Illustration

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Illustration

Fragile Compositions of Perishable Goods Are ‘Hanging By a String’ in Illustrations by Vicki Ling

March 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Hanging By a String, (2020), graphite and colored pencil. All images © Vicki Ling, shared with permission

In her series Hanging By a String, illustrator Vicki Ling explores the fragility and precarity of modern life. Through her towers of perishables, Ling very literally presents instability and catastrophes moments from happening. With a tug or slip of the red string that she wraps around everyday items, her compositions would topple. “We can observe society today has achieved a high degree of economic and technological development, yet we are contemporaneously struggling to keep up with the increasingly fast pace and materialistic nature of life,” Ling says of the project.

The Chicago-based illustrator tells Colossal that the string serves as a visual depiction of the tension that pervades contemporary life and disrupts any chance for complete harmony. Each element of beauty—the blooming florals, elegant edibles, and delicate teaware—is superficially pleasing and a distraction from the impending destruction.

Contemporary lifestyles tend to obscure various crises that spontaneously erupt, from privacy invasions to public health issues and from climate change to personal emotional disorders, etc. Often our preoccupations are so overwhelming that they lead us to conceal our anxiety in oblivion. I’m interested in surfacing that sense of tension and insecurity and raise these issues to our collect(ive) consciousness.

For more of Ling’s perilous projects, head to her Instagram or Behance.

 

 



Illustration

Expressive Dogs Shake and Sniff in Kaleidoscopic Illustrations by Marina Okhromenko

March 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Marina Okhromenko

Swirling patches of fur and bespeckled eyes characterize the emotive dogs in Marina Okhromenko’s digital illustrations. Hoping to capture varying degrees of joy, devotion, and adoration, the Moscow-based illustrator depicts twelve dogs wearing different expressions, each distinguished through their eagerness and the intensity of their stares. One pup curiously pushes its nose through a pale blue gap, while another’s tongue hangs from its mouth as it pants.

In an interview with Adobe Create, Okhromenko talked about her lifelong love for experimenting with color combinations. “As a child, my favorite toy was a kaleidoscope—you take and mix different colored pieces, and the result is always beautiful. A similar aesthetic in my work is my unique voice,” she said.

Okhromenko is also the publisher of ORE Lab, a notebook design company. The expressive portraits were created as part of ORE’s project called arTTask, which connects art with productivity, an intersection that’s one of Okhromenko’s current obsessions.  “We are seeing this more and more as high-tech companies decorate their walls and surrounding spaces with interesting illustrations. In our environment, we call this neuro-office,” she said. “I’m interested in how to design a personal space to combine the simplicity of minimalism with the beauty of fireworks.” To keep up with the illustrator’s vibrant projects, head to Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Illustration

Floral-and-Frond Compositions Shape Energetic Wildlife by Raku Inoue

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Whale” (2020). All images © Raku Inoue

Known for his botanical arrangements of beetles, insects, and butterflies, Raku Inoue once again is bringing flora and fauna together. His previous work often positions the animals in stationary poses, resembling a portrait of an owl or a scorpion pinned inside a glass case as part of a collection. The latest pieces in his Natura Wildlife series, though, indicate a liveliness and inclination for movement, from a whale blasting orange flowers from its blowhole to a seahorse grasping a Q-tip.

In an Instagram post, the Montreal-based creative even said he modeled his pink-hued flamingo after Flamingo Bob, the Caribbean bird who was disabled after flying into a hotel window. The artist crafted multiple depictions of the animal as he stares, swims, and mingles with friends, in between his duties as an ambassador for the FDOC, a foundation dedicated to educating locals about wildlife protection. “I thought I would make these images honoring him and his future legacies,” Inoue wrote.

“Staring Bob” (2020)

“Jellyfish” (2020)

“Mingling Bob” (2020)

 

 



Illustration

Tales From the Loop Enlivens the Gravity-Defying Dystopia of Simon Stålenhag’s Illustrations

February 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

An uncanny television series is founded in Simon Stålenhag’s fantastical worlds. Covered previously on Colossal, the Swedish artist’s digital illustrations often position robots in open countrysides and consider the prosthetic capabilities of virtual reality. Tales From The Loopwhich gets its name directly from one of Stålenhag’s projects—is set in a fictional universe that explores the potential of merging technology and human curiosity in a futuristic dystopia.

Launching April 3, the television series is based on the understanding that “not everything in life makes sense” as it chronicles the lives of those residing in the Loop, a machine built to uncover answers to the world’s mysteries. It features a gravity-defying universe that sees floating objects, snow ascending from a pile on the floor, and pieces of a house ripped upward. Retro robots even foster relationships with the families and children immersed in the explorative environment.

For a deeper look into the inspiration behind the new show, check out Stålenhag’s book by the same name or head to his Instagram.

All images © Simon Stålenhag, from Tales From the Loop

 

 



Design Illustration

Connect the Dots to Reveal Animated Figures and Illusions in New Flipbook Set

February 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

Mimicking Connect the Dots puzzles, a new pair of flipbooks released by Flipboku reveals jumping characters and spinning geometric shapes. Created by the animation studio Zumbakamera, Dots & Lines is made of up two books by the same name—Dots features animations, while Lines unveils optical illusions—that utilize the technique of the classic game to create six different sequences that span the entirety of the book, depending on thumb placement. Flipping the book and positioning a thumb at the top, middle, or bottom of the books’ edges determines which animation the viewers see.

“With Dots & Lines, we’ve taken a 150-year-old medium and turned it up a notch, combining the popular dot-to-dot puzzle game with the original flipbook format,” said Flipboku co-founder Julie Reier. “It’s given life by gradually transforming the numbers into mind-boggling optical illusions and animated cartoon characters, ranging from astonishing to laugh-out-loud funny.” Get the latest on the live Kickstarter project on Instagram and YouTube.

 

 



Illustration

Bold Illustrations by Calvin Sprague Camouflage Geometric Figures and Detached Body Parts

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Calvin Sprague

American illustrator and designer Calvin Sprague blends bodies, disconnected hands, and wide-open eyes into their surrounding environments in his vibrant illustrations. Now based in Rotterdam, Sprague uses thin black lines and color-blocked shapes to create surreal scenes, including a red-shirted girl hugging her knees amidst towering plants and a portrait of a woman encircled by multiple sets of peering eyes.

“Experimenting with basic lines and shapes, he finds harmony by bridging the gap between structure and chaos,” a statement about Sprague’s work said. “Influenced by the early works of Saul Bass to Heinz Edelmann to Milton Glaser, he sees their eccentric, colorful style as a big reason why he grew to love design.” You can buy prints, shirts, and pins featuring Sprague’s bold digital illustrations in his shop. To follow his latest projects, head to Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Illustration

Pocket-Sized Notebooks Hold Miniature Paintings of Angela Mckay’s Travels

February 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Riserva Naturale Orientata Cavagrande del Cassibile in Italy. All images © Angela Mckay, shared with permission

Paging through a photo album detailing every moment of a friend’s poolside vacation might not be a riveting activity, but flipping through Angela Mckay’s sketchbooks filled with tiny paintings of her travels certainly is. The Brooklyn-based pattern designer and illustrator of Ohkii Studio documents the lush scenery, cavernous waters, and hilly villages she sees on the streets of Lagos, Calamosche Beach on Italy’s southern coast, and in Joshua Tree National Park. Mckay generally positions her miniature paintings against the real-life backdrop, juxtaposing the two depictions that she then shares on Instagram.

The artist tells Colossal that she frequently recreates some of the pieces in her sketchbooks on a larger scale after returning home, relying on her earlier representation for the tiny details she otherwise might not remember. “Often when I’m traveling, I have this urgent feeling that I need to capture everything I’m experiencing, the sights, feelings and textures of a place,” she says.

I really enjoy that feeling of walking around a new place not knowing what I might discover around the corner. I often try to recreate the feeling of a place I have visited in my personal work… I really enjoy the experience of looking at a painting and being transported back to that experience. It’s a nice way to escape from your day to day!

The pocket-size notebooks are a crucial component of Mckay’s process, and she utilizes them in both her personal projects and her work for clients. “They just allow me to play with ideas and explore other directions without having to commit to anything,” she says. To pick up one of Mckay’s watercolor and gouache artworks or prints, head to her shop. (via Lustik)

Joshua Tree National Park

Calamosche Beach

Lagos, Portugal

Left: Wat Phra That Chom Pho, Thailand. Right: Yosemite National Park

Lagos, Portugal

Right: Margaret River, Western Australia

Lagos, Portugal

 

 

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