Mahalia Freier

As a concept artist, I particularly specialize in visual storytelling, design, and illustration. In all of these forms of conception that I use for my artwork, themes of fantasy and subtle surrealism are a common thread I’ve developed from inspirations such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Dungeons & Dragons, and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth; their mystical and sometimes unsettling genres are especially prevalent in pieces of mine like Volto Puffer and Our Starry Night. I am similarly drawn to create character-driven pieces (a couple of examples being Niela’s Character Sheet and A Pentaceratops’ World), due to past influences with character-focused narratives that drove me to explore expressing characters’ and environments’ complex personalities through imagery.
My artistic style takes influence from comic book artists like Helen Chen, television cartoons including Steven Universe, WITCH, and Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego, as well as 2D Disney film animation. As a result, my natural style is a colorful, fluid, cartoonist hybrid. To create my traditional works, I generally begin with various stages of pencil sketches that eventually lead to me developing them with mixes of my preferred mediums: acrylic paint, ink, markers, and colored pencils. Likewise- for digital pieces- I start with pencil sketches, that I later scan and digitally paint in Adobe Illustrator.
Like many artists, my initial reason for choosing the creative career route was because I wanted to be passionate about what I did for a living. This reasoning proved beneficial in my adult life, since practicing my creative skills gives me time to meditate and self-reflect, which- overall- helps me progress towards being the best version of myself. What I feel my purpose as an artist is, though, is to provide opportunities for others to do the same. Storytelling and art that focuses on human emotions allow us to slow down and listen to our own feelings. And in our world where everything seems to be on fast-forward, these moments really are a form of respite that can help us better connect with others and ourselves.


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Contact Information

Mahalia Freier
(815) 501-8645

Artist Links


Artist Work

A Pentaceratops’ World (2019)
We should appreciate the world we have, because it's only ours for so long. I really enjoyed researching different dinosaur species for this graphite piece. That's probably because I was a huge dinosaur nerd growing up and still am a little bit.

Volto Puffer (2019)
I primarily used a dip pen with blue ink for this piece, but there are a few areas of blue and purple acrylic wash in the shadows The mask's design is a combination of the Venetian volto masks and the Long-spined Porcupinefish.

Niela's Character Sheet (2019)
This character study was made primarily made with colored pencils, however the background art is a simple Adobe Illustrator digital painting.

Our Starry Night (2018)
The original oil painting of Our Starry Night is a visual retelling of the night my partner and I met. The surrealistic nature of it (as corny as it sounds) is a reflection of how we both felt when we crossed paths.