Finding the author of an illustration

(Click here to watch and listen to the video version of this blog entry)

A while ago I spotted an image on reddit that really struck with me. I immediately knew I wanted to use it as my profile picture everywhere. It’s topical, impactful and beautifully done. The problem was that by the time I had seen it, it had already been cropped, trimmed and readjusted in order to hide the name of the author.

So I decided to start from scratch. I went to google and tried to use descriptive keywords and scan through the images in order to find the one I was looking for.

Easy enough, it was the first result:

google results - illustration woman wearing a mask on fire

Unfortunately you can see from the link that it will just lead me to a website full of wallpapers and no information about the author. You can also see that there’s no signature or watermark on the image itself that could give me some indication about the illustrator.

Website with wallpapers result for girl with fire mask
cropped image of girl with fire mask

We can then do a basic reverse image search on the usual search engines: Yandex, Google and Bing.

On Yandex we get a huge list of websites, most dedicated to wallpapers just like the one where we found the image above.

yandex results of cropped image of girl with fire mask

Google is not much better, mostly just focuses on the website where we already have been and gives me a list of the illustrations in different resolutions.

Google results of girl with fire mask search

And here comes Bing with an unexpected win showing us a link to an image to a user’s ArtStation.

Bing results of girl with fire mask search

ArtStation is a website dedicated to showcase artists’ portfolios, mostly focused in illustrations so it’s not a surprise to be led there.

Once you click the link you can see the name of the artist (Artem Chebokha), the name of the artwork (twentytwenty) and when it was first posted. The original image is also slightly longer than the one we found on a random wallpaper aggregator website and has the illustrator’s signature at the bottom left.

Artstation - Artem Chebokha - twentytwenty
full image - Artem Chebokha - twentytwenty

And there you have it.

It’s quite interesting how different search engines produce such different results so it’s very important to never stop at the first one, especially if we didn’t get the expected results.

Thank you for reading!


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