Political cartoons, often crude yet hilarious, illustrate a satirical slant on current affairs and controversies, offering a vision of the world as seen by their creators. Twenty three-year-old illustrator Kevin Niggeler‘s designs do just that, but with a colorful vibrancy that sucks you into simple illustrations grappling with complicated topics.
“Normally, I look for an article and I read it before having an idea of the main topic,” Niggeler tells Creators. “I try to think of different ways to represent the topic metaphorically. I write down words connected to the topic and the article. After that, I write objects or situations which are linked to the words I wrote first. Once I get a good match, I do some rough sketches on which I later create my digital illustration.”
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Niggeler will then retrace his images using digital programs like Illustrator or Photoshop 8, producing work that responds to socio-political happenings, be it the Syrian conflict or domestic violence. Technology is a consistent topic seen throughout his practice too, having recently made a piece for the Mexican airline Interjet, examining the addictive qualities of Facebook.
“Most people take a plane to go somewhere on the seaside,” explains Niggeler. “And once you get there, it’s unlikely you’ll get distracted by Facebook. The iPhone abandoned in the sand is a clear image of renouncing something that we haven’t always had. The colors are of nature and help people understand that even more, although it’s implicit. We could say that they are holiday colors.”
Based in Milan, Niggeler graduated last July from the Italian city’s international design school Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), where he trained in more traditional illustration, liking to also use watercolors and acrylics to create neat, simple shapes like those found in his digital work.
“In my last year of high school,” says Niggeler, “I found out that I loved drawing. When the end of school came, I decided that I would never chose something that doesn’t involve drawing. I thought about architecture or design, but they were still too strict for me. I wanted to create without too many rules.”
Niggeler is a freelance illustrator who works alongside other artists in a co-working studio in Milan called Atabaliba, creating most of the bold and beautiful images seen here in his spare time. He continues to develop his own personal style based on artist inspirations like Malika Favre, Olimpia Zagnoli and any other that he may cross paths with.
“What’s helped me most to think outside the box is to work always with other people and ask their opinion,” says Niggeler. “Only talking with other people can modify our own point of view. Without dialogue, there’s no growth. To think outside the box, we continuously need to face and talk with other people, travel, ask, and most importantly, listen to what people have to say.”