Jason Levesque AKA Stuntkid has become one of the most popular digital illustrators on the Internet due to his fantastical and seductive characters.
Question time: how many times have you fantasized with a cartoon character? You don't have to answer that publicly, but I know you'll be making a journey in your mind thinking of those illustrations that provoked feelings you didn't understand. It's okay. It's happened to all of us at least once, and it doesn't mean there's something wrong with you or anything like that. The thing is that the art of illustration has evolved so much that, instead of portraying something completely detached from our reality, its lines and colors have become enticing portals inviting us to lands where our imagination and fantasies are sparked. Well, that depends a lot on the illustrators and their styles. However, that’s actually what the artist we’re going to present you creates.
Based in Norfolk, Virginia, Jason Levesque, also known as the Stuntkid, has become one of the most renowned illustrators nowadays. Thanks to the immediacy and the impact the Internet has, his work has traveled the world and reached thousands of followers who have immediately fallen in love with his unique style and imagery.
But what’s his work about? In an article about his work in My Modern Met, he states that he doesn’t really have an inspiration. He goes for the quality of the image and the process of designing. However, his work speaks for itself in the way that it has a clear theme, which is, in my opinion, his female characters in fantastical settings.
He states that his art “is really for the sake of aesthetic quality.” He’s focused on “the end product and not the inspiration.” So, how does he create such a cohesive body of work without having a theme or motif in mind? Being a photographer as well, this process consists of working with models and taking photographs of them. He tries to forget about the background and focuses only on the emotions and body movements of the models, and based on these, he starts imagining the settings and elements he’s going to add.
Mainly based on the art of portraiture, these female characters are part of a quite complex fantasy where their beauty mixes with the morbid and repulsive to create unique stories behind each colorful image. Clearly inspired by the tradition of comic illustration but also by the symbolism of Art Nouveau's female portraits, Levesque’s pieces appeal to a strange emotion beneath all of us: the admiration for beauty and our most organic bodily functions.
Bugs, insects, body fluids, macabre motifs, decay, sorrow, desire, and beautiful women are the main elements portrayed in his art, all of them in a weirdly delightful collection of images that are hard not to like. Beyond the evident symbols appearing in his work, he manages to reflect unique features and personalities on his characters. Each of them shows a mixture of emotions that talk to us directly and make us feel connected with them. They invite us to experience and feel the same things they’re going through in their particular setting.
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