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Light Topical Illustrations by Olya Kirilyuk

An illustration of a crowd of people looking at their phonesThe Beat (Up) Generation

Illustrator Olya Kirilyuk works in a combination of digital and traditional media, drawing a wide variety of subjects from bright urban scenes, to storybook pictures to graphic designs. The artist’s light topical illustrations incorporate cartoon aesthetics and highly detailed realism.

A sketch of some older urban buildingsUntitled, urban sketch

Krirlyuk’s recent series The Beat (Up) Generation is an interesting example of the artist’s ability to render subjects realistically with detailed line-art, while maintaining a slightly tongue-in-cheek attitude. The series was produced as editorial illustration for an article on the differences between millennials and baby boomers in the workplace, and Kirilyuk illustrates these differences in a manner that is straightforward, but not disparaging toward either side. The contemporary subject matter of these works is reminiscent of the work of fellow illustrator Sachin Teng.


The artist also works with more whimsical and humorous subjects – in one work, giant snails crawl up the side of the Empire State Building. In another, an advertisement advocating for generic drugs, two anthropomorphized pills interact. 


A watercolour painting of a pineapplePineapple, watercolour on paper

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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