Who run the world? Colourful portraits of Girls by illustrator Petra Eriksson

in Inspiration / Illustration

Most of the faces Petra Eriksson bases her portraits on are of complete strangers, taken from photographs found when she browses Pinterest. She'll then alternate and rework her subjects by changing their hair, skin colour, clothes or any little detail in their expressions. "The important thing is that I feel like I can turn the portrait into my own style," she explains.

Her style definitely centres around bright colours, structures and patterns. "These elements are present in almost anything I do," she adds. "Otherwise I like mixing flat, geometric, graphic shapes with motives that are much more soft and organic. During the past year I've been mostly focusing on doing portraits like these but now I'm trying to change things up a bit by doing more still life illustrations, work more with creative lettering and create series that can tell more of a story."

Where does she get her inspirations? "Everywhere. The colour combination of someones graffiti scribbles on a wall or the texture of some kind of mineral somewhere in a dusty museum. Dead animals and broken bones. The shape of a fat stain on someones pink shirt. Slow films, books and songs about people who are, as we all are, imperfect. In general I find it in things that are, or used to be, beautiful but which in one way or another is a little bit broken."

If you're inspired by Petra's illustrations, you might be excited to learn that she's working on an interesting side project with Shaina Joy, a journalist and teacher that she met in Spain: "We're working on a fanzine about sexual consent based on a text that she has written. I'm currently working on the design and illustration for it while we're starting to plan how to print, publish and spread it. Our main goal is to share it with schools, students and teachers in Spain at first but hopefully we'll make an english version of the fanzine as well. It's not done yet but if you keep an eye on my portfolio it will show up there later this spring."

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