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Tobias Göbel

Pen & ink illustrator. Germany

Tobias Göbel
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Based in Cologne, Tobias Göbel is an artist whose obsession with drawing has turned into a fruitful career. A quick look through his portfolio reveals not just his interest in music, fashion and popular culture, but also takes us into a unique world filled with interesting characters, animals and objects.

Alongside his art, Tobias plays bass guitar and writes songs, and he does all the artwork for his band – and others. His musical influences include post-punk groups like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Wire and Killing Joke, while his visual inspiration comes from people, animals, situations, landscapes and patterns. During his creative process, he likes to seek out imperfections, to stretch ideas and to discover rapture or discontinuity.

Training

While a student, Tobias was interested in preserving works of art and took an apprenticeship as a painter and varnisher, with a view to studying restoration at university. He worked as a painter and varnisher for a while, went back to studying but decided illustration interested him more, so he took a course in graphic design.

Approach

First, Tobias draws the main elements of his images using a Fineliner pen, as well as coloured pencils, watercolours, chalks, felt-tips and more. Then he scans them in, and arranges the composition and fine-tunes the colour on his computer. For a cleaner, sharper look, he works in Illustrator, but if he wants something a little looser he’ll use Photoshop. He tries to keep the digital aspect to a minimum because he likes the little imperfections that come through working by hand.

Style

Tobias has a traditional, almost folksy drawing style, yet his work has plenty of contemporary zing. He combines symbols and concepts with a human and emotional edge, using patterns and textures to give the images added decorative charm. His black and white line work is usually complemented with a restrained selection of pastel shades.
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Lady in wild cat mask illustration

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