Rutger Paulusse


Self Initiated

This series is inspired by the shapes, movement and textures in skateboarding.
When I was young I started skateboarding and it’s just one of those things that once you love it, it will always have a special place in your heart. I stopped skateboarding at some point because puberty kicked in real good and the partying became more important. Also my skateboard buddy started travelling around the world so the small village where I’m from became a bit lonely skateboard-wise. When I lived in New York a couple of years ago I bought a skateboard again and really enjoyed cruising around on it. I just had a regular deck, but huge soft wheels that smoothly transported me through the streets of NYC. By that time I lost my fearlessness and the urge and guts to do tricks disappeared with it. The love for the game stayed though.
I always loved the shapes of the obstacles in skateparks and of the skateboards itself. That, combined with the interesting textures of wood and metal, formed the inspiration for this series.
I started just doing one, but I really got the hang of it and kept finding inspiration while looking at pictures and videos on the internet of skateboarding. Some illustrations are based on a specific trick, others played with the shape of an obstacle. But in all of them I played with the dynamics and movement of the skateboard. The use of 3d software gives me endless possibilities and the ability to create a surreal setting.
The creativity of skateboarders is amazing these days, the tricks are really advanced and technical and it’s really nice to see how skateboarding developed. Although I don’t really skateboard anymore, working on this project was really fun and brought back good memories and it was really cool to be able to combine this old passion for skateboarding with my current passion for illustration.
I don’t have very specific wishes for my future as an illustrator but I would really love to work on a campaign for a skateboard brand, or some designs for skateboards, that is still a long cherished dream that hopefully one day will come true.

Rutger Paulusse

Like most stories, it all started back in the day. We all begin our artistic endeavors somewhere and that place for Rutger was the graffiti wall. No, Rutger was not your standard "tag the high school wall with a bad word" graffiti artist but rather a youth who realized the creative power that a spray can, paint brush or pen could hold. This obsession with graffiti quickly manifested itself into a natural transition to typography where he realized that type is his proverbial bread and butter.

Rutger soon found himself at the St. Joost Art School not only high fiving his way through life but gaining the conceptual design foundation that traditional art schools provide. But the basics were not enough for Rutger and he soon found out there was more to the world of design than textbook rules and professors opinions. After graduation he quickly realized that personal style and creativity were more important to a designers work than anything he "learned" in the classroom.

What does a young, innocent, Dutch boy do when he wants to up his game in the massive world of graphic design and type after an old school art education? Yup, you guessed it, he moves to NYC to get a taste of how the real design world operates. Ready to launch his career after years of practice, schooling and many projects, Rutger headed to NYC to work for the highly regarded Vault49 agency where he got his groove on improving his illustration and CGI skills while being humbled by the high level of talent around him.

By this time, Rutger had developed his playfully distinct style beyond type and fully entered into the world of illustration. He had broadened his skills in NYC and knew he had to bring his funky style back to the homies. The tempting low sky of Amsterdam was too much to ignore and Rutger landed back in his home country where he chills today cranking out colorful projects across many platforms.

His wild and always challenging ride has given Rutger a consistent flair to his work that he incorporates into every project. In recent years he's been lucky enough to rapidly expand his portfolio that would make his spectators, designers or not, all drool with feelings of euphoria. Don't take it from me, take it from his clients: BMW Group, TomTom, KLM, ING, Nuon, Ford, Flexa, Citroën, KPN, Tommy Hilfiger, Spinawards and ADCN to name a few.


Words by Adam Carlisle


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