By Kelly Carter
Google any subject and you’ll fall down the rabbit hole. I recently set out in search of nine of the best women in digital illustration and while doing research for this blog post, I would find that two hours had passed as I discovered one amazing artist after another. A recurring theme that I noticed was that women like to celebrate the female face and form in their works of art.
After finding nearly three dozen awesome illustrators, I narrowed it down to nine of my favorite women in digital illustration that portray females in all their beauty, mystery, darkness, sexuality and sometimes absurdity. These selections prove there are some talented illustrators out there. As an artist and a designer, it’s a thrill to see how far the computer as an art medium has come.
1. Dutch artist Lois Van Baarle (a.k.a. Loish), is an illustrator and animator who creates all of her work in Photoshop. Her expressive character art is colorful and fluid and her women are beautiful, sensual and quirky. One of the things I love most about Loish, is her willingness to share her techniques through her blog, video tutorials and tips, helping other artists or individuals looking to learn more about the way she works. This openness, as well as her strong presence on social media, has led to a large fanbase for Loish. Recently, through Kickstarter and 3dtotal Publishing, she funded the beautiful book, “The Art of Loish,” which details her journey as a digital artist.
2. Yuumei (Wenqing Yan) is a Chinese artist living in the U.S. Some of her work can lean towards anime style and her storytelling and use of color and light are inviting. Her passion for the environment and nature are beautifully portrayed in many of her pieces. Yuumei has also created intriguing sculpture, as well as graphic novels and tutorials on Youtube.
3. Detroit artist Kelsey Beckett has been mostly working in acrylic and oil lately, but she has produced some mysteriously beautiful digital work in the past. She is very talented at portraying emotion in her subjects’ facial expressions, while still creating a dignity that is captivating and makes me excited to see what she produces next.
4. Taiwan-based artist Hsiao-Ron Cheng’s illustrations have been used on album covers, in books and magazines, and as fabric patterns. Cheng’s realistic portraits are soft and airy and done mostly in pastel colors. They evoke a sense of stillness and serenity. Cheng’s use of natural elements and attention to detail make for some alluring work.
5. Polish artist and designer Magdalena Kapinos creates digital paintings that are a juxtaposition of surreal and realistic. Though working mostly with digital, Kapinos sometimes uses other mediums to achieve an effect that straddles digital and traditional. She renders realistically drawn figures and embellishes them with collage-type patterns, line art and abstract shapes, culminating into a balanced, yet off-kilter style.
6. Eevien Tan is an illustrator and designer based in Melbourne, Australia whose digital illustrations of women are strongly influenced by art nouveau. By using digital tools, she is able to create artwork that is both classical and contemporary. Tan’s use of muted, rich colors, nature and animals culminate into a beautiful and intriguing collection.
7. Miranda Meeks is a digital artist from Utah. Meeks says she has always been drawn to dark and haunting subject matter. Her illustrations are certainly moody, but they are also soft, mysterious and beautiful. Meeks’ work evokes a stillness that sticks with you long after viewing it. Lately, she has been creating work for book covers and hopes to keep going in that direction, as well as producing work for galleries.
8. Hong Kong-based Sonya Fu is a digital artist who grew up in the former British Colony, so her work is influenced by both Asian and Western cultures. Her paintings are often based on her dreams and spirituality and can sometimes be eerie and otherwordly. Fu explores innovative printing methods for her work in order to produce the highest quality prints that show her use of color, detail and contrast.
9. Berlin artist Mimi Scholz (link is NSFW) creates her digital pieces by layering characters, satire and emotion, to tell a story that often pokes fun at women and their idiosyncrasies. She touches upon subjects like beauty, sexuality, fantasy, sci-fi and even heavy metal. Her work is detailed, with a smooth and shiny finish, often in feminine and pastel colors. Some of Scholz’s pieces incorporate up to 30 or more characters and can be up to six or more feet in length. It all adds up to an cynical, eclectic, sometimes hectic and almost always amusing commentary on the feminine and sexual clichés.
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