The emotive illustrations of Luca Boni

This designer used art as a means to escape the drudgery of every-day life. Now it’s his profession.

Luca Boni is a visual artist and co-owner of Tozer Studio, a small concept art agency based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Boni is part of a team that produces visual iconography for projects over a variety of platforms, all of which are infused with high levels of detail and feature a distinct drawing style.

We spoke to Boni and asked him about the beginning of his creative journey.

“I pretty much drew fanatically in class as an escape from boredom throughout my school life – in my Math book, on Microsoft Paint during computer class, on anything. By the time I finished Matric, I chose to study 3D Animation at City Varsity [based in Cape Town] where I met a massively talented animator who showed me the basic fundamental rules of constructing a drawing,” he said.

Luca Boni

Following his tertiary studies, Boni returned home and found odd freelance jobs to sharpen his skills in order to become employable.

“It happened sooner than expected. I was picked up by a reputable studio in Cape Town which was a great learning experience, but it was there that I decided to leave Cape Town and start my own thing.”

Luca Boni

On describing the creative process that he normally follows in order to create a unique artwork, Boni said, “I mainly paint in Photoshop with a drawing tablet, but sometimes I'll use good old pen and paper for the initial sketch.

Every piece starts off a little different. Sometimes I'll doodle until I see something I want to try out, but it depends on what feels right. There aren't many boundaries when it comes to digital painting. It could start off by just forming an object with basic shapes and colours or it could go straight into a painting from the line art.”

Luca Boni

Boni considers himself more as a creative chameleon than an aficionado of one particular kind of drawing, being able to modify the nature of his illustrative style according to the brief.

“Objectively, I see my style as being quite diverse and adaptable according to the requirements of the job. I would say, without a doubt, that a massive amount of my inspiration comes from other artists. I'm influenced by everything and anything, especially the strangeness of people.”