Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs

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Categories: Creative Interview

We love discovering brand new artists here on Graphic Tide.

Getting an inside look at artists inspiration’s, influence’s and what makes them tick as creatives, we have an action packed blog post for you today, as we speak to the great Ilja Erbs!

Ilja (or Graffitineous), recently won over on our voting platform with the stunning ‘Canzilla‘, which is a fantastic t-shirt design, which we absolutely love here at GT HQ!

Combining great digital skills, a mesmerising idea, married with an eye catching design, Ilja is a recent tee design winner which is perfect for t-shirt designs!

We’ll like to welcome Ilja to our community, and with this, and like our other artists on Graphic Tide, your work is shown on our blog, shown to our large email subscriber list, social media plus much much more.

If this sounds good to you, and to be within a chance of selling your t-shirts to our community by gaining a commission on every tee sold, submit to us for free today!

In today’s Creative Interview blog post, we talk about Ilja’s creative process, his influences and inspirations as a creative, and he talks about his brand new tee design, ‘Canzilla’ – so let’s get cracking!

Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your main discipline?

Hi I’m Ilja, an old school graffiti dude from Germany.

I am an artist, a joiner and carpenter and I had a lot of different jobs during the past 40 years. I am a very hectically guy with a multiple personality and the only time I shut up is when I draw and paint.

Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs

By day I work in a little but well known store for artist-supplies in Hamburg City. I build wooden frames for other artists work and build custom canvas there. I help customers with hints and tips for their artworks to stand out and to find the right materials in the store.

When I don’t work, I mostly try to kiss my girlfriend until she has enough of it and tells me to go draw something. Then I draw funny stuff for my small online stores, do a wallpainting or other mad streetart somewhere.

What are your biggest inspirations as a creative? How has graffiti inspired you?

In the early eighties, when I was about seven years old, Graffiti gave me and other kids from low income families the chance to get some structure into our lifes. I loved the cool characters and letters I saw on the covers of breakdance-records and tapes.

When Breakdance and Graffiti came over to Europe from the USA , I knew I wanted to do that sort of stuff too. Because I was a crappy dancer I became a little sprayer. So for the last 33 years my passion for music and graffiti never stopped. (I still can’t dance)

Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs

As a young sprayer I was inspired by Graffiti-heroes like Mikel Godling, Eric Siemens, Mode 2, Hex and others. Later on I also got interested in the works of Frazetta, Moebius, Mucha, Vallejo and other fantasy artists.

With my Graffitineous-Projects I want to honor and thank Graffiti itself for giving me a colorful life and letting me become a self-confident and communicative big kid.

Tell us about your ‘Canzilla’ t-shirt design.

CANZILLA is based on a character I created around 2002 (The Cangolier – inspired by Steven Kings Langoliers Movie). It was just the spray can without any background and I always thought it deserves more.

Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs

I refined the can, placed it in a high detailed street-scene and gave it a retro monster-comic style. That was the look I really wanted for my creature because I love Godzilla and old monster movies and comics.

Big thanx to Graphic Tide for their platform and support and to all voters who helped to get CANZILLA printed.

Can you tell us about your creative process?

Every idea calls for its unique style or technique to be displayed in the most appropriate way. So I draw, paint, spray or even make a collage. Because I draw letters, backgrounds and characters there is always a new starting point for me.

Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs

Sometimes a good idea already is in my head, sometimes I play around with words or shapes first. Like most artists I scribble on paper with a pencil or marker and try to find some interesting pose, scene or word-art to work on.

The first graphic programs I used in the middle of the eighties are Corel-Draw and Photopaint and I stick with them until today. I was just too lazy to learn other programs…

For the Manga Girl Hearts Graffiti“ T-Shirt design I worked in the most common way.
1. Drawing a more or less rough sketch on paper.
2. Scan the drawing and inking it. In this case I also vectorized it.
3. Coloring the refined drawing.

How does your average creative day shape up?

I wake up my girlfriend at 6 o´clock, I get up, sometimes I even put some clothes on and then I draw and paint until I get hungry or tired.

Tell us something which we might not know about you.

I live in a forest near Hamburg with the love of my life, and I have very soft feet, so I can silently sneak back into the city at night to cover the walls with graffiti and streetart…

Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs
Creative Interview With Ilja Erbs

7. Where can we get in contact with you?

You can find my profile here on Graphic Tide:

On twitter :

And via e-mail : [email protected]

Many Thanks To Ilja!

That was an inspiring and great Creative Interview blog post by the fantastic Ilja Erbs, many thanks!

Be sure to look at his other work, which is such a joy to look through, including his mesmeric ‘Canzilla‘ tee design.

What do you think of Ilja’s work?

What do you think about our ‘Creative Interview’ blog posts?

Comments are more than welcome below!

We better tell Ilja about the blog post before he goes off and kisses his girlfriend :-D.

So thanks for visiting today, be sure to leave a comment below, as we would love to hear from you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, it will be great to see you on there. Thanks again, and have a great day!

About the author - HKJS


I'm an Illustrator, Designer & Animator from Hampshire, United Kingdom, and have been illustrating for a number of years. I have a wealth of experience within editorial, maps, posters and book covers. Having a firm interest in the creative industry and everything that revolves around it, I want to share what I've learnt to you. From this, I have a keen passion for t-shirt design and how illustration can become a part of something you wear.

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