Artist and illustrator Andrea Wan creates some of my favorite surreal art. For years, I’ve admired her paintings of people fused with botanicals and architecture. Not afraid to branch out from conventional 2D ink paintings, Andrea has translated her dreamlike sensibilities into three dimensional paper art.
Gemma Capdevila turns the world topsy-turvey in her colorful collage illustrations. They often showcase both land and sea, in flattened, halved views that are a less scary version of the Upside Down. In this parallel place, it’s as if there are people living above and below the water in the same way. The homes look identical whether they reach the sky or deeper into cerulean blue. Which side would you choose?
Instagrammers, you can also follow her work that way!
For the past week, I’ve continually admired the cut paper illustrations of Irene Servillo. It might come as no surprise—after all, her work is crafted out of collage, my favorite medium. Using cut paper and drawing, Irene creates stylized figures and scenes by employing colorful, eye-pleasing shapes that intermingle throughout the composition.
Stitchy Friday is a project that’s sure to warm your heart. It’s an endeavor between an embroiderer mother and her illustrator daughter, Marijke Buurlage; Marijke creates the colorful, stylized images and then her mother translates the flattened shapes into stitched form. Their Instagram, @stitchyfriday, is updated at the end of each week with their progress and finished pieces.
As wonderful as Marijke’s illustrations are, her mother’s handiwork is also admirable. I love the lush texture and the mixing of threads—they add dimension and bring 2D to life. After seeing this sweet collaboration, it makes me want to plan a creative project with my own mom! Don’t you?
I’m always on the hunt for an inspirational Instagram, and this week, I’ve found it in illustrator Carolyn Gavin. Her posts feature vibrant sketchbook paintings of animals and beautiful blooms, crafted with the carefree fluidity of watercolor. Seeing them has a few effects: for starters, you’ll yearn for spring; then, you’ll want to head to the florist for a real, colorful bouquet, afterwards, you’ll have the urge to pick up your brush and create your own paintings!
After you’ve followed Carolyn on Instagram, check out her Etsy shop for prints and original paintings of these pieces.
Not every artist can make their sketches appear like finished works, and vice versa — not every finished piece can have the qualities of a sketch. Mathilde Vangheluwe is an illustrator who rides this fine line, and she colors her drawings with the soft hues of colored pencils, often leaving her initial graphite sketch visible. This technique is great way to add some shine and polish to something that can feel raw.
Check out Mathilde’s illustrated products in her shop!
If you scroll through illustrator Maggie Chiang’s Tumblr, you’ll find that there are a lot of shots of the outdoors. I can’t help but think that these visuals are what seep into her own artwork, as evidence of what’s featured here. Each illustration includes some element of the great big world (and even universe). Often, there’s some sort of reveal. They’re beautiful, alluring, and at times poignant, as her subjects look dwarfed by what’s around them.
Maggie also has a website. Check it out here.
On Herikita’s Facebook page, she writes, “I do things with my hands that I imagine in my head, so people can see it too.” This sentiment describes her soft, illustrative work perfectly. Her images and imagery are undoubtedly strange, but in a way that’s relatable. Many of the interior scenes are like an dialogue verbalized, and as a viewer, I recognize what that is and how it feels to say those things out loud.
In addition to the feels, Herikita also creates loose, delightfully odd collections. A beet, hairless cat, and bed all make up a single illustration. They seem like a non-sequitur to me, but personal to the illustrator.
Check out more of Herikita’s works on her Tumblr. You won’t be disappointed.
Isn’t this tiger charming? Illustrator Kathleen Marcotte created it as part of a group exhibition called Kyootopia with Bree Lundberg and Patu Phan. “We wanted the freedom to interpret ‘cute’ within our own styles,” she tells me, “so we created the mythical land of Kyootopia, where all things are cute!”
The three illustrators divided Kyootopia into nine unique islands and imagined their art as well as the little souvenirs from each locale. Kathleen created Aviation City, Roundabout Island, and Facade Falls.
These delightful works are a mixture of digital works and mixed media pieces. She combined linocut, cut paper, and pencil.
Lila Poppins is an illustrator and paper designer who uses her talents to create fantastic beasts, lovely blooms, outdoor scenes, and much more. In addition to sculpting with paper, she also directs stop motion films. Lila’s Tumblr features a few of these animated snippets, one of which is a combination of paper and 2D illustration. The film is an illustrated French poem written by Jacques Prevert and available to view on Vimeo (I’ve also included it below).
And, just a note: illustrator Clément De Ruyter is the person behind the character design of this creature. (Lila did the paper work, obviously!)