For illustrator Calvin Sprague, born in the United States and now living in Rotterdam, Netherlands, a freelance career was a long time in the making. After getting his first job in design, “I didn’t find design interesting anymore because I was doing less and less creative work,” he recalls. “In 2008, [I] started a small studio called Pavlov Visuals with my brother, designing merchandise for local bands throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth area.” Over the next six years, Pavlov Visuals grew to create work for renowned artists like Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, which fulfilled a childhood dream of Sprague’s but left him feeling a lack of identity in his work. So, he struck out to Europe, where another spark ignited: “Instead of designing and catering to brands, maybe I [could] create for myself,” he says. Now, Sprague’s work combines intricate, angular forms akin to the art of stained glass windows with flowing shapes that evoke Heinz Edelmann (“I was utterly obsessed with The Yellow Submarine [and how] colorful, exciting and bizarre it was,” he recalls of his early influences) and focuses on simplified lines and repetitive elements to achieve a balanced composition. “One thing I strive for is ‘How can I show what I’m trying to show with as little line work as possible?’” Sprague notes. “I’m just doing what feels right at the end of the day.”
Through his work, this outdoor sports photographer in Annecy, France, inspires viewers to explore the wilderness themselves.