Illustrator Her Afternoon on creating dreamlike art that transcends boundaries

Soft, delicate, and populated by small characters inhabiting spacious worlds, the art of Hong Kong-based illustrator Her Afternoon is loaded with quiet poignancy. It's all part of their attempt to bring hope and calm into our chaotic world.

A tiny person sitting in a closet filled with clothes hangers. A minuscule woman floating in a blob of water. These are just some of the fragile subjects in the illustrations of Her Afternoon, all of which are set in expansive, featureless landscapes that help draw the viewer in.

Having majored in social systems and human well-being at university, it should come as no surprise that people and their connections are the focus of Her Afternoon's illustrations. "These studies gave me a different perspective on human connections," Her Afternoon tells Creative Boom. "The idea of connecting with people via drawing was born after I followed an inspiring private drawing teacher."

By masterfully using composition, Her Afternoon can make sparse pictures of a person standing on a precipice or a woman curled up on a beach pack a unique punch. Relatable objects and tiny people all come together in a way that's at once familiar yet totally new at the same time.

"My drawing falls into the realm of minimalism and surrealism," explains Her Afternoon. "To me, art is a transcendence where boundaries don’t exist. You might often find naked people in my work; sometimes it’s a girl, sometimes a boy, and sometimes a unisex baby. You might find it hard to see the faces of the people, but their emotions are there. You could feel these emotions if you allow yourself to do so. I hope people can feel the pain and sorrow of my creations while also seeing the hope I have implied."

Drawing inspiration from the work of Japanese writer Murakami Haruki, especially his books about solitude and relationships, Her Afternoon has created a dreamy world deftly balanced on the tipping point between optimism and melancholy.

"I want my art to create a place where people can find peace of mind and hope, no matter how chaotic the world is. It's my ultimate wish that people can enjoy a chill afternoon in my art."