Vincent van Gogh’s fascinating life story is one of the many reasons why so many people are drawn to his iconic paintings. The Dutch-born Post-Impressionist’s short-but-eventful life is the inspiration behind Iranian cartoonist Alireza Karimi Moghaddam’s ongoing comic series. Each colorful illustration gives a glimpse into Van Gogh’s world—from his love of nature to his issues with mental health.
Although Van Gogh tragically ended his own life, Moghaddam hopes that his illustrations can shed a positive light on the artist’s darker moments and make his viewers smile. “Van Gogh’s life was all about beauty and love,” says Moghaddam on his website. “It may have had a bitter ending, but it was inspirational for the future.”
Rendered in the cartoonist’s distinct, animated style, each image pays homage to Van Gogh’s painterly technique and love of vibrant colors. Many illustrations reference particular artworks, such as The Starry Night (1889). One of Moghaddam’s images depicts Van Gogh staring out his window at the swirling night sky as he smokes his pipe, while another illustrates him gazing lovingly at irises—a flower that became the subject of a painting he made at the Saint Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, in the last year before his death in 1890.
Scroll down to see some of Moghaddam’s latest Van Gogh-inspired illustrations and find more from his webcomic series on Instagram. If you like his work, you can also buy his artwork as posters via his website.