© Rory Kurtz

Rory Kurtz – a self-taught illustrator from the U.S., who hasn’t parted with his pencil since the day he learned how to hold it. His creative space is constantly twinkling with an abundance of comic book covers and action film posters. The artist, who almost exclusively lives off of caffeine and hates reality TV that is constantly being broadcast on American television, surprises us with his individuality and his stand-out ability to showcase fantasy elements in modern reality.

Independent artist – illustrator Rory Kurtz was born in 1979, he grew up in the central part of the U.S. Indulging in his geek lifestyle, he spent many years, day after day spending a large portion of his time in the world of science, comics and fantasy, all the while improving his drawing skills. Eventually, Rory combined the traditional drawing pencil with modern digital illustration software, which led him to his current career. Movies, music, theatre and literature greatly influence the self-taught artist to create. He can’t imagine his life without coffee, and when we observe his work, an indescribable feeling of professionalism, devotion and fantasy is felt.

Stacks of papers, sketches, various types of pencils, feathers and paints regularly lay on the artist’s desk. Having taken advantage of technology that has been available to everybody for many centuries, the artist makes use of new technologies and gets to work using digital colours, light boxes, a projector, scanner and printer. The Wacom Tablet and Apple iMac 27’’, which are specifically used for drawing, help him combine all of these devices.

The artist’s work was first printed in Milwaukee’s local newspaper called ‘’INFO’’. Even though the editor thought his work was over-infused with fantasy elements, today Rory Kurtz can be proud of his work in popular publications such as ‘’Rolling Stone’’, ‘’ESPN The Magazine’’, ‘’Runner’s World’’, ‘’Pentax Cameras’’, ‘’Village Voice’’.


When the illustrator is asked how and from where he gets his ideas, he replies: ‘’Everything happens only when a pencil appears on my table. Sometimes it seems like a great drawing appears on its own, by coincidence. On the other hand, sometimes you must suffer as you wait for a ‘’creative breakthrough’’ until an attention-worthy piece is born. Of course, the amount of work, dedication I put in, and, of course, coffee have a huge influence. Some time has to pass until all of the accumulated information from the outside – from books, music, films and life – becomes my stimulus to create something new’’.

Rory Kurtz is one of the most unique artists of today, he is a great inspiration for today’s graphic designers. According to the artist, creators have no right to stay silent. No one is looking for them, it is highly important to show initiative, especially since modern media lets you share your ideas with one click of a button, – the unique artist admitted to the website theartful.com. Rory Kurtz’s favourite quote is from the film ‘‘Sexy Beast’’: ‘‘No, you’re just gonna have to turn this opportunity yes!’’

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One of the artist’s best works is on the album of ‘‘How Big, How blue, How beautiful’’ by Florence and The Machine.

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