New Flat Factory Sketches

After completing a lot of artwork over the past few months, it was time to head back to the drawing board. The Flat Factory style was something I wanted to come back to and explore more. I had used it for one specific reason, but I thought it had the potential to be used in other illustrations. The first thought was to do a portrait:

The portrait is of M.I.A. Completing this in Illustrator will be important since I want the color to define the features in her face.

Next, some typography. I was inspired by brain coral at the Great Barrier Reef so the style of the pipes in “Work” are taken from that.

From there, I wanted to do another sketch of all three themes. I challenged myself with the above illustration because I wanted to make a Rube Goldberg machine that could “work”. If you follow it from beginning to end, each part connects to the one before it. When I complete this in Illustrator, I will need to add some numbers so it can be followed.

Then, it was back to a portrait. This time, I did Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. He is filled with equipment that could be found in the meth super lab. I decided to make the elements in this illustration more jumbled than the previous illustration. Plus, I stuck to certain imagery.

Finally, I did one more typography example. I decided to vary the size of the pipes and make them overlap each other.

Not sure when I will get to the final illustrations, but I wanted to keep the ball rolling with my drawing instead of stopping and starting. It made the whole process run smoother.


  1. Martin says:

    Amazing technique, Joe. I particularly love the Pinkman face. Also interesting: the pipes in Work curve like arabic scrip. This wasn’t intended, I suppose?

  2. joemills says:

    Thanks Martin! No, the curves were not intended to look like Arabic scrip, but I like the comparison. Thanks!

  3. PiVisuals says:

    I like all four of these drawing, but I really like the Aaron Paul portrait. I’d mention something about the level of detail, but at this point, I’ve come to expect it with your work. I can’t wait to see the final illustrations… any chance you expect to finish it before you leave Australia, or will this be a US-based project?

  4. joemills says:

    Thanks! It’s funny…the Aaron Paul sketch was the one I least thought out before drawing and you are the second person to say that is their favorite. Maybe I should do that more often.

    These will all be completed while back in Chicago. I’m trying to get a bunch of illustrations ready to go because I expect it will be more difficult to sketch as soon as we get home. It is easier for me to already have something thought out and ready to go.


  1. [...] doing a bunch of flat factory sketches (here, here, and here), it was time to bring some of these into Illustrator. They had sat on my computer [...]

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