It’s not every day that you come across an artist whose work is so synonymous with a particular label that it’s hard to imagine one without the other. But for Eatbrain, that artist is Trinyó Art.

For the past decade, Trinyó’s surreal, mind-bending visuals have been gracing the covers of Eatbrain releases, helping to create a unique and instantly recognizable visual identity for the label. But who is Trinyó Art, and how did he come to be the go-to artist for Eatbrain?

In this interview, we’ll take a deep dive into Trinyó’s story, from his early days as a self-taught artist to his current status as one of the most beloved artists in the Eatbrain community. We’ll also discuss his creative process, his influences, and his hopes to continue to create innovative and thought-provoking artwork.

So whether you’re a long-time fan of Eatbrain or you’re just curious to learn more about the artist behind the artwork, this interview is for you.

Burr Oak Somewhere we belong LP
Burr Oak – Somewhere we belong LP

When did you start listening to electronic music and drum & bass in particular?

I couldn’t say exactly, maybe when I was a teenager I think, but in music, I was always omnivorous.

What interests you most about visual art?

It’s hard to choose which visual art genre is close to my heart because everything from comics to video games to movies to paintings is inspiring. Just the fact that an artist is capable of manifesting something non-existent is also a miracle!

When was the first time you saw the close connection between visual art and music?

That’s a very good question. For me, the two have always been closely related.

Maybe you remember some of the first music artwork that you liked?

The first cover artwork I immediately fell in love with was the cover of the Karthago (a Hungarian hard rock band) album from 1981.

Karthago - Karthago artwork
Karthago – Karthago artwork

When you started to draw regularly, what were your first serious works, first paid commissions?

My first serious and paid work was Nickbee — Animal Rage EP. A cover from 2013, released on Eatbrain.

Nickbee — Animal Rage EP

There was a Hungarian metal band Blind Myself (I love them so much), they have the first T-shirt design that I made.

Blind Myself

How did this long-time collaboration with Eatbrain begin? Were you friends with Jade before?

We have been friends for a long time, almost brothers. We met when we were kids and a mutual acquaintance introduced us to each other. What many may not know he is also a brilliant graffiti artist. It was on this common thread of interest that our friendship began!

Life has come so long that we have not met till when Facebook threw up on us as a familiar recommendation. After that, as we started talking again about what was happening in each other’s lives, Jade asked me if I still drew and the rest is history.

Interesting! Do you still create some street art?

Actually, I’ve never been big name in graffiti (letters are somehow not my friends)! 

Since then, you’ve designed every single Eatbrain release. Are you happy with how dnb fans respond to your work? I remember people praising Eatbrain covers on social media just when the label became notable for them.

I’m happy with the fact that I’m bringing joy to Eatbrain fans with my work. The praise and the love that I get from these people is priceless! Because they love my work they love me too and that’s a wonderful thing!

One time, when I was on the bus, I noticed two guys talking about how serious the new Eatbrain cover has become. These stories, or the fact that people immediately can tell it’s my work when looking at a picture fills me with immense pride!

One can say that you truly mastered fantasy & sci-fi visual styles. I also noticed you can mimic action/thriller scenes. Have you been a geek since your childhood?

I’ve always loved everything that is not ordinary. I have been fond of my childhood for comics, horror/fantasy, sci-fi movies, and mainly video games (I have not grown out of these days).

Prolix Zombies Maniac
Prolix – Zombies/Maniac EP

Yet, you never copy a character or an event from some franchise. I assume you push yourself to create something cool in your own style.

I never liked to copy because it’s disrespectful to the other artist. Actually, I would not even be able to copy because it’s sure I’ll somehow change the original art into my own style.

Anyway, what are your favorite, most inspiring franchises?

Couldn’t really answer precisely. There are many things that inspire me, such as movies, video games, and other artists. An artist can be inspired by anything if it starts a thought in his head.

Whose visual work in drum & bass and other genres do you like?

In the drum & bass scene, my favorite graphic artists are Stan Kasian, Matthew Thatcher, Enis Cisic, and Tom Hamel.

In other genres: H.R. Giger (everybody knows him), Michael Hussar (American painter), Chet Zar (American painter), Csaba Jávorka (Hungarian painter), Untune (Hungarian tattoo artist), Emerson Tung (designer of Doom), Joe Mad (comic book artist), Steve Kane (British painter and illustrator), Daniele Serra (Italian illustrator and comic book artist), just to mention a few people!

Your own best work, in your opinion?

“Borzongás Magazine” cover issues 1 and 5 (that was a Hungarian horror cult magazine). 

Borzongás magazine

Borzongás magazine

And my other favorite is an upcoming Hungarian movie “A Karantén Zóna (The Quarantine Zone)” poster art.

The Quarantine Zone

Did you draw more magazine covers and film posters?

Not yet, but I welcome all requests like those!

Are there any main principles that you stick to? Any specific work ethic that you could mention?

I always like to talk to my customers (not only with the publisher but also with the artist) because I want to know what they want to tell or express with the graphics I will make. The other thing to know is that my artworks are collaborations (my permanent co-creator/collab partner is Adam Juhasz) and I stick to the black-white version (linework) of the creation to be handmade graphics.

Yeah, I noticed that there are also other artists who do the coloring.

I worked/collaborated with many great and wonderful artists: Arturo Z. Gutierrez, Jarred Lunt, David Rivera, Enis Cisic, Boris Stapic, Adam Pizurny, David Fatér.

Why do you never make the whole artwork yourself? Are you always happy with the coloring?

Yes, I am. We are in continuous contact during the color phase. we will meet up and discuss the processes. Because I also have a civilian job, the collaboration seemed appropriate so that there would be no deadline slip and then it stayed that way, but in the future, I will also want to make color graphics completely created by me.

Each month you have to draw a new cover for Eatbrain, but you also create art for other labels, posters for gigs, and, as I’ve just found out, you created magazine covers and a film poster. How do you stay so productive?

I’m an eternal kid in my soul! Without fantasy, there is no life for me. Many people, as they grow up, lose the boundless power of imagination that is in almost everyone as a child. Ideas sometimes come quickly, sometimes slowly. But somehow I always dig something out of the depths of my mind.

How do you get ideas for a cover design? What helps you “dig something out of your mind”?

When I connect with the client, they usually tell me what they would like to have as the central subject and the title of the publication. Sometimes they tell me to do what I want (this is the scenario I prefer). Then I start to make some sketches.

Anything can trigger creativity: the title, another cover that cuts into the theme, a movie, a good game, but at some point ideas just come up!

Back when Eatbrain used to release a vinyl version of each EP, you designed the backsides of vinyl sleeves. For now, I only found one artwork that you drew exclusively for vinyl — it’s the back of State Of Mind’s Full Force EP. And it looks rather interesting! Were there more exclusive drawings? Was it purely your intention to create this work, instead of coming up with some average background image for vinyl text?

State Of Mind Full Force EP

State Of Mind Full Force EP

If I remember correctly, Jade proposed the idea of drawing the character from behind (on the State of Mind cover). The physical copies are less like that now but it is up to the publisher to decide what kind of appearance the product gets. Sometimes, there are covers that follow a series of stories. Take the last few appearances of Gydra on Eatbrain for example. New features, changes, or special releases are always discussed with the publisher together.

Gydra - Wipe EP artwork
Gydra – Wipe EP artwork

Your cover for Billain’s Colonize EP is also exciting. While drawing it, did you follow Adis’ sci-fi story that came along with the EP?

I am proud of this work because we created it together with the outstanding artist Enis Cisic! Adis is a very purposeful person, he knows what he wants. The idea came to me already ready and I just shaped it according to my style. It was an honor to be part of this project!

Billain Colonize EP cover

Obviously, you create covers based on a title of an EP, but sometimes it is really vague. For example, you drew a cyberpunk scene for Redpill’s weirdly named ‘All I Do Is’ EP. I definitely like this picture, but why the choice?

The answer is very simple: it’s because that’s what Redpill wanted. I like to be able to please my clients, this is an important aspect for me!

Redpill All I Do Is EP

What drawing tools do you use?

A magic pencil! To understand why I say that: I have sketched all my work with this pencil since 2013, and I still use it! When I’m done with the sketching part, I make the inking with a Sakura Pigma Micron Archival ink fineliner.

trinyo pencil

trinyo pencil

The funny thing is this is an unbranded pencil.

Can you tell an interesting backstory about any of your covers or some other work?

Every artwork has got their own story but I would like to highlight two pieces. Sometimes I make photos from the setting (what I use for the artwork). On the first one, the model was my wife Agnes! I had to create the famous Hannibal Lecter scene from the movie called Hannibal (2001).

Telekinesis - No Brain, No Pain EP artwork
Telekinesis – No Brain, No Pain EP artwork

In the second artwork, you see my little son Lackó and our nasty dog Igor (he is a half-French bulldog and half-British Staffordshire Terrier). And, in the center is Lackó’s first teddy bear.

Smooth - We Are Your Friends artwork
Smooth – We Are Your Friends artwork

Do you have a cover with a hidden meaning/message that no one has revealed yet?

Of course! In fact, I try to create images so that they always have some hidden content. But I can’t tell you what I’m hiding in each pic because the fans would lose the charm.

What is working with Black Hoe like? The stuff you draw for them is really dark, living up to the music.

Switch Technique - The First Apocalypse / Sour Sky artwork
Switch Technique – The First Apocalypse / Sour Sky artwork

Oh, you’re referring to the super-villain cover series! The Black Hoe label owner Migu is a great guy, work went very easily with him! He needed some cruel mind trouble monsters for the covers and I’m available for those.

Do you dream of collaborating with some label or music producer? Or another visual artist?

I haven’t thought about it in this form yet, but I would be very happy to design for Roni Size or Goldie anytime!

How long have you been working on your longest project?

If I remember correctly the Lobotomy Cuts 3 and 4 (Eatbrain Records) which took the longest to be made. If I’m correct, it took me 3 days of continuous drawing for both.

Lobotomy Cuts 3 artwork
Lobotomy Cuts 3 artwork

As far as I remember, at some point, some drum & bass labels started regularly crediting visual artists on social media. That’s how I found out about many creators, including you. When Eatbrain started to credit you, was it purely their decision? Did it really help you to get more recognition on social media?

I think we agreed on this process together with Eatbrain. It helped me a lot that more people knew my name, which I am very grateful for! Furthermore, I think it is important that the artist is marked under the picture since he is part of the whole product. With this, his work is also recognized.

Have you ever had a bad experience while working on a project? Any canceled drawings?

Sometimes I meet stubborn clients who don’t accept good advice, but I’ve never had such a bad experience. About canceled artwork, I did make 3 DVD covers that were not released because the distributor had some legal issues.

Has there ever been a case when you drew something for music that you didn’t really like? How did you cope?

Fortunately, this did not happen often, but if somebody has an idea that is not my style I forward it to an artist friend who is interested.

Your Facebook page is your only portfolio, though I haven’t found anything apart from your official work. Do you ever draw for yourself?

Due to a lack of time, I have not been able to develop a portfolio elsewhere (like an Instagram page). And usually what I draw for myself will later be used for somebody else (if anyone needs an artwork quickly, for example).

Would you like to add something?

I want to thank my family (my son Lacko, my wife Agnes, my mom Rozi, and my dad Laci) for always sticking with me, with their love and trust.

Very big thank you to my first collab partner Arthuro Z. Gutierrez (love you brother) and my permanent collab partner Adam Juhász (you are a great man) and everyone who worked with me.

Thanx to Jade (big up Bro) for the trust he put in me at the beginning of my journey!

Thanx to Gábor Böjtös (my dear brother) for lots of advice and inspiration and for the opportunity to make the covers of the Borzongás (Shiver) magazine.

And to the fans, thank you for being with me, love you guys!

And thanks to you for this great conversation! 

Interview conducted in March 2022

Thanks to Trinyó for this interesting conversation. Don’t forget to follow him on socials and support his work.

You can check the other interviews of this series dedicated to putting the spotlight on visual artists from the bass music scene (with Uno or with Khomatech).