The Whimsical Illustrations of Makayla Lulevitch

Makayla Lulevitch is a Philly-based illustrator and print maker. She’s currently studying at Temple University, pursuing a BFA in printmaking. Makayla has been into art since a very young age. You’d be able to find her drawing illustrations of animals, creating fictional characters, and staying engaged in crafts of all type. It’s safe to say these habits have not been outgrown. After graduating, Makayla plans on building a career as a children’s book illustrator and freelance artist. Making art is her way of bringing a little bit of joy into this world, as well as to herself. Check out her art below and be sure to read our interview with her that follows.
Click any of the above photos to open a gallery of Makayla’s artwork.
Describe your style of work.
I’d like to think the style of my work is something that is fairly simple, yet varies in texture, shape, and color. One of the main aspects I like my work to hold is some sort of narrative. It may not always be obvious what the narrative is exactly, but I like to keep my audience asking questions.
What mediums do you work in?
I mostly work in gouache paint either on bristol or watercolor paper. Sometimes I’ll incorporate watercolor as well, but I find that I can’t get as strong of pigments compared to gouache. I am also super into screenprinting, etching, and lithography; so that deals with multiple types of ink/paints. Recently, I’ve been trying to make some illustrations in plain old pencil with lots of shading and mark making. This is something I actually found myself enjoying, as I typically would steer away from it.
Describe your creative process. How do you start a new piece?
The way I usually find myself starting a new piece, is either by hearing snippets of conversation in which I find interesting, or from memories I once had. From there I’ll do a quick little doodle of the idea on a scrap of paper, sketchbook, or my school notebook (I often find my best ideas while daydreaming in class). I had quite a few ideas happen this way, which I took advantage of and actually made something of it. The one day during class, someone mentioned a fly and from there I was instantly brainstorming. I was then thinking about venus fly traps, and a narrative between the two. As soon as leaving class, I decided I was going to make a comic about a fly, which I’m currently working on. Another time was when  my professor mentioned the pigs we were reading in our book, and with that, I started doodling a pig on top of a hill with human features. This, I plan on making into a lithograph/screenprint.
Who and what are your biggest influences?
Two major influences of mine is Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. The beautifully created works of art they come up with is something I was always extremely drawn to, even from a young age. There is something about the humorous, eccentric, yet dark artwork they produce that fills me with such an overwhelming feeling. I just can’t get enough of it.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m currently working on a commissioned pet portrait and a comic about a fly that is slowly coming along. Aside from that, what I’m working on in school (Tyler School of Art) is a series of 3 copper plate etchings of animals in sweaters. The majority of my work consists of animals, if ya couldn’t tell.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Honestly, it’s really hard to say. I don’t even know what I’ll be doing next week, let alone in the next 5 years. I’m just taking one day at a time. However, I’m hoping I’ll have a steady career as an illustrator, specifically of children books, and hopefully move out to Portland, Oregon at some point.
What does art mean to you?
To me, art is the one thing that makes me incredibly happy. It’s somewhat of a stress reliever, and something that I honestly could never get tired of doing. I realized that art isn’t about making something exactly how it “should” look, or making things perfectly clean or necessarily pretty. It’s about letting yourself and your thoughts go, venturing outside of your comfort zone, and just having fun with it!
Follow Makayla on Twitter and Instagram.

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