Washington State illustrator Justin Gibbens combines a knack for Chinese painting techniques with the learned art of scientific and zoological illustration.
A master draftsman, Justin Gibbens was trained in both scientific illustration and traditional Chinese painting-a skill set that he employs in his zoological drawings. Gibbens’ stylized and embellished beasts speak of evolution, mutation and biodiversity, and perhaps serve as cautionary tales and stand-ins for our anthropocentric selves. By lifting the formal conventions of classic natural science illustration, Gibbens imagines legendary and diabolical beasts through the lens of a 19th century field artist.
“Field guides, natural history museums and David Attenborough documentaries are also good. The health of our natural environments is a profound concern of mine, though I’m not interested in making any overt, didactic statements about it through my work, I’m mostly concerned with celebrating nature in all it’s weirdness and wonder and depicting pageantry that abounds.”