Before The Midnight Hour - Furniture Illustrations for Marc Krusin
The illustrations were commissioned by Marc Krusin, a London-based furniture designer, for the promotional use on his website and across social media channels. At first Marc asked me to create a single image of an interior setting featuring two of his signature designs - Krusin Lounge chair for Knoll and the Mini Clay table for Desalto. I was given full creative freedom regarding style and the layout of the illustration.
Each illustration was drawn in pen and ink on paper and once approved by the client it was redrawn digitally. I used Adobe Illustrator to construct the furniture and interiors accurately and then Photoshop to apply textures, light and draw other elements using Wacom Cintiq tablet. The images were executed using black only to recreate film noir aesthetic.
Each of the illustrations has to have few different cropping options to accommodate various social media and screen formats.
The client’s initial idea was to create a mini series where each image would be drawn by a different illustrator, but after I completed the first illustration, happy with the result and the positive response on social media, the client decided that I should do the remaining three illustrations myself in the same style.
Influenced by comics and film noir I’ve decided to take a rather unusual approach to furniture design illustration. The first image was crucial in setting the tone for the whole series. Placing the viewer behind the furniture and addition of some everyday objects brings a pinch of narrative and mystery to the scene. The geometric composition is counterbalanced by the irregular shape of the cigar smoke. Further images also feature various objects, which are placed in slightly disorganised fashion deepening viewer’s curiosity and possibly suggesting a crime scene (newspaper and phone receiver on the floor, lack of human presence). The perspective in the images implies someone (the viewer) wondering around and surveying the apartment.
Although initially we’ve decided that the human presence will be suggested only by the scattered objects around the apartment, I couldn’t help but wonder about the smoker missing from the first image. I really wanted him to reappear in the last image closing the series, but Marc was strongly against any human figures in the scenes. I had to find a way to convince him. To achieve that I have extended the fourth illustration and included a barely visible silhouette of the smoker against the window, which also only appears as a scroll option on an instagram post. Marc really liked this solution and thought it added an element of surprise and closure to the story.
The comic/noir poster wasn’t part of the commission. I’ve decided to include it as an extra. I thought it brings all the illustrations nicely together and it is an obvious culmination of the style chosen for this project.
The project received CA Award of Excellence and is included in the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 2022, Applied Arts Illustration Award 2022, Golden A' Design Award 2022 for Graphics, Illustration and Visual Communication Design, Merit in 3x3 International Illustration Annual 2022 and have been shortlisted for ADC 101st Annual Awards 2022.
The project also won Gold Award and People's Choice Award in the Creativepool Annual 2021 Illustration category.
The first image was also longlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2021 in the Design Product & Packaging category.
Prints available. Limited edition prints available in my Print Shop.
"Martin was amazing from the start. We talked about the general concept and visual language and he was continually in contact to make sure that the project was going in the right direction but also suggesting innovative and unexpected ways to enhance and improve the illustration beyond what we had ever imagined. We are extremely happy with the wonderful result. Thanks again Martin!"
Commissioner, Furniture Designer and Owner at Marc Krusin Ltd
"Awesome detail and balance of strokes."
Creative Director, Global Business & Creative Partner - DDB HK
Creativepool Annual 2021 Illustration category judge