What would you choose between a sharp, beautiful photo portrait and an illustration? If you’re inclined to reach for the photo answer, you need to see these random portraits turned in illustrations. What happens when drop dead portraits get in the hands of a talented artist? Julio Cesar experimented with transforming photos into fun illustrations that will make you feel jealous he didn’t pick your Facebook profile photo. Cesar follows the lead of Hector Janse van Rensburg who chose fifty random Facebook profile photos and turned them into sloth paintings, as a metaphor for his depression. The Brazilian artist, however, has a cuter approach and an obvious draw towards pretty girls.
Also known as MZ09, the Brazilian artist is a freelance illustrator with a deep passion for cartoony style. He gave up publicity and advertising so he could dedicate all his time to what he really loves doing: art. He has an impressive collection of illustrations and you can check out his original artwork on Deviantart, Facebook or Tumblr.
His main source of inspiration are cartoons from the 80s and 90s. This transpires in every illustration he makes. Whether he starts from scratch or works around a real photograph, he makes sure to leave his fingerprint on the style of the artwork. You can notice above the photo vs the illustration. Cesar went ahead and enlarged the eyes of the girl for a real cartoonish feel. The elongated neck and fuller lips prove he pays attention to details and he’s not afraid to spend hours working on a project.
Cesar has a knack for choosing the photos he decides to transform into illustrations. I doubt it’s a completely random process, since almost all of them have a playful undertone in their composition. To make his illustrations, Julio uses Easy Paint Tool SAI and also Photoshop for post production.
I warned you his favorite subjects are pretty girls. Cesar confesses that at the beginning his creative process was a bit chaotic. Well, no one’s born knowing it all, Cesar. As he learned how to master the technique, he shifted back and forth between approaches until he found what best worked for him. Instead of getting knee deep in layers, now he first tackles the draft, adding the base colors and then the lights and shadings.
As a self taught illustrator, the Brazilian artist finds inspiration and tips everywhere on the internet. His favorites are superheroes, but this project took him out of his comfort zone and made him experiment with different portraits, colors and techniques.
From the bunch, the above set probably best illustrates his fondness for cartoons. The photo on the right undergoes a complete transformation. The eyes are enlarged, the doll eyelashes applied. Even the drinks get the cartoonish treatment and benefit from a face lift.
What’s in store for Cesar’s fans? An actual store. MZ09 is shooting high for the stars and plans to open an online shop and sell t-shirts for all nerds and geeks out there. Come to think of it, I know a few people who’d like to wear a tee with their cartoon self painted on it.
Cesar doesn’t exclude the possibility of releasing an art book with his illustrations in the near future. He’s also flirting with the idea of a comic book, but that’s just brainstorming at the moment. Looking at his artwork, his attention to details and drive to create something unique, I think it’s safe to say he would succeed in anything he set out doing.