Artist Illustrated Literal Meanings Of Words And Word Combinations (45 Pics)Interview With Artist
Meet Nadia Tolstoy, an illustrator and cartoonist from Stockholm, Sweden that might change the way you look at some words. As she describes on her Instagram, she creates "mildly amusing doodles" that are "surreal at times and frequently silly".
Nadia has made a series of illustrations showing a word as a combination of different things, which makes it look kind of absurd and funny. You might have thought about how silly some words or word compounds sound when you understand them literally. Now, you can see what they would look like visually!
Nadia is an interior architect by day who paints, writes and illustrates children's books in her spare time as well. She also is a mother of two and lives with her family in central Stockholm, Sweden. The artist revealed that in her family, they try to keep a sense of curiosity and fun alive because, as she quoted the words of Leo Burnett, she believes that "curiosity about life in all of its aspects is still the secret of great creative people."
Nadia works in a creative field and there's always something bubbling in her creativity cauldron. "It has been this way my whole life. But funnily enough, I had absolutely no intention of starting this Instagram account a few months ago. Then, in April, I got an awful cold and had to stay in bed for a few days and I couldn’t concentrate on anything, so I started doodling in my sketchbook." And that's how her doodling journey began.
Doodling has sparked something in Nadia that opened a door to all these surreal, punny characters and ideas. "When I got better, I sat down and drew fifty or so simple line illustrations, each accompanied by a word or two, all in one sitting. It felt as if they had been simply waiting to be let out and this was a complete surprise to me! I showed them to my husband, who said, 'this is an Instagram account, for sure! You´ve got the first fifty posts already'. I started the account the same day and have been posting almost daily since. At the same time, it´s an undertaking that steals precious minutes out of my day. I was starting to feel that maybe I should rethink the @Surrealians account, post just once a week, or even put it on hold because I only do it for my own pleasure and amusement. But I have been incredibly lucky to get the most supportive and lovely followers and then Bored Panda knocked on my door, so I´m going to keep it going a while longer!"
The artist shared that she is very interested in how ideas can be expressed with illustrations, but also in how words and images can support each other where one makes no sense without the other. "I use this a lot when I write children´s books. For instance, if the words say 'Anna climbed a tree', the illustration should not show just a girl climbing a tree. There might be a wolf hiding behind the tree, or a meteor falling from the sky above the tree. Or simply a girl sitting very, very high up in a tree (how DID she climb up the tree?) Whichever way you go, the illustration also tells a part of the story that is not expressed in the text. Of course, I´ve been in love with the English language since I lived in London as a teen and young adult and have been a passionate explorer of words."