Akber Ahmed, an illustrator based in Berlin, Germany, who goes by the pseudonym AKBERLIN, has once again dazzled the art community with his latest project, “Eighties Excess.” These detailed isometric vector illustrations are a nostalgic yet edgy homage to the vibrant and sometimes dark world of 1980s pop culture. Known for his intricate isometric vector worlds that often brim with pop culture references, Akber’s new work is a testament to his passion for creating immersive and mood-rich artwork.

The following picture is only a small part of the entire project. Please read more below the image.

Eighties Excess - 80s pop culture-inspired detailed isometric vector illustrations by Akber Ahmed aka AKBERLIN 1
Eighties Excess – 80s pop culture-inspired detailed isometric vector illustrations by Akber Ahmed aka AKBERLIN 1

A Journey Through Time

Akber’s journey as an illustrator is as fascinating as his creations. He recalls being deeply inspired by Martin Handford’s “Where’s Wally?” books during his childhood. This influence is evident in his detailed and engaging compositions, although Akber’s work carries a unique edge that appeals to both children and adults. His illustrations are not just about visual delight; they are a playground of references that invite viewers to explore and discover hidden gems.

Pop Culture and History Intertwined

A deep-rooted influence of pop culture and history runs through Akber’s work. This dual inspiration is vividly present in “Eighties Excess,” where he skillfully blends iconic events and figures from the 1980s with a distinctive artistic flair. The illustration boasts a staggering 350 references, offering viewers a challenge to identify as many as they can. From legendary musicians and classic movies to historical events and fashion trends, every corner of the artwork is packed with nostalgic elements waiting to be uncovered.

Crafting the Isometric Worlds

Creating such detailed illustrations requires not just talent but also the right tools. Akber primarily uses Adobe Illustrator, occasionally incorporating Photoshop to achieve the desired effects. His trusty Wacom Cintiq 22 and Macbook Pro are essential to his workflow, allowing him to dive into the intricate details that define his art. These tools enable him to manipulate color schemes and lighting meticulously, setting distinct moods that enhance the overall experience of his illustrations.

From UX/UI Design to Full-Time Illustration

Despite working full-time as a UX/UI designer, Akber’s passion for illustration remains undiminished. His background in illustration, which he minored in at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, laid a strong foundation for his artistic pursuits. His thesis project, a graphic novel, marked the beginning of a journey that he hopes will one day see him transition to a full-time illustrator. For now, Akber continues to balance his professional commitments with his love for illustration, participating in group shows and selling prints through his online shop.

The Dark Underbelly of the 80s

While “Eighties Excess” bursts with the bright and colorful essence of the 1980s, it also hides a darker side. Akber has cleverly embedded elements that reflect the more sinister aspects of the decade, both real and fictional. This duality adds depth to the illustration, making it more than just a nostalgic piece but also a commentary on the contrasts of the era.

Dive into Eighties Excess

Akber Ahmed’s “Eighties Excess” is more than an illustration; it’s an invitation to relive and explore a decade that left an indelible mark on pop culture. Whether you’re a fan of the 80s or an aficionado of detailed artwork, this piece offers a rich and engaging experience. You can play the game of spotting the 350 references by visiting his interactive artwork at akberl.in/1980s/.

Stay tuned for more mesmerizing works from AKBERLIN, as he continues to blend his love for pop culture and history into captivating illustrations that invite us all to see the world through his unique artistic lens. Our previous feature of AKBERLIN on WE AND THE COLOR can be found here.

All images © by AKBERLIN. Feel free to browse through WE AND THE COLOR’s Illustration category for more inspiration.