with Rain Szeto
Rain Szeto Renders Imaginative Scenarios in Intricately Detailed Ink and Watercolor Illustrations
In Rain Szeto’s intricately rendered fictional universe, people partake in work and pastimes surrounded by stacks of books, snacks, merchandise, and mementos. Her detailed illustrations (previously) portray the organized chaos of everyday activities in domestic spaces and in shops, cafes, and outdoor areas. Typically centered around a single character like a baker behind a counter or a figure carrying a pot of flowers, the scenes are filled with with quotidian objects, providing a lived-in feeling that brims with colorful energy.
Based in San Francisco, Szeto began working in comics during art school, which cemented her interest in narrative drawings. Specific details like the design of food packaging, an elaborate audio mixer setup, or pastries in a glass case suggest individual hobbies, jobs, and personalities distinctive enough that they could be mistaken for real places. Many of her recent pieces also feature feline friends that stride by confidently or curl up on cushions, including an orange tabby that could just as well be making the rounds to all of the inviting spaces.
Most of these works are on view through April 26 in Szeto’s solo exhibition Idle Moments Too at Giant Robot’s GR2 location in Los Angeles. Find more of her work on Instagram.
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Watercolor and Ink Illustrations Imagine Cluttered Rooms and Well-Stocked Shops
Packed within Rain Szeto’s introspective works are untidy kitchens, cluttered market shelves, and mechanical disarray. The San Francisco-based illustrator finds magic in the mess and chaos of everyday life and imagines solitary activities like hanging laundry on the line or browsing record bins. Dreamy in color, the pieces exude a sense of calm and nostalgia for quiet moments.
Each work is replete with colorful objects stacked and assembled into tight spaces, a style Szeto developed drawing comics in art school. “These details range from technical details, such as electrical mechanisms or a lamp design, to more personal quirks, such as how someone might arrange their garden or a particular plastic stool they might use,” she tells Colossal. “I try to give them a sense of specificity that makes it feel as though these places could really exist.”
Szeto is currently working on pieces for a few upcoming group shows at Giant Robot in Los Angeles, and you can find prints and more of her detailed illustrations on her site and Instagram. (via Booooooom)
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Editor's Picks: Animation
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.