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At Book a Street Artist we apply art to the real world all the time, for example when we create workshops to build a bridge between art and corporate culture. Nowadays, graffiti is being integrated into office design and illustrations serve as package design. Because design can be seen as an application of art into something that carries another function, we were curious what our artists had to say about providing their creativity for products and brands.  

We talked to GHIZ, Niels de Jong, Le Funky, Kera, Keen on MarsVitó, Katharina Konte and Vidam about the diverse design projects they have worked on. They explained to us, where they draw the line between art and design, and where the connections between the two disciplines lie.

What Do Caps And Computer Cases Have In Common?

Exactly, they both get under Le Funky’s pen. The French-Portuguese graffiti and illustration artist is known in the Portuguese gaming scene for his collaboration with Cooler Master. Cooler Master is an enterprise specialized in Computer Cases and Coolers that eventually became his sponsor. He applies his drawings also to skate- and surfboards, t-shirts, and caps. Each object he works with is a new challenge for him with its own magic way of being painted.

Cooper caps designed le funky
Cooler and Caps designed by Le Funky

Le Funky also tells us that he has never rejected a product design requested yet. He accepted each and every challenge that came his way. He only refuses to take on projects that are limited creatively – such as when a client asks him to replicate a logo, for example.

Backpacks And Barbershops

Vitó is a Portuguese artist that seems to be involved in almost everything. Coming from graffiti in illustration, we see him giving stencil workshops for companies, designing logos for a barbershop and designing backpacks. Furthermore, the artist created the clothing brand Honour & Proud, where artists partner to show great illustrations on clothing.

vito mural honour & proud
Vitó creating a mural wearing Honour & Proud

Vitó tells us, that through this, he can show a different approach to his work. The illustrations are inspired by tattoo and hardcore music with elements like wolves, panthers, roses and devils while using vibrant colors.

Illustration Is Everywhere – From Tote Bags To Light Sculptures

GHIZ, a Berlin-based illustration artist from Morocco, has been working on several projects in the design space in the past, such as a tote bag for Nivea and rug designs. Currently, she is working on a makeup package design for a Moroccan label.

illustrations ghiz
Illustrations by GHIZ

In the scope of her most recent project, she puts a series of twelve digital illustrations into light sculptures. The first prototype for this series exists for a few weeks now. GHIZ crafted the light sculpture in Casablanca using LED and laser cutting. She is currently looking for a gallery who wants to roll out this project with her.

When we asked her, if she could imagine her light sculptures to hang in private apartments some day, she told us: “Everything is possible, but my current focus is to be artistic”. Looks like we will have to wait a little longer to hang these UFO-like creatures in our entry ways.

“Creativity has no limits or boundaries. I create, and sometimes people call it art, sometimes design.”

Light sculpture GHIZ
Light sculpture by GHIZ

When asked where she draws the line between art and design, GHIZ told us: “Creativity has no limits or boundaries. I create, and sometimes people call it art, sometimes design – I would not be able to divide it. Labels are nothing I am a big fan of, I follow the creativity.”

Paper Sculptures And Set Design

The tangible design studio Keen on Mars worked together with the Berlin-based fashion label Noetia to create the set design for their collection Synesthesia and showed us, how far paper can go!

set design keen on mars
Set Design by Keen on Mars

In this creation, the artistic duo combined theoretical scientific input with the inspiration of the collection. In this colorful paper installation the square elements on the clothes are mirrored in circle-like shapes to mimic a tactile infographic where numbers are interpreted as colors, tells us Amrei from Keen on Mars.

All Things Wood

The Dutch multidisciplinary artist Niels de Jong has worked on various projects in the past where he was able to mix his art with objects that serve a purpose. He worked on t-shirt designs and leggings, he designed wooden boxes and clocks, and we think there is a lot coming in the future.

Niels de Jong told us that he thinks art and product design have a lot in common. While a product serves a purpose and has a function, a painting of sculpture is there to purely be observed, and the two different styles have very different approaches

wooden clock niels de jong
Wooden clock by Niels de Jong

“However”, he tells us, “when the two merge together, there is a product that is not only about the form or function anymore, put personalized with an illustration or decoration.”

 “A lot of products these days are more interesting because artwork has the potential to add more personality and value to the product.”

Niels de Jong says that nowadays, “a lot of products are interesting because of the artwork that they have on them, not because of the product itself.  A lot of products these days are more interesting because artwork has the potential to add more personality and value to the product.”

What’s The Limit? Niels de Jong Is Unstoppable

The craziest project that Niels recalls when it comes to customization happened when he was creating a mural. He started painting the mural on an apartment wall for a friend and got so excited, that in the end, he painted half of the friends’ place, including his scooter.

Niels de Jong does not think there are too many limits when it comes to customizing an object as long as it’s physically possible – if this is given, he says, all he needs is paint and a brush.

painting wood niels de jong
Painting on wood by Niels de Jong

Niels de Jong might refuse requests when he does not like the product or lacks a connection to it. He told us, that he felt different about this ten years ago. Today he knows, that his work will influence the product and that they eventually become one.

GHIZ says, that the most important thing when doing a commercial project for her is to share the client’s vision. Freedom is also very important – if someone wants her to execute a finished concept, she doesn’t think an artist is needed anymore.

Office Design

graffiti vancas glossybox vidam
Graffiti on canvas in the Glossybox office by Vidam

You can find Vidam’s artwork all over the walls of Berlin, but you can also hang it in your office. We partnered with Vidam to create an amazing visual for the Berlin startup Glossybox. The artwork incorporates both the artist’s unique style and the company’s vision. Read more here.

Hostel beautification

Katharina Kontes Design at the walls of the Clink Hostel

The Clink Noord Amsterdam is not only home to tourists but also to a stunning artwork from Katharina Konte. Adding a unique touch to your walls can make the difference to visitors of your place staying in their head or not.

From Murals to Letter Heads

While Kera is a known graffiti artist who covers house walls in celebratory colors and geometric styles, he does so much more than that. We found his geometric figures in graphic design for a project for the B&B Hostels. Who would have thought?

Graphic design Kera
Graphic design by Kera
Mural Kera
Mural by Kera

Skateboards, Skateboards

We find both Niels de Jong and Le Funky impressing us with stunning board designs. Le Funky tells us that he carries a special love for skateboard and t-shirt design. Old school illustrations such as those from (the US skateboard companies) Santa Cruz or Powell & Peralta are what made him fall in love with illustration in the first place.

skateboard designs niels de jong
Skateboard designs by Niels de Jong

Le Funky tells us that commercial projects pose a great challenge for him. While he enjoys growing through this, he feels pressured to deliver at his highest performance. But, as he says: “I am not on board of the 9 to 5 boat. I feel free, and therefore I can produce pieces exactly in the same way as when I do them for myself, in a funky way.”

skateboard design le funky
Skateboard design by Le Funky

We learned that the artists we interviewed were very open about working outside of the classical (street) arts. If a project leaves enough creative freedom, and the vision of the product aligns with their own, they are happy to jump on it. If we got you excited about unique Art & Design, please get in touch and let us work on this together!