Artist of the Day: Yellena James

Yellena James is a Sarajevo-born artist and graphic designer who lives with her musician husband and two cats in Oregon. During the civil war in Sarajevo, Yellena had to "sneak past numerous snipers to attend a high school that was dedicated to the arts," where it was, she says, that she really grew passionate about her own art. She lived in Sarajevo until the end of the civil war in 1995, and then moved to Orlando, Florida, where she received a BA in graphic design from the University of Central Florida. She's "obsessed with markers, pens, inks, paper, patterns, good design, wallpaper, cacti, vintage fabric, empty journals, and anything little."
Her abstract botanical drawings and paintings are dream-like, magically colored, and what I see as the uncanny love child of Jill Bliss, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Barabarella — in a good way. She even has a drawing called, "Bliss." Yellena's attention to detail is painstaking, yet her lines are very free flowing, which makes for drawings that are inspirational in both a raw emotional and chemical way, as well as in a technical, artistic sense. Archival quality prints of these wonderful drawings are for sale in her Etsy shop at very reasonable prices, in case you're looking for a Seuss-esque gift this stolen Christmas.

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