Molly Rose Dyson reimagines Christian Louboutin’s new sneaker

The illustrator and graphic designer’s artworks are one part ’70s surrealism, one part Y2K nostalgia. Here, she discusses the trippy, Rio de Janeiro-inspired psychedelic cityscape she created to mark the launch of the brand's Arpoador shoe.

Molly Rose Dyson knows a thing or two about creating striking visuals.

In 2012, after graduating from art school in Melbourne, the illustrator and graphic designer left her native Australia for Berlin. Once there she hit the ground running, designing eye-catching posters for club nights and connecting with an extensive network of musicians, artists and image-makers.

I was meeting people out at parties, then getting asked to collaborate on things because of those connections,” she tells THE FACE via a WhatsApp call from her apartment in the German capital. It’s a fun city for that kind of networking!” Dyson adds with a smile.

Achieved using an ingenious digital airbrushing technique, Dyson’s designs are one part Seventies surrealism, one part Y2K nostalgia. Think: Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain retold on the back of your childhood secret diary. Dyson also credits American artist Robert Beatty – known for his Tame Impala album covers – and Japanese graphic designer Mitsuo Katsui as key influences.

I think a lot of my work is inspired by that feeling when you’re a kid and you’re encountering lots of designed objects – there’s something familiar, but there’s also this uncanniness. So maybe I’d describe my work as having an optimistic uncanniness.”

Given the distinctive youthful flair of her illustrations, it’s little surprise that numerous brands and artists have called upon Dyson to collaborate.

Most recently, she collaborated with Christian Louboutin on a psychedelic poster to mark the launch of their newest sneaker. Named the Arpoador, after a region of Rio de Janeiro, it’s inspired by the city’s bold colour palette and the winding curves found in Brazil’s architecture – all of which steal the show in Dyson’s eye-catching illustrated cityscape.

The main building I referenced was the Niteroi Art Museum by Oscar Neimeyer,” Dyson says, referencing the space-age structure which dominates her image and morphs seamlessly into the undulating silhouette of the shoe.

Unfortunately I’ve never been to Rio, but it was really fun researching all of these tropical, beautiful places whilst I was in a grey, Berlin autumn,” she admits with a laugh. Quite a juxtaposition!”

But when you’re a designer like Molly Rose Dyson, your imagination can take you anywhere.

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