Every creature you can imagine (and some you can’t), from the slimy and tiny to the huge and hairy, is invited to Aleksei Bitskoff’s Monster Party.

How did you learn to draw?

“The earliest recollections of me picking up a pencil and drawing images come from when I was about 5, maybe 6 years old. Seeing my passion, my parents got me into a school of fine arts for kids, where I studied drawing, painting, sculpture and art history. But the real learning was happening in my notebooks in school and university, where I was doodling spooky creatures, monsters, weird animals and funny people while listening to lectures on philosophy and language structure. Eventually, there were so many of these doodles they somehow dragged me into their world, and I became an illustrator.”

Is learning to draw the same thing as learning to see?

“I think the main thing is to learn to see things in a different way, to allow yourself to imagine and to leave space for the fantastical. For example, when I see a table I know that it is made of molecules, which are made of atoms, which are composed of subatomic particles and/or waves. I can’t see them, but they are there in my mind, simply because I can imagine them. So when I imagine and draw a table with round eyes and ten legs in colourful shoes, it is as real to me as any table made of physical stuff. So learning to see things differently is very important.”

PICTURA is a stunning series of black-and-white art to collect and colour for all ages, published by Templar. Eight new titles have been added to the series this Spring, including these amazing illustrations by Aleksei.

You can see more monsters enjoying snot sandwiches and eyeball jelly on Aleksei Bitskoff’s Behance page.

PICTURA: Aleksei Bitskoff's Monster Party

PICTURA: Aleksei Bitskoff’s Monster Party

PICTURA: Aleksei Bitskoff's Monster Party