Artist Spotlight: Sam Ballardini
I’m a sucker for digital art, especially the animated kind. Maybe it’s because my art taste still hovers around my childlike love of “shiny” things–things that dazzle the eye instead of the head. And sure, I can see how that might spur criticism from those who question how long our interest in innocuous tech (gifs, etc.) can hold up past the novelty stage in a medium that’s already constantly evolving. But one look at artist Sam Ballardini‘s work proves we don’t have to worry about that just yet.
Ballardini’s work is quintessential for Tumblr and exists in their trademark realm of fan art and high art. Her world celebrates the lightness of popular culture, whether it’s an homage to Terminator or FKA Twigs, while casting everything in a shadowy grey. It’s a world encompassed by ghostly heroines with daggers, black cats, and uncertainty. Her animated sketchbook style brings her work to life, making them feel tangible and real, as if they were living and breathing pieces that could be accessed through a dimensional Tumblr warp hole. It’s the type of work that, once seen, must be shared. Sure digital illustrators are a dime a dozen, but this new generation of artists is proving that “shiny” art can be just as innovative.