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Work / Illustration

Illustrator Peter O Zierlein uses symmetry to make his graphic prints pop

Massachusetts-based illustrator Peter O Zierlein has been creating work for 26 years most notably for publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Print Magazine, Der Spiegel and Die Zeit Berliner Zeitung. “Symmetry dictates my style. I look for it and find ways to depict something symmetrically,” explains Peter. “I draw with the x-acto knife like a kid cuts a snowflake. I cut into a folded piece of paper, anticipating the outcome when it’s unfolded. Then I scan in the paper cut, colour it and prepare it for print.”

Peter’s method often gives his illustrations sharp edges and points, enhancing the uniformity within them. There’s a graphic feel to Peter’s work, through his bold lines and sparse detail. “Since all these images are flat art, colour becomes more of a symbol than true representation,” he says. This gives him the freedom to experiment and place contrasting shades next to each other.

There’s a whole host of interesting characters in Peter’s work like several figures practicing yoga with baguettes and watermelons, a zig-zag man and two duelling dandies. “For the most part the meaning in what I’m trying to convey is only paper thin. For these paper cut graphics, my objective is to make them pop!”

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Peter O Zierlein

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