Who is Keith Vlahakis and what do you do?
Keith Vlahakis is a one-man illustration studio, a geek, striving to be a proliferator of good vibes and one perversely optimistic creative individual living and working in the beautiful city of Cape town.
Tell us about your work
My work is divided into two parts/facets. The first is focused on lettering and hand crafted typography. I work in a number of Typographic and lettering styles. I also do typographic murals.
The second facet to my work is focused on popular culture and nostalgia. Digital Pop Art re interpreting movies, games, music, icons, branding, consumerism etc. It’s a direct artistic reaction response everything pop. Past and present.
What inspires your work?
My type style has lots of inspirations, depending on the brief at that present time. One of my signature lettering styles is inspired by a mixture of classic serif looped typography and the fluid daintiness of late nineteenth century Art Nouveau Poster Design. Hip hop and graffiti are huge influences to one of my other styles, so everything from bubble 1980s graffiti to corner store shop signs and old album cover designs. As far as lettering and type, my influences are eclectic.
As far as the pop culture pieces they are heavily influenced by my childhood and love for comic books. Star Wars, Rambo, Batman,90s Rap, The Terminator, Super Mario, the sneakers I wanted to buy but couldn’t get as a kid. The list goes on and on. All the Mish Mash of Popular Culture that I was exposed to then and Am Still exposed to now. With a heavy focus on portraiture.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a Pop culture robot series of illustrations. Mostly coming from the 70s right through to the 90s sci-fi-movie genre, also including Music and gaming icons from that era.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Draw draw draw draw. Create, experiment, question. Become addicted to the process. It takes a lot of time and dedication to find a style and subject matter you want to focus on. And do lots of self-initiated projects. Because that’s what people will come to you for. Be honest and have fun. I’m trying at this moment to get an international agent to represent my illustration at the highest professional level. So that advice I typed out is the advice I also give myself every day.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Probably the biggest highlight I had was doing a Type piece for GQ Germany last year while I worked at Made by Radio. It was a Sans Serif Piece of type I hand crafted and they used it as the Key Lead Visual Branding element for the rollout of the event and on stage at the awards.
Where can our readers follow your work?
On Instagram and Behance and twitter. These are links to my work: