Illustration Archive

  1. Bernhardaxilko-itsnicethat-main

    Excuse the pun, but I’m a sucker for penis drawings. Birthday cards, desks, walls, Post-Its, other people’s books, car windscreens: to me the world is but a canvas for penile artwork. Judging by his startlingly extensive back catalogue of sexually charged, penis-infused illustrations, it seems Belgrade-based artist Bernharda Xilko is on the same page. His style is in the same camp as people like Patrick Kyle and Paul Paetzel but comes with a side order of terror, penetration and science fiction. For me, I like the depth of his one-panel cartoons, and how you can stare at it for a while like a saucy magic eye painting, and keep finding things you had missed first time around.

  2. Newyorker_01-wilfrid-wood-itsnicethat_list

    Giving us proof if it were needed that humour and style are in no way mutually exclusive, Wilfrid Wood has created a sweet, strange series of his signature plasticine caricatures for The New Yorker. The illustration spots feature throughout the mag’s style issue, aiming to sum up a variety of different New Yorkers “with hats and scarves and various accessories,” Wilfrid helpfully points out. As is typical of Wilfrid’s work, they’re very odd, sometimes ugly, and very brilliant, and rudimentary as they are we’re sure there’ll be a few folk in the Big Apple who see a little bit of themselves in these lumpy visages.

  3. Alisondubois-after-itsnicethat-list

    Alison Dubois is a San Francisco-based illustrator who channels all of the vitamin D from her native temperate climate into her work. Take After, for example, a collection of re-creations of works by great masters, including Henri Matisse, Peter Doig and a handful of Paul Gauguins. Her drawings are rendered in felt tip and dominated by primary colours, and looking at them for too long feels something like consuming a bottle of Sunny D via an IV drip.

  4. Thomas-slater-mosaic-itsnicethat-list

    It’s a good job “Thomas Slater, Illustrator” has such a nice ring to it, as we seem to be spending a lot of time on his website of late. His newest undertaking is for Mosaic, the science-led strand of the Wellcome Trust which is using commissioned illustration and photography to make even the most opaque of articles on their journal absorbing. For a piece entitled Do You Need to Go to Parent School? Thomas has created a series of drawings depicting kids both being encouraged by, and outsmarting, their ambitious parents – putting them on school buses, playing at being doctors from their buggies, or having their brains measured while diligently sipping on juice cartons. It’s the kind of commission which shows editorial illustration at its most challenging, but somehow Thomas manages to convey broad ideas about parenting and education with a simple and bold colour palette, outsmarting us all in the process.

  5. Sygold-itsnicethat-list-new

    Illustrator S.Y. Gold is one of growing number of young illustrators making a virtue of the limitations of digital software. His imagery makes clear its origins – Illustrator line tools and Photoshop’s airbrush can – in its exuberant final results. What’s the purpose of his unusual images? Hard to say but they display the beginnings of some great character design as well as the potential for interesting editorial applications.

  6. Margot-fabre-itsnicethat-list-4

    Friends aren’t really friends until they’ve gotten together with a bundle of felt tips to draw a bunch of pornographic illustrations; which is precisely what makes graphic design student Margot Fabre and her mate Frederik Stender such good ones. The pair have combined their creative skills in the purest of ways, doodling a collection of wildly imaginative and not altogether innocent sketches of a couple – and occasionally an extra character or two – having a really, really nice time. It’s filthy and hilarious and completely unafraid to have a giggle at itself, and we bloody love it.

  7. Emilyflake-itsnicethat-main

    I’m always slightly concerned about the dwindling amount of observational cartoons and “funnies” in the newspapers, but whenever you think the niche, historic skill is waning you come across another gem in a corner of a broadsheet. Places like The New Yorker are still very much championing this craft, and have recently been commissioning New York cartoonist Emily Flake to make dry comments on her city for their magazine.

  8. Ridejournal-katemoross-itsnicethat-list

    At risk of sounding like the formulaic hipsters that we almost certainly are, the Venn diagram of indie magazines and cycling is one in which we’re pleased to revel in the overlap. The Ride Journal is a fabulous celebration of bikes and all who ride on them, and so we were interested to hear that a show featuring some of the best illustration to feature in the past nine issues is about to open in London.

  9. Main

    Matthew Houston or “Doctor Butters” as his web address proclaims, is an young illustrator working in a truly old-school way. The Ohio-based artist designs characters and worlds in a style he’s honed after years of studying drawing, which he took up after sacking in his job a few years back. I love how he’s embraced a fundamental branch of illustration in character design, and has strayed away from trendier styles in his quest to become an illustrator. The creatures and people he creates are a bunch of people seemingly inspired by video games, sci-fi, comic books, The Hobbit and anything to do with castles, folklore and legend. In an interview with Questioning Creatives Matthew says “I would recommend going to art school. It gives you time to focus on art. It gives you an excuse to create every day. Make sure to work on personal projects while in school, don’t just do homework.” Wise words.

  10. Pm-int-main

    Paweł Mildner’s style keeps changing. He jumps between crisp renders, oil pastels, Riso prints, paintings and drawings like there’s no tomorrow, and has a particularly interesting portfolio because of it. He lives in Wrocław, Poland where I can only imagine he spends his days in a well-lit, affordable studio creating zines and books that appear to be for children, but are actually cynical and witty enough to appeal to your discerning comic book-loving adult as well. I sometimes find myself lurking on his Flickr page, not really up to much, just loitering about, dragging his images on to my desktop, hoping one day he’ll notice me.

  11. List1

    Adjectives we’ve used to describe Oscar Bolton Green over the years include: delightful, super-talented, pretty accomplished, punchy, great, wonderful, wicked, vibrant and… different. He is all of these things and more. A consummate illustrator who never ceases to impress us with his experimentation and flair. Witness his latest set of personal still-life drawings. All he’s done is assemble a few bits and pieces from his house and then sketched, but holy hell they look fantastic! When you’ve become accustomed to seeing someone work digitally it’s a pleasure to be reminded they’ve got innate abilities as a draughtsman and can use pencil and paper at will – even better when the results are this good.

  12. Joe-melhuish-int-list

    Idyllic mountainous landscapes are fine and funny domestic settings are good too, but it’s not often we see illustrators tackle the subject of intricately designed custom weaponry. We appreciate Joe Melhuish’s new project all the more for its originality. He first started drawing bizarre pockets knives that look more like the jumbo Super Soakers while researching for a commission for “quite a big pop musician,” and soon became fascinated in the way weapons might grow to become an accessory to one’s identity.

  13. Karolisstrautniekas-adobe-int-list

    For a small country with a small creative scene, we’ve covered Lithuanian artists and designers more times than you might expect. There’s clearly something in the water over there and one of our absolute favourite finds in Vilnius-based illustrator Karolis Strautniekas. It’s been more than a year since we last sung his praises so it seems right and proper to check back in with him.

  14. Marion-fayolle-coquins-int-list

    When I sat down to write this article I was planning to discuss Ardéchoise illustrator Marion Fayolle’s impressive career to date; her numerous books for the likes of Nobrow and Magnani Editions; her editorial work for The New York Times, her textile designs for Cotélac and Kiblind and of course her very own illustration publication Nyctalope which she co-runs with Simon Roussin. And then I remembered she did a brilliant book of saucy drawings, Les Coquins, and decided to focus on that instead.

  15. Nick-gazin-run-the-jewelslist

    Vice’s New York art editor and illustrator Nick Gazin tells us his ideal clients at the moment are “adult film actresses.” He once worked up some logo designs for Andy San Dimas, the US porn star, and he reckons he’d “be really into doing more art for adult film actresses. I just want to draw naked ladies.”

  16. Karansingh-mop-int-list

    The glorious coming together of pattern, shape and colour makes for a joyous experience and that’s why print designers are held in such high regard. Last week we commissioned Animade to turn three eye-poppingly good Pucci x Orlebar Brown patterns into trippy GIFs, this week we’re turning our attention to profiling creatives we believe are among the best around when it comes to working in this area. We are proud to present these #mastersofprint.

  17. Jg-street-demon-int-list

    Got the mid-week hump-day gloom, friend? Allow me to do away with it for you with a bumper-pack of animated GIFs by the talented hand of illustrator and animator Julian Glander. He once came up with a clever app which transformed colour data into sound for an eight-note synth and made us all into synaesthetes for a day, which was intricate and complicated enough to warrant a dose of fun to follow. A gang of tiny blob men whirling their arms over their heads at impossible speeds? Yes, please. A tiny man on a bicycle riding in tiny circles forevermore? Go on then. Great things are in the pipeline for this master of 3D shapes, bulgy eyeballs and jumping hamburgers. You mark our words.

  18. Tim-brown-int-list

    As a one-time news journalist (albeit at a very low level) I have a real affinity for reportage illustrators. George Butler is one of the best around and this new film by Tim Brown which follows him on a three-week trip to Afghanistan provides a great insight into his finely-honed talents. On his first trip to the war-torn country George was embedded with British troops, but he hungered to draw the locals whose lives had been so irrevocably changed over recent years. “I was always aware that over the walls there were millions of people getting on with their lives,” he says.

  19. Angiewang-int-main

    Angie Wang is FANTASTIC, she’s hands-down my absolute favourite new illustrator. Her work is an explosive, jelly bean-coloured tangle of cool girls, comic books, hair, nature and clouds: dreamy waves of cuteness and attitude floating along on the backs of ghosts. Some of her drawings may appear silly and adorable, but underneath the fuzziness is a melancholy wisdom of the world around her. She has an ability to capture what only the best kinds of comics do: aspects of life that are loving, scary, otherworldly and magnificent.

  20. Zeloot-int-list-2

    Look at the giant bulbous characters! The boy clamping his hand between his own giant gnashers! The tiny hairy willy floating in mid-air with a bunch of other body parts! This collection could be the work of one woman only and that woman is Eline Van Dam, aka Zeloot, a Dutch illustrator with a taste for the funny, the weird and the generally brilliant. She’s been hard at work of late with a stack of commissions for the likes of Vrij Nederland and The New York Times among others, all of whom are thoroughly enamoured with her unique style. As are we.

  21. Barzilai-int-list

    If you’re currently experiencing some love-related dramas allow me to gently suggest you don’t take them to Pauline Barzilaï for sorting. The French illustrator’s new project Les Peines de l’Amour, a sweet illustrated series on rose pink paper, takes a great sledgehammer to tender affairs of the heart, and smashes them all to pieces with a brutally funny satirical edge.

  22. Die-katze-int-list-2

    You don’t really see them in the UK anymore but there was once a time when fag machines populated bars, clubs, railway stations, street corners and children’s swimming pools so that everyone could readily get their hands on a dose of sweet lady nicotine at a moment’s notice. There’s still a few lingering in Switzerland though, so Daniel Peter and Alice Kolb have found a more family-friendly and creative use for them.

  23. Marta-monteiro-int-list

    Remember Marta Monteiro, whose series of Lilliputian heroines effectively encaptured all of our best Borrower-themed dreams last summer? The illustrator based in Penafiel, Portugal been busy at work since we last checked in, creating all manner of editorial illustrations for the likes of The New York Times and the Washington Post, not to mention some self-initiated projects which have materialised into beautiful books, like Sombras. Her work gives the impression of an illustrator still refining her style, which in her instance is immeasurably exciting, lending her a versatility and an authenticity few manage to successfully pull off. We’re especially enjoying the piece for The Man Who Knew It All, a giant-headed polka-dot dress-wearing lady borrowing the brain of another.

  24. Moonhead-book22-list

    It’s so reassuring to hear that a job at a top ad agency can be secured from an interview on no sleep, feeling “a bit spaced out.” While it’s possibly not the best career advice, that’s exactly how Andrew Rae landed a role at BBH, he told us in his talk at Offset festival. We’re huge fans of Andrew’s work, which over the years has included creating characters for the Mighty Book of Boosh, beautiful botanical illustrations and the wonderful, heartwarming and psychedelic graphic novel Moonhead and the Music Machine.

  25. Jasongalea-int-main

    I came across Jason when I was ogling at this poster for the Panache Spring Fling featuring White Fence, yet another ear-watering gig that I won’t be able to make it to because it’s across the Atlantic. Panache is a boutique booking agency in LA which represent bands like Ty Segall, Chris Cohen, Jacco Gardner, Fuzz, Juliana Barwick, U.S Girls…I could go on. In keeping with its roster it commissions the likes of Melbourne-based visual artist Jason Galea to make the posters and sleeves look as cool and apt as possible. Jason clearly knows what he’s doing with these posters, record sleeves and animations. This is the work of someone who has studied the music visuals of the past, sat around a Ouija board, reincarnated them, and smoked the spirits up in an acid-green infinity bong before splurging them out as art. It’s okay to rip stylistic qualities from eras gone by, but only if you, like Jason, genuinely love the music, and know exactly what you are doing.

  26. Andyrementer-sanmarinostamps-int-list

    Here’s some things you probably didn’t know about the tiny Republic of San Marino. It has no railway. Its 33,00 citizens enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world. It is famous for its stamps, which are widely collected by philatelists, or stamp collectors. This last revelation is the one that concerns us here, because we found out yesterday that illustrator, artist and long-time friend of the site Andy Rementer has just designed a set of stamps for The Philatelic and Numismatic Bureau of San Marino, themed around fantastical interpretations of 3D printing.

  27. Chrissie_macdonald_17_theredlist-int-hero

    From walks on Hampstead Heath and shelves bursting with books to cinema tickets and old magazines, Chrissie Macdonald takes a very analogue approach when she starts work on a new idea. Screens take a backseat as she rifles through her collections of stuff, filed in boxes alongside perhaps less useful collections including a “Keanu Reeves file,” shown in all its glory on the huge screen at this year’s Offset festival.

  28. Icinori-int-main

    French duo Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller are a couple united by their unbridled love for print. When their visual arts/illustrative forces are brought together they go by the name of Icinori, and create some of the most beautifully considered, traditional publications, pamphlets, concertina books and posters around. Considering the staggering detail present in every single image they piece together and print, it’s shocking how much new work they’ve just whacked up on their site.

  29. Jeremie-fischer-wilkommen-in-hausland-int-list

    Jeremie Fischer is an extraordinary illustrator hailing from Strasbourg in France. He’s four prolific years out of university and has filled his time since graduation with the slavish production of illustrated books – for himself, for Nowbrow and for Nyctalope.

  30. Anatortos-book-8-int_copy

    To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of French eco-building company Nobatek, London-based animator Ana Tortos designed and illustrated a book and made an animation, as well as a series of wood-panel illustrations for the interior of the Nobatek office. A huge undertaking, the project tells the story of the growth of the company through its various projects developing grass roofing, soundproof roads made of recycled tires and utilising the digestive system of earthworms to get rid of trash.

  31. Nick-vokey-coach-bird-int-list

    Oi graphic designers! What do you get up to in your spare time? Spot of kerning is it? Take the kids down to the font foundry and do a type casting workshop yeah? Well you’re really letting the side down. Nick Vokey’s a graphic designer who’s worked for The New Yorker and MIT Technology Review and in HIS spare time he makes comics about a medical doctor who coaches a local pee-wee football team and has been turned into a bird by a wizard. He’s a foul-mouthed bastard of a bird but incredibly funny indeed. Have a look at Nick’s comics and then reassess the way you use your weekends. You too could be making an hilarious bird-themed odyssey of graphic art. (This also applies to anyone who isn’t a graphic designer).

  32. Zoo_jennlivweb_copy

    Toronto-based illustrator and cartoonist Jenn Liv is a whizz with colour. With sustained attention to detail, she illustrates often quite stereotypical moments but always with a twist. There’s a great battle between two knights on a cliff edge at sunset, both just giving up; a romantic moment, flowers, a white dress, a gust of wind and the man just nonchalantly wandering off.

  33. Beyondthewildheart-int-list

    I think I might never have seen two illustrators as well paired as Faye Coral Johnson and Mike Redmond, the duo behind this charming new book Behind the Wild Heart. Faye’s work – sketchy, sweet and imperfect – seems to slot right in with Mike’s dynamic cartoony characters, and the two work together so often that it’s difficult to tell where one’s work ends and the other’s begins.

  34. Stevenchorney-int-main

    The reason design blogs and Pinterest are overcrowded with hand-painted signs, hand-made furniture and hand-printed textiles is because (you guessed it) it’s made by hand – and the joy of seeing craftsmanship is never, ever going away. The world is changing, and the more we demand, and the shorter our attention spans become, the less we’re spending time on getting things just right.

  35. 1_bratislav_milenkovic_wired_germany_copy_copy

    Belgrade-based illustrator Bratislav Milenkovic’s work is intricate and mechanical, with every detail forming the nuts and bolts of an elaborate piece of slapstick comedy. The characters, objects and abstract shapes play an equal role in Bratislav’s compositions. The lightly-airbrushed, knobbly kneed people (all with fantastic hair) are lost amongst the melee but only for the added impact of discoveries like: “oh! There’s a guy cranking an ice bucket over his own head” or “Why is that guy exfoliating a Christmas tree?”

  36. Matamatyka-int-main

    LA artist Misia emailed in last week with a bunch of her drawings and paintings, and I was super impressed. She’s managed to mash up Nick Sharratt’s illustrations from Jacqueline Wilson books with The Babysitter’s Club, The Fresh Prince and a bunch of other pop culture references – all drawn in well-practiced monochromatic inks. Unique and skilful aesthetic aside, what I truly love about Misia’s drawings are the characters in them – GIRLS. Girls barefoot doing acrobatics in living rooms, girls lounging on beds listening to music, girls hanging out together doing nothing, girls wearing zigzag leggings and looking bored. These pictures remind me that I’m a girl, and being a girl is SO cool. They make me want to text every female I know and arrange some sort of day where we can watch TV for hours and eat peanut butter on crackers and cereal out the box. I hope it does the same for you.

  37. Jv-port-13-int_copy

    Having cut his teeth at Adult Swim, Joseph Veazey has since been art directing for label Azede Jean-Pierre and freelancing all over New York City. He also has a fine knack for making engaging and fun self-promotional printed matter and turning his sketchbooks into true works of art.

  38. Cameron-stewart-fight-club-2-int-list

    A comic-book sequel to Fight Club has been announced, telling the story of the original’s star Tyler Durden ten years on. Tyler, who was played by Brad Pitt in the David Fincher-directed 1999 film, will be shown to be dependent on prescription drugs, and living with his housewife spouse and a difficult young son.

  39. Timcolmant-list-gif

    Illustration portfolios don’t come much more joyful than this one by Tim Colmant, a Belgian illustrator with a knack for Memphis-inspired patterns, cheery colours and entertaining ideas. Looking around his diverse work feels like strolling into the fantasy land of Ettore Sottsass, decked out as it is in bright purple and yellow, swirling shapes and repetitive geometric patterns, and it’s more or less impossible to leave feeing anything less than happy. Feel free to try this out for yourselves.

  40. David-barnes-int-list

    “I like working at night when the world is quiet and all the residual energy is loose and flowing around in the atmosphere because most people are asleep and not gobbling it all up,” says David Barnes. “I’m not sure if that’s a real thing or not but thinking that way motivates me to stay up til 5am working distraction-free, feeding off the dreams of others.”