Illustration

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The origin of all of my creative endeavours stems from my passion for illustration. I can remember pausing old Disney animation tapes, in order to draw the monsters I'd see when I was only a little boy, as well as drawing a caricature of every single of my classmates in high school. After toying around with Photoshop since my 13th, creating websites, and stick figure animations in Flash, I'd decided that this was something I could make a living with. In my first years of college, I'd spend most of my after-school hours trying to figure out the Wacom Cintiq the school had set up in an empty room, but gradually, I would get to experiment with a wider spectrum of media. Nonetheless, here is some of my illustration-work.

Brands I've worked for in the past.

Brands I've worked for in the past.

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BUT Film Festival 2018
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After having worked for BUTFF for several years, seeing the amazing illustrated posters they would use, I was given the opportunity to create one myself. With this year's theme being an ode to the sexploitation genre, featuring highlights of queer and soft-porn films, my aim was to make a subtle yet sexually explosive image. For me, this poster also serves as an ode to the hand-painted posters that would hang in the dark alley's of the 110th street of New York in the 60's & 70's.

www.butff.nl

Brainwash Posters

During my internship at The School of Life Amsterdam, I've had a great deal of time to experiment and figure out what role I would like to fulfill in their organisation. On one sunny morning at the office I was asked to make sketches for a wall-painting for in the office. I chose to use a quote from Godfried Bomans, and accompany it with a portrait of the man himself. Once they saw the portrait, they were immediately inspired to use my portraits for their larger speaker-events. Here you can see a portrait for Slavoj Zizek, a philosopher who's well-known for playing around with- and reflecting on the communist philosophy that Stalin incorporated in his dictatorial ways. Therefore, as an inspiration I used the portraits made of Stalin to create a vivid and provocative poster.

Lucas Thijs' Album

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Lucas, being a friend of mine, asked me to design the cover for his debut album. I chose to paint a portrait of him drifting away in thought. All of the songs on this album felt very personal for him, having worked on it for years and featuring intimate lyrics about the people closest to him. For me this meant that the cover also needed to become a delicate piece of work.

Read more about his album here.

MOON CHILDREN

Marlyn Kist-De Ruiter is a very talented young filmmaker from Amsterdam. For her short film 'Moon Children' she was looking for a poster which could be reminiscent of the 1930's magician show posters. The poster had to feature the lead character Leo, alongside his desired assistant and the side-characters surrounding her. In the film, the poster hangs on Leo's bedroom wall, and changes over time. Since the film has yet to be published online, I've included a link to the successful crowdfunding page for a glimpse of the film: Moon Children.

Thinking Portraits

With the portrait-painting experience I'd gained from working for The School of Life, I would later go on to create a project of my own. With this project I intend to illustrate portraits, alongside showing the process, of modern-day thinkers. The project's aim is to get philosophy-aficionados interested in the philosophers that are actually still alive and working.

You can find these portraits here:
Thinking Portraits

DAS

Director Jelmer Wristers graduated with his award-winning film 'DAS'. The film revolves around two characters who's lives have been thoroughly changed by the death of an old man. The story mainly focuses on the experience of a young man, who lives right next to the man who's body, after his death, had remained undiscovered for more than two weeks. The challenge here was to create an abstract portrait of the young man in his most extreme of depressive emotions.

You can view a teaser of the film here.

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In De Zomer

Director Ilia Ten Bohmer & Producer Charlotte Spronk contacted me during the pre-production of their new award-winning film "IN SUMMER". The film shows the story of two sisters, who, after losing their father, have to accept their differences. The goal of this poster was to subtly show how the older and conservative sister finds it hard to bridge the cultural gap that stands between her and her younger sister. Because I started before it was even shot, the whole concept of the poster changed after shooting the film. I ended up creating two posters, of which one we decided to reuse as backgrounds for the ending titles.

Read more about the film here.

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Het Uur Tussen Hond & Wolf

For this film poster I was asked to make an eerie poster that carried references to Dutch Socialist Party Posters from the seventies.
The plotline of the film goes as follows:
A retired politician who’s still active as a political writer gets a surprise guest one Sunday Afternoon. The guest seems to be a great fan of the writer, yet brings an unsettling message to the table.
My goal here was to use broad strokes, along with only three colors, while rendering the messenger in an awkward, untrustworthy way.
The film starred on the NFF, you can read more about it here.

Interested in more of my illustration work?
Visit www.elswijktom.tumblr.com


Watch my Process

Sometimes I record my painting process, and here are a couple of video’s in which you can see how I render an illustration.