Ariel Sun‘s work is characterised by the stark contrast of harsh light and the shadows it casts and inspired by a generative approach that’s often found in Chinese Shanshui paintings – blank space.

The China-born, New York illustrator is completely self-taught. She likes to bring in just enough elements to create a scene and story to evoke familiar, yet often rare in life, moods. A minimalist at heart, she uses shadows and blank space to leave room for our imagination. “I like to interact with my audience by making them curious about the rest of the story, and encourage them to come up with their own interpretations,” she explains.

New places, architecture, and still life are often Ariel’s favourite subjects to illustrate. Here is just a small sample of her work. You can discover more at

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