Blog Menu

Dark Side of Paradise: Illustration & Collages by Sean Bernhardt

illustration with white ink on black ground of a truck and landscapeDrone Desert, sharpie pen and microns on paper

Artist and illustrator Sean Bernhardt was born in Long Branch, New Jersey. His works reflect a love of beach and surf culture.


Sean’s illustrations are at once minimal and intricate – high contrast, black and white line art featuring recurring motifs and text. Images of palm trees, skulls and skeletons create an interesting juxtaposition between lighthearted surf-and-sun imagery and darker associations with death.

collage art of a couple drinking from a juice box overlaid with cut outs of eyes, fruits, and text that says paradise eyesParadise Eyes, recycled paper collage and arcylic on canvas paper

This theme of dark and light carries over into Sean’s collage work, where he shows us the dark side of paradise, using images presumably from vintage magazine ads pasted together with Sean’s own text and drawing. Recurring text such as “Summer is Dead” and “Evil Paradise” exemplify the contrast. Sean’s work is equally at home in the gallery, in magazines or on t-shirts. Explore Sean’s online portfolio to find more collage and illustration, as well as links to companies that he has designed for.


illustration of two headed shark with the word salt underneathTwo-Headed, sharpie pen 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.

Read more of Dallas' posts

Easily build your art website

and focus your time on making art.


Try free for 30 days. No payment required.