The Impressionists famously gave us new ways to seeing the world by taking their canvasses outside and painting landscapes in the open air. Siggi Eggertsson, a 28-year-old graphic designer and illustrator, thought he might try the same technique in creating digital illustrations of his native Iceland. “My idea was to take my laptop outside and draw what was in front of me,” he says. “I did this for some time, but sitting outside with your laptop only gives you 4-5 hours to work, then you have to go and recharge it.” He has since switched to working from photographs–indoors, and near an outlet. “Maybe not as romantic, but much more efficient,” he explains. Plus, it “leads to better work.”
That last bit is clear in his recent illustrations for Icelandic bank Landsbankinn, a set of scenes showing hillside towns, local businesses, markets and parades in a colorful, geometric style. You can definitely pick out a few buildings, the occasional person, and some general geological features, but Eggertsson’s illustrations don’t really offer a strictly representational look at Iceland so much as one artist’s impression of it. “They are how I see Iceland,” he explains.
The style is one Eggertsson’s been developing for the better part of a decade, since his days studying graphic design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. “Everything I do, whether it’s an illustration, typeface or graphic design is built around a strict grid and rules,” he told me.
The self-imposed system paid off: The Landsbankinn collection earned him the distinction of being the first person from Iceland to receive an Art Directors Club Europe Gold Award earlier this year.
[Hat tip: Notcot]