the story/song mean to you?
The inspiration for the project comes from the songwriters themselves, Bill Carter and Ruth Ellesworth.  The song was a gift they made for their friend Damien Echols, composed at a time in his life where he was waiting on death row, accused of a crime he didn’t commit.  Damien had sent Bill and Ruth three paper roses as a gift when his wife Lorri Davis was visiting them.  When Bill asked what he could give Damien as a gift in return while he was on death row, the answer was, “Anything made of paper.”  So that’s what inspired Bill and Ruth to write the song.  The hope we must cling to in the face of injustice. Read more →

Behind the Project: The Plague

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that are especially admired in our community. Cihan Ünalan worked with art director Tolga Ozbakir to create The Plague. Cihan is currently an advertising photographer in Istanbul and Los Angeles. His passion began with bringing his heroes to life through photography, after being unable to find another medium that satisfied his thirst. We were lucky enough to hear about the process and inspiration behind The Plague from Cihan himself.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I think the most important thing with this kind of a project is finding the right team to work with. I was sitting on this concept for at least a year but I was having trouble in turning it into a series. It wasn’t until I met Tolga Özbakır, my partner in this project, that the idea for this shoot was properly shaped. I shared the materials and ideas I had for a possible shoot and we worked from there.

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In the beginning, we only had the Goggles and the Gas Mask in our hands, which I bought from San Diego Comic Con 2013. These materials had a steampunk design, so these little props were actually quite a lead for us to start with. We are both highly influenced from comic books, movies, concept arts and retro-futuristic designs, so we had a lot of common ideas for this project. I think its safe to say that the props led us down the path that we ended up.

Can you tell us about the story behind the project and what it means to you? Are there certain aspects of it that are open to interpretation by the viewer?
It’s funny because everyone interpreted something different when they looked at the project. All of the interpretations were more or less around the idea that there is a sickness going on, or someone was sick; and some others included that the girl leaves the man because he was working too much. Read more →