Start the New Year with Neil Cohen’s Discipline-Defying Art

Independent designer and art director Neil Cohen dips into everything from illustration and typography to CGI and film. With a self-professed skeptical eye, Cohen brings together graphic and interior design and art in unexpected ways. The Tel-Aviv-based creative talks us through his Instagram account.

Who Is Neil Cohen?

Neil Cohen is a designer and art director who can be found making anything from tote bags to CGI films and websites. He creates images and makes objects for varied clients, who have included Google, but also a local independent jeweller. Cohen explains his amphibious nature as giving him “a strong interest in mixing mediums and disciplines in a way that enables me to bring all my desires and interests to the table”. You’ll mostly find him working from his studio in Tel Aviv, but he has also moonlighted as a mentor on various programmes.

Why Should You Follow Him?

“I perceive inspiration mostly as a passive process,” Cohen tells Elephant. “It happens in the background of anything I create.” Cohen’s Instagram is not only the place to be updated on what he’s making (watch this space for vinyl sleeves he’s designing for Fortuna Records and !K7Records), but it’s a pathway through his thought process. The bold use of colour, geometric composition and awkward movements that define Cohen’s practice “reflects my surrounding environment and the art I experience”, he says. “Every project has its time of visual research and education that forms a foundation to any design, and in some cases this initial process delivers the inspiration for the job ahead.” With the push and pull between the digital and the physical, Cohen finds solutions that satisfy our aesthetic impulses as well as our physical interactions.

What Instagram Doesn’t Tell You

Soon, you might find yourself sitting on a Neil Cohen artwork. In recent years, Cohen has tried his hand at interior design, and found he’s not too bad at it. He had a flirtation with interior design at a bar in Tel Aviv, Phi, in 2018, and he recently collaborated with Liran Goldberg to art direct and brand a hostel franchise, due to open in Porto in July this year. In 2019 Cohen is planning to take his involvement with space one step further, by designing furniture for his clients.


You can find out more about Neil Cohen at @neilcohen on Instagram