Jesse Zhang

Bathing in a Psychedelic Sunrise

Jesse Zhang is an illustrator born, raised, and still happily living in Brooklyn, New York. She creates in a tiny studio with her cat, Margot. She works in watercolor, inks, and digitally. Her work often features surreal figures and landscapes with touches of mystery and whimsy. 

For her Zócalo sketchbook illustrations, Zhang gives us five moments of tranquility bathed in the light of a psychedelic pastel sunrise. Each piece shows a small slice of nature rendered in colors that are in equal parts exuberant and gentle. Four of her scenes remain within the bounds of regular physics while the final scene, a rockscape, transcends the bounds of gravity, giving us a 2021 version of a Memphis-style 1980s Roger Dean cover that never was! As Zhang herself puts it, “I wanted to capture fluidity and movement, how ephemeral and euphoric nature can be.”


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