Belgian artist Steven Van Hasten has a rich painterly style perfect for children’s book illustrations, advertising campaigns and editorial pieces that need something fresh and different. Using exaggerated and contrasting abstract forms, he expertly creates quirky worlds of adventure with shading and textures that draw the viewer in.
Growing up in Courtrai, an old market town in West Flanders, Steven showed prodigious talent as a child, creating his first illustrated story about a knight at the age of six. Now based in Gent, he’s successful illustrator with a string of top-name clients. Even so, he still attends life drawing every week with his friends.
Steven has a Masters in Graphic Design and Illustration from the Sint-Lucas School of Arts in Gent. He has collected over 10,000 comic books.
When illustrating a book, Steven will read the story and let it settle for a week while he plays with the ideas and sketches concepts. Paintings begin with him blocking out the composition in opposing shades – a dark purple versus a paler green, for instance. Using pencils, ink and acrylics, he paints in layers to create depth and texture.
Strong contrast in form and colour, plenty of detail and a variety of brushstrokes are characteristics of his work, and Steven’s characters always have an oddball charm to them.
Steven’s clients include Reader’s Digest, Abimo, Averbode, ZeKookt, Seedfactory, EDG and Waelkens.