What strikes you when you first stumble upon Jana Heidersdorf’s work is the warmth of her characters, which is probably a pretty conflicting feeling as you realize that what you are actually seeing are the twisted bodies of deep-sea creatures, mermaids that no sailor ever spoke about.
Jana Heidersdorf is a German illustrator who is very much interested in aquatic life which she depicts in a surrealist-bordering-horror manner. Her use of warm tones of yellow and ocher, balanced by soft, cool tones of blue and purple envelop the characters in an eerie feeling of serenity and despite their actual appearance, it gives you pause to sit and admire their figure. Their tails coil around their bodies and their fangs are sharp and deadly but you can’t help but lean closer, as if examining a specimen in a jar.
Her project, 100 Mermaids showcases Jana’s talent to create a diverse species of sea dwellers, each with its own traits and feeding particularities. You will notice strangely feminine figures who wade in the waters as well as twisted, bottom dwelling creatures you’ll never wish to encounter should you ever consider diving in the sea.
Other projects include illustrations for the Swedish novel Let The Right One In and a complex illustration of the 7 Ravens fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. Here, Jana shines in her extensive use of blue and green in her depictions of the magic scenery whilst the brothers themselves are given their humanity through yellow, soft oranges and browns as they transform from birds to boys.
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