Illustration Archive

  1. Louisa-gagliardi-int-list

    Much of Louisa Gagliardi’s work looks like a Picasso painting updated for the digital age. Not only is the Zurich-based digital illustrator’s surreal, multifaceted style completely singular, it’s also compelling. As if trying to find your footing, you’re always slightly unsure of what you first see in Louisa’s layered images, which explore perspective and three-dimensionality through colour gradients and contour. As well as solid work for out-there Swiss publication POV Paper, which describes itself as a “quarterly mindfuck about gender and sexuality,” Louisa’s burgeoning portfolio includes illustration for Kenzo’s AW15 campaign and features in Mousse, Wallpaper and The Fader.

  2. Nurture_lennardkok_%c2%a9its-nice-that-list

    Lennard Kok is a man in possession of not only a talent for surreal, monochrome one-liners, but a wonderfully post-punk hairdo, if his site is to be believed. Using clean lines and a stark black and white palette, he creates images that manage to tell a story in witty, crisp little narratives. “In my work I often try to depict a story as simply as possible,” he says. What really intrigued us though was the story being told by a woman/dog breastfeeding a puppy. When he’s not dabbling in these Svankmajer-esque oddities, Lennard can be found creating editorial illustrations for the likes of De Dak Haas magazine or putting his work centre stage on some rather snazzy water bottles.

  3. Acacio-ortas-itsnicethat-list-2

    Scrolling through Acacio Ortas’ portfolio feels like stepping into a world that has been frozen in time since the late 90s. Picture it: Windows 95 still reigns supreme, you’re renowned throughout Year Nine at school for being the local champion of Minesweeper, and you can’t so much as compose a letter to your pen-pal in Microsoft Word without that blasted paperclip popping up to “help.” Dabbling in that grey area between illustration and design, Acacio’s work is pure internet age gold – all gentle gradients, bar-charts and word-art, determinedly retro but weirdly new-feeling, too. It’s tongue in cheek but also unlike anything else, and we can’t resist an awkward comic strip.

  4. Sophie-list

    Chances are if you’ve ever been a teenager, had a passing interest in indie and/or punk and have had even the most fleeting dealings with the creative industries you’ve owned a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. Well, exciting news is a-foot (see what we did there?), as the brand is about to launch the Chucks’ sassy new little brother, the Chuck II. We’re still not sure what they’ll be like yet, but in the run-up to their grand un-boxing the brand has commissioned a series of artists to create artworks based around the idea underpinning the new shoe, “obsession.”

  5. Mouni_feddag_itsnicethat_list

    The charming illustrations of Mouni Feddag are fantastically colourful and richly detailed. Full of personality with a lovely scratchy quality, these illustrations could easily drift into the twee, but it’s Mouni’s clever observations and witty nuances found within her large drawings that pull it away from the mawkish.

  6. Eiko-ojala-itsnicethat-list

    There’s a touch of mystery about Eiko Ojala’s most recent body of work, Everyday, a series which plays on the sinister ambiguities that can be concealed beneath a sheet of fabric. Shifting away from his well established paper-cutting-esque techniques to embrace a more fluid line, subtle changes in gradient and sharp edges are all that’s needed to bring a suggestive strangeness to his usually chipper illustrations. Softly undulating fabrics disappear into black holes, and kitchen knives carve threateningly into dining room tables. It’s a strange new world for Eiko, and we’re feeling it.

  7. Jun_cen_itsnicethat_list

    There’s a wonderful serenity and peace to Chinese illustrator Jun Cen’s work, as washed-out pastels waft and simple shapes sweep across the page. Currently working in New York, his illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Nobrow, and ELLE MEN China. Jun’s diverse client list means his portfolio is a mix of everyday scenes and figures, combined with grander, more mythical imagery. It’s this ethereal work that I’m drawn to more as Jun interprets the world in his own way, giving lightness and delicacy to heavy sumo wrestlers and Grecian fighters.

  8. The-fat-white-familyvisions-babak-ganjei-its-nice-that-list

    Seems you can’t move for a festival these days: it’s “racially-insensitive headwear” this, “Hunter wellies” that, “glamping” the other. But it’s not all fields and whimsical, dopey skirts. Festivals are now out of the countryside and into the cities, and they’ve got heaving line-ups to boot – something illustrator Babak Ganjei knows only too well, having been tasked to draw every single act playing this year’s Visions festival. The one-day east London-based event takes place early next month, and as showcased in Babak’s sweet doodlings, will see the likes of Fat White Family (you know, the naked, mashed-up ones), Camera Obscura (you know, the twee ones with the hovercraft) and Swedish crooner Jens Lekman taking to Hackney.

  9. Ed-cheverton-toys-exhbition-gif-itsnicethat-

    Ed Cheverton (or Chedward Beaverdam, as his website would have you call him) is an illustrator whose knack for chopping up reams of brightly coloured paper and arranging them into slices of joy has him set on a road to success. He’s a master of anthropomorphism, whether on paper, where an offcut is transformed into a tiny cheeky head with the aid of two eyes and a mouth, or in 3D form, making funny little toys out of wood, plastic, cotton reels and the like. He was also one of our Graduates of 2013, which makes us one of his number one fans, and legitimises all of our gushing. Right?

  10. Eleonora-arosio-int-list

    Eleonora Arosio’s hand-drawn style retains all the uneven textures of pastels and pencil marks, which caught the eye of Airbnb earlier this year. An illustration of hers that captures a moment between strangers won their #OneLessStranger competition, sitting alongside a client list including some small Italian publications and online magazine Cosebelle. Based in Milan, Eleonora recently graduated from Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA).

  11. Marie-jacotey-itsnicethat-list

    If Marie Jacotey’s work were a film it would be a sexy, sinister love story based in Paris in the 1960s, with a precocious and beautiful protagonist whose passion in life was to drive her male peers wild with lust. It’s not, of course – it’s illustration, or more accurately a series of comic strips created with richly toned coloured pencil and underpinned by a concise and debauched narrative – but I can still imagine them read in torchlight under the covers by an adolescent girl.

  12. Rosanna-webster-itsnicethatlist

    For her latest personal project, London creative Rosanna Webster has reinterpreted a selection of her favourite magazine covers to beautiful effect. Working across photography, collage and moving image, Rosanna’s multilayered work is largely fashion-focused and moves in the realm of illustrated editorial. Most recently she has created work for the go-to fashion house for floral-inspired couture, Dior, and her portfolio also boasts commissions from Adidas, Dossier Journal and NOWNESS .

  13. Ianthe-hope-itsnicethat-list-2

    During her final year at Glasgow School of Art illustrator Ianthe Hope found herself preoccupied with creating portraits. “The face has always fascinated me, how we are all the same but also visually completely different, and this has played into my work a lot,” Ianthe explains. “In my head I give each portrait a personality, a job and a name. Some are based on people I know and some are fictional characters.”

  14. Lawrence-slater-itsnicethat-lis

    Lawrence Slater, London-based illustrator and brother of Thomas Slater who we’ve written a bunch about in the past, has a talented hand of his own to show off. Working in vibrant colours and with faux-naive figures, his illustration is unashamedly joyful, so it makes perfect sense that his recent series Hedonism riffs on the wildly rich lifestyle you might expect if you won the lottery or discovered a stash of pirate treasure. The series is all busty, bare-breasted babes, fast cars, pet lions and jet skis, and it’s an opulent mess.

  15. Wurstbande-itsnicethat-list

    Wurstbande translates as “sausage gang” as I’ve just learned (thank you Google Translate) but it’s also the name of a Berlin-based illustration and art duo, who alternatively call themselves Lynn and Dennis. The pair has a taste for enormous murals, strange, sleazy looking animals and bright colours – so really, they have nothing to do with meaty snacks – and they’re our new favourite discovery.

  16. Joe_cruz_itsnicethat_list

    The work of London-based illustrator Joe Cruz never ceases to excite with his signature oil pastel markings adorning black and white photographs to create a wonderful communion. His personal work is as bold as ever, but it’s great to see more of Joe’s creations in a commercial context. Most recently his images graced The Sunday Times Magazine in their feature on Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set A Watchman and Whistles has also cottoned on to his magic.

  17. Yippiehey-its-nice-that-a---metall-list

    With a name like Yippiehey, you’d expect German designer and illustrator Jacob Eisinger’s work to be full of joy, skipping about like it’s the first day of spring and you’ve just won a tenner on a scratch card. Indeed, it is rather joyful; but it’s more than that, with the designer boasting a portfolio bursting with smart type-driven designs and CGI prowess. 

  18. Rami-niemi-itsnicethat-list

    Everybody’s favourite Finn Rami Niemi has scored some cool commissions in his time, drawing in his consistently witty style for clients like Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Google – all the big ones. His recent series for the Mr Porter journal, in which he drew the people you’ll meet at the gym, might be one of the neatest yet. Including “The Strong Man,” “The Jock Strap” and “The New Leafer” among others, the series is a great example of what good art direction and a sweet commission can be in the right hands.

  19. D_q-itsnicethat-list

    There are upsides and downsides to spearheading a movement in comics and cartooning. Upside: you’ll never be short of posters and prints to adorn your walls with, and there will always be great reading material in your bathroom. Downside: when it comes to documenting the history of your publishing house to date, you’re going to have a hell of a job with pagination.

  20. Gosia_herba_itsnicethat_list

    We featured Polish illustrator Gosia Herba this time last year, so it felt right to delve back into her portfolio to see what she’s been up to. Busy as ever with commissions from clients including The Washington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek Polska, her editorial illustrations really stand out. Full of brilliant texture and wonderfully proportioned characters with small angular heads and oversized limbs, it’s clear there’s still a Cubist nod within Gosia’s style. But it’s the velvety sheen she’s cast over her images, blending sumptuous tones with softer shades that makes her work so beautiful and elegant. 

  21. Jeff_ostberg_itsnicethat_list1

    Looking through Jeff Östberg’s portfolio is like looking at the world with a veil of warm sunshine over your eyes. Jeff lives and works in Stockholm, and the separation of colour in his work is lovely as creamy tones wash over scenes and people in simple landscapes. Creating a mix of commercial and personal work it’s great to see how Jeff’s style translates into different briefs with his soft lines and shapes managing to make an impact despite their mellowness. This roundness to his work gives the narratives within his illustrations a familiarity that only enhances their clarity and beauty.

  22. Sara_andreasson_white_noise_int_list_2

    Sara Andreasson’s work is as distinct as it is changeable and as it should be, each time she updates her portfolio she pushes her illustration into new territory. We last featured Sara back in August and this year she both exhibited and sold out her work at London’s Pick Me Up at Somerset House and has added tongue-in-cheek commissions for both The Guardian and The New York Times to her name, whilst never slowing down on a score of personal projects. The latest of these is a series of alternative fashion illustrations that play with street style and sexuality, starring a glossy-skinned girl gang rendered in bubblegum hues. Set against a pastel backdrop, Sara’s images tease ideas about femininity with glimpses of underarm hair and unruly bikini lines, slivers of sideboob, bare bums and a bit of quiet girl-on-girl groping, taking fashion illustration right outside of its comfort zone.

  23. Tom-cole-harper-lee-the-guardian-its-nice-that-list

    As you’d expect, when reclusive author Harper Lee announced she was releasing the follow up to seminal text To Kill a Mockingbird – 55 years after its publication in 1960 – there was no shortage of excitement, and it became the most pre-ordered title on Amazon since the final Harry Potter book. The book, called Go Set a Watchman, is due to be released next week but today The Guardian published the first chapter’s text, with audio read by Reece Witherspoon, and accompanied by some beautiful moving animations by illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole. Using a muted palette of dark blues, oranges and yellows, it sets the scene for a novel of journeys, restlessness and love led by protagonist Jean Louise Finch, better known as To Kill a Mockingbird’s Scout.

  24. Lena-bush-perfume-its-nice-that-list

    Ah, the so easily ribbed world of perfume ads. Semi-naked gorgeous babe, soft music, said babe doing some whispering. Or handsome hunk saving a damsel thanks to smelling so bloody nice. What a relief then to see perfume rendered as weird 90s net art, all bright colours and odd GIFs and peculiar renders that manage to take scent out of that tired, contrived world of heteronormative sexiness. Thanks for this go to illustrator Lena Bush, who created the imagery to accompany a review of six perfumes on Russian Interview magazine. We’re not too sure what the text says even with Google Translate’s work (highlights include “the database through musks, which has some excess, slightly patchouli shine”, “Home compositions like suddenly earned a fountain” and “the smell of summer, hot, languid, a little gourmet”) but nothing is lost in translation with Lena’s brilliant imagery.

  25. Matteo_berton_itsnicthat_list

    Italy-based illustrator Matteo Berton has created a series of wonderful illustrations for Anna Foa’s children’s book, Portico d’Ottavia, which was the heart of Rome’s Jewish ghetto for half a millennium. The book travels back to October 16 1943 and details the Nazi raid of the Jewish community that took place there.

  26. Ruohan-wang-its-nice-that-list

    For what we initially thought to be just cute little people with cute little bums and frying pans, Ruohan Wang’s work comes from a place of depth. Her studio, R Studio (taking its name from her initial) also stands for “Recovery of confusion, Regeneration of inspiration and Relationship of different events and culture,” she says on her site. However, that takes nothing away from how instantly charming her illustration work is, taking a sweetly naive style to rendering figures and merging it with more abstract influences. She’s currently studying a master’s at Berlin University of the Arts, and for one so early in her career there’s a real deftness to her approach to colour and composition. And just look at that bum!

  27. Lydia-list

    Once an unusual corner of the illustration world, paper cut designs have become a staple on the scene, gracing editorials, window displays and countless other spots. As such, when it’s done well, it really shines through – and the work of Lydia Shirreff is done very bloody well indeed. Back in 2013 we dubbed her queen of paper sculpture, and judging by her recent work, her crown’s not been slipping.

  28. Jack-sacks-itsnicethat-list

    If you don’t already know of Jack Sachs’ name, now is the time to sit up and take note. The London-based illustrator, animator and brain behind that beautiful animation of a workshop that took us all by storm last year was picked out as one of our ones to watch a few months back, and he has since racked up a series of commissions that put his 3D renders and animation skills to the test. Between drawing up some unmissable feature pages for the SS15 issue of POP magazine, and beginning a new and ongoing project for NTS Radio which includes some psychedelic, hyperactive visuals to satisfy even the shortest of attention spans, he’s also whipped up CGI design for the most recent episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, and made a clothing design for a collection by Lazy Oaf. What did we tell you, eh?

  29. Dameon_wardhang_itsnicethat_list

    With ambiguous titles such as Chemistry, Estate and The Figures, illustrator Dämeon Wardhang leaves his lively work to speak for itself. The London-based artist creates orderly clusters of colour that look like a modern take on ancient drawings.

  30. Wong-ping-prada-raw-int-list

    Prada is no stranger to ingenious collaborations, and the more eccentric, the better. With a longstanding reputation for pushing the envelope with its campaigns, counting contemporary artist Francesco Vezzoli, filmmaker Wes Anderson and architect Rem Koolhaas among its many collaborators, Prada’s directional relationship with the arts has consistently made the fashion house a trailblazer. Miuccia Prada – the inimitable woman behind the label – even has a Carsten Höller slide winding down from her office, and her well-known patronage was only further crystallised earlier this year with Fondazione Prada’s new arts venue in Milan.

  31. Nicolas-menard-gif-its-nice-that-list

    We’ve been showering Nicolas Ménard with love ever since he was our student of the month way back in 2012, and we’re about to turn that tap on all over again. The graphic artist and animator has just graduated from the RCA, and his site boasts a supremely accomplished selection of recent work including some mesmerising monochrome GIFs. These were taken from a the Tourist’s Illuminate music video directed by young Nic and produced at Nexus. It’s a hugely impressive project on its own – as a dedicated Tumblr attests– but the fact it can be so neatly broken into GIFs that look complete in their own right is testament to Nicolas’ skill.

  32. Chris-simpsons-artist-creative-jobs-its-nice-that-list

    Working in the creative industries can surely be odd enough at times, but to add an extra dollop of the ludicrous and surreal is Chris (Simpsons Artist), who’s helpfully depicted how ten creative roles really pan out. Often worryingly accurate (see production runner making tea, illustrator who has “left it to the last minute”) and always hilariously strange, the series was commissioned by creative industries network Hiive and gives a nice gentle rib tickle to graphic designers, who may or may not spend all day using a Wacom to scroll about over images of sausages.

  33. Helena_hauss_itsnicethat_list

    While elegant fountain pens and carefully crafted pencils are a joy to write and doodle with, there’s something familiar and comforting about casting lines of biro onto a clean sheet of paper. With the infinite motion of the ball point beneath your fingertips, there’s a level of control that other tools just can’t give you. Someone who shares my biro love is Paris-based illustrator Helena Hauss, who creates fantastically intricate biro drawings.

  34. Tom-gauld-endless-journey-its-nice-that-list

    “Myriorama” might have just overtaken “zootrope” as our favourite word, and for that we’ve got illustrator Tom Gauld to thank. We’re also expressing our gratitude for his Endless Journeys creation – itself a myriorama – which in 21st Century parlance is a series of illustrated cards that can be arranged in thousands of different ways to form numerous visual narratives. Endless Journey clocks up a whopping 479,001,600 different landscapes, formed from 12 beautifully illustrated cards. The series is based on the works of Laurence Sterne, the 18th Century novelist behind Tristram Shandy. Tom was commissioned to create work for the Shandy Hall Museum in York, which is currently hosting a show celebrating Sterne’s work. Designed by Brighten the Corners, it’s a charming little project, made even more endearing to our easily amused teenage boy inner child by the addition of a sign bearing the word: “Coxwold.”

  35. Sarahtanatjones_carmen_itsnicethat_list

    The opera isn’t a staple on my cultural calendar but its alluring arias and ostentatious costumes seem so exotic and intriguing that perhaps I should let the dramatic melodies permeate my ear drums more often. Especially when institutions like the Scottish Opera seem keen on engaging people of all ages by enlisting the illustrative talents of London-based Sarah Tanat-Jones.

  36. Kalda-men-and-cats-hemingway-list

    When we last left Sam Kalda we promised to keep an eye on the Brooklyn-based illustrator. With a portfolio already bursting with editorial work for stateside publications like The New York Times, WWD, and The Wall Street Journal, we thought it was high time to spotlight one of his personal projects.

  37. Camilla_perkins_itsnicethat_list

    Camilla Perkins is based in Brighton, and her illustrations use only the brightest hues which I hope are influenced by her seaside surroundings. We’ve not featured Camilla’s pictures since 2013, and it’s great to see how her style has developed since then. Shying away from collections of objects, it seems Camilla’s been perfecting her skills in illustrating the human form and the result is wonderful. Her figures are mainly surrounded by basic props and shapes, but the faces and features of her characters are marked out carefully in scratchy lines. In some images bold expanses of pattern applied as floors or walls are a lovely addition to all the brightness and it’s these details that really make Camilla’s work stand out.

  38. Byop_int_list

    Earlier this month, the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. The beguiling, multicoloured woven structure designed by Spanish architects SegnasCalgo sits in Hyde Park like a more grown-up version of a fort you might have built when you were a child. Over the last decade and a half the annual architecture commission has become a much-anticipated beacon of design, and to celebrate 15 years of the Summer Pavilion, the Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Kidesign, Marina Willer and the team at Pentagram to launch a digital platform and national campaign to foster the aspiring young architects of tomorrow.

  39. Faye-moorhouse-wonky-movie-posters-itsnicethat-list

    Occasionally, when you happen across a particularly good one, looking at a series of work by an illustrator feels like glimpsing the world through their eyes for a moment, and that’s more or less how I feel looking at Faye Moorhouse’s new series Wonky Movie Poster Show. “I illustrated 20 movie posters,” she said in her email earlier this week. “They are weird and ugly and hopefully funny.” And I can testify that they are in fact all three.

  40. Mads_berg_itsnicethat_list

    Danish illustrator Mads Berg’s modern take on the classic poster has seen him clock up an international client list including Wired, Monocle, Legoland and Carlsberg. His portfolio is filled with gloriously soft colours that emphasise his bold brushstrokes and simply constructed figures.