Justell Vonk is an occult and folklore inspired illustrator.
Mostly self-taught, Justell began her self-education with copying acknowledged masters of graphic art like John Ruskin, Hans Holbein the Elder, Theodor Kittelsen, etc. First and most powerful influences were Jean Fouquet, Francisco Goya, Giovanni Batista Piranesi, Salvador Dali, and Max Ernst, along with the Northern Renaissance artists Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder.
The Internet helped her a lot in finding necessary information on getting primary drawing and painting skills, and subsequently led her to Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.
During her art studies in the grunge capital of the world Justell had and opportunity to learn from acknowledged contemporary American artists, to get inspired by the atmosphere of the city. Old American buildings, the gloomy weather, and underground scene have influenced her perception of the world and fueled her passion for drawing and painting. She experimented with different media like acrylics, oil paints, soft pastels, charcoal and watercolour. Black ink appeared to be the perfect medium for instant expression of the artiste’s visions.
She managed to combine her childlike worldview with the sarcasm of an adult person, mixing the magic and the mystery of a fairy tale with the grotesque humour of a harlequinade. Her drawings look like the artworks of Alice just returned from Wonderland with The Sisters of Mercy playing in the background.
Gothic, Black Metal, and the Underground music also made certain impact on the bizarre creations of the artisté, added a scent of brutality to her artworks staring at which the viewer becomes absorbed by the dark side of the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ world.
In 2016 she completed several projects with artists, writers, poets, and publishers from different countires.
Her works have been feautured in Arcane Art Magazine (Issue #2), Brut Magazine (Issue #5), Black And White Art Book (Vol.3), a story book Discordabce; A Soliloquy In Insomnia (Vol.1) and a comic book Insane Tales From The Dead (Issue #3).
A story book by the American writer Josef Desade illustrated by Justell is about to be released during autumn 2016 — winter 2017 season.
She is a prolific artisté. Her works gained recognition and support from all over the world. Many of them are in private collections in countries like Russia, Ukraine, Canada, the UK, and the USA. Some of Alena’s fans have even tattooed her drawings.
Her unique style is recognizable due to it’s sincere, naïve, and satirical components. It represents a mixture of the 19th century atmosphere with the distinct culture of the late 20th century.
She has always gained inspiration from fantasy, gothic, and horror writers like François Rabelais, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecaft, as well as from the Russian authors like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolay Gogol, and Mikhail Bulgakov.
Justell Vonk transforms the social aspect of life into surrealism inviting the viewer to join her in a magical trip into the world of the dark dreams. Due to her cultural background she masterfully combines the flair of Victorian England, Medieval Europe, and Slavonic paganism resulting in elegantly dark images.