After poring through painting after painting and sketch after colorful sketch of Relm’s beautifully haunting images on her website, it’s almost hard to believe that she is completely self-taught — but this former NYC-based fashion design student up and left her hometown for Canada, hungry to pursue art full time. Clearly, Canada is faring her well.

Her female subjects are ultra delicate on the outside, but Relm provides a glimpse through their inside(s) as well, which shows raw, honest, and sometimes terrifying beauty. Her details of choice are incredibly intricate — brutal, black octopus tentacles emerging from the inside of a mystical mermaid in one piece provides a violent and powerful contrast from thin, lovely chains dangling beneath gentle antlers in another.

Her art is consistently connected to nature and its wildlife, with dark forests and vibrant seas as a choice setting, but Relm puts a twist on reality by producing goddess-like creatures who exist from another world, yet they look so lifelike, you feel as if half of the image was pulled from a photograph.

She is also inspired by constellations and outer space, giving true meaning to the term “space buns”. Many of her works resemble a broken girl, a puzzle herself just waiting to be solved. Although certain aspects of the images are sad and tough, Relm’s placement of white roses bursting from behind the eyes of a young girl proves that beauty truly does and will always come from within.

Follow Relm on Instagram: @Relmxx