Illustration

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Illustration

Perfectly Round Tattoos by Eva Encompass Miniature Worlds Inspired by Art History

September 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Turkish tattoo artist Havva Karabudak (who goes by Eva in the U.S.) creates incredibly detailed illustrations on clients’ limbs, all carefully rendered within the confines of perfect circles. The artist, who splits her times between residencies in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, has been honing her craft for almost nine years. Previously, Eva worked as an art teacher and muralist; she got into tattooing through a friend who worked in the industry.

Using almost impossibly small lines, Eva inks interpretations of famed paintings by Matisse, van Gogh, and Klimt, as well as Hokusai’s The Great Wave woodblock print and Maurice Sendak’s illustrations in Where The Wild Things Are. The artist also specializes in water scenes and evening skies, giving a suggestion of infinite depth to her petite tattoos.

Eva is currently booked through November, but you can see more of her recent illustrative tattoos on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Mountains and Rivers Merge with Feathers and Fur in Sujay Sanan’s Finely Detailed Watercolor Paintings

September 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Watercolor artist Sujay Sanan (previously) continues to build his “A Place I Know” series, which melds flora and fauna in delicately rendered paintings. Hummingbirds and whales, owls and tigers, and other land and sea-dwelling animals form the outlines for snippets of natural landscapes. To further enhance the naturalistic feeling of his paintings, Sanan often documents each work in the outdoors, framing the painting with the colors and textures used in its composition.

With a degree and career in graphic design, Sanan began working on fine art projects in 2013, when he moved to South Africa from the Himalayas, and now focuses almost exclusively on his art practice. Originals and limited edition prints are available on the artist’s website.

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Delicate Flowers Blossom From Inky Black Backgrounds in Esther Garcia’s Stylized Botanical Tattoos

August 29, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Chicago-based tattoo artist Esther Garcia creates inky black backgrounds on her clients, which are interspersed with delicate floral designs. Sweet peas and garden roses, along with butterflies and birds, emerge from black palettes edged in stylized patterns. Garcia, who is largely self-taught and has twenty years of experience as a tattooer, is known for her lush botanical designs and her artistic project-based approach to tattooing. She shares with Colossal that her current series of black background tattoos began as a solution for cover-ups (a new tattoo deliberately designed and placed to obscure an older one that is no longer wanted).

“I found it meditative and very enjoyable to make a smooth saturated surface where there was chaos before, but pretty soon I was looking for ways to make it a bit more ornamental,” Garcia explains. “I am very influenced by Dutch master paintings of lush florals and fruit, and I love the depth and richness that a dark background offers. It turns out to be a great way to evoke delicacy in a tattoo, and doesn’t need to involve cover ups at all.”

In addition to continuing her tattoo practice, Garcia is also working on a textile and commercial design collaboration with Chicago designer Kyle Letendre, and a traveling workshop series to educate younger artists on cultivating a unique style and sustainable business. You can see more of Garcia’s tattoos on Instagram, and see what upcoming projects she has available on her website.

 

 



Illustration Photography

Playful Doodles by Shira Barzilay Add Stylized Dimension to Classic Portraits

August 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Tel Aviv-based illustrator Shira Barzilay creates expressive line drawings on top of editorial style portraits to provide a more exaggerated expression for the subject, or produce an entirely new face on the back of their head. The digital illustrations are created via iPad, and range from simple lines to filled in multi-color shapes that give the pieces an almost cubist appearance. You can see more of her photographic illustrations, in addition to recent clothing and handbag collaborations, on her Instagram. If you enjoy Barzilay’s itinerant illustrations, also take a look at Shantell Martin’s work.

 

 



Art Illustration

Meticulous Portraits of Young Women by Ozabu Are Eerily Fused with Plants and Feathers

July 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mysterious women are delicately rendered in surreal graphite portraits by Japanese artist Ozabu. Working on warm-toned paper, Ozabu uses a combination of meticulous linework and astoundingly smooth blending to create images that are simultaneously dramatic and soft. Young female subjects seem to fuse with ravens, chrysanthemums, and bonsai trees, blurring the boundaries between human and nature. The self-taught artist refrains from speaking about or explaining her work, instead allowing each ineffable drawing to spark the viewer’s imagination. Ozabu is currently working on an upcoming solo show and regularly posts in-progress and completed pieces on Instagram.

 

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Art Illustration

Melancholy Creatures Explore Imagined Worlds in Wistful Murals by Hayley Welsh

July 29, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Hayley Welsh’s playful murals pair imaginative creatures with universal messages of uplift and encouragement. Often featuring furry, plump critters that seem to be hybrids of dogs, rabbits, and teddy bears, Welsh’s subjects peer through periscopes atop mechanical fish or aboard paper boats, tug clouds from penny farthing bicycles, and sprout trees as antlers. Occasionally, Basquiat-esque crown motifs appear as well.

In a statement on her website, Welsh’s “ominously soft” work “explores inner voices of self doubt and fear, weaving a poignant narrative into every piece⁠—a message for each person to reflect on in the moment.” The British-born artist lives and works between Perth, Australia and Blackburn, U.K. Explore more of her outdoor and gallery-based artwork on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Deep Ocean Waters Amplify Emotions in Sonia Alins’ Evocative Mixed Media Illustrations

July 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“The swimmers III. The gathering”

Illustrator Sonia Alins (previously) creates evocative aquatic scenes using a combination of two and three dimensional elements. Smooth, translucent vellum creates the visual effect of water, and Alins sometimes inserts tufts of colored thread or small sheets of tulle to invoke the ocean floor’s textural topography. Alins then creates carefully placed slits in the vellum to allow her figurative illustrations to peek through the water. Swimming women and the occasional whale move through the murky water, with expressions ranging from peacefulness to mild distress. In an interview with Sara Barnes, Alins explained her deep connection to the water:

I was born near the Mediterranean sea and the influence of it and water in my culture is something defining. I guess it’s part of my DNA. The truth is that the sea has always been present in my life and has transmitted a special and positive energy to me. When taking the first steps of my Dones d’aigua series, water came to me as the perfect medium to communicate and expand emotion. The protagonists of my works interact with this mass of water where they are immersed and, there, their feelings are amplified, their shouts are heard louder, their desperation is felt more profoundly… But also, when they are calm, it feels like a more rewarding emotion too.

The Spain-based artist’s minimal yet impactful style lends itself to literary and editorial illustrations, and Alins has received several advertising and book awards for her work. You can explore more of Alins’ aquatic worlds on Instagram and Behance, and shop prints and products in her Society6 store.

“What I learnt from whales” series

“Dones d’aigua III” series

“The Swimmers”

“The Swimmers” (detail)

“What I learnt from whales” series

“Dones d’aigua III” series