Illustration

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Illustration

Bold Animal Portraits Emerge from Ornamental Backdrops in YoAz's Digital Illustrations

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © YoAz, shared with permission

In YoAz’s Ornamental Animals, vibrant portraits of lions, gorillas, and other large mammals pop out of an expanse of decorative flourishes. The new series utilizes an ornate motif that’s consistent throughout each piece, with the faces of each creature delineated by saturated tones that contrast the otherwise pastel backdrop. The Paris-based illustrator and graphic designer shares that for the digital portraits, he focuses on three colors that vary in shade, using one to outline the face, a brighter hue to add density and movement, and another to intensify the animal’s individual characteristics.

Prints of YoAz’s illustrations are available from Society6, and you can find an extensive collection of his work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Illustration

A Wildly Relatable Animation About Existential Dread Reminds Us to Enjoy the Moment

February 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Existential dread, we all have it. A poignant animation by Alisha Liu captures our collective anxiety as it zeroes in on a typical Sunday afternoon in Central Park. The main character (i.e. all of us) breaks the calm with questions about the meaning of life, human insignificance, and of course, the overwhelming feeling that nothing matters. Through minimal scenes, the short film shifts between both mundane moments with passersby and expansive shots of the star-studded galaxy. Ultimately, though, Liu reminds us to get out of our heads and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Based in Los Angeles, Liu created the film while in her second year at CalArts, and you can see more of her classmate’s work on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Illustration

Loneliness Shrouds the Peculiar Scenes in Carlos Fdez's Graphite Drawings

January 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Enlarged.” All images © Carlos Fdez, shared with permission

Through rich, brooding illustrations, Carlos Fernández, who works under the moniker Carlos Fdez, encapsulates lingering feelings of loneliness that cloud modern life. The blurred graphite veils each work with a surreal aura, layering the peculiar scenarios of sheep feasting on a wolf and distressed figures with mystery. “More than just being alone, the greatest loneliness for me is that feeling that nobody understands you, that you are only there, sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrifying,” Fdez writes.

The Madrid-based artist is included in an online show at Wow x Wow, which is up until January 29. He sells prints of his introspective drawings in his shop, and you can explore a larger collection of his work on Instagram.

 

“Herd Immunity”

“The Loop Man”

“Plague”

“Black Bile”

 

 



Illustration

The Blue Hour: Lyrical Illustrations Catalog a Menagerie of Specimens in Earth's Rarest Pigment

January 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Isabelle Simler, shared with permission

French illustrator and author Isabelle Simler deftly renders the liminal time surrounding dusk through a poetic exploration of Earth’s rarest color. The Blue Hour winds through the natural world on a journey to spot the pigment, from a bluejay resting on ice-coated branches to robin’s eggs to midnight skies and ocean depths. Simler focuses on “this time of day, when daytime animals enjoy the last moments before nighttime animals wake up. This in-between where the sounds and smells are denser and where the bluish light gives depth to the landscapes.”

Arranged like a color chart, Simler’s richly cross-hatched drawings display myriad nuances in time, species, and scenery of our ocean-blanketed planet. Because the pigment isn’t naturally occurring—plants, insects, and animals that appear blue are simply reflecting that portion of the spectrum rather than emitting it—the illustrations spotlight the uncommon specimens that populate the world with indigo, turquoise, and azure.

The Blue Hour is available on Bookshop along with a few of Simler’s other illustrated titles. Currently, she’s working on Topsy Turvy, a book that focuses on mimetic insects, which you can follow on her site and Instagram. (via Brain Pickings)

 

 

 



Illustration

Elegant Figures Inhabit the Surreal Dreamworlds of Thanh Nhàn Nguyễn's Sublime Illustrations

January 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

Season of silence.” All images © Thanh Nhàn Nguyễn, shared with permission

Populated with low clouds, oversized peonies, and birds covered in fish scales, Thanh Nhàn Nguyễn’s dreamscapes merge fantasy and tradition in a celebration of Vietnamese culture. In his series, Season of Life, the artist digitally renders demure figures who wear áo dài, a long, split gown that’s tied to ideas of feminine beauty. The women are enveloped by the magical environment and depicted with pale tendrils grasping their ankles or cloaked by a fiery, plant-filled mass.

“I have relied on the color of flowers and leaves, the surrounding nature combined with the motifs from the Vietnamese culture where I was born,” Nguyễn writes. “What’s important (is) the fact that they come from the feelings inside me—the emotions inside each of us.”

Nguyễn recently moved to Can Thơ, which is in southern Vietnam, and shares a collection of his ethereal works on Behance and Instagram. Prints of Season of Life and other illustrations are available from Society6.

 

“Season inside season”

“Season under the light”

“Season in bloom”

 

 



Animation Art Illustration

Around the Block: David Zinn's Quirky Chalk Cartoons Spring to Life in a New Short Film

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

If you’ve walked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the last few decades, you’ve probably spotted the wide-eyed monsters and mischievous dragons of David Zinn (previously). Since 1987, the artist has been drawing chalk-and-charcoal creatures in site-specific works that wash away with the rain. Drain pipes become robotic dogs, a pillar morphs into a giant pencil, and a green monster pops out of a brick walkway.

A new short film directed by Jonnie Lewis dives into Zinn’s practice by animating his signature cartoon cast that greets the artist as he walks around the city. Watch “Around the Block” on Lewis’s Vimeo, and check out more of Zinn’s eccentric creatures on Instagram.  (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite