I don’t know how I happened to find myself on Behance late one night looking up illustrations of electro pop artist Grimes, but I was. Probably because it all started with this illustration I saw that was made by Marynn. I always find it fascinating when artists express love for other artists via the medium of their choosing, especially when it comes to music. Unlike actors or models, musicians exist in a non-visual sector of art. The only visual component is the artist itself, who is merely a vessel through which the music is created. But time and time again, artists have shown that when expressing their inspiration, it’s through cheerful homages to the person behind the music.
Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, is an intriguing figure to portray through art. Her music, which dances between avant pop and legit pop, is often compared to the explosive, bubbly sounds of Japanese pop of the mid-90s. So it’s no surprise that her portraits are often exaggerated with lots of pinks and purples, with an almost chibi-like interpretation of her looks. It’s interesting to see how each artist, regardless of how varied their portraits are, all share these similar characteristics. To see for yourself, browse through the gallery above.
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Even though I switched to Macs years ago, I still have a close, nostalgic connection with MS Paint. Back in the ’90s, before people learned how to pirate Photoshop, it was the go-to program for everything. You could edit photos with “cool” effects, whether it was the spray brush tool or the color filler tool, then save the photo and set it as the background of your desktop. It all felt pretty cutting edge at the time. But as our taste for photo manipulation tools grew more sophisticated, MS Paint became synonymous with the internet “low brow” aesthetic. No one actually expected anything created in MS Paint to look good, but that still didn’t stop some artists from choosing it as their unlikely digital tool of choice.
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When it comes to artistic inspiration, it’s easy to turn to the masters of movie cinema. We’re talking about, of course, Hitchcock, Scorsese, and Lynch. Illustrator Julian Rentzsch in collaboration with German design studio Stellavie produced these stunning giclée prints of all three directors. But these are more than just pretty portraits. Each piece includes references to each director’s work, including famous quotes and other nerdy film facts. You can buy all three here, or just oogle at the pictures above.
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Travis Louie was born in Queens, New York, a few miles from the 1964 Worlds Fair. Add on top of that a childhood full of pulp comics, sci-fi cartoons, and monster movies and it becomes obvious why Louie’s paintings look the way they do. Stringing together his obsession with freak shows and vaudeville, Louie’s portraits are part historical, part surrealist sci-fi. Featuring bizarre characters from flat-headed weirdos to legit monsters, each portrait is done in classic sepia tones to give off an authentic, old-timey aura. On his website, Louie accompanies each illustration with a mini story about the person in the portrait. Maybe these freakish people really did exist and we just never knew about it? That’s the story Louie wants us to think, and you know what, we think we might believe him.
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Carne Griffiths is an artist obsessed with lines, both physical and metaphorical. He draws all his portraits with ink and then manipulates the lines with liquids like tea or brandy. The results are drippy, smeary depictions of people that are dream-like in their lack of structure–much like a controlled mess. These recent pieces were created for London Art Fair 2015. Browse some of our favorites above.
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