Exclusive Interview with Illustrator Martin Schmetzer

sketch on white paper

This stunning typographic illustrative work was created by Stockholm based illustrator, Martin Schmetzer. His main focus is on hand-drawn typography ‘with a high level of detail and diligence’. As you’ll see in the work below, Martin hand-draws extremely details lettering and imagery, then often uses vector art to aid the final designs. Check out the rest of a small selection of his work below, along with his answers to 12 questions. Enjoy…

1. Tell Design Soak Magazine readers about yourself. What motivates you?

I´m a 29 year old Stockholm based illustrator who specializes in typographic logotypes with an emphasis on ornamentation and detailed flourishes. I like the interaction hand drawn typography can have to the meaning of a word and how the letters next to each other plays together and shapes a integrality.

white text on brown background

2. When did you first start illustrating? Where did it all begin?

I have enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember but my interested for letters came trough graffiti around 95. Graffiti was a great way for me to experiment with the the alfabet. You don´t have to follow any guides or rules and may twist and bend the letters into something own. As a graffiti writer I early discovered a interest for symmetry, something that follows me til this day in my hand drawn typography and logotypes.

Martin Schmetzer type

3. How did you ‘find your own style’? Have you always used the same illustration methods?

I believe it has evolved through my tags and pieces. My style range from a vintage, 1900’s-era feel to a full-blown contemporary street temperament.

Martin Schmetzer poster

4. Tell us about your creative process. How do you work?

The sketching process is most valuable to me. I always start pen on paper before turning to the computer. For me the computer is a fantastic finalizing tool but it also limits my shapes and composition if I don´t start by hand first where I can go the whole hog.

vector sketching

5. What is the biggest inspiration for fresh ideas?

For me I think it is a mix of my everyday impressions. I register details I like everywhere. From graffiti in the streets to food labels at the grocery store. I build a ”memory bank” in my head of these details and try to use them as soon as I have a suiting commission.

type on skateboard and tshirt

6. Do you find it easy or hard to create new work?

Most of the time it comes quite naturally and easy. If I struggle too much with a design I have to take a break and tackle the task later with a fresh mind.

hand drawn typoghic lettering

7. What is the best part of your job?

That I get to draw everyday. Also the freedom to be able to choose which commissions to take on and decline since I´m freelancing.

8. Adversely, what is the worst part of it?

I guess its would have to be the uncertainly of when you will receive your next paycheck. It´s nice the receive a monthly salary when employed.

Also, for readers who dream of working creative freelance. Its is much more to it then just designing and you are never completely disconnected from work. I´m talking about the less sexy administrative tasks that comes with being self-employed such as sending quotes and handle the economics. But I do not complain but am rather thankful to be busy.

Burglers type

9. Apart from illustration, what other creative fields are you involved in?

At the moment, none. As a youngster I had several musical projects with my close friends. But I gave this up when I realized I was never going to become the best. Haha!

10. Do you have any plans for the future of your creative work?

I’ve only been illustrating freelance full-time for a year so at the moment I´m just very focused on my exciting business and to make ends meet. And I hope my lettering never cease developing.

Martin Schmetzer sketching

11. What is inspiring your work at this moment in time?

Old etching illustrations and packaging designs.

sketch poster design

12. What is top 3 tips for the Design Soak readers.

Do what you love, even if it is just as a hobby beside a employment.

Post your creative work online on different social medias. It´s free advertising and you never know who might stumble across your profile.

Try to make time to enter art/design contests. It can be a good way to get recognition from advertising agencies and other creatives.

Design Soak Magazine: Thanks Martin for sharing your work and answers. All the best for the future!

Further Information // “Exclusive Interview with Illustrator Martin Schmetzer” // All the images shown within this post are © Copyright Martin Schmetzer. Please visit his site and portfolio for more fantastic work.

★ Like this Article? Then Please Share it! See also: Transport for London Posters that Morphs 3D Type with Trains.