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Work / Illustration

Saša Ostoja’s humorous animal-based illustrations have dark undertones

Amsterdam-based illustrator Saša Ostoja is a marvel at creating sweet but funny illustrations using animal-based characters, who get up to all sorts of mischief. “The contrast of naïvely-drawn creatures combined with humour and dark undertones is, for me, the perfect way to make my illustrations the way I want,” says Saša. “I’m a huge fan of naïve art – Henri Rouseau is definitely an inspiration.”

A mix of brightly-coloured and monochrome scenes, Saša’s illustrations are sprawling and vivid. “When something visually pops in my head, I’ll get the urge to put it on paper. In my studio I have hundreds of sketches, characters and ideas to use whenever I need,” he explains.

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša has created work for Anorak, and Volkskrant magazine among others and the illustrator still maintains his personal style in his client-based works. “If I do editorial briefs, I always try to learn something about the subject matter,” explains Saša. “The process of picking the right idea for the article is the most important part. The most logical drawing is not always the best one – there are different ways to tell a story. Through the years, I’ve really learned how to use my brain for this way of thinking.”

The illustrator gets his ideas from all sort of outlets including the news, documentaries, film, or just “sitting on the couch with my cat”. Often he combines situations he’s thought of with each other and enjoys imagining different scenes.

Up next for Saša is whole range of projects including organising a curated night at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. “The goal of the night is to excite people about the artist and the museum. People will drop by and make drawings of Van Gogh and I’ll also be showing some of my drawings,” explains Sasa. After that the illustrator is keen to do a whole exhibition of his work. “I just want to put everything together and show what I’ve learnt over the past few years.”

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša Ostoja

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Saša Ostoja

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