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Dark Cartoons: Illustration by Joni Belaruski

An ink drawing of a female figure with hornsPanelopa, pen and coloured pencil on paper


Illustrator Joni Belaruski is currently based in London, England, where she creates dark cartoons and fantasy imagery influenced by punk rock and dreams. Joni brings a sense of spontaneity and playfulness to each of her works.


An illustration of a child riding a mythical beastWild Things, pen and watercolour on Bristol


I love looking through Joni’s online portfolio and seeing all her illustrations together. With numerous images featuring animals and fantasy creatures like unicorns, it’s easy to see where the inspiration via dreams and nightmares fits in. As we looked at in our last feature of Joni’s work, these could be described as a kind of raw fantasy – the works manage a certain grittiness while still maintaining that fun, playful overarching tone.  


A screen capture of Joni Belaruski's online art portfolioJoni's drawing and painting gallery on her portfolio website


Most of Joni’s works come in the form of dark ink drawings on white, negative backgrounds. The splashy aesthetics give them the look of marginalia or rough sketches in notebooks. When Joni does use color, she does so very sparingly, making it all the more effective when it does appear.


An ink drawing portrait of two young girlsDolls, ink and coloured pencil on card

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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