Elena Øhlander

Elena Øhlander


My work focuses on the subtleties of the human condition and conceptually explores identity, individuality, and gender issues through creative visual narrative. I utilize a contrived scenario, characterization of my own likeness and the psychology of color and semiotics to build my vernacular.

Within the framework of my Eurasian-American feminine identity, I seek to preserve mine own heritage and cultures. Through historical references, such as artists and poets, artisan crafts, such as textile patterns and pottery techniques, to cuisine, mythology, folklore and religion; I modernize those elements through illustrative, mixed-media story-telling in the 2-dimensional form.

My goal is to inspire the viewer to breakdown stereotypes and to look beyond the boundaries of their own culture and identity for introspection. Rather than emphasizing what separates us as individuals, I hope to bring understanding, mindfulness, and connection in what unifies us to society at large.


Elena Øhlander (b. 1988) is an illustrator and painter, currently working in Jacksonville, Florida. She attained her BFA in Photography in 2014, exhibiting her work at national galleries and museums.

Her focus is in illustration that explores identity, gender issues, space, individuality, and pop culture with a Japanese context. Her main influences are Taiyo Matsumoto, Hayao Miyazaki, Yayoi Kusama, and Yoshitomo Nara.

Cover Image by: Martin Morvles