Illustration

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Art Illustration

Mattias Adolfsson’s Wildly Intricate Sketchbook and Doodle Artworks

November 16, 2017

Christopher Jobson

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.

 

 



Art Illustration

Watercolor Illustrations That Trace the Dark and Light Elements of Storybook Myths by Amber Ma

November 15, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

New York-based artist and illustrator Amber Ma subtly integrates elements of darkness into her fantasy-based illustrations. Her inspirations are grounded in childhood stories, such as her series Pinocchio Forest which visually investigates the myth surrounding the storybook puppet’s long nose. In the series of watercolor and sumi ink works Ma mixes elements of tension and warmth. This contrast interrogates the notion of a lie, presenting how the action can both hurt and protect those closest to us.

Ma received both her BFA and MFA in Illustration from the School of the Visual Arts. This fall she was included in the group exhibition Parallel at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. You can view more of the illustrator’s work on her Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Illustration

Ethereal Acrylic Paintings by Duy Huynh Explore Cultural Displacement and Elements of Folklore

November 2, 2017

Christopher Jobson

North Carolina-based painter Duy Huynh (previously) infuses his acrylic paintings with whimsical elements of visual storytelling, where a plume of instruments rises from a rushing locomotive and the moon hovers as a balloon tethered to the wrist of a woman. Huynh arrived in the U.S. from Vietnam in the 1980s and often revisits this period of cultural acclimatization in his artwork. Via his artist statement:

Themes of geographical and cultural displacement are prevalent in Duy’s artwork. Ethereal characters maintain a serene, precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting. With his figures, Duy explores motion along with emotion in order to portray not just the beauty of the human form, but also the triumph of the human spirit.

Huynh is the co-owner of Lark & Key Gallery and many of his original works and prints are currently available.

 

 



Illustration

A Collision of Flora, Fauna, and the Cosmic in Tattoos by Pony Reinhardt

October 30, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Artist Pony Reinhardt of Portland-based Tenderfoot Studio (previously) produces wildly creative tattoos which she describes as a “cosmic cataclysm of the Ghastly Phantastic.” Images of the natural world mingle with stars and elements of sacred geometry in a style reminiscent of old etchings and woodblock prints. Reinhardt has also exhibited fine art at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art and is a US Presidential Scholar of the Arts. You can follow her recent work on Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Popular Electronics Brands Rendered as an Alphabet of Stylish Products

October 23, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Taking inspiration from a wide variety of electronic brands, designer Vinicius Araújo designed this alphabet of Helvetica letterforms, each modeled after a brand’s namesake product. The letter “N” for Nintendo becomes a retro-styled NES gaming system while the “B” for Beats grabs the aesthetic of comfy headphones. Araújo went even further with several of the letters to create a few brief animations. You can see the entire series titled 36days Electronics on Behance.

 

 



Illustration

New Paper Textured Editorial Illustrations by Eiko Ojala

October 11, 2017

Christopher Jobson

With a minimalist approach to editorial work that blends silhouettes and shadows, Estonian illustrator Eiko Ojala has become a staple of major newspapers and magazines as of late including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, and New Scientist. His distinctive style involves the look and feel of paper cut-outs to achieve surprising depth, both visually and conceptually, in clear statements perfect for the limited space of editorial design.
Seen here are a collection of illustrations from the last year or so, but you can see much more on Behance. (via Abduzeedo)

 

 



Art Illustration

Graphite Illustrations That Explore the Detailed Relationships of the Natural World by Zoe Keller

October 6, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Zoe Keller creates detailed illustrations pulled from the natural world. Her fauna-based drawings are done completely in charcoal, drawing the eye to the subtle markings used to create either fur or scales. Source imagery for the works comes from nature and how it becomes mediated in books and field guides, however Keller often fills in areas of question with pieces pulled from her own inquisitions or memory.

“My curiosity about the natural world is what keeps me dialed in to my work,” Keller told Colossal. “Drawing is the best way that I’ve found to understand how organisms and ecosystems work. In order to draw something realistically you have to understand how it sits in space, how it moves, the mechanics of its insides. So for me tuning into the natural world means chasing an endless series of questions. On the most minute, piece-specific scale, this can mean asking how many whorls are in the shell of a particular species of snail. On a larger scale, I’ve been developing bodies of work that ask big questions about visually engaging with the natural world in ways that honor it and inspire others to protect it.”

Often the Portland-based artist’s subjects are related in a way that might not be known to the common viewer. This can range from a drawing of plants that are endangered in Oregon to a work concentrated on flowers that can only be found in a particular part of the US. This strategy allows a deeper research to go into her practice so that the final image is not just about aesthetics, but relates to a more immediate concern for the natural world.

Keller recently participated in a week-long backpacking artist residency called Signal Fire in the Klamath National Forest which was one of many inspirations for her upcoming solo exhibition Swarm, opening October 27 at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. You can peek further into Keller’s practice on her Instagram and Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)