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Tom ‘Dilly’ Littleson’s Unsettling, Often Gruesome Drawings

Australian-Spanish artist Tom “Dilly” Littleson works as an illustrator and graphic designer in Melbourne. Littleson’s realistic pencil drawings are found in various publications across the world. These illustrations have wide-ranging subjects, yet the artist’s personal work most commonly seems to contain a visceral, sometimes gruesome quality contained within single characters. As unsettling as these tend to be, the subjects themselves don’t seem to be bothered by the mayhem.

Australian-Spanish artist Tom “Dilly” Littleson works as an illustrator and graphic designer in Melbourne. Littleson’s realistic pencil drawings are found in various publications across the world. These illustrations have wide-ranging subjects, yet the artist’s personal work most commonly seems to contain a visceral, sometimes gruesome quality contained within single characters. As unsettling as these tend to be, the subjects themselves don’t seem to be bothered by the mayhem.




His 2010 series “Bleed Out,” for example, features figures that are quite literally bleeding out, yet seem to carry more emotional vulnerability than physical in their expressions. A few of his 2012 characters from “The Mind’s Apocalypse” seem to to actually feel some agony, but most of them seem to just want to find out what various body parts taste like.




Littleson’s illustrations have appeared in publications like Newsweek, Wired, Empty, and others. The Newsweek piece was the most recent addition to the list: The artist’s rendering of Edward Snowden is used for the cover of a print edition this month. Though it may not have the more gruesome component of several of his other works included here, Littleson’s attention to detail, from the scruff on Snowden’s chin to his pensive expression, is on full display on this cover.


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