I want to hang out with Amy Ross.

1AMY75You know how people are always saying stuff about celebrities like, “I could totally see myself being best friends with Person X and going out for Taco Tuesday in our yoga pants!” or whatever? (Jennifer Lawrence, you seem to be everyone’s girlcrush of the moment. I hope you savor it, because the internet tide is mean and will turn.) Well, sometimes I feel that way about artist. I know, I just mocked the idea. But sometimes I see a picture and think I would probably like the way their brain works. And that happened today with Amy Ross.

AMY ROSSRoss makes these wonderfully detailed pictures of impossible creatures. Birds with mushroom caps for heads, trees with cloven hooves, people shape-shifting into wolves and foxes and other wild things—you get the idea. It reminds me of illustrations from old children’s books, or something out of an 19th Century field guide. They’re lovely and strange at once. Sometimes, I don’t even see the out-of-context species-mixing until after I look a bit closer, particularly with the magnolia series. amy_rossDon’t you think, based on these pictures, that Ross would want to drink tea with me while explaining Downton Abbey? Why does everyone like that show so much? I don’t get it.

See her whole portfolio (it’s HUGE) on her website: AmyRoss.com.

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John Stortz’s delicate drawings.

John StortzI came across illustrator John Stortz’s work on Pinterest, and I absolutely adore his style, particularly his work in pen. Each piece is so intensely detailed, almost to a microscopic level. I normally find pointillism and its ilk to be very static and flattened, yet somehow he makes these tiny dots seem fluid and lively (particularly in his images of wildlife). And as usual, I’m drawn to the surrealism in the images, something that is present in his undulating portraits and his dreamy watercolors.

Like what you see? Check out more here.

Prolix Pictures.

I used to hate alliteration. I thought, just because it’s simple, it was a lesser form of wordplay. Not so! When done well, alliteration can make a sentence sing; it can make words pop off the page and make music out of their syllables (these are bad examples, but it’s almost impossible not to get carried away. You try writing about writing, and see what happens).

There are plenty of authors that have made me change my mind, but more recently, io9 showcased the work of Nathan O. Marsh’s series Alphabet Apocrypha. For every letter, Marsh creates intricate illustrations following a set theme. Some are simple—m is maps, is the jumping jackalope—but others are far more complicated. A few are almost a storybook unto themselves. As a whole, the project is very reminiscent of Edward Gorey, from the twisty, spindly little sketches to the alphabetical material. There’s also a touch of Hieronymus Bosch and a hint of M.C. Escher—which, now that I think about it, isn’t a bad way to describe either Gorey or Marsh.

So far, Nathan has made it to letter Q. He’s posting new illustrations all the time, which are only getting better as he gets further along. Naturally, I really like the entry for K (though L is truly my favorite).

More here.