Illustration

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards

Discover the mysteries of the zodiac and their power to inspire creativity with these original horoscope illustrations

Mankind is on a permanent quest for meaning. Throughout history, we have searched for a way to understand the vast mystery we call life. To do so, we have often looked to the stars to tell us more about ourselves, our destiny, our character, and to make sense of an often chaotic world.

It is this need for understanding that contributed to the emergence of Western astrology. The Western zodiac, whose signs make up the horoscope we still use to this day, was created in around 1,000 B.C. (some say even earlier, in Mesopotamia). From there it spread to Egypt, where it was taken up by the Greeks, and then the Romans.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 1
The 12 signs of the zodiac. Unknown author.

The 12 signs themselves have changed their meaning and form over time. Sagittarius, for example, began as a judge before being turned into a centaur by the Greeks, and then adopting all kinds of animal bodies during medieval times. Nowadays, he tends to be represented as an archer, or simply a bow and arrow.

Why is zodiac a good topic for illustration?

Domestika teacher Silja Goetz (@silja) has worked as an illustrator for 20 years. Born in Germany, she studied graphic design at Nuremberg and now works in Madrid for well-known international clients including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Penguin Random House, Vogue and Harrods.

She is passionate about turning classic subjects into surprising compositions. In her Domestika course, Zodiac Illustration: Creating A Unique Series, she demonstrates how to use the signs of the zodiac as inspiration to generate a fresh perspective on a familiar idea.

Silja Goetz has worked as an illustrator for 20 years.

Goetz believes that a series, such as the 12 signs of the zodiac that make up a horoscope, is an excellent starting point for practicing illustration because it gives you a set of rules or parameters within which to explore ideas and expand your style.

Choosing a series you find particularly inspiring makes it easier to be creative and gives your work a clear focal point. Any rules or limitations you then want to set within that series are completely up to you.

Goetz finds the zodiac signs particularly appealing as a topic for illustration due to their aesthetic beauty, timeless quality, and popularity as a group of symbols.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 5
The horoscope gives you a set of rules within which to explore and expand your style. Illustration by Virgil Finlay.

In this article, she takes us through her favorite modern interpretations of this classic theme, which you too can use for inspiration to create your very own series of beautiful illustrations.

The examples successfully demonstrate the importance of using technique, tools, color, or particular elements such as the background or borders of a design, to achieve coherence and consistency in your series so that they have a shared identity.

John Alcorn

@alcorngallery

John Alcorn (1935-1992) was an American commercial artist and designer, who also illustrated children's books.

This particular series was designed for the famous American astrologer Sydney Omarr, as the covers for his book series Astrological Revelations About You.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 8
John Alcorn
13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 9
John Alcorn

Virgil Finlay

American pulp fantasy, science fiction, and horror illustrator Virgil Finlay (1914-1971) also depicts the signs of the zodiac as women.

While he worked with a range of materials, he was most famous for detailed pen and ink sketches such as these, using cross-hatching and stippling techniques.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 11
Virgil Finlay
13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 12
Virgil Finlay

Caroline Smith

@caroline_smith_art

Caroline Smith was one of Europe’s most prominent fashion artists in the late 60s and early 70s, working for the likes of Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan.

Her zodiac series uses women to represent each of the 12 signs.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 14
Caroline Smith
13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 15
Caroline Smith

Danielle Kroll

@daniellekroll

New-York based artist and designer Diana Kroll uses her fun, playful style and love of bright colors to design these elegant zodiac notebook covers.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 17
Danielle Kroll

Caroline Espinosa

@crakolina

Carolina Espinosa is a designer and illustrator based in Montreal. Her style is often fantastical, with more than a touch of the surreal.

Look closely and you’ll see the glyphs hidden in each zodiac sign.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 19
Caroline Espinosa

Erin Wallace

@erinwallaceprint

Based in Seattle, Washington, illustrator and artist Erin Wallace has worked with clients such as Starbucks, Hallmark, Amazon and Airbnb.

These quirky zodiac illustrations are typical of her cute and whimsical style.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 21
Erin Wallace

Jasu Hu

@jasuhuart

Chinese-born Jasu Hu now lives in the United States where she works as a freelance illustrator. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, where she illustrated The Obama Legacy project, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary.

Here she uses musical instruments and women to represent each sign of the zodiac.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 23
Jasu Hu

Malika Favre

@malikafavre

Malika Favre is a French-born illustrator living in London whose clients have included Sephora, The New York Times and Vanity Fair.

Her unique style mixes Pop Art with Op Art. This paired-down, minimalist zodiac series, with a focus on the female body, is typical of her style.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 25
Malika Favre

Teresa Grasseschi

@teresagrasseschi

Seattle-based artist Teresa Grasseschi specializes in illustration, mural work, and brand collaboration.

She designed this zodiac series for The Fold magazine’s astrological column.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 27
Teresa Grasseschi

Willian Santiago

@williansantiagodg

Willian Santiago was an internationally-renowned Brazilian illustrator, graphic designer, and Domestika teacher, who very sadly passed away in May 2021 at the age of 30.

This horoscope series is just one example of his many wonderful pieces, and he will forever be remembered for his extraordinary talent.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 29
Willian Santiago

Giulia Sagramola

@giuliasagramola

Illustrator, cartoonist, and designer Giulia Sagramola takes a playful approach on the zodiac theme, using ice-cream as her inspiration.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 31
Giulia Sagramola

Denis Sazhin

@iconka

Denis Sazhin is a creative director, illustrator, designer, and animator based in New York.

He loves to create different characters in his work, but has a special fondness for cats!

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 33
Denis Sazhin

Michelle Berlin

@berlinmichelleart

Los Angeles-based artist and designer Michelle Berlin specializes in occult illustration and portraiture.

Astrology is a recurrent theme in her work.

13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 35
Michelle Berlin
13 Great Illustrated Horoscopes From the Sixties Onwards 36
Michelle Berlin

Silja Goetz’s list provides excellent examples of how a popular theme can be re-worked in creative and original ways, but you can also choose your own series when looking to develop your unique illustration style. The important thing is to have fun and experiment with a theme you find inspiring!

If you want to know more about developing your illustration style using a classic subject, why not check out Silja Goetz’s online Domestika course Zodiac Illustration: Creating A Unique Series, where you’ll discover how to transform zodiac symbols into fresh and interesting compositions, while maintaining consistency and harmony throughout your series.

0 comments

Log in or sign up to comment

Get Domestika's news delivered to your inbox