December 2021 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists
December 2, 2021

Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at hello@colossal.art. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.
 
iStock Creative Inclusion Grants Featured
The inaugural iStock Creative Inclusion Grants will award four emerging photographers $5,000 each to support a project that draws attention to underrepresented communities. More Continue reading

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Miniature Watercolor Works by Ruby Silvious Are Painted on Stained Teabags
November 26, 2021

Ruby Silvious’s quaint seaside scenes and bucolic landscapes nestle between the torn edges and wrinkled folds of a used teabag. The Coxsackie, New York-based artist (previously) paints miniature scenes of everyday life on the stained paper pouches, leaving the string and tags intact as a reminder of the repurposed material’s origin. Silvious sells prints of her watercolor pieces on her site, and you can follow her latest projects and news about upcoming exhibitions—she will be showing her upcycled works in France and Japan in 2022—on Instagram. More Continue reading

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Surreal Characters Vacation at a Fantastic Resort in a 1,500-Piece Puzzle by Marija Tiurina
November 12, 2021

Marija Tiurina is known for her chaotic, fictionalized worlds that offer a brief escape from reality, so it’s fitting that London-based artist (previously) turned one of her larger watercolor renderings into a daunting 1,500-piece puzzle. Brimming with surreal splendor, the vibrant illustration envisions a holiday resort for families and their imaginary friends. Adults, kids, and a seemingly endless array of fantastical characters pack into the vacation venue to relax poolside, play video games, fish, and ice skate around a rink. More Continue reading

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‘A Library of Misremembered Books’ Is a Witty, Illustrated Compendium of Mistaken Titles
November 5, 2021

Marina Luz’s A Library of Misremembered Books is an ode to all of our favorite titles that we can’t quite recall: there’s the ’80’s high-school classic “Popular Girls Who Shoplift,” the one with the “Cat Possibly Named Henry,” and the strangely philosophical sci-fi fantasy “Lady Becomes Immortal Because of Aliens.”
Published by Chronicle, the illustrated book compiles Luz’s witty, satirical takes on the task of entering a shop, finding a lucky salesperson, and describing that novel you read a few years ago about a time-traveling family that had a purple cover… or was it pink? More Continue reading

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Wild Animals Occupy Suburban Nights in Nicholas Moegly’s Mysterious Illustrations
November 4, 2021

In Nicholas Moegly’s shadow-laden illustrations, wild animals descend on backyards and unoccupied streets illuminated by artificial lights. The Cincinnati-based artist largely focuses on the quiet, mundane landscapes of Midwestern suburbia, although each of his works features surreal details that shroud the scenes in mystery: a lamp with no apparent electricity source lies haphazardly on the sidewalk, an empty car veers off a driveway with headlights still shining, and deer nibble on grass strangely close to a small tent. More Continue reading

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An Illustrated Children’s Book Is a Sensitive Retelling of a Timber Elephant’s Role in WWII
November 1, 2021

Meet Bandoola, an Asian timber elephant the British Army enlisted in WWII. Purchased as a calf, the lumbering creature was shipped to a teak plantation where he was forced to drag and push logs across the landscape to construct bridges and other structures. Bandoola’s life, while fictionalized by London-based illustrator and author William Grill in his forthcoming children’s book, is based on the true story of Elephant Bill, a soldier who worked with the animals in forestry camps during the war. More Continue reading

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Phantom Clouds Descend from the Sky in Vorja Sánchez’s Illustrated Photos
October 28, 2021

In Vorja Sánchez’s ghostly dreamworld, spectral creatures plunge from the sky with long, wispy appendages that grasp onto the landscape. The Barcelona-based artist and illustrator (previously) disrupts otherwise peaceful photos with the massive forms that haunt unsuspecting hikers and farm animals as they peek out from behind a hill or congregate in airborne groups. Prints of the playfully illustrated phantoms are available in Sánchez’s shop, and you can find more from the series on Instagram. More Continue reading

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Dizzying Patterns Envelop Imagined Characters in Portraits by Sofia Bonati
October 22, 2021

In the hypnotic portraits of Argentinian artist Sofia Bonati (previously), women find themselves embraced by backgrounds of black-and-white linework, foliage, and abstract geometries. The feminine characters often have rosy cheeks and earnest expressions, and they seamlessly meld with their patterned environments, which sometimes conceal the outlines of their figures and accentuate their unique facial features.
Now based in Oxfordshire, Bonati will show some of her dizzying drawings in a group exhibition with Wow x Wow this December. More Continue reading

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Phlegm’s Monochromatic Comic Book Characters Explode Onto Walls Across Europe
August 19, 2021

If there’s one theme that ties the epic stories unfolding in works by Sheffield-based Phlegm (previously), it’s a sense of action, toil, and perseverance. The otherworldly characters that appear in the Welsh artist’s murals, prints, paintings, and comic books are often unceasingly busy and cause mischief or wage battles using unusual crafts and weaponry. Each piece is a brilliant balance between his crisp monochromatic painting style born from the pages of his earlier comic books and the folk-ish narratives that often draw from historical artworks, leaving every piece open to interpretation by the viewer. More Continue reading

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Timely Editorial Illustrations by Eiko Ojala Elegantly Explore the World’s Most Pressing Topics
August 18, 2021

Climate change, the pandemic, politics, and social unrest: these are just a few of the topics artist Eiko Ojala (previously) has been asked to depict for some of the world’s largest and most respected publications. Using his immediately recognizable style of paper and shadow, the Estonia-based illustrator wants the viewer “to have a feeling that they would like to touch the illustration with their fingers.” As the world has grown in complexity over the last decade, so has Ojala’s work. More Continue reading

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A Poetic Book Illustrated by Tiffany Bozic Explores the Vast Diversity of Trees with Childlike Curiosity
August 16, 2021

In her first body of work geared toward children, artist Tiffany Bozic (previously) showcases the naturally occurring whimsy and wonder of the outdoors through saturated color, texture, and unusual perspectives: An upward glance frames towering redwoods with rugged bark, elusive flying squirrels cling to a branch, and dried leaves, fungi, and berries form a thick, colorful layer of groundcover. “I wanted to inspire children to notice how beautiful and important nature is and recognize that we are also animals, a part of nature. More Continue reading

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Graceful Swimmers Breach the Water’s Surface in Sonia Alins’s Poetic Mixed-Media Illustrations
August 12, 2021

In Sonia Alins’s dreamy works, figures gently break through the surface of the sea, creating a minimal ripple around their bodies as they dip in and out of the water. The Spanish artist and illustrator (previously) is known for her expressive swimmers, whose enlarged limbs splay in graceful positions as they float and move through the ocean. Translucent sheets of vellum produce the cloudy effects of water, obscuring fish and coral and adding a three-dimensional element to the largely ink, acrylic, and watercolor drawings. More Continue reading

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Watercolor Illustrations by Steeven Salvat Cloak Natural Specimens with Elaborate Metallic Motifs
August 6, 2021

History, science, and nature converge in the watercolor and ink drawings of French artist Steeven Salvat (previously). Whether encasing beetles in ornate armor, rotational gears, and antique dials or rendering vast entanglements of flora and fauna, Salvat’s works exquisitely apply a fanciful veil to wildlife and insects. Each piece, which is the result of hundreds of hours of painstaking linework, stems from biological studies and 18th-century engravings, two themes the artist returns to as a way to allude to the precious qualities of the natural world. More Continue reading

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19 Illustrators Celebrate What They Love About Asian Culture in a Print Sale Raising Funds to Combat Racism
June 9, 2021

Nineteen international illustrators have banded together to raise money to stop violence against Asian communities. Curated by the new platform Paperboy, a print sale called MUST BE NICE! asked the artists to share what they love about Asian culture, which resulted in an electric array of works celebrating everything from food and animals to traditional craft. Each sale directly supports the illustrators, and the remaining profits will be donated to organizations combatting discrimination and hate, including Besea.n, End The Virus of Racism, and Hackney Chinese Community Services. More Continue reading

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Sentrock Captures the Sights of Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood in a New Series About Mental Health
June 3, 2021

In honor of Mental Health Month this May, Chicago artist Joseph Perez, who works as Sentrock, created an illustrated series celebrating the people and scenes around his studio in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood. “I started doing it just for myself, to take an hour or two and share my thoughts or reflections for that day or the day prior,” he tells Colossal.
Lively, expressive, and deeply empathetic, the resulting illustrations draw on Sentrock’s background as a graffiti artist and his connection to those around him. More Continue reading

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The Best Gouache Paints for Quick-Drying Work
May 28, 2021

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission. Gouache, an opaque water-soluble paint with gum arabic or acrylic as its binder, is one of the best-kept secrets in painting. Want flat, opaque areas of color? You’ll need only one coat with gouache. […] Continue reading

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Surreal Watercolor Illustrations Shake Back and Forth in Marija Tiurina’s Chaotic Stereograms
May 27, 2021

Longtime Colossal readers will recognize the surreal, fictionalized scenes illustrated by Marija Tiurina (previously). Whether a bizarre mishmash of thoughts from quarantine or a crowded parallel universe in North London, Tiurina’s works are a seemingly endless exploration of mystery, delight, and general chaos, themes the London-based illustrator continues in her new series Stereogramos—the title is a portmanteau blending the “Spanish world for a bouquet (of endless objects and limbs, in my case) and ‘-os’ ending that is typical to the worlds of plural female form in Lithuanian language,” she says. More Continue reading

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