Art Feature: Shape of the Future

Art Feature: Shape of the Future

Art by Eva Kosmos
Feature by Rob Carroll

Eva Kosmos is a concept artist and illustrator who looks at the future the same way she would a bowl of fruit: as a collection of shapes, silhouettes, colors, shadows, and textures. But unlike a bowl of fruit, the shape of the future is a murky, amorphous blob that floats behind the veil of our limited perception. To make the future tangible, shapes must be teased out of the blob and then joined back together in new relationship. Possibilities must become probabilities; waves must collapse into points.

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“When looking for a shape, I start with organic references, and if I like the shape and it resonates with me, then I can think about the details and what function it serves,” Eva tells me. “This is a very exciting process for me.”

Along with shape, size is also of great importance to her work. In a practical sense, size helps create strong relationships between forms, but its usage also gives great insight into the mind of the artist. Which subjects dominate the mind? Which feel small in comparison? In Eva’s case, the future is boundless, and the human observer is limited, so everything that relates to the future is massive, and everything about the human observer is small.

“I like to add gigantism to my art, to imagine myself small in comparison to a spaceship or some kind of building.”

Examples of gigantism are apparent in “Corrasion” and “Station on the Sixth Moon of Saturn.” In these works, humans are mere specs upon a larger tapestry. But like all great works of science fiction art, the tapestries are not simply an exercise in expansive technological forethought, not blind predictions of things to come, but rather, visions of the future as it exists today, extensions of the natural world we have not yet discovered.

“I am inspired by the world around me,” Eva explains. “Even the most ordinary and mundane things can help create something interesting in the mind. I really love the sky. It helps convey a certain sense of alien landscapes.”

As for the artists who inspire her:

“I’m influenced by artists like Syd Mead, John Harris, Chesley Bonestell, John Burkey, and others, as well as all artists published in the USSR magazine, Technique of Youth. I am especially influenced by Ivan Efremov’s novel, The Hour of the Ox, and I even have a long-standing dream of one day illustrating the book. My special love for science fiction began with that novel.”

Worldbuilding seems to be what Eva enjoys most about science fiction. She expresses a genuine love for creating her own extravagant worlds, often cut from whole cloth, similar to the worlds she enjoys exploring in other mediums, including video games.

“I love stories that create a world with its own rules and unusual ideas. For example, I can spend hours walking around the locations in the Mass Effect video game series. If I’m really tired, Mass Effect is the best place I can go for inspiration.”

When shaping the future, artists and academics often fall into one of two buckets: visionary or dreamer. Is the shaper a prophet or a poet? Are they a prognosticator of what’s probable, or a purveyor of what’s possible?

Eva is a bit of both.

“I want to paint the future the way I would like to see it. There are many things in life that we cannot control, but creativity is different. With creativity, I can freely visualize what I dream about. I would like to be a visionary of the future, but I’m a dreamer in my work. The goal is to inspire others.”

Visionaries and dreamers are both important to the future of the human race, since both ways of seeing help guide us. It doesn’t matter who, ultimately, is correct in their predictions, or if any prove to be correct at all. What’s important is that society has people like Eva who have the courage to look ahead without the need to be right. The goal should not be to achieve personal accolades, but to pave a rough path into the future that will grow more secure and beautiful as others walk it and add their own talents to its continued creation. The future, as they say, is what we make of it.

As for Eva’s current projects, BIOME and Dead Stars: “They’re stories about dreams, about the universe and the meaning of existence, about morality, life, and death.”

The future is in good hands.


Art copyright © 2023 Eva Kosmos

The Artist

Eva Kosmos

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