"Migration," and Von's other works demonstrate a striking balance between traditional illustration and cutting edge design, with craftsmanship playing a huge role—one possible reason art lovers and commercial clients alike are drawn to his work.
"The level of craft involved in its creation is very visible in the final piece," says Von, who is repped by Bernstein+Andriulli. "In that respect it can appeal to young people, as well as older generations who find things appealing because they can see the work that went into it."
Von has exhibited everywhere from the London Design Museum to galleries in Paris and New York. He's also created for clients as diverse as The New York Times, Nike, Fuse, Wallpaper magazine, Glenfiddich and American Express. Von says the relationship between his commercial and fine art is a symbiotic one, with one influencing and inspiring the other. "The flexibility and free reign allowed in the non-commercial work allows for development that commissioned work wouldn't," he says. "This can then seep back into commercial work in the same way and vice versa. I'm often commissioned off the back of personal stuff as much as I am other jobs from my portfolio. At the moment I couldn't be purely commercial nor purely fine art. The focus shared between the two is shifting but they will both be playing their roles for the foreseeable future."
Outside of his solo efforts, Von likes to be a team player, too. He partnered with product designer Hideki under the perfectly sensible pseudonym of VonHideki to design the corian and glass "Colombian Coffee Table," a comment on "consumerism, addiction and desire" that appeared at the London Design Festival. And he's open to working with others across design lines. "I would love to collaborate with Zoe and David from Commonwealth," he says. "They are insanely talented and produce 3D work that very much resonates to the way I draw and see my work developing in its morphological approach."
In the meantime, he's thinking up other ideas fast—and abundantly. "Drawing directly onto furniture and then sealing the artwork is something else I've been toying with for a while," he says. "Window displays as well. I would love to do something with glass, too! Pieke Bergman's glass work is fantastic and incredibly inspirational. [I have] sketchbooks full of ideas. It's finding the right time and opportunities to realize them that's the difficult thing."