10 incredible modern masters of fantasy illustration

06. Jana Schirmer

jana schirmer

Berlin-based artist, Jana, recently turned to portrait art in an effort to find her true style

After facing problems and dropping out of school at 15, Jana devoted her time to painting: "Art felt like the only thing that was left for me," she says.

Jana's art is beautiful and light, semi-realistic but with manga overtones. "I used to draw and paint manga during my teenage years, and it's very hard to get rid of these 'trained mistakes' that come with a specific style," she admits.

07. Rafael Sarmento

Rafael Sarmento

Rafael's dramatic style uses a limited palette to create an impact

Rafael's work defines a style, neither illustrative nor fantasy, it feels like a work in progress of some larder, broader piece.

"It's like a perpetual motion machine, whose rhythm is getting faster as the time passes, and it created the impulses that makes me paint," explains the artist.

08. Ross Tran

ross tran

Ross Tran is enthusiastic about learning and shares his knowledge through his popular youtube channel

Being an only child, Ross always had to find new ways of entertaining himself. "I remember exploring the back yard of my gradma's place and getting lost in the worlds I created for myself," he recalls.

"Fantasy allows for anything to happen! It's just a whole world of make-believe and unlimited things to draw from."

Ross is keen to never stop learning: "Every experience will feed into your work and make you who you are."

09. Tom Bagshaw

Tom Bagshaw

Tom's piece "Overflow" demonstrates his need to put a story behind his work

"Ideas pop into your head at odd times," says Tom, " like when your actually working on another piece." The artist shuns the idea that he has a style - "honestly", he says, "I've never really thought about it."

His influences include religion, the occult, folklore and broader fantasy - always with a contained narrative.

10. Jeff Simpson

jeff simpson art

Jeff Simpson's "Catwoman" shows the artist's pursuasion towards something a little different

Jeff Simpson grew up as "the art kid", surrounded by creativity and an art teacher mother. While Jeff's day job is concept art, his personal paintings are what really catch the eye.

His portraits break rules, they are a collision of colour and shape - a merge of forms that become something broader.

Words: Alice Pattillo

Alice Pattillo is a staff writer at Creative Bloq.

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