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Work / Illustration

Pavel Mishkin’s wibbly characters are inspired by vintage books and posters

Moscow-based Pavel Mishkin got into illustration after an unexpected epiphany: “After visiting Nepal I had bad mountain sickness and poisoning – when I returned home I realised I wanted to draw,” he says. Since then Pavel’s been working hard on developing his style, which he says is constantly changing in a bid to improve it.

The result is a set of colourful characters with a panna cotta-like wibble to them, who find themselves in various situations like woodland walks, snowball fights or waiting at a subway station. “I’m inspired by illustrations from old books and posters,” Pavel says. “I like drawing characters. Each time I try to find new ones in my head or soul – I don’t actually know where they are sitting.”

Once Pavel has extracted the characters from his mind, he draws the idea out in pencil allowing for texture and loose linework, before finishing them in Photoshop. Despite their digital finish, they retain a hand-drawn, layered quality. Colour-wise, Pavel is constantly experimenting with his palettes making sure to use different combinations for each people to avoid repetition elsewhere in his works. For these most recent works, he’s using warm shades of pink, red and orange, combined with cooler tones of blue and green that remind us of the vintage posters he’s inspired by.

Having built up his portfolio, Pavel has taken on more editorial commissions including Esquire Russia. Working with a set brief, the illustrator finds that these allows him to explore “new areas to search for characters”.

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