Timo Lenzen was always the strange kid at school, often seen with a sketchbook and a pencil in his pocket. He made a lot of Ninja Turtle and Saber Riders drawings back then, especially for his classmates. After school, he would watch a lot of cartoons and science fiction movies from the 80s and played a fair amount of video games. All of this brought him to a point where he wanted to create his own worlds and scenarios—an interest that eventually became his whole life and profession.
“I love to create nebulous stories and scenarios, where I play with expectations and curiosity. I want to give the viewer space to interpret and see things that I don’t show in the images. It’s like the ‘floor scene’ in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, where the camera is following that little kid riding a scooter in the hallway. That tension and the minimalism is very inspiring to me.”
In addition to working as a freelance illustrator for different agencies, Timo is working on his own illustrated graphic artworks. He would categorise himself as a graphic artist with a strong focus on abstraction and visually stimulating moods.
“I adore Swiss graphic design and what it stands for. I’m very inspired by illustrator Shigeo Fukuda, architect Ricardo Bofill Levi, and video games like Inside by Playhead Studios. All those things and a lot other stuff around me define that certain style I fell in love with all those years ago.”
From being the strange kid at school often seen with a sketchbook and a pencil in his pocket, inspired by Nina Turtles, Saber Riders and video games—to being a grownup exploring nebulous stories and scenarios. Was Timo Lenzen born to become an illustrator?
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