Mythical creatures create a surreal repeat pattern

Friday inspiration: why Andriana Katsiki turned to cryptozoology for her stunning new series of illustrations.

Wunderlust is an upcoming project from Greek artist and designer Andriana Katsiki, some of which was presented in Computer Arts issue 232 for the first time.

A series of colourful illustrations, Wunderlust captures the whimsical creatures that haunted Katsiki's imagination before finally taking shape on the page. Here, she explains how the series took shape...

What inspired your illustrations?

I have always been overwhelmed by documentaries about science, animals and life. I am enchanted by the miracles of nature, the diversity of species, the infinite evolution. On the other hand, legends, myths and fairy tales excite my imagination.

The incentive for this project was cryptozoology – images of mythical creatures such as the Bavarian wolpertinger created a firework of pictures in my mind and inspired me to make my own cryptids.

The overall compositions are inspired by the repeated forms of nature. From a planet to a flower, everything is formed by the repetition of very simple shapes. Likewise, I have created my characters and the worlds they live in.

What were you trying to convey?

Tsiou Meh is one of many cryptozoology-inspired creatures from Andriana Katsiki's new series

Picasso said: "Everything you can imagine is real." I would add to that, "So, go on: imagine, dream, create!"

How did you create the images?

The creative process for the project began with some rough sketches of characters, patterns and ideas for key visuals. Then the concept was developed further in Illustrator. During my first digital experiments I found myself fascinated by repeating forms turning into illustrations! For example, a repeated shape could eventually form a tail or an eye.

Which is your favourite and why?

My favourite character is Syreni-Moo, a mermaid cow with wings and big bunny ears. I am emotionally attached to this character because it is the first Wunderlust creature. What I love about her is that Syreni-Moo belongs to three different worlds: the aquatic, the aerial and the terrestrial.

This article first appeared in Computer Arts issue 232, a design education special.