Josephine Kyhn’s illustrations have a fairytale feel to them. A celebrated children’s book illustrator, Kyhn combines surreal environments with vibrant color palettes with the result being both playful and intriguing. “I was once told I had a kind of ‘messy’ style,” she admitted in an interview with The Re:Art, “but that it worked for me. I guess that all these elements are a natural part of the way I build up my illustrations; using a lot of different elements depending on the story and theme.”
A visual storyteller, Kyhn’s illustrations manage to say a lot without using the mediation of text. Centered around cartoon-like characters and anthropomorphized animals, she captures their minute interactions with great detail, utilizing a variety of tools that include watercolors, pencils, and digital software.
“I feel like there is some kind of story or experience behind every character or composition I make,” says Kyhn. “That there is something to be told. There are stories developing from my mind, inspired by people, life, the universe and how all these things affect us. Narratively I feel that both the more complex and surreal stories need to be told, as well as the simple and everyday ones.”
“I can find inspiration in almost everything and it is very random how it pops into my mind,” she adds. Aside from the people around her, she also mentions being inspired by fables, fairytales and other short stories. Enter her playful worlds in the gallery below.