Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Inessa Illes Illustration

Cartoons Of My Life

Character Design
Social media

My work focuses on the simplicity of everyday life and the unique beauty of human beings through visible emotion and color. The things I like drawing I find in the subtleties of life like the gradient in someone’s hair, an interesting piece of furniture, or a funny phrase I read somewhere. I feel like I keep a mental archive of all these aesthetic details and use them in my drawings. My main focus is on character design and I discovered this through the queer art community. Using hair color, clothes, and body modifications in my characters allow me to represent people like me through my lens and I hope that people can see themselves in my artwork.

My characters are always gender ambiguous because every drawing I make is a study of human physicality, and I want to have a wide range of representation . My characters celebrate being freaky and different because there is not enough representation of individuality. I also show emotion through my drawing to humanize characters and create a sense of relatability for people who don’t normally see themselves represented in traditional art. The core of my art-making philosophy is to have fun and play with color, shape, and feeling!

Color is a big part of my drawings and I use it to convey a dreamlike and psychedelic quality. I’ve always been inspired by cartoons and fairytales and I want to be able to create a world that the viewer can get lost in. I like to skew and distort perspective and proportion in my work as well to distance myself from realism as much as I can. Details are a very important part of my work as well and I use certain elements to create a narrative that evokes a certain nostalgia and familiarity. Using pop culture references adds an element of humor that can draw the viewer in and make them feel like they are a part of an inside joke or cultural reference.

For my thesis project I have created a series of drawings showcasing the characters in my everyday life. I used photo references of my friends I have taken in various locations that have context in my community. I want people viewing my work to get a sense of the world I live in and hopefully see themselves and the places they inhabit represented as well.