These Illustrations Inspire Us to Hit the Road

Yelena Bryksenkova has been around the world and then some. Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, she grew up in Cleveland and studied illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and later – the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, Czech Republic. Now based in Los Angeles, her illustrations have a sense of longing about them – that heartwrenching quality that nomad artists seem to cherish.

Inspired by reading, spending ample time with art and nature, and doing lots of what Virginia Woolf called “street haunting”, Bryksenkova works full time as a freelance illustrator and fine artist.

“My small pen and acryla gouache paintings are inspired by my love of home and the comfort of everyday objects, as well as more magical, mysterious and melancholy themes,” she writes on her website, adding: “For inspiration I often look to French and Russian Impressionism; I will never get tired of paintings of quiet repose, everyday moments, women brushing their hair, reading, arranging flowers, drinking tea, lost in their private thoughts and surrounded by cherished objects. Too many beautiful things to name, basically I’m always living under the spell of something or other.”

Her gouache paintings have attracted the likes of Anthropologie, ESPN, The New York Times, and Urban Outfitters, as well as more than 50k followers on Instagram. Here are some of our favorite creations by her: