Illustrator Master — Vonster Recap

Many thanks to AIGA Raleigh community member Brandi Moody, author of one of HOW magazine’s Top Ten Websites for designers, Ever So Lovely. Enjoy her fabulous recap of Von Glitschka’s visit to our chapter last month.


If you are like me and happen to love everything there is about illustration, then you had to be very excited to be in the same room with illustrator genius Von Glitschka on March25. His “Drawsigner” talk in downtown Raleigh was sarcastic, funny and most of all, informative. That night he spoke about many designs he had created for clients consisting of  vector lions, tigers and Bezier curves. You thought I was going to say bears right? No, however he did show a logo design featuring a bear cub but the client ended up requesting a tiger instead.


I’ve been a big fan of Von’s work for some time now and to have a chance to peak in to his creative process was very inspiring to say the least. I’m happy to know I’m not the only one out there that saves all of the little drawings I create and Von mentioned he has tons of books cataloguing all of his sketches and doodles. Throughout his talk he spoke about his design process, which involved photographing friends as references to get the perfect look for an upcoming logo design.

I really loved getting a chance to see some of the vector art he had created for various companies. One of the pieces that stood out to me was a design he created for a beverage product featuring an Aztec design. One of the best pieces of advice Von gave was to stew on something you’ve created and come back to it the next day if you feel it’s not perfect. Which is exactly what he did with that design. Just the smallest tweaks made his design that much better (shown below in before and after photos).

On Saturday, Von held a sold out workshop at Meredith College demonstrating some of the techniques from his new book, Vector Basic Training, which he talked about the night before. Through handouts, he challenged us to design characters from curved lines, add shadows on faces with various light sources and make a scene out of overlapping lines. It was really special to have Von comment on some of the crowd’s work as he shared it via an overhead projector. I must say I was pretty excited to know he liked my reindeer and tennis bunny sketches even though they were pretty rushed.

He also passed out some of his drawings and I would have to say that is like touching gold. You get to go to a museum and see the paintings on the walls but you’re not allowed to touch them and by having the chance to see and touch some of Von Glitschka’s work was very cool. I really learned a lot from his methods on Bezier curves and how you should create the perfect angle when illustrating. His personality and talent make that rare combination of great teacher and artist that you can look up to in the design community and strive to be one day.

Brandi Moody is an artist and designer living in Raleigh. By day she’s a graphic designer and illustrator for her own design studio. Read more about her life, work and inspiration on her design blog, Ever So Lovely.


By Kelty Brittle
Published April 15, 2011