Who Does Space Art Today? 3 Contemporary Space Artists

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Photo by Glenn Taylor

Ever since I first started painting I’ve been making galaxy paintings. As an avid space geek, it seemed a natural subject to pursue learning how to paint.

As a result of trying to learn the craft of making cool space paintings I’ve stumbled across a number of awesome contemporary space artists to study and follow. This page is about a few of the artists I know of and the incredible work they are doing to help stimulate our imaginations to reach for the stars.

There was a hand full of them I already knew about but I went star hunting to find other stellar artists to share with you. Some of them are well established while others, like myself, are just beginning to lift off the ground.

Boy am I glad I went hunting too because many of these artists deserve far more recognition for their work! I’ll be linking to all of the various places you can follow them, and for those available, where you might be able to buy their work too.

Lanchen Designs

Lanchen Mihalic was the first incredible space artist I came across in early 2020 when I first joined Instagram and started trying to build my name up as an artist.

I followed her right away and have been inspired by her out-of-this-world work ever since. I didn’t realize until right now while writing this and digging into her work more deeply but she does a lot of abstract galaxies from her imagination.

Personally, I find those a bit more fun to do. They’re free-flowing without the constraints of having to adhere to a particular reference picture. Working in such a way allows one’s imagination to run wild and you begin to think of what sort of creatures or wonders can be found in this mysterious galaxy of your own creation.

It’s truly a godlike feeling of creativity one gets from working in this way. The forming galaxies with your own hand and creative powers can sometimes feel to me like a spiritual process akin to prayer or meditation.

Lanchen does also use her fair share of references to real galaxies as well. Her overwhelming passion for everything space is very clear from every post on every platform she is on, to the clothes she wears, to the decorations you see in the background of her pictures, to the various trips to observatories and theme parks she takes.

Her passion for space is astronomical!

In her bio on her website, she mentions that it wasn’t until she began to incorporate epoxy resin into her galaxy paintings that her work really began to take off. Judging from her post history it looks like this is a practice she began to employ in 2020.

After getting in touch with here and asking her about it though she actually started using epoxy resin in 2018 which was about the time she was getting started with Instagram. Apparently, epoxy resin is quite toxic and requires a designated space in order to use safely.

I actually just completed my first major project using epoxy resin myself and totally forgot Lanchen had told me this some months ago. I can definitely say it had an adverse effect on everyone in the household and is quite messy to work with too. I’ll be discussing some of this in my next YouTube video.

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With all of that said, the epoxy really does add that extrasolar flare to the galaxies helping to make the color pop and add more depth to the finished paintings. After taking this time to really look at her work with the depth of a deep-space photograph, I’m certainly feeling like launching into my own attempt at a galaxy painting finished with epoxy resin.

It’s surprising to me that it took this particular feature for her work to really start selling consistently as she already had a pretty decent-sized following and engagement with her various posts around the web. Not to mention her galaxy paintings are eye-capturing all on their own even without the added resin.

It’s funny how the tiniest of details can make light-years of differences though. You never know what that one little tweak is going to be that will cause things to launch into warp drive.

Lanchen has a variety of places you can discover galaxies of wonderous artwork to inspire the space geek in you!

  • Instagram – This is where I first discovered her and where she posts beautiful shots of her works both in progress and completed. She occasionally does educational space content as well.
  • Youtube – Over on YouTube she discusses her challenges with being an artist, shares tips and techniques on how she makes her art, and just basically creates awesome content for fans like me to get to know her and the things she does.
  • TikTok – Her Tiktok is basically like her Instagram account but with videos instead. Showing shots of artwork in progress, capturing various techniques she uses, cool time-lapses of paintings, some educational space content, as well as shots of her various adventures throughout the world. Most of them are space-related in some way.
  • Her Website LanchenDesigns.com – Here you can purchase and collect her wonderful galactic creations!

Cathrin Machin

Of all the space artists on this list Cathrin Machin has arguably one of the largest followings on both her Instagram account and Tiktok accounts. It’s really easy to see why too.

Cat’s work not only captures space and time, it transcends it! She is undoubtedly one of the world’s best contemporary space artists. Perhaps that is a bit bold of me to say as I don’t know of every space artist on the planet but I do spend a lot of time exploring the world of artists online.

In this day and age, if you’re not online, you might as well not even be in this universe! Well…I guess in this context I mean the metaverse. Still though, if you’re an artist reading this and you have no online presence what the heck are you waiting for?

This is a space painting of a black hole sucking in the light of the stars. The light at the top of half of the painting is a bright blue while the light at the bottom half of the painting is a bright purple.

According to Cathrin’s bio, found on her website here, she is one of Australia’s fastest growing contemporary artists as well. Looking at the quality of her work and the astronomical size and quality of her paintings there’s no doubt in my mind that this is true.

Digging into her Instagram history it looks like her very first space painting post was this painting you see here back in February of 2016. It had the caption of “New Painting” indicating that perhaps it wasn’t her first painting but from what I can tell this is when she initially had lift off into the metaverse of contemporary space artists.

From the very beginning, she had an exceptional knack for creating eye capturing images of space that have a mysterious gravitational pull on the imagination. Almost as if they are made of dark matter itself!

Through her myriad of posts online, not only does her artwork shine like a billion stars in the night sky, but her fun and quirky personality comes through too! On Twitter she makes awesomely nerdy space jokes that will make you laugh.

This post here is a great example of her stellar sense of humor! It’s by far not the only one either.

Of course, going through her posts and trying to learn more about her work and her history I stumbled across what must have been and incredible experience for her. Very quickly after beginning to make her space paintings she started making a name for herself and drawing the attention of some notable figures in the scientific community.

If you’re a space geek or a physics geek like we are, you undoubtedly know are at least are familiar with the physicist Brian Cox! Here she is delivering a painting to him and getting start struck by the meeting of such a legendary contemporary physicist.

If specializing in space paintings can lead to me meeting such mental giants perhaps I should rethink my artistic trajectory myself!

Shortly after meeting the legendary thinker Cathrin forged her own legacy by launching a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds the help finance her passion for creating deep space paintings and prints. She far exceeded her target goal which I assume helped launch her career out of the atmosphere.

I don’t know exactly how much she ended up raising by the end of the kickstarter but I know it was at least at 20k AUD with 22 days left in the campaign. At that time of writing this that’s roughly 15,500 USD for my American readers. I don’t know about you but that’s a pretty astounding sum to me!

I’m sure by the end of the campaign it was much higher than this. Her paintings clearly strike at something within people that just speaks to our innate awe at the wonders the universe has to offer.

After further searching and digging I found a second Kickstarter campaign she did in 2020 and holy galactic space cows! She raised $289,742 AUD during this campaign in April of 2020! That is astounding considering what the world was going through at the time.

I’m sure I could pick through every one of her posts on Instagram and Twitter and gush about her all day with the energy of a gamma ray burst but I’ll leave some of it for you to explore on your own time!

Here are all the places you can follow the work of Cathrin Machin so you can stay elevated with the cosmic energy this universe has to offer!

  • Instagram – Cathrin’s Instagram is a great place to stay up to date on the projects she is working on and what’s going on in her studio.
  • Twitter – I get the sense that she uses Twitter a bit more than other platforms and places on this list. It’s a great place as well to keep up to date on what she’s working on and some of the things going on in her universe.
  • TikTok – TikTok is increasingly more essential to have a presence on these days. While I didn’t really reference any of her videos in this article it’s yet another great place to see her work and her great personality!
  • Her Website CatMachin.com – This is where you can go to sign up to be on her mailing list so you can get the scoop on when her next paintings will be available for purchase.

Glenn Taylor

Glenn Taylor is a unique artist on this list. His passion is photography and when it comes to his space art he has very interesting ways he goes about producing it.

His work can easily be mistaken as a picture taken by an approaching space probe it’s so well done. The way he accomplishes these sorts of results is truly fascinating and somewhat mysterious. Here we’re going to crack open that mystery just a bit.

He and I have connected on Instagram through our passion for space art and just art in general. As a result of our mutual interests, I was able to catch up with him and probe him a bit more deeply about the methods he uses to create his work.

His posts are a bit sparse on the details but he says just enough in them to tell you that he has some really unique ways that he pulls off what he does. His amazing images are what first captured my attention but his captions that shed a bit of light on his processes really increased the gravity his work had on pulling me in.

The featured image above, for example, has a description in the post that says it was done with food coloring on ceramic and some digital editing.

Upon further questioning, it was revealed to me that everything he does starts in a frying pan! That one small detail right there is a bit mind-blowing to begin with!

Without giving away any of his secret sauce he actually cooks specific ingredients together to start with and then lets them coalesce in different ways to see what emerges in the process. Using a variety of oils, spices, dry ingredients, and wet ingredients he is able to create a variety of organic effects.

These effects end up leading to a final result that is able to illustrate the fluid dynamics of planets and atmospheres in a way that I haven’t seen in any other space art out there. It’s not just the atmospheric effects he gets either but he is able to capture a variety of effects that illustrate dry, dead, metallic planets as well as their orbiting moons too.

Sometimes you can even see the mountains, valleys, and dried-up rivers in the planets he creates.

Perhaps I’m biased because we are friends but I can’t think of or find a single artist who creates exoplanets and exomoons in their work that is anywhere near comparable to the sorts of stuff Glenn is able to create with his techniques.

There are great exoplanet artists out there to be sure but I’m having a hard time finding any that do any work quite like this.

To revel in some interplanetary visits to other worlds check out where you can see Glenn’s work below!

  • Instagram – At the time of writing this Instagram is the only place to check out and follow Glenn’s space art. He also does a lot of different types of photography too. I’m sure he will expand as time goes on and his work becomes more well known and in demand.

Marc Spagnuolo

Hey there! Thanks for reading my article! I'm Marc the creator of this website. I'm a growing artist and web creator seeking to share what I'm learning in the hopes that it helps someone out there like you. I hope you found this information useful. If you're interested in learning more about me and my story click on my name or on my picture!

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