The tea in Teafox comes from tea painting, the method Sarah Graybill uses to create the ethereal settings of her unique fantasy illustrations. The 24-year-old Shartlesville, Pennsylvania, artist and creator of Teafox Illustrations holds a bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in illustration from Arcadia University, has work featured in the Fantasy Encyclopedia for Creators (published by Natsume, Inc), and is a fan favorite in the anime convention scene.
It’s easy to see why: Graybill’s art, which is inspired by a blend of Japanese artwork styles ukiyo-e and yamato-e with art nouveau influences, features the yokai and supernatural animals of Japanese folklore. Graybill’s illustrations bear a slight resemblance to those found in classic children’s story books, but her fantastic images deliver a story without the need for words. Teafox Illustrations is rare in its ability to look equally at home on the pages of a book or hanging on a wall.
The unique backdrops and tranquil feel of Teafox Illustrations can be attributed to Graybill’s desire for personal improvement over commercial success. The evolution of Teafox Illustrations has been subtle but distinct, with each new piece representing both a continuation of what came before and a gentle nudge towards an elusive future. “I’m not very interested in being a full time artist doing commissions to make ends meet or one who works for a company,” Graybill says. “I hope my work will lead me in a direction that will expand and enrich my personal experiences.”