It’s not unusual to find yourself lost in the worlds drawn by Glendale, California–based painter and illustrator Jasmin Lai, who herself is no stranger to getting pulled into them. “I remember that as a kid I would get lost painting, just going at it for hours,” she says. Lai helped create background art for cartoons like Steven Universe during her time at Cartoon Network, and she gleans her sense for visual storytelling from her strong attention to detail. “I’m always trying to create a world that is believable and inviting to viewers,” she says. “I approach this by paying attention to various details throughout the picture, from capturing a specific time of day, weather and mood to observing, researching and gathering references.” She now enjoys taking a collaborative approach to projects, both as art director at international design firm Chromosphere and as an instructor at the California Institute of the Arts. “I think visual communicators have a key societal role in lifting the intellect and spirit of people,” Lai says. “It’s so important that we join heads, share our ideas and inspire each other!”
This St. Louis–based illustrator balances well-designed compositions with artistic flourishes in her work.