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Glasgow, United Kingdom
An illustrator and games artist living and working in Scotland. I have various hobbies: coding, travel, art and games; and I enjoy writing about them.

14 January 2013

Illustrations of Ivan Bilibin

In the days before Instagram people sent eachother post cards. Below is a series of postcards produced by a famous Russian illustrator, Ivan Bylibin. Throughout his career he was inspired with Slavic folklore and had a hand at shaping the traditional Slavic aesthetic as we know it today (source). He is widely known around Russia as a great illustrator of Slavic folk tales and an icon of the Russian spirit.

His works provide an helpful insight into the haunting beautify of Slavic folk tales. His style, so graphic and simplistic, has been a base for much visual research.

The post cards he produced inspire that eerie beauty, so dominant in his work, and a helpful insight into the every day lives of Russian people.

This example of wooden church combines white, green and blue to create a homely feeling

The golden hour was chosen by artists from the ancient times to create drama and interest in the image.

The moon is just rising basking everything in its yellow, eerie light. What lives in the darkness we can only guess.

A busy day at a trading town. Notice the dominating wooden architecture.

The detail absolutely makes it. The traditional Russian Orthodox crosses indicate a gaveyard, which creates an eerie feeling in contrast to the relatively bright and happy colours.

I can stare at this image for hours. The sense of scale is spot on, the incredible detail is what makes this.

These illustratations combine incredible detail with seemingly simplistic backgrounds, thus creating a beautiful balance and a pleasant viewing experience. The colours are washed out creating a feeling of wistfullness, I even felt a little homesick. The beautiful wooden architecture, so native to the old Russia makes an appearance and gives the images a strong sense of place - something I strive for in my own project.