Youth Arts Moderator

The Illustrations of Alexis Marcou

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It is no secret that drawing with pencils seems very old school in the art world of today. Given all the new technology, it’s possible for an artist to make amazing works of art digitally without ever knowing how to draw on paper. Alexis Marcou’s work combines the best of both worlds with his detailed graphite drawings layered with electric digital elements.

Originally from Greece, Marcou now resides in London after studying Photo Media Design and Communication at the University of Plymouth. Having drawn for most of his life, it has only become a career since for him 2007. Though he has not been in the professional field for long, Marcou has already illustrated for big names such as Cisco, Hewlett Packard, and Nike. His most recent work is on Nike’s “House of Hoops” campaign, featuring multiple basketball players in action. The black and white players are highlighted with energetic streaks of colour, making for a very active ad. These drawings in particular emulate power, and if not for the combination of medias, the illustrations would not have the same impact on its viewers.  


Marcou is influence by artists such as  Pablo Picasso, Yoji Shinkawa, and David Finch. As for his work, Marcou is inspired by many things in life and aims to portray a strong sense of emotion in all of his designs. Seeing as it is rare for an artist to make graphite their go-to media, it is very impressive how Marcou has been able to manipulate it. When asked why it is his main form of media, he states:

“I always worked with graphite, its flexible organic, dry and shiny at the same time, durable and there are many types of graphite to blend with. I always believed that an idea in most cases starts to become real with a simple pencil.”


Given the dynamic of these graphite works, some may ask why add to it? Though they are amazing on their own, with their great use of tones and lines, the digital accents add a burst of life to the drawings. Of his artistic choices, Marcou says:

“When I finish a drawing and put it through the computer it helps me in see it with another perspective. There are many uses with digital media such as practical that the audience will never see. Measuring with accuracy and conceptualizing the drawing before it is done doing digital collages to create the best possible reference for your final design.”

At the moment, Marcou is working on a design with Mutabor and is finishing up an independent project about music. To see more of Alexis Marcou’s work, check out his website.

Nicole Mellion

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