Illustrative Enchanment: The Art of Jensine Eckwall

0 Comments 23 October 2015

Brooklyn-based illustrative storyteller and comic book artist Jensine Eckwall uses powerful symbolism to evoke emotion through art.

by Sydney Walters



Brooklynite Jensine Eckwall’s playful illustrations demonstrate a transcendental relationship between words and images. Embellished with immaculate detail, her compositions pay homage to myths and legends that ignite imagination.

“A true illustration has a symbiotic relationship with another piece of content,” says Eckwall. “Illustration conveys tone, story and emotion in order to elaborate upon an idea. I feel like illustration is so powerful because of its use of visual symbols.” To know Eckwall’s practice means decoding these symbols, which are often marked with fear and a sense of urgency. Her practice magnifies her fascination with the horrific.

One of her most memorable encounters with horror was watching Andrzej Zulaski’s 1981 film Possession. “At one point, I stood up out of my chair with my mouth open. At another, I reflexively threw my arms around my friend in the next seat over, in surprise. Horror is cool that way. You can do a lot with the exaggeration of the terror in the human experience.” As shown in her personal series, The Bell Jar, she exaggerates madness in captivity and romanticizes a hopeless relationship with oneself. Traces of terror ebb their way into her commercial work as well.


A work from Eckwall's series inspired by The Bell Jar.

A work from Eckwall’s series inspired by The Bell Jar.


In “He Does Not Cry for Us,” a slobbering monster grapples between a girls legs as a metaphor for the government’s crushing laws against reproductive rights. A work titled “Let’s Try to be Nicer to the Animals” shows a painful illustration of a twisted and bound animal.

As an artist tasked with depicting a myriad of subjects, her work exists on a sliding scale ranging from idyllic to horrific. Yet through this versatility Eckwall grants herself permission to create chilling illustrations that reflect her attraction to monsters that haunt real and imagined universes.


jensine eckwall art

“He Does Not Cry For Us”


jensine eckwall art

“Let’s Try To Be Nicer To Animals”


She has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Spectrum Fantastic Art, and 3×3 and her illustrations and comics have been showcased in a wide range of prestigious publications, among them BUST, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Nylon.

Her next big project is children’s adventure novel she collaborated on with author Andrew Chilton titled The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice. Eckwall provided the cover art as well as interior illustrations. The book will release on January 19th, 2016.

Eckwall was also a participant in Allan Amato’s ambitious Temple of Art multimedia project (Read more about that HERE). For Yay! LA‘s Yay! Horror Movie A Day project Eckwall interpreted Lars von Trier’s 2009 film Antichrist.


jensine eckwall art

Collaboration with photographer Allan Amato for the Temple of Art project.


jensine eckwall art

“I’m An Animal,” art of Neko Case for American Illustration.


jensine eckwall art

jensine eckwall art

“Roald Dahl’s Mother” for The Who, the What and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Accomplices of History.






jensine eckwall art

“The Fashion and The Fury” for Hour Detroit Magazine

jensine eckwall art

jensine eckwall art

Cicada Magazine cover


jensine eckwall art

January 2014 cover for Green Profit Magazine, cover story on hiring veterans


jensine eckwall art

“I Love You More” for The Untold Stories of Senpai


jensine eckwall art

“My Chinese Roommate/My American Roommate” for NYU Quarterly

jensine eckwall art

Page One of a comic for Smoke Signal

jensine eckwall art

Page Two of a comic for Smoke Signal


jensine eckwall art

Available now.


jensine eckwall

Antichrist art for Yay! Horror Movie A Day



Adaptation of an Eckwall’s comic “The Nightmare” by Alex Krokus



Purchase prints by the artist HERE.

Learn more about Jensine Eckwall on her website.

Follow Jensine Eckwall: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

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- who has written 7 posts on Yay! LA | Arts & Culture Magazine.

Sydney Walters is a Los Angeles based artist/writer specializing in feminism. She received her BFA from Biola University in La Mirada, California. Her work explores the often paradoxical nature of women by reassigning meaning to works in art history that constitute female objectification. During her undergraduate career, Sydney's work was exhibited in curated shows in Los Angeles and New York. She is also a regular contributor to online art magazines. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where you can find her in the nearest coffee shop.

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