What a colorful cast of characters! Illustrator Marion Arbona created these fun figures that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I’m fascinated by how unique each of them appears, with varied styles of clothing, facial features, and bodies that are both long and short. It’s no wonder that she works in animation and children’s books fields, in addition to producing vibrant matryoshka dolls.
French illustrator Julia Spiers has created Saisons, a 3D installation that depicts a sprawling, dream-like scene. To create it, she first painted the watercolor figures on paper, cut each piece out, and then arranged them in the formation you see here.
Looking at the style of these characters, with their soft colors and diffused details, I’m reminded of Harry Darger’s work. Like him, Julia infuses surreal elements into her pop-up composition, and there are a lot of things going on everywhere you look. It conjures the same types of curiosities I have when looking at Dargers work, and I would love to spend some in-person time with Saisons. I’m sure there’s a lot more to see!
Ever thought about adding florals to your daily stretches? Illustrator and textile designer Caitlin Shearer has, as evidenced in her series Reproduction. The soft, airy images feature a woman as she poses with uncolored blooms. Simultaneously surreal, beautiful, and strange, the series highlights the tranquility we can feel when we just sit and chill. Take some time for yourself. You’ve earned it!
Be sure to check out Caitlin’s blog and follow her on Facebook—she updates both regularly.
Here’s a look at Caitlin’s clothing. (Available in her shop.)
Normally, I gravitate towards illustrations that are full of color. But today, I find myself attracted to the line drawings of Ryn Frank. They’re beautiful in their simplicity, consisting of mostly thin outlines with a few filled areas. This style lends itself well to details, and Ryn doesn’t shy away from depicting textured surfaces with tiny, meticulously-sketched lines and dot after dot after dot.
Many of Ryn’s illustrations are used in pattern design. These would make wonderful wallpaper, wouldn’t they? (h/t Perrin)
These colorful illustrations by Luisa Rivera are poetic and beautiful. In them, disparate elements create surreal compositions that are undoubtedly influenced by the wonders within the natural world. Often, realistic subjects are combined with patterning and stylized landscapes. It’s a nice mixture, perfect for conceptual, editorial work, so it’s no surprise that Luisa has created illustrations for clients like Variety Magazine and The New York Times.
Dark and mysterious—that’s how I describe illustrator Pierre Mornet’s beautiful paintings. Combining vintage-inspired realism (think the Golden Age of illustration) with bold, flat colors, he creates curious images whose young subjects have arresting stares that sear into you.
I’m not the only fan of Pierre’s work. Renowned author and infamous Twitter user Joyce Carol Oates had this to say:
Nancy Liang (previously) is one of my favorite GIF illustrators, using an awesome assortment of collage materials to create eerie moving pictures. She often illustrates landscapes, but here are two editorial fashion pieces. I love the surface design and the subtly moving eyeballs.
Wondering how Nancy creates her work? Check out How Did You Do That?, an interview series where she shares her process step-by-step.
Kaori Seno is a Japanese illustrator who creates delightful paintings of clothing that I wish I owned. There’s intricate lacework, strange patterns, and fancy bird brooches woven within the flattened, stylized views. Note that there’s no one wearing these clothes, a fact that’s okay with me. Clothing tells enough of a story on its own—these works speak volumes about the type of person who’ll wear these charming garments.
Kaori also paints other subjects not related to clothing. I’m not sure I’d eat candy that has eyeballs…
I want this mural in my apartment! Called Hidden Garden, illustrator Sretan Bor painted it in a private residence in Croatia. It features a host of different flora and fauna that wrap around the walls, creating an ongoing narrative that engulfs the room in illustration. Fun!
The entire scene is incredibly detailed, and this works in the mural’s favor. The client, most likely, will look at the piece everyday, so it’s got to be something that they can continually discover new things in.
Several months ago, I featured the illustrative ceramics of Madalina Andronic. Called The Awesome Project, the folklore-inspired pieces had me hooked, and I’ve been following her work—2D and 3D alike—ever since.
These beautiful images below are spreads from Fairy Dust, a “magic book” that she wrote and self-published. Each image depicts a different supernatural character, adorned with gorgeous patterning and elegant lines that have a lyrical quality to them. Buy it here!