Trouble-Free Color Palettes: Spooky
Severed body parts, displaced objects, and muted, hazy color tones conjure up chilling images. These eerie themes recur in the work of illustrator and graphic
designer Adam Larson.
Severed body parts, displaced objects,
and muted, hazy color tones conjure up
chilling images. These eerie themes recur
in the work of illustrator and graphic
designer Adam Larson of Shrine Design,
and are evident even in his first commissioned and
printed illustration, “Everything You Do Is a Little
“I try to capture intangible moments in life.
Moments of thought, illusion, confusion, change—
the times during which we are usually so preoccupied
trying to figure out what’s going on that we can’t
slow down enough to recognize and enjoy the experience,”
Inspired by music, fine art, and everyday life,
Larson primarily uses color to evoke a particular
mood or reaction. “The colors I choose are usually
subtle and somewhat monochromatic,” he says.
“Darker, moody pieces usually lean toward browns,
dark greens, and blues. I gravitate toward brown; it
reels me in.” Other palettes Larson favors are moss
green and the more optimistic choice of light blue.
Using Photoshop and Illustrator to alter and
combine digital and scanned images into a seamless
final picture, Larson’s process is much like traditional
cut-and-paste collage. “I find images that work well
together and that, when composed properly, begin to
tell a story different than the one they told before.”
Larson’s stories have been told in his work for
Sony, Dreamworks, Fleetwood Mac, Harper Collins,
Random House, and more, with recent illustrations
also appearing in Time Out New York, New York
Magazine, and Travel and Leisure.
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