When we hear the word “monster” we don't usually think of a creature we'd want to hug. Well, Slovakia-based artist Zuzana Žiaková creates fantastical art that challenges this stereotype. Her ongoing series of digital illustrations depict a variety of unique and cuddly monsters of her own creation, each one cuter than the last.
With eyes that glow in the dark and motifs of the moon, stars, and planets projecting from their bodies, these animals appear to be one with their nighttime settings. “I take inspiration from anything around me, mostly from nature; and I really love space, stars, and other space elements,” Žiaková tells My Modern Met. While some of these monsters are portrayed against a cloudy dark background, others are shown in a black forest or surrounded by glowing mushrooms. These small details embellish the uncanny world these creatures inhabit.
While all of Žiaková's monsters share some adorable traits—like the large eyes and plush bodies—they are still very unique. For instance, some of her creations feature deer-like antlers, while others have stringy antennas, horns, or even branches growing from their head. Their cartoon-like style makes all of these otherwordly beings immediately endearing to look at. “I think fantasy is an unrestrained universe where everything is possible and we can create new worlds. I think it's very powerful,” she adds.
You can keep up to date with Žiaková's art by following her on Instagram.
Slovakia-based artist Zuzana Žiaková creates whimsical illustrations of unique monsters with a cute side.
Zuzana Žiaková: Instagram