James Harden's Beard Turned Into Works of Art

Slate’s design blog.
March 26 2014 9:00 AM

An Illustrated Ode to NBA Player James Harden’s Beard

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A splashy version of James Harden made with Sketchbook, a painting and drawing software app.

Illustration by Filip Peraić

Croatian designer and illustrator Filip Peraić has used the bearded profile of NBA's Houston Rockets player James Harden as the inspiration for a series of illustrations. Using the constraint of a single silhouette, Peraić said the point of James Harden Illustrated was to “sharpen creativity” by experimenting with various mediums and styles.

“I referenced some images, which helped me get to know his face better, but now I’m able to do it from my head,” the designer and Harden fan told me in an email.

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Bust of James Harden, ancient Greek philosopher, 470–389 B.C.

Illustration by Filip Peraić

The 11 illustrations Peraić has completed so far were made using sketching and painting software app Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop, and/or Illustrator, but he said he plans future Harden beard silhouettes that are hand-drawn or rendered using various objects.

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Profile of James Harden.

Illustration by Filip Peraić

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Peraić wrote on his website that he picked Harden “because of his unique, awesome bearded profile,” adding that the “almost icon-like form of his profile serves as great inspiration and food for a designer’s thought.”

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Botanical, psychedelic collage experiment of James Harden.

Illustration by Filip Peraić

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James Harden as the Isle of Hardenia.

Illustration by Filip Peraić

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Medical illustration of James Harden. "Under James’ skin, we can see that the beard has implemented itself as part of his muscle anatomy as Hardenalis Beardoid," Peraić says.

Illustration by Filip Peraić

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.