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Illustrator’s dreamy GIFs conjure the magic of urban life

Staring at this hand-drawn artwork is like strolling through the city.

The subdued power of many of Nancy Liang’s illustrations lies in their ability to evoke one of the particular pleasures of urban life: a solitary nighttime walk. Liang’s hand-drawn GIFs eloquently capture the subtle movements and visual rhythms that make the city seem alive with stories just out of reach—the flicker of neon signs, the puff of chimney smoke, the passage of a car on a quiet street.

"The scenes I depict are a collection of forgotten tales from urban landscapes and suburbia. I like to draw out the whimsy and unthought narratives in these spaces that are otherwise considered as the mundane everyday," Liang told It’s Nice That.

The scenes have a nostalgic air, with muted colors and old signs and cars. Liang’s paper-cut-out look appears to have more in common with early stop-motion animation than the kitten-saturated GIFs of the present moment.

Her talents have earned her critical acclaim. A series of the artist’s illustrations telling the story of Junko Morimoto, an 83-year-old Hiroshima survivor, recently earned her recognition in the World Illustration Awards. Liang’s winning work is currently being displayed alongside other illustration winners at London’s Somerset House. It will be on view through August 29.

Source: It’s Nice That