Reverse-design with quirky illustrator Domenic Bahmann

From an office marker-turned-swan, to a fire truck putting out burnt toast, these illustrations celebrate the quirky side of design.

Australia-based multidisciplinary artist Domenic Bahmann’s creations all have one thing in common: everyday objects turned into a running figure that tries to escape from being used as an article of daily use. “I think we all have sometimes the urge to escape from the repetitiveness of everyday life,” he explains.

Bahmann admits that his quirky series, Stop.Think.Make., serves no real design purpose but this hasn’t stopped multiple publications from celebrating his work. He challenged himself in 2013 to come up with one new image each week. The ongoing project helps the German-born artist stay playful in an increasingly serious modern world.

Can you describe your chosen medium and how you feel it best conveys your message?

I began to actively create art and photo still live images 3 years ago when I began to share my work on websites like Flickr and Instagram. It was interesting to hear the comments from other artists and photographers. It is still the perfect playground for me to show and try out new ideas.

What are some of the running themes in your work?

My running creatures can be interpreted in a few variations. They have one thing in common: Everyday objects turn into a running figure that tries to escape from being used as an article of daily use. I think we all have sometimes the urge to escape from the repetitiveness of everyday life.

What inspires you?

Children like to experiment so much more than grown-ups. They have to try out everything and ask themselves many times: ‘What if?’ It is such a great experience when you try as an adult to get back into the world of experimenting. It is not always easy to put myself into this state of mind when there are so many other tasks in life. But there are moments where I have to stop and notice something interesting.

How do you hope your work is received?

I like to inspire creatives to focus more on ideas than on styles and trends. Whether you are an artist or a designer, you should try to make your work resonate with your audience.

Tell me about Stop. Think. Make. Is it still going strong since 2013?

I have been interested in creating images since I was a child. When I started my career as a designer I stopped drawing and worked only on commercial projects. A few years ago I decided to start an ongoing creative challenge. I had to create an image based on an idea or insight once a week. I was inspired by rising t-shirt, cartoon, craft and photo artists who were sharing their work on Flickr. It made me realise that with social media non-renowned artists can share their images with the whole world and see immediately how their art is perceived.

My work has changed slightly comparing to my first pieces in 2013. Sometimes I feel I have less time to come up with an idea. The best way to overcome this is to do something really boring such as doing the dishes or sorting through my sock drawer. It is incredible how many ideas pop into my mind when my brain does not have to fire on all cylinders.

What do you hope to achieve with your work?

Other than my job as a designer and illustrator I like to challenge myself with insights and ideas that don’t serve any design purpose. I guess you can call it Reverse-Design. I want to promote the idea that is important to think like a child. As adults, we are so caught in the way we think that it is hard to break out sometimes.