With clients in music, fashion and popular culture, Tobias is heavily influenced by post-punk bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Wire and Killing Joke and he also plays bass guitar and writes songs. This sonic critique of culture shows through in his drawings, which seek out imperfections, stretch ideas and highlight the incongruous.
Tobias has a background in graphic design and art preservation.
First, Tobias draws the main elements of his images with Fineliners, colored pencils, watercolors, chalks, felt-tips and more. Then he scans them in, and arranges the composition and fine-tunes the color on his computer. For a cleaner, sharper look, he works in Illustrator, but if he wants something a little looser he’ll use Photoshop.
Tobias’ natural drawing style feels very immediate and brings plenty of contemporary zing to his illustrations. He combines symbols and concepts with a human and emotional edge, using patterns and textures to give the images added decorative charm. His black and white line work is usually complemented with a restrained selection of pastel shades.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Tobias: I have always drawn. That is one constant in my life. the other constant is making music. I played in a band where I could always draw the artworks. I received then many inquiries for my work from other musicians and found out how much I liked doing it. So I was basically pushed towards it. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Tobias: No, not in the classic sense. My first profession was painter and lacquerer, aiming to become a restorer. But I dropped that idea and studied social pedagogy. There was this clash between the pragmatism of craft and the social part of me. At this moment I already got the idea to become an illustrator. That´s when I started with a graphic education. Question: Where do you live? Tobias: In the amiable Agnes quarter of Cologne. Question: Can you describe your studio for me? Tobias: I work from home, 50sqm that I share with my girlfriend and our cat "Kioki". Question: What is your biggest inspiration? Tobias: Nature, people, animals, landscapes. Anything which is ideal and imperfect at the same time. Question: How do you get the best ideas? Tobias: That varies a lot. When a project just runs well it can push my ideas. But it can also be quite fruitful when I really have to fight with myself to get to the base of it. Sometimes the more extraordinary work derives from that. Question: What technique do you use? Tobias: Fineliner, pencil, baleen, ink, acryl, pixel and vectors. Sometimes everything in combination, or something completely different, to keep things interesting. Question: What would be your dream job/Commission? Tobias: I never really thought about that. Maybe I would like to create banknotes or stamps. Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Tobias: I don´t have an idol, but as an old punk maybe I would name Pushead and Raymond Pettibon. There are so many great illustrators, it´s hard to only name a few. At the moment I really like Lloyd Eugene Winter IV. Question: Do you keep a sketchbook? Tobias: Yes, but unfortunately I don´t use it often enough. I rather have a sketch drawer or a sketch hard drive. Question: What are your hobbies? Tobias: Playing music, drawing, and painting really good things. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Tobias: Anti-Star in the Rock business. Question: Who would you like to meet? Tobias: I think the illusion is at most times larger than life. Question: If you could travel back in time, where would you go to? Tobias: Berlin in the 20´s. North-America before the Europeans came and going back to the 70´s and 80´s but not as a child this time. Question: What kind of music do you listen to? Tobias: Lots of different things. Mostly post-punk and noise-rock. Question: What is the funniest thing you have ever done? Tobias: Studying social pedagogy. Question: If you won the lottery, would you still work as illustrator? Tobias: Of course! Question: Do you collect anything? Tobias: No. Question: Do you have a favorite game? Tobias: Minigolf.
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