If an Octopus and a Spider Had a Baby, They'd Look Like These Gifs

Vladmir Stankovic is an illustrator based in Odense, Denmark who combines traditional illustration with digital media to create fantastic artwork inspired by his love of both science and fantasy. "Cepharthropoda," his new illustrations of made-up creatures, is a wonderful example of how his interests have directly shaped his work.

He told me, "I have always been inspired by vintage encyclopedias and animals in general. As a kid I used to catch insects and make my own collections, so drawing insects or similar creatures is a natural step for me as an artist. Several years ago I started creating animal chart illustrations and later on I wanted to add some kind of 'twist' to them and I ended up making animated GIFs. The first such project was "Cephalopodoptera," which in a way is the predecessor of this series."

For "Cephalodoptera," Stankovic created animated gifs of creatures that are a cross of cephalopds like squid and octopus and insects like beetles and moths. For his new "Cepharthropoda," he combined mollusks with arthropods, like spiders, scorpions, and centipedes. These beautiful, but intimidating creatures have tentacles, large eyes, and soft bodies and fangs, pincers, and exoskeletons. Stankovic's colorful retro natural-history inspired illustrations are impressively detailed, and the animations make them even more spectacular.

I asked him about his process, and Stankovic explained, "I start with basic pencil roughs to get the general design of each creature and then I move onto the watercolor painting. After the handmade part of the process is done, I scan the drawings and process them digitally with the animation being the final phase."

See the rest of Vladimir Stankovic's work on his site.