Heads in Clouds

Chantal Horeis

This illustration was a very impulsive idea, although not one hundred percent fleshed out from the beginning. I knew I wanted to create an illustration with a lot of people laying on a meadow, with one of them standing out as the dreamer. The dreamer is a recurring theme in my work. The one that carries and entire rich and unique world inside of her, escaping from reality from time to time.

As an artist on social media, I find myself too often caught up in the constant loop of checking my status and numbers, which is incredibly unhealthy and takes away a big part of my happiness if I am not careful. It has been a constant effort for me this year to distance myself from that, while still maintaining my activity on the different platforms. I think that being caught up in this virtual world of constant comparison and blindness to what is really happening in our lives is a very big problem for many people, not just the ones that try to use it for their business. It plays a huge role in our present times and it has its advantages and disadvantages to be connected in that way.

So, when I was playing with ideas of what could set the dreamer apart from the crowd around her I was very attracted to let everyone else be sucked into their phones, while dreamer-girl is looking into the sky and the clouds above her. Hence the name “Heads in Clouds”, with its ambiguity. I am very happy about the many positive reactions to this illustrations. It seemed to inspire a few people to just take a break and feel better afterwards, which is the most rewarding feedback I have ever gotten to an illustration. It seemed to be relevant to people, not just pretty.

I created the pencil and ink drawing on a double page in my A5 sketchbook, before coloring it in Photoshop. I did that with all of my illustrations for a while which gave me a nice restriction to work in and kept things super casual at the same time, which I think shows in the final pieces. It is a really nice challenge to restrict yourself to a small size or specific medium or topic and see what you can create inside those boundaries.

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