Kyle Ellingson

  1. conceptual
  2. bio
  3. work process

Kyle Ellingson is an illustrator based in NYC. His style blends surrealism with comics and architectural drawing, and he enjoys putting a surreal twist on everyday subjects.

Client List

The New York Times
The New Yorker
The Washington Post
Drink Recess Inc
BBC Science Focus
New Scientist
New York Magazine
Texas A&M Foundation
Financial Times
Popular Science
The Hollywood Reporter
Standart Magazine
Canadian Business Magazine
Cincinnati Magazine

After introductions with the client and a discussion of their needs, I like to read and re-read the project brief and any additional materials they’ve sent over, then privately brainstorm a long list of initial concepts in writing. This is my version of thumb-nailing, a workspace where I can generate ideas quickly and dig my way into the scope and meaning of the project. Throughout this phase of my work I refer closely to the contents of the brief and any collaborative conversations I’ve had with the client. This helps to keep my imagination on track.

Next, I select a few favorite ideas from my list and head into sketches, pencil on paper. I typically boil my thoughts down into at least three sketches—or more if the scope of the project requires it. I send these back to the client along with explanatory notes and await feedback.

Once the client has zeroed in on a sketch and proposed some edits, I proceed to my final underdrawing with pencil on bristol board. I use a wide array of drafting tools and perspective techniques in my work, and as I progress I like to stay in close touch with any visual inspirations or references the client or I have struck upon in our creative process. When this sketch is done, I mayor may not send it to the client for an extra round of approval and revisions, depending on the dynamic we’ve established.

Lastly, after the client has given me the full green light, I move on to inking. I ink with technical pens directly over my pencil drawing before gently erasing any pencil out from around the ink. I scan the ink work into Photoshop and apply color and texture digitally.

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