Teams in sync: Digital artists turn illustrations into 3D still life

Illustration of April poster for Nicer Tuesdays

Collaboration can be hard even when you’re sitting in the same room. So what happens when it has to cross dimensions? We had a chance to find out when It’s Nice That asked digital artists Anny Wang and Tim Söderström to team up with illustrator Klas Ernflo. It’s the latest collaborative experiment in a series that asks artists to team up and create a limited edition poster for the monthly Nicer Tuesdays events in London.

This time around, Anny and Tim joined forces with Klas to explore ways to blend flat ink paintings with hyperreal 3D renders. Their work began in Dropbox Paper, a collaborative workspace where teams can share and develop ideas.

“Having one big document with everything from initial idea stages to tweaking stage was super… It also gave a nice opportunity to contribute when you had time… It became a schedule as well as an idea space.”

Tasked with creating an April-themed design, the trio took inspiration from the month’s main events—Easter and Siblings Day—and chose the egg as their key symbol. From there, they began experimenting with “nest” concepts that mixed 2D and 3D shapes. To bridge their disparate styles and make the effort truly collaborative, the artists needed to find common ground. What they discovered was their similar use of abstract shapes.

In honor of “Siblings Day,” Klas suggested creating “sibling objects” that appear to be related, but also show signs of variants. To explain his concept, he uploaded sketches and images to the team’s Dropbox Paper doc. Anny and Tim suggested that if the three of them could agree on a common shape or feature shared by all their objects, they would have a “DNA feature” that made them cohesive. Soon, the team settled on a process where Klas painted shapes in ink, then Anny and Tim would transform them into digital sculptures.

At this month’s Nicer Tuesdays event, every attendee received a copy of their final work, which the artists describe as “a group of four siblings posing in front of the camera—four individuals that continue the genes of their ancestors, but in new variations and mutations.” For a behind-the-scenes look at how these artists used Dropbox Paper to bring their vision to life, check out the full story from It’s Nice That.

The easiest way to create and share early ideas, together | Check out Dropbox Paper