Fear, Illustrated is a visually stunning, light-hearted, and compelling visual exploration of the fears people confront in their daily lives. For many years artist Julie Elman has collected common and not-so-common fears people have shared with her. Elman transforms the fears from words into multi-media collages full of color and intensity. The fears include death, failure, losing a child, losing one’s voice, losing one’s mind, centipedes in the shower, needles, cancer, speaking honestly with one’s spouse, seaweed, getting arrested at Disney World, biscuits and clusters of small holes.
The resulting work presents a wide range of emotions while subtly endorsing the spirit of confronting, releasing, and moving on from fears. “I have learned that ‘Onward! ‘ is a word with a lot of power behind it, ” writes Elman. When presented with these tangible interpretations of our deep fears, we will often feel less burdened by them. Fear is a universal emotion; this is an inviting, visually arresting, and unusually light-hearted treatment.
Those looking for an antidote to the news or a follow-up to Humans of New York will appreciate Elman’s quirky, magnetic, uplifting images.
Julie M. Elman is Associate Professor in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University in Athens, where she teaches courses in publication design. For 10 years, Elman worked at The Virginian-Pilot, where she spent most of her time designing the front page. Her pages have won numerous awards from the Society for News Design, where she is currently the Print Publications Director. Julie Elman lives in Ahens, Ohio.