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Årets illustratør

Illustrasjonen for Lerchendalkonferansen 2024 er laget av Micha Huigen. 

Micha Huigen (29) is an illustrator from Zwolle, the Netherlands. He graduated from art school in 2018. Since 2020 illustration has been his full time job.  

Micha has an immersive style and recognizable color palette. The way the illustrations are composed make the viewer feel like they could wander around in them. Just one glance is not enough to see it all. And that’s exactly what he wants. He thinks it’s very important for people to stay curious. He thinks being in a state of wonder has a positive influence on the world around us. Is makes us care more. 

In his years at the art academy illustrations like the early works of James Jean and Pat Perry have triggered him to develop his technical skills  as an illustrator. In combination with the inspiration he draws from small, often unnoticed things around him, like a plant growing in a place you wouldn’t expect it to, or an interesting shadow play, he creates visual stories while always trying to find a good balance between detail and legibility. 

Micha mostly works digitally. He makes personal work as well as commissioned works that vary from album covers and posters  to editorial illustrations for newspapers and media platforms like the Washington Post and Vice.  


Here's how my illustration came about: 

Technology is something that has become intertwined with our existence. It has given us lots of advantages and made our lives a lot easier. But we've also become dependent on it for a big part. So it is very important that new technologies are developed with the best intent, and that we stay aware of the direction we're heading.  

For instance I personally think AI is a pretty scary thing, because it teaches itself and in some cases there's no knowledge over how it learns, and it is exponentially becoming smarter, so it could potentially be very dangerous if it falls in the wrong hands. 

In my illustration I wanted to portray technology as something that can be helpful, but is also a very big and complex subject that is not to be taken lightly. That's why I thought the giant artificial hand could be a good metaphor for help, as if it's lending us a helping hand. Its warm colors show its beautiful potential. Yet its large size, which is emphasized by the strong perspective, shows us that it could also be something dangerous if it is not developed with care.