While training, what did you specialise in?

Illustration and Animation.

What's your favourite tool?

My laser cutter, as it lets me produce so many effects from a wide variety of materials. 

What techniques do you use most?

Each project has different requirements, so I rarely work the same way. I like working with ephemeral map papers, so they recur in my work. 

What's your favourite piece you've created?

I'm still most pleased with my 'Greed' house that I created years ago. It was a lot of fun to put together and still gets a great response.

What kinds of materials do you work with?

Wood & painted wood, acrylics, card & paper

What computer packages do you use?

Illustrator, Photoshop, and Ethos (for laser cutting).

Which clients have you worked for, and where have you exhibited your work?

I've worked for a number of clients, including Sony Music, Independent Films, The Book Club and Jason Bruges Studios. My work has been exhibited at LBi, The Hayward Gallery shop, Blackall Studios, Today's Specials pop-up shops - Notting Hill & Islington, Thames Festival Southbank, and Somerset House.

What inspires you?

Working in a collective, visiting galleries and shows, travelling.

Favourite websites / blogs?

The Present&Correct blog. I love all the pattern-related posts on there.

In this tutorial, Eelco van den Berg lets you behind the curtain to see how he creates his incredible vector portraits by turning a photo into a ‘poppy’ vector illustration.

You will learn quick and easy Photoshop adjustments that prepare artwork for translation into vector shapes. He shows you how to trace the basic shapes using the main tools in Illustrator, and how to use layers to organise the photos and your new vector artwork.

You will discover how to create the feeling of light and shadow, build a simple brush to work with and use the Pen tool for more geometrical shapes. You’ll also discover the possibilities of the Pathfinder tool, and how to draw with the brush to create a looser feel. We’ll also show you how to play around with elements of the portrait to build up the background and how to use a simple raster to give it some texture.

Time to complete

3-4 hours


Adobe Photoshop CS3 or higher, Adobe Illustrator CS3 or higher