London-born Peter Kyprianou worked as a designer in South Africa for many years until he could no longer contain his passion for illustration. He made the switch, and later returned to the UK, spending some time in Cyprus along the way, where he was a political cartoonist for three years. Today, icons, pictograms, infographics and storyboarding are his domain.
Peter loves travel, the sun, museums and galleries, as well as Greek and Cypriot cooking. His Greek background means he’s influenced by Byzantine iconography, and he’s also inspired by the pictograms and icons drawn by the German modernist Gerd Arntz. Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer and El Greco are among his favourite artists.
Peter studied for a National Diploma in Graphic Design while in South Africa, and later took a degree in Illustration at the University of the Arts London, Camberwell. He’s also a qualified teacher with a PGCE.
After researching a project, Peter usually does some sketching to play around with the balance of the composition and its positive and negative space. He then works in Photoshop and Illustrator, where he’ll experiment further with the composition and bring colour into play.
If he’s working on a storyboard, he’ll use reference images to help him draw the frames, working in pencil and graphite on tracing paper.
He also holds live workshops where he scamps up loose drawings using pens and markers to get the message across quickly and effectively.
Two main styles are found in Peter’s work. Using a computer, he creates icons, pictograms and infographics, as well as technical illustrations. This produces a cleaner, vector graphic look. When storyboarding or drawing live, he works by hand therefore the imagery has a more traditional feel to it. Either way, strong line work and flat colours are clear elements in his illustrations.