Friday, December 19, 2008

Ruben vs. Sophie

It's already been a few weeks since I finished this project, but I still think it's worth blogging a bit about it. Every once in a while the agency I'm connected to (Shop Around) will take on jobs that they will art direct themselves, and every once in a little longer while I get asked to participate.
The Shop asked me to supply the artwork / illustrations for the opening leader animation for a tv-show that was being produced for BNN (a little Dutch network). The animation was gonna be done by the kids at Ka-Ching
I did the illustrations, the logo and most of the graphics (didn't do the building in the beginning or Leonardo's visions). Below are some of the illustration and the final animation.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anistration or Illumation...

For over two years now I've been making illustration for this company named Valori (a client of Bureau aan Zee who in turn commissioned me). I've done about 10 now and they all depict a person showing managing skills (management being one of the main products of the company).
In some more of my recent animation experimentation I decided to try and find a way to get a bit more life in an illustration I had already finished and these works were perfect candidates.
So I ripped them apart, stood the resulting pieces up on a virtual stage and let a virtual camera move around them.
Although it started out as an experiment I couldn't resist making something 'real' out of it. So I did this little clip, which could be seen as an ad for Valori.
Let me know what you think.

ps: please excuse the stupid post-title.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This week I finally finished a self commissioned piece I started about 2 years ago and it's the third in a series of illustration I started even longer ago. Well in fairness, in style it is part of that series eventhough the concept for this one came about differently.
The short of it is that based on the first 2 pieces I was asked to work on a project with the goal of providing information about responsible cannabis use in the Dutch coffee-shops (yes, this is the Netherlands and it was government sponsored as well). The commission came from Reinier Hamel of SIN who recognized the weird and "collectibility" would be a good way to package the information in a way that might just get the happy smokers to take notice and be mildly interested.

It was to become a whole series of these little illustrated stories that would be incorporated in the packaging of a bunch of different products and publications. A new illustration coming out every few months, making them noticable and (dare we have dreamed it) collectible.
Sadly they idea was lost in a storm of interests and bureaucracy.

This is what all the cuffafle was all about.

And these were the earlier editions in the series.

Maybe, just maybe I might do a few others. I've got a few ideas on the shelf that might be worth it, but they do take a ton of work though.
We'll see.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Just a quicky this one.
From October 30th until November 2nd, the Affordable Art Fair will be held in the Gashouder at the Wester Gasfabriek in Amsterdam. Some of my more artsy work will be on show and indeed for sale there, as part of the Prints and the Revolution gallery. Some old stuff and some (relatively) new.
Here's a look at the new stuff... please excuse the quality of the pictures (that's due to the "quicky" nature of this post).

Maybe see you at the art fair.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Just finished another short animation (notice how they keep getting simpeler and simpeler). After the last two animations I wanted to do some more typographic animation or, as people also tend to refer to it: 'motion graphics' (lame term).
This one is sort of a test and to get some more practice in, before I start on something a bit more challenging (and original), which I have brewing in the back of my sketchbook.

On the web there are a lot of kids doing these typographic animations using movie scenes as a guide. It's a pitty nobody really does anything original. Anyway I wanted to find out how long it would take me to make someting similar, well design and animate it that is. I didn't use a movie soundbite, and synching it up to something like that would cost quite bit of time (I guess) but I did this in a little over half a day.
Just a bit of fun.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I just finished another animation. Lately I've really concentrating on my animation skills and trying to get them into some kind of shape.
So this latest animation is based on an illustration I did a few years ago. It was for a poster to promote some event (can't really remember the specifics), showing a step by step visual guide to opening up an oyster shell. The style had to be like the way those "in-flight safety" cards on airplanes are done.

I quite regularly get asked to do illustrations and/or designs in a similar style, so I thought: "why not offer future clients the option of this sort of thing in animated form too?" Plus, most of the work for this animation was already there: the drawings and graphic elements.

The only thing was, as I realized when I was working on the thing, that I wasn't really going to leave me with a very interested animation to watch. And it has to be somewhat entertaining if you want it to have a bit of promotional worth. Anyway I added a little twist to the story (if there really is a story to speak of...)

Friday, September 05, 2008

New website

It's been a while in the making, but today it finally happened! My new website went up today.
A new design and a nice blog sort of feature on the front of it.
Don't worry, this blog isn't going anywhere. I put that feature on my site because it's a quick and easy way to get little news items on there. I will be putting the more in depth and 'process' posts up here.
I also put up a few new pieces, some of which you might have already spotted here.
I'm still working on making sure I got all the typos and bugs out, but besides that... here's the new BOLTgraphics website!

Friday, August 29, 2008


It's always a lot of fun when you get asked to do something that's not really your regular thing. This time and art-director working on a job for KPMG (the big accountants firm) was looking for a Art Deco style poster, and through my agent he came to me.

He needed me to do a poster for an event taking place in Dubai. The poster was part of a larger campaign also involving a website and flyers etc. The concept behind the campaign was based on the story of the genie in the lamp.
I was asked to the typography and the illustration and also provide some additional art-work for the website.

Here's the breakdown.
As always, I started with a nice bit of sketching. The artdirector had provided me with a very quick sketch to show me the basic idea and based on that I did some more detailed and realistic sketches for all the seperate items.

When this was approved I started working on an even more detailed pencil version of the thing. And from this I went straight to illustrator. In the work I am usually asked to do I would first ink the pencils and then color it in photoshop and/or illustrator. But this time it needed to be all quite straight and sort of cubist, so no need for nice flowy brush strokes.

This is the background, only a fragment of which is visible in the poster, but was needed for the website.

The artdirector was looking for the grainy texture which are characteristic for those old art deco prints. I would have like have achieved this by using scanned in textures made with charcoal or chalk pastels, but there wasn't really the time. So I administered some photoshop trickery which came close enough (click the pic for a larger view).

Then there was the typography. There aren't that many strong Art Deco inspired typefaces, but one very good one is the Duiker which incidently is designed by my friend Paul van der Laan of Type Invaders.

So that took care of the smaller type, but I wanted to draw something custom for the big eye-catcher "Dubai". It went through a few phases, I did a sketch and the idea was to have the lettering to move along with the shape of the top of the window. This in hindsight might nor have been the best of ideas, I have to admit. It sort of works, but not quite. De 'D' gets in the way and needs to have the strong vertical on the left (otherwise it looses to much legibility) so that makes it very hard to squeeze in the onion shape of the window.
And not trying to squeeze it in left the lettering somewhat out of balance... anyway this is what the lettering went through. If I would have to do it again I think I would not have tried to have the lettering to follow the window shape and just lay it on top of it, more independently. But again the time constraints...

And here's the finished result of the poster (click the pic for a closer look).


A while ago I posted an animation on here that I did as a self promotional/educational piece. And as I wrote back then I was still to do some changes to the sound. Well I'm still working on (or better: "asked a friend to help me with..." ) an original score but I have added some sound effects.

And some anonymous eagle eye spotted a typo in there too, well it wasn't too hard to spot but he/she was the first to point it out to me. Thanks for that Anonymous.
Anyway it's all fixed now.

If there's no clip, please check back in later, it might not yet be verified by Youtube.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bruce & me...and the man

I'm sorry if you got here expecting a post about the new Akzo Nobel logo and how it came to be.
Well it's not here anymore. I have been forced to take it off.
It's a very long story and way too boring to go into here, but involves the threat of legal action. I can't afford legal action.
So again I'm very sorry. Thanks for all the comments and thoughts and please come again.

I can refer you to the site of Saffron (who commissioned me for this job) they have some of my work showcased on their site.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keeps coming back...

Some time ago I designed this poster. Which I then reproduced during a mimeograph workshop. That left me with about 50 posters (decent ones). When I hooked up with the nice people of Prints and the Revolution I decided to start selling them through their website.
This got noticed by the people at Boomerang. A company that distributes free postcards through bars and restaurants, forming a platform for little (or big) ideas and the inevitable advertisement.
So now the poster is available as a postcard for free at most Dutch bars etc.

For those of you reading this from outside of Holland and who would like a couple of cards too, let me know. Drop me an e-mail through my website ( and I'll send some over.

BOLT Propaganda

Click the little star and rate the thing at the Boomerang site... if you like.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


For the last few weeks I've been doing quite a bit self commissioned work. In september my new and improved website will (should) go up online (SCOOP! SCOOP!!) and I want some new fresh work on there.

Especially the animation department is in need of some fresh meat. So I prepared some... here it is:

I used After Effects and Cinema 4D. And iMovie to put it to music.
I'm not yet happy with the music and it needs some sound effects, so that will change, but you get the idea.
Hope you like it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


As you could have read in the previous post, there are now two shows on in Amsterdam with some of my work in there. One has smaller drawings and the other has some of or rather all of my paintings... Two you already know about, but here's a sneaky peak at the other two.

They are sort of a couple because apart from being the same size and have similar style in images, in both I am sort of exploring the same techniques. I started with a background wash of two or three very transparent colors. Then I put on the drawing (using an overhead projector) again using transparent loose paint, mixing two colors. Then I partially detailed and worked through certain parts of the piece.

The goal was to get some dynamic or 'movement' and depth into the things using composition and color... I know it reads like some of that typical artsy-fartsy bullshit but that was the goal. Not sure if I really succeeded but they are a lot more interesting then what I did with some of the paintings that went before. It was a good learning process.

Here are the paintings. The shots are of about half way and the final result.

The show will be on untill the 3rd of July.

Friday, June 13, 2008

2 for 1

It's been a while since my last post, sorry about that, but my wife and I took a little trip. About which I will post more later.
This post is blatant self promotion... uhm wait every post is blatant self promotion I guess. But next week there will be two art shows that my work will be a part of.
The first one is the "Prints & the Revolution" show. It opens on the 19th of June. And I will show some old works ("the Clown" and "SCUM") and two new paintings I'll post about later too.
The other show is the "Garage Sale" opening on the 20th, and there I'll be showing a bunch of drawings. All new.

Here are the flyers with all the details. Hope I'll see you there.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Not the pond variaty, but the painting I finished a couple of weeks ago (scroll down for that post).
It's now for sale on through the online gallery run by Arne Toonen and Birgit Schuurman called "Prints and the Revolution". There you can also buy the "Paco" skateboard decks series I did last year and a little poster I did in whih I share my opinion with the world on US foreign and economic policy.

Right now I'm working on a few screen prints that will also be available on the site in a few weeks (if all goes well).

Go check it out, and don't forget to subscribe to their newsletter.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sketches are drawings too...

As some of you (but only some) might have noticed, an illustration I did was published in the Dutch magazine Nieuwe Revu last week. It was a portrait of strong arm to Dutch crime boss Willem Enstra and somewhat ironically named Geurt Roos (for all you non-Dutchies his names sort of translates into Smells [like] Rose). I was asked to do the portrait because they only had a really bad photograph of the guy and they liked a portrait I had done of musician Pop Levi.
So I did a sketch for them to approve... and they came back with not only approval of the sketch but they wanted to actually use the sketch instead of a 'final inked version (like the Levi piece) because it fit the new style of their mag better.
It was a nice surprise, were it not for the fact that I had (somewhat over confident) already inked the thing... oh well. I cleaned the sketch up a bit, but it went in the magazine almost unchanged... Maybe I spend too much time on my sketches?
Here's the stuff I did for the mag plus a quick scan (unpolished) of the inks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Done! No really... it's done.

I'm sorry. I just couldn't help myself. I know I said it was done before, but now it really, really is.
The thought that there was something still missing had been nagging at the back of my mind ever since I had declared the thing finished, but I kept dismissing it by telling myself I had to keep it simple.
So that gaping big yellow space kept staring me down and in the end I just gave in. "SCUM" was the name of the piece. I decided to make that more obvious. Adding a bit of depth as I went along.
Here's the result. Hope you like it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Adi Dassler's

A while ago I was asked by 180 Amsterdam to hepl them out visualising an animation the were thinking about that gave a little insight into the man behind Adidas; Adi Dassler.
I spent a day with the talented creatives at 180 (Samuel Coleman and Dario Nucci) and after I had handed over my sketches I didn't really hear much about it. As it often goes in the advertising industry.
And then all of a sudden I bump into this on that world wide interweb thing.

It's great to see how it stayed so close to the orignal ideas, something the doesn't happen too often in said industry.
Here are the sketches I did.


I don't what it is about buying and then using new stuff. A new pencil, a pen, sketchbook. It always makes me want to do new drawings, it's inspiritational in a weird way. Some people have the same thing with cleaning up their studio or their desk, I have it with buying new stuff... maybe that's my feminine side.
Anyway, new sketchbook, here are a few new sketches.
I like them because they're nice and loose. Hope you like them too.

Monday, January 14, 2008


It's been about a year in the making... maybe even more. And I am ashamed to admit it, but I thinkg it's still not quite finished yet.
It's damn near to it though! I did some more work on the painting I posted on before and I think it will take maybe 2 r 3 nore hours and then I'm going to leave the poor bastard alone.

older shot:

as it stands now:

Sorry for the quality of the pics being a bit wobbly... the colors in the second one is closest to the real world.