How BloodBros. Developed his Vector Style

While founding his studio, BloodBros., and developing his illustrative style, Emile Holmewood took a very considered approach, allowing his design background and influence of his new adopted country to lead the way.

Emile’s creative use of vector lines and process of separating colours was a solution that came out of necessity and need for his illustrations to be easily screen printed at the time.

Now based in Tokyo, he gives us an in-depth account of how his environment and factors around him have signposted the direction he has taken his work.

“Hailing from a career in graphic design, I wasn’t getting my creative kicks out if it so took up screen printing at London Print Club for some sort of ‘creative’ outlet.”

“I actually designed my style based on limitations as if any other design job.”

“Because I was forking out for a print membership, I wanted to be producing new works as often as possible. This meant vector as I was already proficient with Adobe Illustrator (and could sneak in some drawings during my day job). I also wouldn’t have to add scanning to my workflow.”

“My work started off flat and geometric— an artefact from designing icons and corporate illustrations. I utilised outlines so I could get away with printing limited colours and I removed pupils from eyes to create a trademark style that could be recognised as my own.”

“I have, however, always allowed my style to evolve, I like to experiment and sometimes redraw old works just to see how it has progressed (evolution can seem subtle until looking at a direct comparison).”

Emile’s illustration style comparison: 2015

“Sometimes I cringe at how flat and lifeless my early works are. I love to animate too, and thankfully my style makes this a pretty straightforward process, as far as animation goes.”

Emile’s illustration style comparison: 2017

“I once read in a McBess interview about his distaste for vectors on account of them being cold and sterile. It stuck with me and I’ve always pushed to contradict that through ‘blobiness’, subject matter, and sense of humour.”

“One of my favourite aspects of illustration is that I’m usually asked to express my thoughts and opinions in a piece— a stark contrast to graphic design where, obviously, the brands tone is paramount.”

“Now, a freelance illustrator, I live in Tokyo with my Japanese wife, and find myself inspired by quirky Japanese culture.”

“In my spare time I often find myself drawing buildings and signage from my surrounding neighbourhoods, but I try to balance that with old favourites like UI (apps, windows 98, and social media) more character-based work.”

© BloodBros. illustration studio, 2018

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