Stranger Things have happened to illustrator Mike Feehan

A St. John's illustrator and graphic designer was asked to create a series of animated illustrations for the Netflix show's Instagram page.

Feehan's work featured in the show's Curiosity Stories Instagram project

Mike Feehan created this animated illustration after watching Stranger Things and posted it to his Tumblr. It led to bigger, stranger things. (Mike Feehan)

Mike Feehan, an illustrator and artist based in St. John's, enjoyed the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things so much, he made a bit of fan art for it.

He never imagined he'd get an email from the show's marketing team asking him to make more, and to make it for them.

"To be honest I didn't quite believe it at first, I had to go check out if it was legit," he said. "Once I confirmed that it was, I was excited, but I immediately started to feel the pressure, knowing that all of their 1.8 million followers could potentially see my work."

Stranger Things is a science fiction horror show set in the 1980s. It's centered around the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers.

Feehan's original fan art is an animated illustration of Will's mother Joyce Byers, played by Winona Ryder, discovering she can communicate with her son through a string of Christmas lights hanging above the alphabet scrawled across her wall.  

He posted the picture to his Tumblr account, which acts as his blog and portfolio.

"It got reposted and liked hundreds of thousands of times, to my complete surprise," Feehan told CBC's On The Go. His followers jumped from a few hundred to a few thousand.

And then the team from Stranger Things saw it.

They asked him to contribute work to the the Curiosity Stories fan art project, which was launched in early August on the show's Instagram page. For the project, eight selected artists were each assigned an episode from the show's first season. The artists then created work about that episode.

In Feehan's case, he created a series of animated illustrations for the second episode of the first season.

"[In this episode] you're first getting the sense that some of the characters understand that something supernatural is going on," he said.

"You see the disappearance of one of the main character's best friend, and the boy's mother Winona Ryder is seeing lights blinking in her house."

Each Wednesday, art for the next episode is posted as an Instagram story. The work vanishes in 24 hours.

Feehan's work was posted on August 9, and his Instagram followers jumped from a few hundred to 6,000.

"After 10 years of trying to do this kind of work and to have it noticed, it's nice to get some kind of recognition," he said.

With files from On The Go