Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Featured Artist - Oksancia

It's been a while since we sat down for a chat in the Vector Goodness Lounge, but I'm glad we've waited for this one, it's worth it! Winner of the Promote Yourself challenge at the VGL and prevously blogged here, is the fantastic Ukrainian artist living in the Netherlands: Oksancia!! We sat down in the red velvet chaises in the lounge, sipped some freshly squeezed orange juice and had a chat...

thickblackoutline Where do you get your inspiration from?

oksancia As most of people, I get inspired by the beauty around me. Going for a walk, looking through wonderful picture books at the bookstore, or simply gazing around at home, helps me to get those little ideas for my illustrations. I’ve set up my illustration wire ( near my working table with bits of beauty, that whisper new ideas in my ear every time I look at them.

Being very web-based, I adore browsing through beautiful photo’s and artworks on the Internet. For that purpose I have my trusty RSS Reader, where I collect all the subscriptions to various artistic blogs (far too many in fact). One of my favorite artistic websites is, of course, Redbubble with its amazing community of very talented and supportive artists, whose feedback gives me creative energy every single day.

Cooking the weather by oksancia

“Cooking the Weather” is a vector illustration created totally in Adobe Illustrator. Another name for this work is “Rainbow Recipe” as it shows a girl-chef cooking the rainbow from the sun and the rain that come from the clouds. I got the idea after seeing the theme “Weather” of the Monthly Vector Challenge on Istock. So this bright piece was born. It was one of the first works with an oval form, which I use a lot in my later illustrations.

thickblackoutline What is your design process?
oksanciaThe typical working process for me is to sit back and let the illustration appear on the blank piece of paper or white Adobe Illustrator page Funnily enough, there is also a particular order for the parts of the picture to be born. As most of my illustrations have characters in them, everything starts from the eyes of the character, then his or her nose comes to life, then head and so on… The background appears in the last place.

Most of my digital artworks were born directly in Illustrator without any prior sketches. I work a lot with pen tool and brushes. Trying out new styles and techniques is one of my passions. Another one is to experiment with colors. Can’t get enough of all the shades of blue…My way of creating works fine for me, but I try to improve my working process at the moment with making sketches first and then transfer them to vector illustrations. It takes more time, but helps to express my ideas better.

“Making Friends” came to life as an experiment of style in Adobe Illustrator. It has a lot more details and brushstrokes than my other illustrations. This kitty is one of a million different cats that I painted in my life. If I sit down to paint “something”, it would be a cat! After the cat was finished, I decided to make him some friends to play with in the tall grass. They are still playing, I suppose!

thickblackoutline When did you decide that this is what you wanted to do with your creative self?

I was painting and drawing for all my life, but only a year ago I understood that creating is what I like to do the most. It is a bit of a fairytale: I suddenly got the idea what to do, the time when to do it and the place where J Happens really rarely! Mostly, you get only two or even only one of these things at once. I had them all and I still do That’s why I consider myself very lucky!
Vector graphics happened to be the trigger to my artistic development. The idea of web marketing has always been interesting to me, and with small vector portfolio one can start exploring the world of microstock agencies like Shutterstock ( and Istockphoto ( This is a very nice way to get started as vector illustrator. Of course, I plan to develop my skills in vector and other media over time. My second favorite is colored pencils. I just love the look and the smell of them!

“Dreaming one of my favorite illustrations that reflects my mood after my husband Alex and I came from our honeymoon last August J This piece was made entirely in Illustrator. It took some time to finish because of the grass, but I enjoyed creating it so much and did some great dreaming while working on this one.

thickblackoutline Who are your fav designers/illustrators on The Bub?
oksanciaMy watchlist is full of amazing artists that I like so much… Among my favorite are bright vector designs of Evelyn Howard , cute vectors of Anastasia Kucherenko , subtle drawings of Bec Winnel , bright paintings and drawings of Karin Taylor , amazing watercolors of Ujean1974 , funny vector characters of BubbleDoll , humorous vector cartoons of Jumpy , and stylish, bright vector works by Thickblackoutline .

“Moon Story” is very special for me, because it was my first vector illustration EVER! I made it first as watercolor pencil drawing and decided to make it in vector, when I was just starting out on digital graphics. It took me two days to finish, but I was very happy with the result in the end.

Thankyou so much for spending time with us on the chaises Oksancia! :) :D Be sure to check out more of Oksancia's work here at her website, and check out her blog also! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Featured Artist - Diesel Laws

Second for our featured-goodness is the super cool vector stylings of Perth soon to be Eastside Diesel Laws! We sat back in the personal bean-bags of the Vector Goodness Lounge, and sipped Milos, and shot the breeze..........

thickblackoutline Where do you get your inspiration from?
DieselLaws Anything and everything. I am in love with smooth lines and bold designs (see Thickblackoutline's work) and anything that jumps off the page. Great characters really inspire me too. The kind of characters that when you see them, you feel 'drawn' to them and you want to find out their back story.

DieselLaws I have always been interested in music and Dj's, mixing up a storm in the clubs. There is something cool about Dj's that can't be explained. So with this piece, I wanted to put 'Diesel' right in the action, mixing like a pro. It was quite fun to construct and a little bit challenging in working out what to keep (the audio meters) and what not to include (the wires). As I had already created 'Diesel' on another shirt (DIESEL MP3 -, there were only a few modifications to move him across to the decks. For me, this design really symbolises who I am, animated, unique and in love with music - so much so that I have also started painting one for my home in the same style as the art piece "DIESEL ON DECKS ART -".

thickblackoutline What is your design process?
DieselLaws To understand my design process, you must first understand my brain. It never sleeps. NEVER. I constantly think about design, for example, the other day i got an idea for a character from a crushed soft drink can! From that point, I sit at my dual monitor computer (how did I survive with only one?!), listen to some music (mainly dance/DNB/Breakbeat) and start work with a massive blank canvas in Photoshop.

Nowadays i use the pen tool for everything. It is such a great tool for smooth curved lines and also ideal for resizing without loss of quality. I was scared of the pen tool initially, but once I got my head around it, it improved my work flow and designs by 200% easily.

Then, I turn into a zombie for 2-10 hours, excitedly clicking the mouse as I watch the design come together. Rarely will I throw away a design, I simply modify the hell out of it until it's right.

Then, I present it in the best possible way - and what better way than to put it on a t-shirt!

DieselLaws I had wanted to create a 3d robot for some time but 6 months ago my skills weren't up to scratch. So, after months of studying and learning the pen tool I was able to create the piece that is AUDIO BOT. It took me 10 straight hours to complete (ok, I may have stopped for lunch), and it was all crafted in Adobe Photoshop CS3. To give it that 3d edge, I customised the Styles (Blending Options) heavily.
The inspiration behind Audio Bot, was the lack of, well, Audio and Robot designs merged together!
This design is one of the first designs that I used my logo with (The X with the Circle around it) and I'm very proud of this robot and have received a massive amount of positive comments since.

thickblackoutline When did you decide that this is what you wanted to do with your creative self?
DieselLaws I was never good at sport. So instead I chose Design (, webpages, music ( and acting. I figured that was the least I could do. Initially I got into all that because my parents were helping me get onto the safe path - stable, successful job - but I wasn't happy working for someone else's dream and not being able to focus on my own! I guess I just decided to never let my life get boring.

What can I say about Felix Flame - HOT! She is one gorgeous robot chick! Felix was actually created due to a friend request, and since, I have created a few different versions of her on the shirts. There really is endless possibilities with her and I will create more works with her in the future. To get the 'metallic' look, I used similar effects to that of Audio Bot.

thickblackoutlineWho are your fav designers/illustrators on The Bub?
DieselLaws My favourite designers on RB are the ones that put in the effort to get known by producing quality designs consistently; I would have to say thickblackoutline's work is amazing, Ben Lucas has some great simple artwork, Simon Sherry has the most amazing character designs, BigFatRobot has a great in-your-face character style and Jess White has some of the cutest characters around!

DieselLaws His back story - Made initially from junk parts, Scrappy, the robot inventor was always an outcast from the group. However, over the years, he gathered new materials for his bodykit and went to work customising his suit of armour to what it is today.

Now, having the best parts in the city, he branched out and created the thriving business OUTCAST PARTS. He now supplies fresh and exciting bodykits Planetwide and is one of the most sought after customisers in the GALAXIAS.

I have always loved this simplicity yet impact of this drawing style. I love the characters you can create with this type of 3d and they almost have a life of their own! I think if you watch you will eventually see most of the gallery turn into these type of characters - I love them!

Be sure to check out Diesel Laws PLETHORA of websites, here, here, here and here :) :)
Thanks so much DL for spending sometime in the personal beanbags today :) there's an idea!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Action Shot

I pick the featured images for the Vector Goodness Group, and you may not realise that I go through the WHOLE GROUP twice. Once to select the images for whatever theme takes my fancy, and again to remove the pre-existing featured kids.
This time around we have a bit of a music theme... and while going on my regular wander, I had this artists work catching my eye everytime!

deezydeezy is a HUGE HUGE talent in my book, and I've been a fan for such a long time. I thought it was time to highlight his awesome goodness, b/c... well... look at it! He takes it just that one step further with awesome colours and kick arse compositions, and really shows off the glory that is Vector Goodness.

ninja_bamboo ...and his use of light! OMG this is the stuff I look up to seriously! This is stuff MY dreams are made of!

you really need to check out more.

fries_n_shake by deezy mia_wallace by deezy dizzle_monk by deezy

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Feature Artist - Big Fat Robot aka Mike Hepburn

We're starting something new with the Vector Goodness Blog, and that's a Featured Artist. No once a month thing, or in any particular styles... just because we like the goodness, and its fun, and we want to promote YOU!

So first up, we have my good friend, design brudda, and the oh-so talented Big Fat Robot. We sat down with Mike in the lounge, over a few mojitos served in stone tiki mugs, and had a chat.....

thickblackoutline: Where do you get your inspiration from?
bigfatrobot: All around me. My room is the Louvre of pop-culture. I have more toys than most spoilt kids (Dunnies, Munnies, Qees, 60/70/80s robots, Star Wars – yep folks, I'm a nerd). Zombie, sci-fi, 60s/70s vampire DVDs are buckling my shelves. Old tattoo art (Sailor Jerry, and the more contemporary Angelique Houtkamp) fills me with lowbrow glee. As do pop-surrealists artists such as Mark Ryden, Audrey Kawasaki, Tara McPherson, Mike Giant, Shepard Fairey, Lori Earley, Tokidoki to name a few. Romance, horror and scifi comics from the 50s and 60s. I'm basically that weird kid, that sits by himself in class (except I'm in my 30s, and I don't go to class). I'm also constantly inspired and amazed by my bubble chums, so much talent, so many generous and wonderful people.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

bigfatrobot: This little metallic dude came to life after your good self, thickblackoutline, suggested that a few of us put together a band on Red Bubble with our own little characters, called BubbleRock. Naturally my little rock-god had to be a robot. As usual I was too late to pick the cool instruments and the lead singer position (just like in school – I got the triangle! How many girls does a triangle player pick up?), so I decided to choose the piano accordion (an instrument I love – I'm sure I was an itinerant gypsy at some stage in my past). I had been playing Guitar Hero the night before I sketched out the idea. Hence the birth of the Piano Accordion Hero.

thickblackoutline: What is your design process?
bigfatrobot: I have lots of battered little note books that I constantly carry with me. I love the aesthetics and delightful wankery of going to cafes/pubs by myself as I do some rough sketches in the aforementioned books. Once I have a rough idea of what I want, I sketch out a larger version, playing around with the composition. Pop it into the scanner, open up Illustrator (I'd marry that program if the Catholic church would allow it!) do the line work. I spend quite a bit of time working on the colour palette, trying to limit the amount of colours. Then I don't look at the piece for 48 hours. If I like it, I post it. Or, it ends up in a huge pile of work that I "may finish in the future."

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

bigfatrobot: This scary little guy is based on a birthday card I did for a friend - Lucha Libre . She was crazy about everything Mexican. I'm crazy about those slightly overweight Mexican wrestlers of yesteryear. So I whipped up the Lucha Libre (which translates literally as Free Wrestling or Free Fighting). This is a term used in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking areas to refer to all forms of professional wrestling. This tough dude is based on The Blue Demon, a late master of the genre.

thickblackoutline: When did you decide that this is what you wanted to do with your creative self?
bigfatrobot: I can't remember any Eureka moments. I think it just came from doodling constantly over my algebra and chemistry homework. Teachers cottoned on pretty quickly that I wasn't a likely candidate for a Nobel Prize in Astro physics, so I was encouraged to follow a more creative route.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
bigfatrobot: ......
Soon after her birthday was Halloween and All Saints Day. I decided to play around with the orignal Mexican wrestler design, and eventually came up the skull headed ghost guy. "Día de los Muertos" is Spanish for "The Day of the Dead". It's a Mexican holiday that occurs on November 1 (All Saints' Day) and November 2 (All Souls' Day). It celebrates and honors the lives of the deceased, and the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.

thickblackoutline: Who are your fav designers/illustrators on The Bub?
bigfatrobot: Looking at my Watchlist I see a big group of incredibly talented illustrators. Such as my Bubblerock confreres: thickblackoutline (Queen of lines) of course, Tambatoys (I get so much joy from her work, I want to write a children's book with her illustrations in it), Scott Robinson (he's one of those artists that I tremble with excitement when I click on the "New Work" prompt), Jumpy (his Robot v Human is one of my all time faves) and Mikoto (a one-man production machine who never fails to make me smile with glee).

There's also Rhys McDonald, who is not only very talented but also very patient (I've been promising to finish my half of a collaboration for a while now). Caanan (who's "Shirtheads" plus strong coffee has become my monday morning ritual), Sjem (clever!!!), rubyred (brilliant line work, with great messages), bubbleDoll (the mistress of cute and Maestro of marketing) and many more (you know who you are).

There's also few photographers that I love, like Kate O'Brien (her art direction is sublime) and Paula Delley's beautiful Modern pin-ups.

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bigfatrobot: The Gort Stood Still This acrylic on canvas piece was whipped up while I was watching one of favourite movies: "The day the earth stood still". At the time I ws supping on a cheeky Shiraz and felt compelled to paint Gort, the big robot copper. It's a bit rough, but so was I at the time of painting.

When I was little kid, we only had a black and white TV, so everything I watched was in black and white. I couldn't discriminate between horror/scifi movies made in the 70s and their 50s antecedents – because they were all the same tones to me. I remember mum having to constantly get black and white pencils, because I wore them down to non-existence, while their colourful brethren remained fully intact and discarded. Movies like this, and ancient technologies like the B&W TV, are responsible for the way I look at the world, and how I choose to reinterpret the world in my doodlings.

Thank you so much Mike for spending time with us in the lounge today.
Make sure you check out the recently renovated magnificent site of BigFatRobot now!


Friday, August 1, 2008

"Cherry" on Design By Humans

Would really appreciate your support here:

Uploaded by thickblackoutline on 1 Aug 08, 9.10AM EST.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Geisha Tako-Chan

I've watched this artist's work grow and develop, and I've watched this artist be so inspired by the bubbleworld around them!
VestqueVestque's work is a hint of manga with some special Vestque Brand™ of quirk, which I think is so cool!

Tako-Chan does Itachi!  by VestqueJapan National Tako by Vestque Relaxin... by Vestque The Tako-Chan series is so cute! Each one is such a great little character, I hope to see more soon! :) Be sure to also check out Vestque's Diamond Skies work also. There is such awesome detail in all the characters, and all the hair is so great! ;)


Monday, June 23, 2008


Last month, the winner of the Vector Goodness Lounge Monster Mascot Competition was announced, and our wonderful winner was Japu with his character Behemuh! The lovely Behemuh graces our title bar in here, and is official icon for the Vector Group on Redbubble.

japu japu sat down with us in the Lounge, and we had a bit of a chat....

1. Tell us about your monster? How did you come up with the design?
Well, my design composition is a bit confused XD I’ll show you as it proceded: when I read about the contenst I was so excited, because I love monsters…
[stream of consciousness on]
“but my monsters are a bit scary” “I can make a scary one, but cute… yeah, more cute than scary” “what about grouch? Yeah, a big grouching monster…but with sweet eyes… big arms, small legs… yeah I like it” “but it needs something special…maybe tattoos… the wings? Cute, yeah, but something more special…” ”...” “A GLOWING TAIL! COOL!”
[stream of consciousness off]

So I took my pencil and…

[stream of consciousness on]
“Now he needs a name… a big name, but a bit cute… a powerful name is Behemoth… let’s cutizie it… Behemuh!”
[stream of consciousness off]

And the rest you know it :)

2. Do you have any favourite designers or illustrators?
I read a lot of manga and see a lot of anime and I love the japan style. I like a lot of mangaka-sensei (authors of manga) and I’m so inspired by them, my style is often a fusion of all the style I love; here’s some names:

Kentaro Miura

Takehiko Inoue

Hiroki Endo

Tsutomu Nihei

Masashi Kishimoto

Everyone of theese got a perfect style IMHO, and I want to be like them! XD
I also like the style of some anime studios like


Studio Bones

Studio Gonzo

Another love is the 3D modeling and animation, that I found in videogames and movie, and I particulary appreciate

Square-Enix (software house)

Pixar (Behemuh looks like a Monsters & Co. character)

3. What are your tools of the trade? (software programs, art supplies)
Pencil, Brushes (rarely), Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator (only if I can’t avoid it!XD)

4. What’s your earliest memory of being creative?
I was very very young, a baby I guess, I drew a butterfly, you know, with the triangle wings XD

5. Is there anything you’d like to try artistically that you haven’t before?
No, I guess I’ve tried all art that I like to, but I’d really really really like to come back to the 3D modeling, but it takes too much time and I’m not so good with that, so, for now I won’t play with poligons.

6. What design are you most proud of? (your favourite from your own work)
Weeeeell, I post only the works I’m proud of XD… also if after some time, seeing them well, maybe I change my mind! XD Actually I’m very proud about

because I didn’t think it would come up so nice… and so popular! XD

7. Are there any other artists on the bubble that you think we should check out?
I really really appreciate rubyred , mikoto , bigfatrobot works, but I think they’re already famous! XD … sooo, I’ll chose him !