Artist Spotlight: Monika Ptok-Byard

0 Comments 01 August 2016

monika ptok-byard

Artist Spotlight on the storybook worlds of Ontario-based illustrator Monika Ptok-Byard.

By Daniel Barron


Born in Bangkok Thailand, Monika Ptok-Byard now resides and paints in Ontario, Canada. Her lush watercolor visions evoke the heavy symbolism of tarot cards and old storybooks, projecting dreams seeded by a formative interest in folklore. Primarily self-taught, Ptok-Byard finds significant inspiration in travel and has lived around the world, from Thailand and the Bahamas to Austria and British Columbia.


From her Artist Statement:

Painting has always been a way for me to express how I think and feel .  My mind is constantly creating fables and painting is my way of writing them down.

My works are rooted in fantasy, mythology, and the beauty and mystery of nature; our intuitions and dreams.  I use symbolism in my paintings as I don’t want to tell you an obvious story.  I believe symbols have different meanings for everyone and I want to provide the opportunity for you to tell your own stories through my work.  What story can you see?  What does each piece mean to you?

I work primarily with watercolors because they are both predictable and unpredictable. I love that I can be very precise with a painting, or let go and let the paint do what it wants.  Watercolors are great for creating wonderful otherworldly effects. There is a beautiful luminosity to them.

I want to inspire imagination, to view the world with open childlike curiosity and see the magic and beauty it holds and to listen to your dreams.


Ptok-Byard is a member of the Strange Dreams Art Collective, an international network devoted to promoting and connecting talents with a taste for the macabre of whose ranks include Holly MorningstarEvgeniya Golik, Jen Lightfoot, and Cora Crimson.

For Yay! LA‘s Yay! Legends Every Day project she interpreted David McKean’s Mirrormask and Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.


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monika ptok-byard



monika ptok-byard

“Feast For The Eyes”


monika ptok-byard

“Ace of Swords”


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monika ptok-byard

“Secrets Within”


monika ptok-byard

“The Green Faery”


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monika ptok-byard

“Guardian of the Key”


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monika ptok-byard

Stardust art for Yay! Legends Every Day


monika ptok-byard

Mirrormask art for Yay! Legends Every Day


View more art by Monika Ptok-Byard on her website.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

“Like” Monika Ptok-Byard on Facebook.

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- who has written 423 posts on Yay! LA | Arts & Culture Magazine.

Rudderless college graduate Daniel Barron founded Yay! LA Magazine on a love of writing, passion for the arts, and a firm belief that people really like talking about themselves. He contributed to a number of publications, including LA Music Blog and the defunct The Site Unscene, before deciding to cover arts and entertainment the way he wanted to read it. He works as a freelance writer and digital PR consultant in his current home of Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @YayDanielBarron.

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