London-based illustrator Alexandra Dvornikova animates enchanting moments in darkened woods, where fluorescent fungi flickers in the night and woodland creatures carry candles on their heads. Dvornikova shares more of her storybook images on Instagram and also sells prints through Society6.
Chinese artist Hong Chun Zhang creates graphite drawings that replace everyday materials with ribbons, sheets, or swirls of shiny black hair. The works, titled Hairy Objects, are intended to be humorous while also a bit unsettling, allowing the beauty of hair to also repulse the audience when caught emerging from the spine of a book or the spout of a bathroom sink.
The surreal drawings also focus on her cultural identity, especially connections with her family in China, and her identity as a woman and sister. The hair represents a powerful life force, imbuing each piece with an aspect of herself.
In addition to graphite drawings, Zhang also creates ink paintings in the traditional Chinese fine style which requires applying ink from lighter to darker shades through eight successive layers. The technique is very realistic and time consuming, requiring years of specialized training. Hong studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing for four years, as well as learned from her parents who had a strong influence on her artistic style at a young age.
In addition to getting her BFA in Chinese painting from CAFA, Zhang received her MFA at the University of California, Davis. She currently lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas.
In this brief video, London-based illustrator Guy Larsen finds inspiration in the shadow lines cast by a crumpled up ball of paper which he uses to draw a variety of distorted portraits. Being a talented artist makes this look easy, but it’s probably a fun exercise for anyone who wants to practice seeing things differently or to force a different illustration style. You can see more of Larsen’s work on Instagram and in his online shop. (via Colossal Submissions)
Brazilian designer Fabio Araujo digitally composes images of abandoned sites to create undesirable islands, small patches of earth ripped up from long neglected corners of civilization. The series, Abandoned Places, exists both as image and video as Araujo animates discrete elements of the works to play in a loop. These areas serve as the only “living” aspect in-frame, focusing on a single deer or bubbling creek that has managed to survive amidst crumbling architecture and rusted water towers.
Araujo explores a similar island concept in another work titled Favela, a much larger creation that seems to float through the sky rather than a flat matte background. You can see more of Araujo’s digitally composed pieces on his Behance and Instagram.
For this ongoing series of digital illustrations titled “UNKNOWN × UNKNOWN,” designer Zhang Chenxi imagines an alien world crawling with gloopy, squishy, anemone-like creatures that share hybrid characteristics of plants and animals. Chenxi starts each piece as a concept sketch on paper and then models it in Cinema 4D before rendering in Octane. If you want to see more, he shares new works every few days on Instagram.