Jan Siemen lives and creates in Cologne Germany. He has been a graphic designer since 2013, working in a studio for both clients and personal projects. He wants to entertain people through unique ideas and concepts that he then pours into digital illustrations.
It was only in 2017 when he started doing something for himself; he set up an Instagram account and started showing the world his unique personal creations.
“Make no mistake, I really love my job, but I needed to do something other than pure graphic design. (…) I hope my art explains itself. I try to include my own vision, humour and understanding of the world in my illustration, I hope this triggers emotions to the viewers. Each illustration is a short story or a subject for reflection. I don’t have a single message or a single theme to convey. I illustrate because I like it.”Jan Siemen
I think this explains very well why I couldn’t find a central theme in his digital illustrations. Some are hilarious, others are dark and gloomy, others, very thoughtful. Mostly all of them are cartoon-inspired and will leave you wanting to learn a litte bit of about vectors and Photoshop to try and express yourself this way. Or is it just me?
Company projects vs personal digital illustrations
Jan Siemen has founded a graphic design agency where together with a small team of young design enthusiasts, create graphics for different client projects. He finds both his work life and soul digital illustrations equally challenging, each one offering other opportunities and another kind of fulfillment.
I think he’s pretty lucky to basically do what he loves both as a hobby and as a job, with slight differences. It sounds like a dream.
Digital art and social criticism
Asked about the pregnant social criticism in his art, Siemen can’t explain exactly what it is, and that he sees it as a little bit of irony, a pinch of sarcasm and some romanticism. He doesn’t want to call his digital illustrations “social criticism”. He wants to purely entertain people and the fact that some of his illustrations also criticize our society is mostly incidental. About personal attitude in graphics, he very plainly states that:
“The design of graphics and illustrations is all about feelings and playing with cliches or certain attitudes. Sometimes it can be your own and when you work for clients you have to implement their taste or their intention”Jan Siemen
You don’t need facial expressions to show emotion
As you are about to see below, many of Jan Siemen’s illustrtions which show people, show no facial expressions whatsoever. The people have their heads turned or their faces covered. The German artist is very adamant about not showing facial expressions. He wants to put the viewer in the same position as the person in the illustration and such challenge the viewer to feel a predetermined emotion of his choice, and not influenced by the character in the artwork.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in and look at these spectacular 20 digital illustrations by German artist Jan Siemen!
1. Why would you chop you own heart?
2. Climbing over the wall of the future?!
3. The details…
4. The future workspace
5. Cool man bun
6. A toothbrush that dared to be different
7. Maybe Mars…
8. A torn picture of reality?!
9. Our everyday feed of crap…
10. Modern depression
11. The girlfriend of the future
12. Our planet
13. Who is the robot?
14. Ice cream launch
For some more cool digital illustrations, you should also try these fun reality vs illustration works by Brazilian artist Julio Cesar !