Blazin Squad

The fabulous Berlin Pictoplasma festival is back in May – we hear about some highlights of illustration and animation from organiser Lars Denicke and give a lucky reader the chance to win a pair of full-festival passes... 

Since its first edition in 2004, the annual Pictoplasma Conference in Berlin has brought together illustrators, animation filmmakers, graphic, urban and fine artists, game, toy and fashion designers from around the world, all creating characters that cut through the white noise of visual communication. Reduction and abstraction are the graphical tools to maximise our empathy with the characters – and at the conference, the lecture programme is enriched by communal jam sessions, animation screenings, performances and a stroll through gallery exhibitions. Every year, the invited  artists bring in new facets to the genre, taking character design to unseen forms, unknown territories and unheard narration.

Espacially for Grafik, Pictoplasma founder Lars Denicke chooses five trailblazing artists who represent his highlights from the upcoming Pictoplasma 2017 conference.

DXTR

DXTR is an artist and illustrator based in Berlin, Germany. He is renowned for his pixilated effects, that he experiments with in illustration, mural or weaving. Featuring characters like jewel-eyed tigers, sunglasses-wearing sneaker dudes and candy-coloured astro skulls, DXTR’s work is wild yet wickedly clean. He has worked with clients such as Amnesty International, Art Directors Club, Nike, Wired Magazine and Patagonia among many others and exhibited worldwide from Detroit to Shanghai. He co-founded the art collective THE WEIRD, a group of ten urban artists spread over Europe and focusing on large scale murals.

Louise Rosenkrands

Louise Rosenkrands is an illustrator from Denmark. In her bright and playful illustration a pattern emerges – sassy women. Throughout her editorial commissions for various Danish, US and UK magazines, there are a multitude of female characters all with modest lady bumps protruding proudly. Louise’s depictions capture confident, positive women. Working with both analogue and digital techniques there’s a lightness and fun to Louise’s work, with a palette of soft-textured colours adding to their charm.

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Louise Rosenkrands

Jack Sachs

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Jack Sachs

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Jack Sachs

Jack Sachs is a freelance animator and designer from London. He studied illustration at Camberwell College of Arts, but an injury to his drawing hand led him to making 3D work on the computer while he recovered. Meanwhile those two practices have combined into the work Jack makes today – jumbled up faces, bright colours and lumpy shapes, all influenced by the pioneers of early CGI. Jack has worked with MTV, National Geographic, BBC, New York Times, Nickelodeon, Lazy Oaf and Converse as well as recently joining the team of directors at Blink Ink in London.

Sophie Koko Gate

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Sophie Koko Gate

Sophie Koko Gate is an illustrator and animation filmmaker, who graduated from Royal College of Art London. She is currently living and working between London and Berlin, using her immense illustrative skills to create animated psychedelic journeys into poetry and neuroscience full of whimsical awkwardness. Sophie experiments with textures and silhouettes, and manages to translate her unconventional storytelling to projects for clients such as Vox, Harvard, Airbnb or The Guardian.

Eran Hilleli

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Eran Hilleli

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Eran Hilleli

Eran Hilleli is an animation director from Tel Aviv. Fascinated by simple shapes and fantastical worlds, he has a great appreciation for projects that leave room for interpretation. His work opens the door to faraway lands and follows mysterious characters inspired by old folk tales, Japanese animation from the 80s and early video games aesthetics. A recurring motif, characters flock together as if to gather strength and energy, they march in processions or wander through fantastical landscapes with ghostly flora. Eran’s work has been screened in festivals around the world and received several awards; he is represented by Hornet Inc. New York and XYZ Studios Melbourne.

Thanks to the lovely folks of Pictoplasma, we're giving away a pair of tickets for the conference, please send an email with PICTOPLASMA in the subject line to giveaway@grafik.net stating which of the artists you would be most excited to see.

Deadline for entries is midnight Monday 6 March 2017.

Pictoplasma is in Berlin 10 – 14 May 2017.

Please note that by entering this giveaway you are consenting for your email address to be added to our weekly newsletter subscriber list. Please unsubscribe if you do not wish to receive the newsletter.