This week’s It’s Nice That X BULLETT feature introduces the mind-bending work of globetrotting illustrator and Iceland native Siggi Eggertsson.
Illustration lovers around the world already know the name of Siggi Eggertsson. He’s the Icelandic poster-boy for precision geometric illustration, and over the past four years has garnered a reputation for producing the kind of work that makes your mind boggle and your eyes rejoice. But if you’re not really the type to spend all your dollars on picture books, then allow us to introduce you to one of the most prodigious illustrative talents around.
Born and raised in Rekjavik, Eggertsson fast outgrew his homeland on the basis that it “got boring quickly.” In protest he migrated stateside and joined the ranks of creative interns in New York, although his relationship with The Big Apple was much too tense to promote his talents. On to London, where he began freelancing as an illustrator for the first time and built the foundations of his career, creating work for the likes of Gnarls Barkley and _Print Magazine_, not to mention It’s Nice That. But even London couldn’t hold him, and he now resides in Berlin; content with the freedom, space and relaxation it offers him. “But I think today location is not so important to me. Put me in a room where I can work and I’m happy.”
With such a hectic schedule of country-hopping behind him, it’s surprising that Siggi has been able to refine and develop his style to the extent he has. Many of his contemporaries require the stillness and grounding of a regular studio space and stringent working timetable to develop themselves effectively, but Siggi seems capable of creating work wherever there’s a pencil and a flat surface.
Stylistically, Siggi is unlike any other practitioner we’ve come across, creating work that is simultaneously literal and abstract – while he creates images that are instantly recognisable they are always composed from a complex web of geometric elements, layered together to create the final piece. This, he believes, is the result of childhood restlessness; “As a kid I loved to draw, but I was pretty impatient, so I always simplified what I was drawing, skipping unnecessary details, which probably has something to do with what I do today. During art school I started playing around with combinations of geometric shapes and colour, and it just felt right to me and I wanted to see how far I could take it.”
This year Siggi has released some of his most impressive illustrations to date, creating a variety of scenes for Iceland’s Landsbankinn that push his image-making to the very limit and fully exploit the vernacular he’s been developing all this time. Many would be tempted to rest on their laurels having produced such an accomplished body of work; but not Mr Eggertsson, who’s “planning an exhibition in Berlin in February, doing the ground work for my first children’s book, working on an album cover for a friend and finalising my first iOs app.” As the man himself says “the next thing is always the best thing.”