Mark Rogers is a self-taught artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. Stylistically his work has been described as a blending of folk art, medieval renascence, and fairy tale illustration. Taking inspiration from everyday occurrences and personal experiences, Rogers crafts narratives with imaginary characters to populate.
Toni Hamel lives and works in Oshawa, a suburb of Toronto, Canada. She describes her work as “an illustrated commentary on human frailties“. Rooted in story-telling, her art practice draws from personal experiences and outward observations to create thematic bodies of work that reflect on and interpret the psychological unease characteristic of our age. Virtues and vices, the holy and the profane, the good and the bad all share equal weight in her work and supply an infinite source of material for her investigations.
Such conceptual framework leads Hamel to work across disciplines: drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations are rendered in both traditional and non-traditional materials and are selected based on their ability to support the particular message she needs to convey. Pointing to historical and psychological references while tackling issues of universal interest, Hamel’s narratives question our behavior to eventually alert us about the repercussions of our current thinking models.
Paris based illustrator Loïc Movellan works in four-panel comics. These short satirical stories catches your eye while scrolling through his Instagram, an intentional platform for the drawings. Each comic is chuckle-inducing in just four panels, portraying instants or anecdotes that Movellan has lived and some come directly from his imagination or dreams.
Shanghai, China based Inkee Wang has a background studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins and latterly animation at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. Inkee creates illustrations fizzing with weird and wonderful narratives.
More recently, Inkee has been working with watercolors to add a textural representation to her characters. She is also working on improving her Cinema 4D skills, in an attempt to write a longer story and make an animation about it.
Devin Troy Strother is known for his intricate alternative narratives in a variety of mediums such as mixed-media, sculpture, neon, and installation. He finds inspiration in snippets of overheard conversations, movies, television, music, stand-up comedy podcasts, and the work of numerous canonic artists such as Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and Henri Matisse. Strother likes to incorporate humor and language relevant to his peers and does not shy from the outrageous; his titles often serving as the punch line.
California based filmmaker and a digital collage artistEugenia Loli uses photography scanned from vintage magazines and science publications to create bizarre visual narratives that borrow from aspects of pop art, dada, and traditional surrealism.
Loli was born in Athens, grew up in the Northwest of Greece near the city of Preveza, and lived for a while in a small village in the mountains. She then moved to Braunschweig, Germany, and subsequently Surrey, England, before moving to the California Bay Area. While growing up in Greece, she liked to draw a lot, but because of the lack of economic opportunities, she decided to cast aside her aspirations of becoming an artist and decided to go into the tech field. She studied computer programming, which in turn led to a life in blogging, animation, and eventually, filmmaking and digital collage.
Toronto based Jennifer Liu is an award-winning Chinese Canadian-American freelance illustrator. Occasionally she likes to print things in risograph and make comics. Her inspiration comes from the narratives and imagery she stumbles across while watching all different kinds of animation.
Seattle-based Kelly Bjork is an artist/freelance illustrator whose work focuses on portraiture and intimacy between friends and belongings. Bjork’s illustrations capture the funky and punky personas that thrive in her home city of Seattle. She grew up in Tacoma, Washington and graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a BFA in drawing and printmaking.
Iranian-American artist Tala Madani paints a provocative and humorous discourse on cultural and sexual identity. Picturing the male domain in all its stereotypical glory, Madani’s portraits of Middle Eastern men play out fictive rituals of a deviant, distinctly female imagination: prayer gatherings twisted into homosexual orgies, birthday parties targeted for terrorist attack, and tattoos and body hair plucking construed as the latest in ultra-macho beauty makeovers.
Painted with quick gestures, where oozing paint often doubles as bodily fluids, food, and stains, Madani’s compositions are derived from sketchbooks where countless studies provide the skeleton for her speedy execution. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.
Andrew DeGraffis a freelance illustrator and artist living and working in Maine. Andrew was born in Albany, NY and spent his little league years upstate. He graduated from Pratt Institute’s Communications Design program with a focus in Illustration in 2001, and he returned to Pratt to teach illustration from 2009 – 2014. He recently published his first book, Plotted: A Literary Atlas from Zest Books.
DeGraff approaches each story differently and crafts maps that truly tell stories. It’s not always easy to paint the mental picture you want if the narrative is complex, or if the writer has built a world that is incomprehensible in scope. Thanks to his talent, now you have a new way to envision some of your favorite fictional places.