Back in 1989, the young Jan Meininghaus was paid DM50 to create the logo for a band, and he hasn’t looked back. Since then, it’s been rock posters, covers, flyers, t-shirts, skate decks, comics, advertising illustrations and storyboards all the way. He’s worked with a whole range of global brands from Audi through to GQ.
Growing up in the 80s, he developed a passion for American pop culture and alongside his love of Star Wars and Back to the Future, he’s influenced by the lowbrow movement, graffiti, concept and fantasy art. His all-time favourites include Frank Frazetta, HR Giger, Robert McGinnis, Drew Struzan and Frank Miller. It’s easy to see both their larger than life imaginations and deft art skills reflected in Jan’s portfolio.
Now living in the German countryside, he’s got the room he needs for his silkscreen press. He’s got a classic 67 Mustang, and a classic Les Paul guitar, which he plays in his band. You’ll spot them in his artworks now and again too, because Jan’s passions run deep. If he finds something interesting outside of his art, you’ll soon see it represented in the images he creates.
Jan wasn’t formally trained – his drawing and painting skills are self-taught, and have been honed by years of both experience and experimentation. However, he studied graphic design briefly and this gave him a good sense of layout and composition.
Jan’s career began just before computers became the mainstream tools of artists, and his approach reflects this. He’s as happy working with pencils as stencils, painting large format canvases or using a Mac. Working with his hands and real materials is what Jan loves best and inks and brushes are his prime media.
There are four main styles Jan works in. His comic art/graphic novel style ranges from smooth, clean, line-based look through to grittier, more mature graphic novel imagery. He delivers pencil illustrations too – monochrome images that have a vintage feel. Digital painting is another forté, and he’s particularly good when it comes to an airbrushed look. Finally, he has his own brand of acrylic painting, which he often uses for rock n roll cover art.