Oblix - Top Guns


Oblix is a high-end restaurant and lounge bar located across the 32nd floor of The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, currently the tallest building in London (July 2017). Offering sophisticated, urban dining and world class cocktails, Oblix is an award winning experience. 

Launched on 6th June, "Top Guns" is an evening seeing world-renowned bartenders travel from across the globe to guest host the Oblix bar for one night only. Each mixologist has created their own Oblix "Top Guns" cocktail, which then become a permanent part of the Oblix drinks menu. It is a monthly celebration of the art of mixology and the top global talents at Oblix.

To pioneer the use of illustration in the Oblix brand, I was commissioned to design and illustrate the invitation and imagery for the revised drinks menu for this event.

Project Info 

Oblix Restaurant
Illustration, Print,

The project 

I would begin with a series of photographs of Italian Diageo World Class Winner of 2012: Dennis Zoppi, taking note of his unique anatomical features and character notes. I would sketch a set of exploratory anatomy studies in 3-dimensions in order to better understand his unique shape language, as most people have one all their own. Once I'd exercised an understanding of this language, rough drafts and sketch compositions would become the task. For this image in particular, there were three key features to be incorporated: One being the cocktail artist himself, or an exaggeration of him; the second being "The Birdie", the signature cocktail Dennis would be bringing to the Oblix menu with this event and the third and final being this overarching theme, "Top Guns", our aeronautical, airforce pilot, twist I would need to bring to our character.

With each of my rough drafts, I would keep these key features in mind and build a story around them- I opted to establish a feeling of magic and conjuring that Dennis Zoppi seems to bring in reality, through his showmanship whilst cocktail-making. I pictured him as the magician- and the story I would tell is of the treasure this magician would be bringing to us. An object of great power, even. The next step was to establish client approval for one of the three compositions I created for this piece. After selection, I refined the linework of the image, taking my rough lines to more solid forms with ink and gouache at first, then pulling the raw pieces into photoshop. My composition would have our magician as the aircraft pilot and his treasure, "The Birdie" battling to be the centerpiece of the image. You cannot look at one, without the other. Finally, to cement the themes and add a bit of colour and life to the illustration- a gouache and ink coloured WW2 plane was incorporated into in the foreground. An Italian airforce patch, a nod back to the artist's heritage, was added onto his jacket sleeve.

This illustration was designed as the key image as part of the invitation designed for the event and to become an addition to the bar drinks menu.

A second Illustration picturing Ariel Leizgold, another giant in the cocktail-making industry, was contracted to me as a second assignment. This was created for the second installment of the cocktail-making event.