I'm not sure why I always find gothic images so beautiful. The sadness, the hints of violence, sex and death, mixed with flowers and beautiful faces and skulls. Perhaps it was my rebellion against the prevailing culture of townies in Kappa and surfies in Billabong that divided Swansea when I was growing up. It seemed way cooler to be cynical and pronounce yourself a goth. Wear black and smudge your eyes in a vaguely teary sullen looking way.
I think that's why I looked through all the art on Big Active's rosters and was instantly drawn to the work of Russian born artist Vania Zouravliov.
Zouravliov was inspired by an impressive array of artistry including The Bible, Dante's Divine Comedy, Disney and North American Indians. It has even been said that his work is from the Devil.
Here are a few of the ones I find inspiring. I love the shapes of fabric, the partial over the top dress compared to naked limbs, the beautiful faces, the exoticism and the gothic OTT elements.
A little lighter but still richly detailed, imaginative and beautiful is the work of Klaus Haapaniemi. Finish born Haapaniemi was also influenced by Russia - in particular Russian animation. His work is vivid and fairytale-like often with backgrounds of black.
I loved his store takeover for Isetan Interiors which was, I think, based on his beautiful book:
I also love his gothic cover for Perfume, one of the most vivid and richly imagined books I've ever read.
And this is one of his layout designs for Vogue magazine.
I love coming across the work of artists that make me want to create things myself. I feel inspired to write and illustrate a children's novel. Maybe do a big sexual gothic painting to shock people with.
Just need to find the time!