Michael Arnold approaches his work in a very simplified way, illustrating complicated-looking things in styles drawing on Pop Art and infographics.

Where did you train, and what did you specialise in?

I’m completely self-taught.

What's your favourite tool?

I’m pretty fond of the power saw I use for cutting out wooden shapes, but I don’t get to use it that much.

What techniques to do you use most?

I often fill my illustrations with patterns to create 2D depth (if that makes sense), specifically polka dots and wavy lines.

What has your favourite piece you've created?

This would have to be the typographic work I created for a skateboard deck as part of my Bordo Bello show.

What kinds of materials do you work with?

I work almost completely digitally, though all my type is drawn by hand, so I guess paper.

What (if any) computer packages do you use?

Photoshop for composition and colours, and Inkscape for all illustrations.

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

I recently finished some illustrations for Fricote and Spindle magazines. My work has also been shown at the AIGA Bordo Bello show in Colorado and the Secret 7” exhibition in London.

What inspires you?

People and brands help me come up with ideas. 

Favourite websites / blogs?

It’s Nice That and The Fox Is Black are two sites I visit, but I don’t actually read many blogs any more. If you’d asked me this two years ago I would have had a huge list.

Belgian artist Evert Martin, recently held an exhibition of his work at the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent. Under the banner of ‘Conceptual art is dead. Long live New Aesthetics’, he showed a series of artworks, including a number that sit somewhere between X-rays and 3D holographic projections.

While you might think these have been painstakingly created using a 3D suite such as Cinema 4D or Maya, they’re actually relatively simple to produce using Illustrator’s Blend tool and some practice at drawing the underlying structure freehand.

Evert reveals how to create the deer artwork.

If you do have access to a 3D suite, he will also explain how to animate the deer’s head, so it appears to crumble into dust. 

Time to complete

1 hour, 6 hours with animation


Illustrator CS or later, Cinema 4D (optional)