Visual Metaphor, Surreal Imagery

One of the joys of illustration is seeing how artists use their boundless imagination to create dreamy images that reference the surreal and strange.

These works leverage visual metaphor to create arresting images that linger in the memory.

The keen use of colour by Fatinha Ramos in this illustration shows how books can connect families in this campaign to encourage children to read with their parents.

Aiste Stancikaite uses a highly stylised, monochrome treatment of images of femininity with classical references that hover between reality and fiction.

This clever illustration by Colin McElwaine takes a look behind the curtain of the mid-west of the USA. Using playful scale this inviting illustration offers a new perspective on this part of the world.

This editorial illustration by Karolis Strautniekas uses limited colour, soft texture and high tonal contrasts to convey the drama and tension of the stories we tell ourselves around the pandemic.

Larissa Honsek‘s claymation graphics for a gaming app use a pastel colour palette and stylised figures to create an otherworldy universe for the game’s characters.

Li Ya Wen uses a mix of two and three-dimensional imagery to create a fun pop video with a serious message about women’s period health.

A series of illustrations inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian by Yiran Jia take the most shocking scenes and use surreal perspective to add to the sense of violence and terror.

Pavlena Mateeva‘s illustrations for Camus’ The Outsider use layers of sun and water imagery to convey the character’s interior emotional world.

Miles Cole uses staples of management speak to create imagery of ‘carrot and stick’ and ‘jumping through hoops’ to convey the message of this article on performance related pay.

This illustration by Stephan Schmitz shows the impact of various types of digital and technological enhancement. The use of reflection shows how our physical selves are mirrored by a a digital self.

Tonal graphics and sharp perspective help create contemporary interpretations of the tarot in these portfolio illustrations by Lia Liao.