90s Aesthetic and Art: 5 Retro Elements in Modern Day Illustrations

90s Aesthetic Art
Sources: Stephanie Priscilla, Rita and Diberkato

Take me back to the good old days. Cause’ all I need, is a trip down the memory lane.

How does a throwback through the modern lens sound?

Come, let’s revive the past. Or…let’s see the present and the past, coming together through digital art.

Here’s to welcoming 90s aesthetic and letting it live forever.

The 3 Gs: Glitch, Grunge, Grain      

90s Aesthetic monochrome palettes
Source: @ritanextdoor

Textures are quite characteristic of the 90s aesthetic. Whether it’s retro-inspired photography or digital art, monochrome isn’t the only element which artists tend to incorporate throughout their masterpieces.

It’s quite intriguing to see how noise has made its comeback through digital art. Rita’s art is probably one of the best, and underrated examples of this.

The way she makes use of the grain texture, glitch effects and grunge overlays makes her digital illustrations stand out. It’s these three elements which make her art an interesting mix of the past and the present.

While the illustrations are no doubt present day characters, there’s a deep seated sense of nostalgia which runs throughout her feed.


90s Aesthetic and art
Source: @serafleur

All that glitters is not gold.

Sometimes, it’s sparkle and holographic elements which are pushed to the foreground through stunning subjects.

And what’s better than Serafleur’s illustrations where she effortlessly blends this element of the 90s aesthetic with her characters. 

Serafleur's art
Source: @serafleur

From fanart to OCs, we can see mesmerizing color palettes and breathtaking portraits while scrolling down her Instagram feed.

Bold Color Palettes 

Retro and bold go hand in hand.

Take Kpop fashion inspired by the 90s aesthetic into consideration. From funky prints to sparkling makeup trends, it was the well defined color palettes which stole the show.

However, fashion isn’t the only industry inspired by the 90s aesthetic, we have quite a number of digital artists who swear by the aesthetic and have fused the retro with modern day elements.

With pinks and blues, Stephanie Priscilla’s work has surely made a spot for itself amongst other art. Her art will no doubt take you back to the old days, have a look:

Another one of my favourites is Diberkato. The dynamism of their work is amazing, I often find myself at a loss of words when it comes to this artist’s words. Fair enough, I guess. Who needs words when you have art like this in front of you?

Anime Inspired Backgrounds

Anime has taken over the world. From storyline to art, it’s without a doubt unbeatable.

It’s insane, really to see its impact on artists, most of us pretty much began with art by redrawing anime characters. 

Even today, a lot of character designs seen in comics on Line webtoon and even other manhwas are visibly inspired by anime.

The most remarkable pieces are backgrounds. Take these landscape studies by Angel Ganev, for instance. The textures and the 90s aesthetic evident in these backgrounds are enough to captivate any art enthusiast.

Windows Themed Compositions

Minimize. Maximize. Exit.

It’s a common sight, considering how we spend most of our time on our laptops now. 

It’s obvious, I guess, how Windows, the old Windows to be specific, has inpired artists to come up with creative concepts and produce meaningful art.

One such artist is Dennisean, who has beautifully rendered important messages through similar compositions. Have a look:

Source: @dennisean

Exposing made up beauty ideals which have paved way for insecurities, their art is meant to make people wonder about societal notions. 

It’s not just the 90s aesthetic and Windows theme, but also similar concepts like Snapchat which they’ve made use of to create art and raise questions.

Source: @dennisean

Through concepts, both old and new, we see art breaking barriers and winning hearts.