Vintage inspired designs have always been on trend in the art world. Explore what US-based freelance illustrator Zackery Blanton brings to the microstock sphere. Known as retrorocket on 123RF, Zackery’s retro illustration style is indeed a breath of fresh air to the vector community. Take a trip into a time machine as you explore his creative works.

While Zackery’s art may look like it belongs on smart editorial pieces with a business concept, his illustration style carries an aesthetic with a storytelling flair. Think book covers with a retro theme, and vintage advertising posters or flyers in the 1950s-1960s.

I love the past look of the way business people dressed, especially the men with full suits and hats. There is something unique about the first half of the 20th Century and the effort people made in looking nice. Even the gangsters with tommy guns, in movies, had nice fedora hats. I don’t know if people consistently dressed that well all of the time but that seems to be a collective perception of that era.

Zackery Blanton

On how he developed his retro illustration style:

I’m not sure how style develops or how to explain it. It seems to be organic and doesn’t happen overnight. René Magritte’s The Son of Man certainly influenced me along with images and movies from the 20’s to 50’s. I also love a lot of images in the CSA images archive. These days, we live in a much more casually dressed world and reflecting that look in business illustrations doesn’t have the same effect as the older style. I think my retro look also came from a point of necessity to capture the right feel for certain concepts. I’m certainly not unique in thinking this. Many illustrators that create business illustrations have some sort of retro feel to their work.

Some good advice to illustrators looking to make some money out of their creative work:

I was a full-time illustrator from 2009-2016 and it was great but things change and other opportunities arise. My advice for people getting started is to upload your digital illustrations and find venues to sell your actual drawings and paintings. I think illustrators and artists must be open to doing different types of work to earn a respectable income from your images now and in the future.

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