ODDBALL CHARACTERS BY NICK SHEEHY

by Ariadna Zierold

nick sheehy, illustration, illustrations, illustrator, character, characters, surreal, london, australia, low brow, nature, texture, drawing, upper playground

Nick Sheehy (previously featured here) is an Australian-born artist and illustrator living in London. After studying bronze sculpture in the wilds of Tasmania, Nick gave up on art only to re-discover his love of drawing whilst living in London, sparked by an interest in the city’s low brow art, illustration, street art, and graffiti.

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In his work, Nick explores the dreamlike, sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes and oddball characters that echo from his childhood imagination. Employing a laborious technique, building up layers of texture and thin color, his work infuses precision and attention to detail with random abstraction and clumsiness. He enjoys drawing various weird things for himself, exhibitions, publications, and occasionally the odd client.

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EXPRESSIVE CHARACTERS BY DAVID CHUNG

by Ariadna Zierold

david chung, the chung, character, characters, humor, colorful, expressive, los angeles, illustration, illustrator, animation, upper playground

David “The Chung!!” Chung’s relatable body of work revolves around the recognition and acceptance of ourselves and our complex human emotions. Occasionally placed in unfortunate and/or awkward scenarios, The Chung!!’s colorful and expressive menagerie of characters are a study of his own personal day to day life. Packed with humor and heart, his work helps remind us to stop taking life so seriously and take a moment to step back and laugh at what is essentially ourselves.
david chung, the chung, character, characters, humor, colorful, expressive, los angeles, illustration, illustrator, animation, upper playground
Although born in Albany, New York, David spent the majority of his early childhood in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The remainder of his youth was spent in Upstate New York where he graduated from high school. After attending the University at Buffalo for 2 years, he eventually transferred and graduated from the College for Creative Studies (Detroit, MI) as an illustration major in 2006. David’s work has been featured in galleries around the world and he currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, baby and dog. During the day, when he isn’t painting or working on designer toys, David works in the animation industry and is currently an Art Director at Dreamworks TV. He has worked on shows such as “Futurama”, “Robot and Monster”, “Clarence”, “Regular Show” and “Sanjay and Craig.”

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LUMPY SCULPTURES BY JOAKIM OJANEN

by Ariadna Zierold

joakim ojanen, sculpture, sculptures, ceramic, lumpy, character, characters, woozy, humor, childlike, stockholm, sweden, upper playground

Stockholm, Sweden based artist Joakim Ojanen aims to make work that is timeless. Joakim’s approach to timelessness is unconventional: His woozy characters are intended to be both 8 and 30 years old at the same time.

joakim ojanen, sculpture, sculptures, ceramic, lumpy, character, characters, woozy, humor, childlike, stockholm, sweden, upper playground

There’s something undeniably grotesque about the lumpy sculptural works of Ojanen, though this is balanced with a sense of humor and a child-like naivety which, in all, creates a confusing feeling for the viewer.

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PSYCHEDELIC LANDSCAPES BY HIDEYUKI KATSUMATA

by Ariadna Zierold

hideyuki katsumata, colorful, vibrant, psychedelic, mutant, character, characters, monsters, limbs, mythology, creatures, demons, odd, upper playground

Hideyuki Katsumata‘s meticulous and colored works are tinged with a psychedelic aesthetic and invite us into an exuberant universe inhabited by mutant characters and monsters with multiple limbs and eyes, robots, UFOs and dragons. The scenery he has created is influenced by both Asian mythology and manga culture.

hideyuki katsumata, colorful, vibrant, psychedelic, mutant, character, characters, monsters, limbs, mythology, creatures, demons, odd, upper playground

Demons, spirits, and creatures of strange possessions all engaging in odd scenes, erotic activities, and vulgar moments – all abound in Katsumata’s expressive compositions. He fills each piece of work with whimsical colors, brisk line work reminiscent of old comics, and scale that leaves you flipping through for more.

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VIBRANT CHARACTERS BY TONY PAPESH

by Ariadna Zierold

tony papesh, illustration, character, cartoon, animator, humor, funny, upper playground

Sydney based Tony Papesh is a freelance animator/ illustrator/ designer/ artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. His passion is character animation but he is skilled in mostly any form of animation such as: 2D animation, 3D animation, hand-drawn animation, motion graphics, stop motion, and rotoscoping. He gets inspiration from cartoons, comics, and video games and a lot of the playfulness of these mediums shows through his personal art.

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PHOTOREALISTIC NOSTALGIA BY ALLAN INNMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

allan innman, painting, nostalgia, cartoon, character, photorealism, humor, colorful, oxford, upper playground

Allan Innman is a painter from Oxford, MS. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2006 with a BFA degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. From 2007-2012 he worked as Visual Resources Specialist in the Department of Art at the University of Mississippi.

allan innman, painting, nostalgia, cartoon, character, photorealism, humor, colorful, oxford, upper playground

Allan recently completed the MFA program at The University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art in Drawing and Painting. His current work is based around make-believe and fantasy through the depiction of toys and figurines.

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ADORABLE HUSA BY CAMILLA ENGSTROM

by Ariadna Zierold

camilla engstrom, husa, illustration, painting, character, humor, upper playground

Swedish painter, illustrator and textile artist Camilla Engstrom is based in Brooklyn, NY.  Camilla’s signature figure, an adorably rotund little lady, is quickly taking the internet by storm in a multitude of forms.

camilla engstrom, husa, illustration, painting, character, humor, upper playground

Growing up between Sweden and China, Camilla struggled to fit in. Influenced by artistic designers like Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, she moved to New York to pursue fashion at FIT, but eventually became disillusioned with the career she thought she wanted. During this time, she started to draw more and more, thinking what kind of figure she could draw that is the opposite of a fashion figure? That’s when Husa was born—the gender-blurring, plump figure who continues to evolve and make Camilla and her growing fan base smile along the way.

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THE WOMEN OF TROY

by Ariadna Zierold

troy brooks, toronto, surreal, surrealist, portrait, portraiture, women, character, upper playground

Toronto-based Troy Brooks is a contemporary surrealist painter. His work presents an elaborate pageantry of female characters observed in allegorical settings. These women play out intimate scenes, usually caught in moments where something transformative has or is about to happen. The ‘women of Troy’ have become distinctive images on the contemporary pop surrealism scene.  

troy brooks, toronto, surreal, surrealist, portrait, portraiture, women, character, upper playground

I paint women because, for me, they are ultimately the most visually lyrical subject and to be honest I relate to women much more than I do men. Always have. When I was a teenager I used to spend all day in the town library pouring over books about silent movie actresses. I loved the prostitutes in Van Dongen and Otto Dix paintings. I was obsessed with the 1930’s drunken Parisian lesbians in Brassaï photographs and the “bitch goddesses” from 40’s film noir etc. I amassed quite an extensive collection of old photographs. I made endless drawings of these women. One thing that used to drive me crazy was that I always made the faces too long. It was something I used to have to go back and fix in my drawings. When I began creating my own characters I decided to just accentuate it.” – Troy Brooks

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