Mexican artist Ricardo Solis uses oil paint, ink and other media to create fantastic depictions of how various animal species are created by teams of Lilliputian workers. Strips of electrical tape are unrolled and applied to give a zebra its stripes while poison dart frogs are carefully painted. A grizzly bear’s furry coat is painstakingly woven and hot-air balloons are used to pour paint onto a flamingo and position a pangolin’s horny overlapping scales. The hippo gets its substantial size and shape thanks to a generous inflation of helium.

Visit Ricardo Solis’ Behance page to check out more of his awesome animals under construction. Prints are available via Solis’ website.

[via Lost At E Minor]

Toronto, Ontario-based artist Ruth Oosterman collaborates with her two-year-old daughter Eve to create imaginative paintings that feel as though they’ve been lifted from the pages of a fantastic series of storybooks we’re now dying to read. Here Oosterman describe their process:

As all of our collaborations start, my two year old creates her own sketch with an ink pen which I then use to turn into a watercolor painting. The sketch is completely her own with no instruction given from me, I simply use her creativity to inspire me to create a painting.

Oosterman says that she can usually either discern a picture hidden inside Eve’s sketch or her daughter will have chatted with her about what she was drawing. But sometimes there is no conteext andshe has to let her own imagination run with it.

I try to work quickly and let imagination and play take root into the painting rather than taking it to seriously, this way I can encourage Eve’s contribution without making it to “grownup.”

Visit Ruth Oosterman’s blog and her YouTube channel to check out more of her wonderful collaborations with young Eve.

Prints of some of their creations are available via the Eve’s Imagination Etsy shop.

[via Bored Panda]

Letters are full of awesome potential. Combine enough of them and you’ve got a declaration of love, a sidesplitting joke, a life-saving message in a bottle, a precious secret, a poem, a novel or a Broadway play. Swiss visual artist and graphic designer Cyril Voilloz manipulates letters in a much different fashion. He treats them as visual playthings that can be poked to squirt ink, peeled from their paper, pulled and twisted from a sketchbook onto a computer screen or opened to reveal their internal components. It’s typography that teases 2D letters into 3D objects and we love it.

Visit Cyril Voilloz’s website or follow him on Instagram to check out lots more of his awesome artwork.

[via Visual News]

Artist and illustrator Dave DeVries takes children’s drawings of imaginary monsters and superheroes and uses a combination of acrylic paint, color pencils and an airbrush to render them with awesome realism. Part of his process includes interviewing the child artists to get an even better feel for what their creatures really look like. What begin as strange and cute doodles end up as truly terrifying, yet sometimes also hilarious, glimpses of a child’s imagination brought to life.

"It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life."

This ongoing project is called The Monster Engine. DeVries is currently accepting commissions for new pieces. He also published a book and limited edition poster of his Monster Engine illustrations, both of which are available here.

[via Lost At E Minor and Marvelous]

Macau-based web designer and developer Varun Thota uses a toy plane that his dad found inside a chocolate Kinder Egg to create an ongoing photography series entitled My Toy Plane, in which a commercial airliner appears to soar over dramatic cityscapes. If it weren’t for the presence of his arm in each shot, you’d probably assume that the plane itself was real. We nearly did.

Through the photos, he not only gets to explore his interest in aviation, but also to build relationships with the people around him. He says, “The thing I enjoy most about the series is how fun it is to include other people in it. It’s always fun to show people the plane, tell them the story and then ask them for a helping hand in taking the shot.”

Follow Varun Thota on Instagram to check out more awesome photos from his My Toy Plane series.

[via My Modern Metropolis]

When French illustrator Thomas Lamadieu looks up at the patches of blue sky between city buildings, he imagines fanciful characters existing in the geometric gaps formed by the neighboring buildings. Lamadieu shoots photos of those patches of sky and illustrates them for an ongoing series entitled Sky Art. Thus far he has drawn pictures on the skies over streets and enclosed courtyards in France, Germany, Belgium and Canada.

Head over to Thomas Lamadieu’s website to view more images from his whimsical Sky Art series.

[via Colossal]

When you’re walking around town something as ordinary as a bent railing might not draw your attention at all, let alone make you wonder how it happened in the first place. But if you’re a street artist named OaKoAk (previously featured here), you don’t just notice the damaged railing, you envision a tiny Bruce Lee as the cause and then make it happen so the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of your awesome imagination.
[via OaKoAK]

When you’re walking around town something as ordinary as a bent railing might not draw your attention at all, let alone make you wonder how it happened in the first place. But if you’re a street artist named OaKoAk (previously featured here), you don’t just notice the damaged railing, you envision a tiny Bruce Lee as the cause and then make it happen so the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of your awesome imagination.

[via OaKoAK]

It’s been a few months since we last paid a visit to the Department of Awesome Animal Hybrids. Netherlands-based artist Redmer Hoekstra creates beautifully surreal illustrations that combine animals and humans with machines and everyday objects. Hoekstra’s hybrids are wonderfully imaginative. The pages of a book are the wings of an owl. A mother pigeon is a teapot feeding a brood of gaping teacup chicks in their serving tray nest. The metallic skin of a submarine is peeled like a banana to reveal a humpback whale inside.

Visit Redmer Hoekstra’s Behance page to check out more of his dreamlike illustrations. He also has an online shop offering books, prints and postcards.

[via Colossal]

All of these fantastic photos were taken in the same 11.8 x 13.5 x 7.8 ft space and without the use of any photo manipulation. As though recreating worlds that only exist inside her dreams, Korean artist JeeYoung Lee painstakingly transforms her small studio, sometimes over the course of weeks and months, into surreal and vibrant worlds. Within those handmade worlds Lee then photographs herself. The amount of time and effort she devotes to creating and setting up the props and then lighting the scene - all to capture a single photo - is extraordinary.

Each elaborate scene has its own backstory, some are inspired by Lee’s own life while others have roots in old Korean fables. Sometimes it takes a moment to locate her, but she’s always there.

JeeYoung Lee’s awesome self-portraits are currently being shown in a solo exhibition entitled Stage of Mind at the Opiom Gallery in Opio, France through March 7, 2014.

Visit the Opiom Gallery website for more photos.

[via My Modern Metropolis]

English artist Craig Davison creates series of paintings that beautifully illustrate the awesome power of childhood imagination and our limitless ability to play pretend as our favorite movie characters. He draws from a wide variety of movies, but the pieces seen here all revolve around Star Wars.

Kids play their hearts in the foreground while their shadows loom larger than life in the background as the fictional characters they’re pretending to be. Tree branches have become light sabers, cardboard tubes and a hair dryer work equally well as blasters, a garbage can and a colander are all you need to be R2-D2 and C3PO, and a pair of headphones serve as Princess Leia’s cinnamon bun hairdo.

Visit Craig Davison’s website to check out more of his delightful and nostalgic artwork. Then go grab a tree branch and meet us at the park for a light saber duel.

[via Nerd Approved]