Mikhail Vyrtsev, aka Reey Whaar, is a Russian watercolour artist. Born in 1988, Moscow, Vyrtsev studied cooking for a year then changed to graphic design. He worked as shipment handler for Danone before realising that he really wanted to be an illustrator.
His satirical and surreal watercolour paintings have been featured in magazines including Playboy, Men’s Health, PROsport, and Psychologies. Vyrtsev combines humour with the unsettling, positions objects uncomfortably close together, uses desaturated colors and faithful details to create poignant illustrations.
If you are a fan of Mondo which, if I am not mistaken, everyone is, then you would have certainly seen the work of Tyler Stout.
Tyler Stout, was born in Washington State, USA, in 1977. He spent two years at Clark Community College in Vancouver, then completed a New Media bachelors degree at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Staying in Bellingham, around 2001, Stout began illustrating flyers and posters for bands and shows in the area, along with the Seattle and Portland area. Some of the more well-known bands included Mars Volta, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Shins. He got his first professional big break when he was asked to contribute illustrations for a poster advertising a Tenacious D show at Higher Ground in Winooski, Vermont. In 2005, he moved back to Washington.
Rob Jones, a poster illustrator himself, had seen Stout’s gig posters and asked him if Stout would like to contribute to The Quentin Tarantino Film Fest. The event was being hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse and marked the start of an ongoing relationship between Stout and Alamo. What formed from Alamo Drafthouse’s regular collaboration with Stout, among other artists including Olly Moss and Martin Ansin, was a spin-off company and everyone’s favourite collectible art boutique, Mondo.
Stout’s realistic style and attention to detail solidified his popularity, and such, his demand grew. In addition to the frequent assignments from Mondo, he also continued illustrating gig posters and albums. Notably for Flight of the Conchords, The Decemberists, Phish, The Black Key, and Pearl Jam.
In the past, Stout has named Mobius, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, and Mike Mignola as some of his biggest influences. He has also noted earlier inspiration from Disney cartoons Rescue Rangers, TailSpin, and DuckTales as well as comics strips Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Far Side. You can read all about that along with other insights in his interviews with Ain’t it Cool, Vectips, TRPS and Claudio Parentela.
Laphet is a professional digital artist from South Korea. Upon first looking at her work you may mistakenly liken it for a more realistic version of Mabel Lucie Attwell. However, upon a second reading it is clear Laphet’s illustrations substitute to “cute” for the “creepy”.
Large-eyed children often look straight at you. Instead of having a dead stare at is usual for invoking eeriness, Laphet’s characters clearly have their cogs turning, as if they are plotting against you, the viewer. Uncomfortable, yes, but beautiful nonetheless.
You can find more of Laphet’s work on her DeviantArt page, and her more recently launched Tumblr.
Presenting the esoteric work of The H Lazarus. Born in Venice, Italy, Lazarus studied Fine art at The Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna (Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna), where she first started to explore the themes of Surrealism, Cyberpunk, Angiography, Mythology and Technology. Working with them concurrently she started to find parallels and where their paths crossed. Working in this manner Lazarus has succeeded in producing some very expressive and compelling imagery. As well as this personal artistic exploration, since 2011, she has been a member of Italian comic collective Manticora Autoproduzioni.
Californian Illustrator Bill Cone is well known for his sensational pastel artwork and his ongoing contribution to Pixar Animation Studios. He studyied Painting at San Francisco State University before going on to study Illustration at Art Center College of Design. After his graduation, Cone embarked on a career as a landscape painter and for over 17 years he has exhibited annually, both in group and one-man shows.
Cone is both a Production Designer and Teacher at Pixar. He has produced lighting studied, worked as a storyboard artist, background painter, and character designer. On top of all these roles, for over 10 years, Cone has taught light and color classes to the Pixar alumni. He has contributed to successful animations such as Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Ratatouille (2007), and Up (2009). Interestingly, it was during work on A Bug’s Life that he started using pastels to do lighting studies. Enjoying them very much and seeing their speed benefits, he decided to use pastels in his personal work too.
You can see much more of Bill Cone’s wonderful artwork on his blog, which he couples with eloquent and verbose descriptions.