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Meet the artists and illustrators making home their muse

Elevating interiors to an art form, these three creatives are all inspired by the great indoors. We explore why…

illustration of a home full of mid century furniture by lianne nixon
Lianne Nixon

Lianne Nixon

‘Most of the furniture and objects I love, I can’t afford. That’s why I started drawing them,’ explains Lianne, who works from the studio at her home in Haarlem, Netherlands.

Her illustrations, which are drawn by hand using acrylic marker pens and then tweaked in Photoshop, are full of the mid-century modern classics she covets. Along with Dutch designers Martin Visser and Cees Braakman, she cites Charles and Ray Eames as a big influence on her work and their designs make regular appearances.

Lianne treats her interiors as still-life drawings, where it looks, she says, ‘as if someone has just left the room’. By combining a range of furniture and accessories – the things that make a house a home – she creates an imaginary space that people want to inhabit.

‘As a kid,’ she says, ‘I loved playing The Sims – I still do! There’s something about creating a space for people to live in that I enjoy.’ liannenixon.nl

painting of an interior by jonathan chapline
Jonathan Chapline

Jonathan Chapline

‘Ever since America’s 2008 housing crisis, I’ve been fascinated with how home is represented and what that idea means to society,’ explains Jonathan, whose paintings have been exhibited around the world.

‘That 1950s dream of the white picket fence, where people wrapped their identity around their house, was lost a bit during the crash. Painting interiors was a way to get my head around what was going on.’

Jonathan first sketches his compositions before creating a 3D digital space that he applies to a canvas, using it as a framework for his pictures. The recent lockdown has given him cause to reflect.

‘Where you live is a big part of who you are, and with us all forced to be home, we’re confronting that. When I first moved to New York, I was living in a basement studio and just painting windows. I think I often paint the thing I want more of. Maybe I want more space right now? I think we all do.’ jonathanchapline.com

illustration of a kitchen full of greenery by lida ziruffo
Lida Ziruffo

Lida Ziruffo

‘I like to observe windows and the way light enters homes,’ says graphic designer and illustrator Lida, whose hometown of Orvieto in Italy is blessed with plenty of sunshine.

The sun-dappled rooms she creates are as much about what’s outside as what’s inside, with the small figures that occupy them often dwarfed by the views, but there is still a cosiness to her spaces.

She finds inspiration for her digital creations from the whole gamut of art history, but it’s her penchant for taking snaps of windows overgrown with greenery and discovering images of houseplants in old magazines that is perhaps the easiest to spot in her work.

The recent lockdown, for her, has been a time to think and create. It’s been, she explains, ‘like an observational experience – watching the changes that happen in nature’. Much like the figures in her illustrations, she’s been busy gazing out of the window. lidaziruffo.com

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration August 2020

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