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Sam Carlson is a dreamer, an imaginer of new worlds, and perhaps most importantly, a doodler.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve doodled pictures on something, be it a notebook, spelling test or my hand,” he says.

Sam especially loves the ability to propel himself somewhere far, far away through his artwork, all while never leaving his chair. With a dual Bachelor of Arts major in computer art and graphic design, he has over 13 years of experience creating paintings, logos, illustrations, cover art and more using various computer programs.

This first creation, below, showcases just a bit of Sam’s skills. It looks like it came straight out of a comic book, with high-contrast charcoal and tawny tones creating a gritty texture for extra intensity.


Hundreds of bats flit in and out of the cave, fading quite literally into the background before disappearing altogether – and that’s far from the only movement in this dynamic composition. Starting with the flourish of Batman’s wavering cape to the jagged cave opening that mimics the water splashing up at his feet, every element is well harmonized to pull our eyes back and forth again and again.

Sam uses texture in this next piece to blur the background and make already faint colors sift naturally into one another with feathery lightness. There’s an ethereal stillness to it, reminding me of nothing more than a misummer afternoon on the shore of a foggy lake.


In the foreground, emerald and mossy greens, as well as a sunny yellow of the flowers, help showcase the tiniest details—yielding tree limbs, a broken twig on the forest floor and the determined current of a stream making its way toward a bigger and brighter future.

Last on our list for today, its exciting colors make Sunset Kingdom a truly stunning landscape. Not only are the color combinations breathtaking, but the layered, gem-like brilliance Sam was able to work into this piece is nothing short of incredible.


The sunset provides glorious, glowing warmth to the scene, but just one look at those billowing purple clouds above and you’ll be cooled down in a heartbeat. Perhaps even more ominous are the two dark figures, searching among the cracks of the rocky ground as night falls.

Of course, there’s a lot more where this came from, but you’ll have to go see it yourself! So take a few minutes out of your day and visit Sam’s website—you won’t be disappointed.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

California-based digital illustrator Nidhi Chanani has a real talent for creating nostalgic illustrations celebrating life’s greatest moments—and her work hasn't gone unnoticed!

In April of 2012, Nidhi was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for her work as an Indian-American artist actively representing diversity within American communities. Her media appearances. . . read more

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