Like a mad hybrid of Where’s Waldo meets Dr. Seuss—with healthy doses of absurdity and science fiction—Swedish illustrator Mattias Adolfsson (previously) fills his sketchbooks and canvases edge to edge with his manically dense drawings of… well, just about anything you can imagine. Around the framework of a known destination such as a small village or the interior of a church, the artist populates nearly every square inch with bands of unruly characters, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, and overly complex spacesuits. The purpose of everything seems to be a mystery, but the time spent trying to understand it all is always rewarding, a first-glance view can turn into minutes of exploration as each piece slowly unravels like a story.
Adolfsson is as meticulous in the documentation and sharing of his work as the subject matter itself. You can follow his process and peek inside numerous sketchbooks on his website, where you can also find many of his drawings gathered into a series of books. He also shares prints and a few original watercolor works in his Etsy shop.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You'll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!