Posts tagged
with digital


Elaborate Narratives Emerge From the Surreal, Mysterious Worlds of Victo Ngai’s Illustrations

May 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Hummingbird” (2019). All images © Victo Ngai, shared with permission

Starting with a single word or short prompt from an editor or brand, Victo Ngai (previously) imagines fantastical dreamscapes brimming with surreal details. The Los Angeles-based, Hong Kong-born illustrator collaborates on commissioned projects that, although intended to be paired with an article or advertisement, become visual narratives in their own right. She shapes a tiger from coiled red ribbons, places an enormous hound among a nighttime cityscape veiled in shades of blue, and reinterprets the sun and its rays as a colorful, segmented circle hovering above the horizon. Each piece envisions an elaborately constructed world laced with metaphor and mystery.

Utilizing both analog and digital techniques, Ngai begins with an initial stylized composition. “Sometimes a bright spark can lead to nothing, and sometimes a great idea is not translatable visually. A concept can die anywhere through this ideation process, and I can only breathe easy once a solid preliminary sketch arrives,” she tells Colossal. After drawing a black-and-white outline, she combines various mediums and scanned textures into her final, layered works.

At the moment, Ngai is working on a few illustrated children’s books, which you can follow on Behance and Instagram. She also sells prints and other goods in her shop.


“Leap” (2013)

“Tiger” (2022)

“Late Night Dining” (2012)

“The Day” (2012)

“Breast Labyrinth” (2012)

“Empress” (2020)



Art Illustration Science

Clusters of Marine Life Rendered by Zoe Keller Illuminate the Incredible Biodiversity of the Ocean

April 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Octopodes.” All images © Zoe Keller, shared with permission

From her studio in South Portland, Maine, Zoe Keller (previously) continues to work at the intersection of art and science with her ongoing Ocean Biodiversity Print Series. The digital illustrations are evidence of Keller’s meticulous technique and attention to anatomical detail, and each piece highlights a vast array of marine life, with dozens of species of octopuses, jellyfish, and other sea creatures congregating in dense crowds—she also pairs every work with a key to easily identify each specimen.

Made in collaboration with PangeaSeed Foundation, a nonprofit working toward ocean conservation through art, the series is the result of in-depth research, Keller says, and she often references organizations like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Schmidt Ocean Institute to focus on the species most at risk. She explains:

Something that is definitely challenging about tackling marine subjects is that we simply do not understand ocean life as intimately as life on land. With this series, I take as much information as I can, and combine it with a bit of artistic license, to—hopefully!—inspire wonder for all of the incredible species living beneath Earth’s waves.

Keller’s most recent addition to the series is “Deep Sea,” and there are still a few of those prints available in the PangeaSeed shop. The next release is slated for fall, so keep an eye on her Instagram for updates. You can also see the artist’s work in person this June at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and in September at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, and Nahcotta Gallery in Portsmouth, New York.



Detail of “Deep Sea”


Detail of “Medusozoa”

Detail of “Syngnathidae”

“Deep Sea”

Detail of “Octopodes”




Digital Illustrations by Eiko Ojala Layer Timely Metaphors in Paper-Like Compositions

March 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Eiko Ojala, shared with permission

Using his signature style of paper-like cutouts, Estonian illustrator Eiko Ojala (previously) digitally renders works that play with shadow and depth. He frequently collaborates with well-known publications like The Guardian and The Washington Post, among others, on editorial projects that unpack the legacy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, recount the experiences of pandemic meetups, or dive into political analyses. Ojala’s timely works are colorful and minimal, with each piece based on a strong visual metaphor.

You can find more of the illustrator’s recent commissions and personal projects on Behance, and browse available prints on Saatchi Art.





Ethereal Digital Botanicals by Ondrej Zunka Explore Human Dependency on Plant Species

March 21, 2022

Anna Marks

 Fluffus Algae

“The Fluffus Algae” All images © Ondrej Zunka, shared with permission

In a collection of otherworldly plants and flowers, digital artist Ondrej Zunka distorts the anatomy of botanical specimens into spiraling shapes and unusual textures. Titled The Fleur, Zunka’s renderings imagine 21 ethereal species—on his site, you can use a digital magnifying glass to view each work up close—that explores how all living creatures need biological variety in order to survive. “Habitats thrive with a diversity of plants that form complex communities, who both depend on and compete with one another in a natural symbiosis,” he says.

Zunker bases each creation on a real species, all chosen for their interesting qualities that he exaggerates or ascribes unearthly characteristics. One of the plants has delicate pistils that can’t germinate pollen if exposed to frost, while another only blooms once every 40 to 50 years. The peony-like “Toxic Exaryum,” for example, is described as having “a complex scent: its petals smell musky and sweet” and spherical growths that release “acidic compounds into the ground as they decompose.” Evoking a poppy, “Vomitus flos” is defined by its long, protective hair, while strange “The Odorata Cinere” has fringed petals in an ashy color.

One of Zunka’s main focuses is to reinvent the reproductive structure of plants, how their vibrant colors, scents, and nectar are intended to seduce insects during the pollination process. In some of his specimens, the stamen and stigma are elongated and twist out of flowers to create forms that ought to be part of another world. “They bloom only briefly, and only under the right conditions, making flowers an expensive resource for a plant to produce,” Zunka says. “It is my wish that these flowers inspire us to look for guidance in the infinitely beautiful and intelligent natural world. There is a lesson for us all there—in the way habitats always manage to remain balanced and functioning despite the chaotic diversity of plants.”

To view more of Zunka’s work, visit his website and follow him on Instagram.


A photograph of an imaginary flower called Toxic Exaryum

“Toxic Exaryum”

“Primula bros”

A photograph of the imaginary Vomitus flos

“Vomitus flos'”

A photograph of Pilosus torquent

“Pilosus torquent”

A photograph of The Punctatum Capillum

“The Punctatum Capillum”

A photograph of The Tulipa Nodatus

“The Tulipa Nodatus”

A photograph of The Lilium custodia

“Lilium custodia”

A photograph of The Connexa chamaemilla

“Connexa chamaemilla”

A photograph of The Cynara Serpentes

“The Cynara Serpentes”



Illustration Music

Musicians Harmonize with Plants and Birds in Gaspart’s Soothing Digital Illustrations

February 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Gaspart, shared with permission

Twined with leafy vines, Gaspart’s series of digital illustrations titled Birds, Plants & Music emits the calming, lyrical presence we need right now. The collection, which was inspired by research detailing the effects of melodies and other audible compositions on vegetation, centers on lone instrumentalists with exaggerated limbs and gargantuan feet. Each casually sits on the ground or curls forward in a crouch to pluck the strings of an upright bass and buzz into a trumpet.

In a note to Colossal, Gaspart shares that he begins with a preliminary sketch that he then recreates with shapes in complementary palettes. Shades of purple are prominent in the violinist’s garments and backdrop, for example, while bright, brassy orange dominates the image of the saxophonist. As a follow-up to the illustrations shown here, Gaspart also collaborated with motion designer Bogdan Dumitriu, the sound design studio Ronroco Audio, and musicians Pablo Jivotovschii and Jake Fridkis to animate three of the compositions.

Gaspart, who lives in Maisons-Laffitte just outside of Paris, shares details about his process, in addition to similarly tranquil renderings, on Behance and Instagram.





Insightful Digital Images Juxtapose Extracted Resources with the Original Mining Sites

February 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

Nababeep Mine, 302,500 tons of copper. All images © Dillon Marsh, shared with permission

When Cape Town-based photographer Dillon Marsh learned about the commercial copper mines near Springbok, South Africa, he decided to document the remains of the excavation sites. “The first of these mines was established in 1852, and back then the digging was done by hand. The extracted copper ore was then transported by ox wagons to the coast 140 kilometers away, and from there, it was shipped to England to be processed,” he tells Colossal.

This curiosity sparked his CGI series titled For What It’s Worth, which positions metallic orbs representative of the amount of material extracted within the original mines. The striking juxtapositions are profound visual indictments of how uncovering and selling precious metals like copper, gold, and platinum and stones like diamonds have consistently been prioritized over the health of the land. “My feelings have consistently and rapidly fluctuated between a sense of awe for what was gained and a sense of sadness for what it cost,” Marsh shares.

Framing many of the locations as scars in the earth, the images show 4.1 million tons of copper semi-buried in the steep gash of the Palabora Mine and 335 million troy ounces resting on the now-converted Free State Gold Field. The 7.6 million carats of diamonds pulled from Koffiefontein is so minuscule in comparison to the gaping hole required to obtain it that it’s barely visible without magnification.

Marsh is considering continuing For What It’s Worth at mines in other parts of the world, and you can see the blighted sites already in the collection on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)


O’Okiep Mine, 284,000 tons of copper

Palabora Mine, 4.1 million tons of copper

Osmium, 3 million troy ounces

Koffiefontein Mine, 7.6 million carats of diamonds

Platinum, 136 million troy ounces

Rhodium, 13 million troy ounces

Free State Gold Field, 335 million troy ounces of gold

Central Rand Gold Field, 250 million troy ounces of gold