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Eiko Ojala, is an Estonian illustrator who specializes in deception. His portfolio appears to be full of artfully minimalist paper-cut compositions, until you realize that the shadows and highlights are digitally rendered (aside from a few photographic elements.) “I really enjoy producing the real world on my computer screen,” Ojala says. “It’s a bit like painting.”

“It’s a bit like painting.”

Ojala’s unique art has him in very high demand for work as an editorial illustrator, working with companies such as The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and Wired. He continues to experiment with depth of space and illusion producing some very compelling pieces of work.

Surprisingly he has no formal training in illustration. Ojala’s style developed from refining his drawing skill, finding inspiration in natural environment and local traditions of his surroundings.

When speaking on his personal project, Myths he had this to say,”It’s about thinking fast and coming up with ideas that everybody understands”

“It’s about thinking fast and coming up with ideas that everybody understands.”

“I started the project while living in New Zealand.” Ojala continued, “the main question was about the importance of a country or a place, and all its history and old stories. It’s about how easily I relate to these stories, and when I can call a place home. Editorial work, on the other hand, is totally different. It’s about thinking fast and coming up with ideas that everybody understands. So it’s a lot more about the audience and the world around me.”

Ojala has earned several awards for his series on gun violence, and his animated GIFs for stories like “Brazil’s Olympic Catastrophe” “I always keep in mind while sketching how these ideas would work as animated,” he stated. “I think the animation has to give something extra. It’s not really working when it’s made just for animation’s sake. But it’s always amazing to see how much effect a small animation can give.”

“I think the animation has to give something extra. It’s not really working when it’s made just for animation’s sake.”

He has said that his most rewarding project has been the cover for Taschen’s Illustration Now! 5 “It was a pitch, and a totally open brief. So I decided to skip all sketching, showing ideas before and explaining what I was about to do. I just decided to go for it to make the final illustration. The idea for the textile parrot was with me a while before the opportunity came. This happens quite a lot—that the idea is with me long before the projects come.”

[via aiga’s eye on design]

 

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