I minted my first 1/1 NFT artwork on SuperRare

Last spring my girlfriend come home with a blank piece of cardboard. I don’t remember why she bought it, but she cutted it, used a piece and gifted to me the other part. ” Do something with it” she said.

It was big, wide and tall.

In the past few years I spent a lot of time focusing on small, sticker look like illustrations. I was trying to have the right thickness with a fair amount of details, thanks to a friend ( Frankie the king) I discovered two Fudenosuke brushes who are pretty cool for thick to thin lineworks, so I was focusing on single subject illustrations. Big, bold 90s sticker look-like graphics.

But the pandemic gave us a bunch of free time for ourselves ( even too much, fuck me, fuck us & the virus) so after finishing my client works I was dreaming big compositions with a lot of stuff “happening” in it, so I started sketching. I was kinda scared to begin something like this, with a lot of details.

It tooked me three days to finish, started on monday, finished on thursday.
Here you can see the room setup, that was helpful for the timelapse I did for the entire inking process of the piece:

The timelapse/speed inking is visible here:

The position was kinda uncomfortable and I had a freakin back pain in the end that was killer! But yeah, worth it. I was “satisfied”, even if I’m not completely satisfied about my stuff. I’m always thinking about other possible developments of the composition and I’m constantly finding errors but, if you don’t start, you’ll never know what’s next.

I used a Rotring Pen 0.8 for the straight thick lines, the two Fudenosuke brushes ( soft & hard) and a couple of Fude Brush pens by Pentel. Pretty fun stuff if you ask me! The fat brush is incredibly fun because drops a lot of ink, but the slim one ( the grey one) is awesome because it’s super clean and precise.

A couple days, a bunch of brushes, a huge freaking load of patience, a couple of nice records that’s all you need to have your piece done!

After that I worked on the colors with a couple versions, you can see the final colored work here, on auction on SuperRare for the next couple of days. The auction ends Friday 31th at 3pm GMT+1.

As you might now if you read the previous articles or if you follow me on Twitter, I’m into NFTs since the past summer, when I started minting the first artworks into collections on Opensea and HicetNunc.xyz. A couple weeks ago I’ve been accepted into KnownOrigin and now I’m on SupeRare too. I’m gonna talk about the KO painting another time. Thanks a lot for reading, hope you enjoyed!  Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you got any questions or curiosities


Craft beers: I designed my first beer can design of a long serie.

Last year I drew an illustration and designed my first beer can.

The whole concept of the beer can design was based on a road trip in California designed in a super eye catchy, vintage, 80s skateboarding lowbrow style inspired graphic.

The client after seeing my Instagram illustration portfolio basically told me to do draw whatever I want. So I thought about drawing a concept based on a three weeks trip all across California that I did in 2017 with my brother.

We landed in LA and spent a couple days there, then we went to Indio, San Diego, Oceanside, Fallbrook, then up to Santa Cruz and San Francisco to find a couple of friends.

The idea was to design how stoked I was about what I was seeing.

A lot of palm trees, all the crazy colors of the signs, the ocean & the waves.

So I started sketching a popping eyes crazy skull with sunglasses and my hairstyle, with the brewery logo tattoo on the head.

Behind him I drew the Palm Springs windmills with the long road where we were driving, a motel sign because of all our bookings down the road, and then the ocean, the palm trees and the surfboards.

This is the label:

Beer Can design – Illustration by Joe Tamponi / Art & Illustrations inspired by skateboarding, surfing and psychedelic art

As usual I choose a warm color palette with bright yellow, red, aqua and light blue, to create something that make you think about some 80s-90s vintage skateboard graphics, with some bubbly text inspired by the psychedelic art world, for the General Surgeon texts.

Here some images of the finished beer can.

Boomtown Brewery – Superturbo Beer Can Design by Joe Tamponi / Art & Illustrations inspired by skateboarding, surfing and psychedelic art
image by Untappd – designed by Joe Tamponi / Art & Illustrations inspired by skateboarding, surfing and psychedelic art

Are you a Brewery looking for someone to draw your beer cans? Or maybe you’re doing some glass bottle labels and you want something eye catchy to fairly represent the taste of your beer?

Text me to joetamponi@gmail.com and let’s see what we can do together!

If you want to know something more about me, I wrote a little blog post which talks about my work and my experience as a freelance ilustrator, you can read it here!

Who am I and why I love working full-time as a freelance illustrator

I’m Joe Tamponi, I’m 32 and I started working as a full time freelance illustrator three years ago, after spending three weeks in California. First off I want to suggest you something to listen reading this post, this album. Check out to this other post that analyze some colors from some punk rock covers!

Joe Tamponi - Illustration & Graphic design inspired by Skateboarding, Surfing  & psychedelic art.

I started skateboarding when I was fourteen, and surfing when I was sixteen. When I was a teenager I started with the wrong board and I was lost in a bunch of other things. Thanks to a friend in California some years later I re-started and fell in love again. But stop with the boring stuff.

I love drawing bold, eye catchy, super colored illustrations that make you feel like you’re in the 90s again.

Try to picture yourself, pushing that stunning Santa Cruz skateboard deck in a sunny road with a bunch of palm trees over you, with the Nofx pumping in your headphones. Thinking about nothing, heading to a flat spot to learn some tricks and kill some time with your buddies.

What I’m looking for in a successful artwork is to create something that looks like a vintage skateboard sticker. With all those flat colors and badass punk fonts. Let’s see some examples:

Take a look at these, and you can see what I love the most. In the 80s ( and even earlier) legendary graphic designers like Jim Phillips and Jimbo Phillips, Vernon Courtlandt Johnson, Kevin Ancell, started an incredible art style.

There were a lot of different branches I know, but their work inspired generations of young skateboards, illustrators and graphic designers.

pic by Cridar – 2013

But I always been that kind of person who loves a bunch of stuff, and something that seriously inspired me it’s all that poster art which came out from the psychedelic era.

For example the legendary gig posters of the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco from 60s/70s, by Bill Graham. I mean look at the composition and the color palettes of this stuff. they’re just incredible.

The study behind that fonts inspired by the psychedelic trips, the colors are vibrating, sometimes they’re hard to read, the composition looks like is moving into weird shapes.

So, as a freelance illustrator usually I like to do something in the middle. I love the psychedelic art of the 60s because of those flashy, drippy, bubbly psychedelic texts. But I also love the strong, bold lines of the punk-rock, skateboard, surfing inspired illustrations from the 80s and 90s. Punk rock badass fonts, popping eyes, flying slime and all that crazy stuff.

When I was younger I was always adding a bunch of lines to my artworks and everything was super messy.Always struggling to find the way to catch the right thickness with a fair amount of details. It’s something that it’s always on my mind when I’m drawing. The perfect balance between a bold minimal piece and something detailed.

Well, the research and the study never ends, nothing it’s perfect, and it will never be. If you liked my works and you were already thinking about looking for a graphic designer to hire well, you should text me to joeitamponi@gmail.com let’s work on something awesome!