The talented Norwegian illustrator Kristian Hammerstad (39) has since his debut in 2012 emerged as an international illustrator and his drawings have been published in reputable media such as the New Yorker, New York Times, Las Vegas Weekly and Wired. The Norwegian horror & sci-fi illustrator lives and works in Oslo.
Hammerstad has studied at the Central Saint Martine College, London and has developed a pop-gore comic style that makes his work unique. His somewhat bizarre drawings often reveal skeletons, androids and kind of lizard-creatures in weird settings.
Norwegian Horror- & Sci-Fi Illustrator
Kristian Hammerstad’s strokes as well as his thematic are reminiscent of American Charles Burns, who in comics such as “Black Hole” and “Last Look” also blends genre, clichés and 1950s aesthetics with underground and modern themes.
Started in music animations
His ‘real’ work started in animation making music videos for Lex Records in London working with friends at college. Since then, we have seen his work described as riffing on upbeat series such as Archie and the innumerable romance comics of the period. Personally, I believe his interest is more matched by his fascination with the 50s’ equally prevalent horror comics.
Hammerstad says that his drawing process is very simple. He just thinks a bit and then draws. He likes creating posters. First, he draws with pencil on paper, then ink the drawing with a brush, scan it, colors it, and then approves or rejects it.
Important to stay curious
Horror, sci-fi and fantasy have always influenced Hammerstad. “I’m not really into parody or irony, it’s more about really liking something and having fun with it,’ he once said in an interview. He is inspired by films, books, music, art and, not surprisingly, comics. He admits that he is not very structured, so he never knows how much time he spends working on a project.
“It’s really important to me to stay curious and keep checking things out. If I didn’t have time for that I would be depressed!” he says.
Use your imagination
In January this year, the New York Times published the drawing below by Kristian Hammerstad, asking what story the image could tell. The encouraged its readers to use their imagination to write the opening of a short story or poem inspired by the illustration.
Related: Coffee Geeks from Norway
We don’t know how the readers reacted to the request, but Hammerstad’s drawings are always on spot giving a lot of room for admiration as well as inspiration.
Norwegian Horror- & Sci-Fi Illustrator, written by Tor Kjolberg