Olaf Hajek is a German-based illustrator, painter, artist, and graphic designer who uses folk culture, mythology, religion, history, and geography to toe the line between imagination and reality. His works tend to end up feeling like pseudo-collages that suck the viewer into each and every detail, deeper and deeper through each layer.
Let’s start this Friday the 13th – in October, no less – with these kooky spooky fun illustrations from Camille Chew‘s Witch Series! If you look closely you’ll notice that each piece includes that particular witch’s familiar (familiar spirits are believed to be supernatural entities that assist witches in their practice of magic). I love the dark darks and electric neons she uses so much.
Zach Montoya‘s illustrations have a definitive theme, one of heroines who seem to be constantly looking over their shoulder in anticipation of something malicious. The events often take place outdoors, with the subjects hiding in caves, crouching in the woods, or boating on a foggy lake. Perfect fodder for mystery!
I’m 100% certain that if Jenna Andersen‘s illustrations had been in any of my books growing up that they would have been my favorites. I love the way her work invites you into each story without a word, and how the faceless figures jump out from the brambly backgrounds.
Pencil. On. Paper. That’s all Melbourne-based artist Paul White uses to create his insanely detailed illustrations of vehicles and the occasional landscape (sometimes together in the same piece). From junkyards full of obsolete cars to graffitied passenger vans to partially deconstructed airplanes, White resuscitates each one if only for a moment in time. (Anyone else getting Max Max-ish vibes?)
Los Angeles-based French illustrator/designer Debora Cheyenne Cruchon loves to experiment with different styles, and I honestly can’t find one I don’t like. That said, my favorite just might be these collage-like little numbers with vibes that make me think of Florida and the 80s (maybe even together). Check out more of her work on Instagram.
Our Pittsburgh Maker Profile series has been on extended hiatus for awhile now. This area is so rife with creativity that I feel I’ve been doing it a disservice, simply highlighting one maker a month really isn’t enough. So this September I’ll be highlighting a few dozen instead! You’ll know it’s a Pittsburgh creator by the little seal above that will mark each post.
I first became aware of the flora-meets-fauna art of Ashley Cecil last spring when she created a line of scarves that sold at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She paints from live observation at renowned institutions, and marrying realism with abstract modern backgrounds is her signature style. Those two things alone garner loads of interest for me, but what makes it all work so well together is Ashley’s innate understanding of color and the way she knows when to keep it reigned it or go all out. She’s also working to save birdlife with an innovative window film that helps birds see the surface rather than fly into it injuring, or even worse killing, themselves.
Rachel Goodyear‘s illustrations and animated drawings could be straight out of a book full of dark and obscure fairytales. Each beautifully thought out piece leaves me wondering about the story behind it all – did they come to her in dreams, an old family grimoire, or what??? Rachel’s mastery of form only adds to the enjoyment.