Roberts Rurans
NYT Holiday Book Review


Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
I was asked by the NYT to illustrate the entire Holiday Books issue, which involved illustrating the cover and 11 interior spots. The brief was to speak to the communal holiday spirit while also paying mind to the weirdness that 2020 had been. I proposed to reference medieval illuminated manuscripts, as it seemed appropriate for Christmas season and the feeling of history repeating itself.

How was the illustration used:
Holiday Book Review issue printed and digital cover and inside illustrations.

How did you make this work:
All illustrations are hand painted with acrylic on paper. The originals were then scanned in and enhanced with digital post-production. Cover was animated by the animator Eduards Balodis.

Commissioner Name :
Matt Dorfman
Commissioner Company :
The New York Times

Social Media:

Personal Website:
Agent Website:

Currently Based:

Roberts Rurans is a freelance illustrator based out of Riga, Latvia. His style is a mix of the modern aesthetics of visual simplicity and traditional painting technique, influenced by modernist and medieval painters. His clients include The New Yorker, The New York Times, NATO, Vogue and many others.