Illustration Archive

  1. Margheritaurbani-list-int

    Being huge fans of Andy Rementer’s cheeky work we’ve seen illustrator Margherita Urbani’s name bandied around a lot over the past few years, whether in credits in Apartamento or The New York Times, but it wasn’t until last week that we thought to look up exactly what she does. Which, as it turns out, is quite a lot.

  2. Mattpanuska-barbara-int-list

    In ancient times Matt Panuska would have been some kind of shamanistic guide, plying his wards with ayahuasca and leading them through their subconscious with a gentle hand. Unfortunately he lives in modern-day Brooklyn, where DMT-related healing is positively discouraged, so Matt makes his living drawing images that seem born from an altered mind.

  3. Brandon-celi-cold-storage-int-8

    Covering beer-holding Furbys, flaxen-haired Nickelback chump Chad Kroeger and laptop Scrabble, Toronto-based illustrator Brandon Celi’s subjects are as varied as his work is brilliant. He works in paint to bring to life hilarious scenarios including a reimagining of the Wizard of Oz scene where the wicked witch is crushed by a house, but this time targeting surely the most evil (aesthetically, at least) of all footwear: Crocs.

  4. Christophniemann-sundaysketch-int-list

    Christoph Niemann is one of our creative heroes, an illustrator and artist whose talent, imagination and sense of humour puts him smack bang in the top drawer. So imagine our excitement when we found out he was doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit yesterday, where he held forth on all manner of topics, from serious illustration insight to his love of butter. Here’s some of the wit and wisdom he shared…

  5. Charlottedelarue-list-3-int

    Illustrator and art director Charlotte Delarue’s varied work shows her to be an uncommonly talented illustrator, conjuring incredibly realistic portraits out of paper and pencil safe in the knowledge that she doesn’t need to do anything more to make them impressive. Her art direction is of another ilk entirely, however – she works with the likes of electro acts Chromeo, Justice and Kavinsky to draw up impactful logotypes and album artwork concepts that can be spotted from miles away, from the golden legs which reappear on almost every Chromeo album cover to Kavinsky’s mysterious blue-tinged scenes.

  6. Majic_riso

    Sophy Hollington has been busy making some sassy new printed matter. With fan art, band T-shirts, record sleeves and commissions from The New York Times and Japanese gallery Parades, Sophy’s detailed, lino-cut and Risograph printed work is gorgeous, varied and often rather strange.

  7. Joedator-self-int

    Interviewing cartoonist Joe Dator is a real honour, because he’s a total hero and also a spectacular interviewee. Listen to him talk about his working life: “Everything revolves around Tuesday. The New Yorker cartoon meeting is on Tuesday, so that’s the day we all submit our new ideas to the editor…I usually work over the weekend and by Monday night I’m in full-on lockdown to get my batch of ideas ready. Wednesday is a day off. If you ever want to socialise with a New Yorker cartoonist, Wednesday is the day to do it.”

  8. Ben_mendelwicz-collage-7-int

    New York-based illustrator Ben Mendelewicz draws comics, illustrates and animates for the likes of Adult Swim, Stussy and Funny or Die. He has contributed to Mouldmap, Happiness and Weird with comic horror stories of white collar jobs with fragmented scripts of bastardised professional jargon.

  9. Robpybus-thenewrepublic

    It’s great to see Rob Pybus’ work again after a little bit of a break. Like many illustrators at the moment, Rob has been unable to resist the allure of GIFs, and has clearly been spending a lot of his time recently turning his marvellous, perspective-skewing illustrations into mini films. Rob’s also been busy working for a whole bunch of exciting new clients such as Wired, The New York Times, Jacobin and Original Source, among others.

  10. Main

    When we were up at Graphic Design Festival Scotland last year we met two nice guys called Dominic Kesterton and Orlando Lloyd who were assisting people in their design dreams by showing them how to make their own riso prints. A fantastic illustrator and designer respectively, Dominic and Orlando started up a small printing press, Workhorse Press, during their time studying in Edinburgh. We wanted to talk to them about why they’re still at it, the difficulties they face, and why Scotland’s print, design and illustration scene would be lost without them. Here they are…

  11. List

    Rand Renfrow is one of the illustrators we came across among the scores of upcoming artists and illustrators publishing with Clay Hickson’s independent project Tan & Loose yesterday, and seeing as how last time we featured him it was in our Introducing feature nearly two years ago, it seemed high time to check in.

  12. List

    Illustrator Graham Roumieu may be one of the most prolific creatives around. Already the 2015 tab on his website is populated with a load of work, less than two weeks into the year. And because it’s been nearly two years since we last featured him on the site, it’s no great surprise that there is a tonne of great imagery for us, and you, to enjoy. Regular clients include The Atlantic, New York Magazine and the Readers’ Questions feature in Popular Mechanics (where he brings to life such public puzzlers as “What do pilots talk about on long-haul flights?").

  13. 20

    “All hail Hickson!” were the words with which we finished our last post about Chicago-based illustrator Clay Hickson back in 2012, and while it doesn’t give us much to improve on, the expression certainly still seems to fit our feelings for him. Since we last checked in, Clay has developed his practice immeasurably, stepping away from pencils to embrace Adobe Illustrator and printmaking all the more enthusiastically, and making a heap of new work in the process. He’s stuck to his old penchant for pop surrealist scenes and funny-shaped girl parts – he loves a boob and a sausage, does Clay – but the calibre of the work has improved in a striking way.

  14. List

    Orson is only 12 years old but has already achieved my unrealised childhood dream of publishing his own graphic novel. Last Saturday saw the launch of his latest title, The Adventures of Hal Dekenzin, at Orbital Comics in London – an event that included not only freshly printed comics, but also a plethora of live drawing by the author himself.

  15. List

    Presenting Matt Chase, the editorial illustrator living and working in Washington DC, who can transform a wishy-washy concept into a solid hunk of imagery with a snap of the fingers. You’ve likely seen his work already without knowing it – maybe in the New York Times, on the cover of one of Douglas Coupland’s novels, or perhaps in the Wall Street Journal if you’re that way inclined.

  16. List

    Giulia Garbin is carving out a very particular niche for herself, as a creator of great-looking tributes to the graphic design days of old. Her graduation project from the Royal College of Art was a stunning book celebrating the last printers in London’s Fleet Street and her new offering is a visual homage to the typographers of Turin.

  17. List

    I come back to Benjamin Marra’s sketchbooks time and again when I feel like real life is just a little too drab. The witty and irreverent comics artist has an insatiable appetite for the surreal and absurd that never fails to get me tittering away like a cheeky schoolboy. Everything from the unusually-proportioned physiques of his protagonists to the bizarre headlines that run across his images serve to delight and entertain, whether that’s the catchily-named Fantomah Meets Madame Satan at a Lesbian Bar in Hell or the wild-eyed warrior LuLu Benedict: Angry Bitch, Vigilante Gangleader. He’s also drawn one of the finest portraits of Beyoncé I’ve ever laid eyes on. Long may his madness continue!

  18. Main_11.47.10

    Now that pretty much everyone in the whole world has a blog, you don’t have to tell someone twice to share something about themselves with the entire web. I’d be inclined to think that a lot of people present themselves differently online to how they truly are in the real world, and it’s always so refreshing to come across an artist or illustrator who is just totally honest about themselves. Rami Niemi is one of those: as well as updating his website with his incredible, neat and brightly coloured editorial illustration all the time, he also gives viewers a chance to see a more personal aspect of his work via his sketches in a collection he calls The Polycottons.

  19. List

    It’s not very often that illustration finds itself at the centre of world events, but that came to pass yesterday when three gunmen attacked the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The publication – which lampoons anyone and everyone – was seemingly targeted because of the way it has mocked Islam in the past and three of its cartoonists (Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous) were among the 12 people killed. The illustration community was quick to respond with powerful and poignant imagery uploaded to social media. Jean Jullien’s “Je Suis Charlie” picture depicting a pencil being jammed into the end of a rifle was among the most shared tributes on Twitter, while others like Hattie Stewart paid more personal respects. Later the cartoonists at the major newspapers added their offerings to try and make sense of the events that played out in Paris.

  20. Main3

    Sometimes when I see an artist’s work that particularly resonates with my brain, I work back in time to form my own private and completely fictional mood board. In the case of Adam Higton, his drawings conjure crisp autumnal smells, the Incredible String Band, children’s bedsheets, tree carvings, Morris Men, Steeleye Span, and the patterned variety of 1970s crockery you often see in caravans. Adam has something of a cult following: trendy publishers Landfill Editions made a fantastic book of his drawings and he’s been known to design some very desirable record sleeves. His mystical pseudonym Yule Bringer refers to his time spent dressed as a witch making live music on various stages around the country. See him over here playing at Bath Spa university to a bunch of design students who have each been given an item of percussion to help accompany him. So fun, what a wonderful man.

  21. Main_17.58.07

    Anyone whose surname is a perfect cross between biscuit and cup surely has some sort of magic dwelling within them. London-based David Biskup’s work is a pleasing medley of intelligent, bean-like characters and immaculately chosen colour fades. Not content with making fantastic editorial work for the likes of (deep breath) The New York Times, WeTransfer, Wired, The Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique (DE) and Computer Arts, David moonlights as a particularly impressive cartoonist. He creates innovative, well-designed comic strips depicting man’s struggle that even at his young age mirror the talent of people such as Jim Stoten or even Chris Ware, and I can’t wait to see some of his printed matter in the flesh.

  22. Main

    If you’ve been staggering through the streets of London of late you may have clocked some funny murals and slogans in a curiously similar typeface, painted on undesirable street objects such as bins, skips, old mattresses and the like. This is the work of one of our all time favourite illustrators Ian Stevenson. His outdoor antics have caught the attention of a certain Russell Brand, who used Ian’s eye-catching, no-bullshit work to promote his somewhat controversial new book. We had a chat with Ian about what he’s been up to of late, and what it was like making work for Russell.

  23. List

    Some truly lovely new work here by Riikka Laakso, a Berlin-based illustrator with a light touch. Riikka’s fondness for coloured pencils sets her poles apart from many of her tablet-wielding contemporaries, lending her editorial illustration a tactile edge which contrasts neatly with her incisive storytelling style. The commissioning moguls over at Die Zeit have already picked up on this cool combination, resulting in a number of pieces by Riikka for Zeit Campus, as well as work for Psychologie Heute and Berlin’s International Festival. If you don’t know her work yet, rest assured that this won’t be the case for long – if her grasp of textures and retro style are anything to go by we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Riikka in the months to come.

  24. Lsit

    “God, those Ladybird books are rubbish,” said no designer, ever. Indeed, these sweet little volumes that educate on everything from The Story of Oil to Mick: The Disobedient Puppy to The Postman are almost universally loved not only for the diverse and helpful knowledge they impart, but for their beautiful illustration style and exemplary way of communicating through imagery. It’s perhaps the books from the mid 20th Century that are most fetishised by the design community though, and it’s these that are to be celebrated in a new show at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea.

  25. Mjpc

    It’s good to start the year with some fresh, simply lovely illustration from a young artist, and these curious collage works are the brain-droppings of London-based Jean-Philippe Calver. I’d pretty much always stand by the idea that scrappy lo-fi collage is superior to the neat, exquisitely cut-out variety. Jean-Philippe’s work slots into the former category perfectly: his collage work is so lo-fi that it looks as if he’s been storing it on the floor of a studio that he shares with a chimneysweep. But there you go, that’s the charm with Jean, his website’s a bit shit and his work is thrown together from scraps – but somehow that’s what makes him truly brilliant. Don’t go changing, Jean-Philippe!

  26. List

    There’s something irrevocably confident about a super clean line drawing, and Italian illustrator Jonathan Calugi is king of them. He can take the subtlest of squiggles and manipulate it to suggest an abstract and complicated human posture, from a gymnast performing a pirouette to a giant pile-up of bodies. His shapes have grown in complexity since we last checked in with him, with new projects for the likes of Google and Shutterstock the freshest in his portfolio, and they’re just getting better every single time.

  27. List

    If you happen to be in central London doing your Christmas shopping this week you might well come across a rare gem of a shop in Soho, home to glacéau vitaminwater’s unique pop-up, in which a host of young creatives have been creating bespoke wrapping paper for those gift-givers who are all fingers and thumbs, and don’t fancy giving their presents in your standard brown paper packaging.

  28. Main

    None of us at It’s Nice That could work out exactly what it was about Daniel Guerrero Fernández’s drawings that we loved, but we all agreed it was great. Clouds, mountains, planets, yin-yangs, waterfalls, swords – something about his portfolio is a cross between K-pop and Game of Thrones with a pinch of Studio Ghibli thrown in for good measure. Anyone that can pour that amount of joy on to a page is fine by me, I just hope that after this great interview over on Urban Outfitters he’s still got some of those pin badges left.

  29. List

    Try to look upon Will Laren’s work not as a series of spot illustrations, but as comic masterpieces in their own right. He’s effectively moulding a new genre according to these novel and very specific needs. Rendered in acrylic, Will’s aesthetic is comprised mainly of colours and patterns that look like they belong side-by-side only on the rails of a forgotten charity shop, but somehow when they’re juxtaposed with Will’s pallid looking, wrinkly-faced characters spouting grotesque and hilarious things to one another, they seem very much appropriate. Explaining the joke will kill it in a second, so check these wonders out for yourself.

  30. List

    I am a bit cynical about the concept of guest editors (for obvious, selfish reasons I suppose – “no not anyone can do this!”) but WIRED getting Christopher Nolan to helm their December issue is something of a coup. Subtitled Beyond. A Story in Five Dimensions, the special issue focussed on line, planes, space, time, and the multiverse. Longtime friend of the site Mario Hugo was brought in to create an array of visualisations for the cover, contents page and throughout the rest of the magazine and he worked with Hugo & Marie colleague Sam Hodges (once of this parish) on the intriguing final images.

  31. List

    Wrapping presents is easily our least favourite part of the festive season; in fact we can’t really see any issue with Smithy’s ingenious tin foil solution from Gavin & Stacey. However it may just be that we’ve been using the wrong kind of wrapping paper all these years – vapid creations covered in tired stereotypes.

  32. Main

    Mysterious French artist Sarah-Louise Barbett has been comfortably residing in my favourites folder for years now. She updates her Flickr every now and again with more beautifully painted watercolour scenes of some of the most poignantly boring scenarios imaginable. Sarah-Louise sees the world differently to everyone else, she records odd mundanity with extraordinary beauty and wit – capturing the moment someone leaves a bottle of Fanta on a car roof, or when she catches her dog sitting casually on a sofa. Some people might prefer to use a camera to quickly snap these scenes, but that’s why I love Sarah-Louise so much: she chooses to paint them. That one she did of the chubby black labrador (she does seem to have a thing for dogs) is probably one of my favourite images from this year.

  33. Main

    David Shrigley’s got a whopper of a new book out entitled Weak Messages Create Bad Situations. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, at this time of year, when you look back at those annual round-ups and “photographs that sum up 2014” it can be easy to feel like the world is just so full of disaster and crap. It seems that the people running this planet have been giving us weak, nay wrong messages this whole time! How mean. And what have they created? A bad situation. We love David’s new book, which totally sums up the feeling of helplessly skidding downhill on a bicycle with no brakes towards a cliff. Here he is on the book, dreams, and the world in general.

  34. List

    Over two and a half years have passed since Robert Fresson graduated from the Royal College of Art with his Masters in visual communication. Two and a half years of moving out of London, buying himself a barge in Bath, taking up teaching on the illustration BA at Plymouth and of course busting his nuts creating a plethora of new work – or “illustrating his socks off” as he’d most likely put it. I’ve always been envious of Rob’s work (we did art foundation together so it’s a lasting envy) for its masterful approach to traditional techniques, colour processes and wonderful use of line, which goes from strength to strength as the years go by. He also has the work ethic of a single-minded shire horse, capable of subjecting himself to unfathomable hours of dedicated labour on a project that particularly excites him. And that’s why he’s so bloody good!

  35. List

    There’s something resolute about Laura Breiling’s illustration; it has a kind of strength of character about it that fully explains her growing client list. Whether her subject is a burly naked man gazing into a bathroom mirror with an uncapped lipstick lying next to him or a fabulous older lady lying fully clothed in bed sipping on a cocktail and gazing unflinchingly at the viewer, Laura’s confidence and consistence in her heavy jewel colours and printed textures command a kind of awe. Or at least they do for me. The Germany-based illustrator creates a huge volume of work, experimenting in different styles and subjects to form a style of working unlike any I’ve seen before, and it’s right up my street.

  36. Main

    There’s a lot of joy at It’s Nice That HQ when our favourite illustrators hit the big time. When Aisha Franz had her latest graphic novel Earthling published by Drawn and Quarterly, it was once again time for celebration. Earthling is the story of an all-female family (two sisters and a mother) who each retreat into imaginary fantasy worlds in order to escape the mundanity and struggle of ordinary life. That makes it sound quite heavy going – but it’s not. It’s full of dark humour, sex and hilarious snippets of perilous teenage life that you’ll be glad are far, far behind you. Also, we’re so used to Aisha’s work being so brightly coloured that this book – drawn entirely in scribbled pencil – is a very interesting new venture for her, one that I personally am a big fan of. Anyone you know who’s into the witty, sarcastic humour of Daniel Clowes’ Ghost World definitely needs to get their hands on this.

  37. Main9

    We came across Cozy Tomato’s illustrations when studying the Mr Porter Journal for our Behind the Screens feature. Cozy Tomato (whose real name is Koji Tomoto) gets commissioned by the guys over there all the time, to add a retro, fun element to their articles on fashion and lifestyle. Cozy’s work is reminiscent of 1950s children’s books and quilts, lots of pointy nosed people with gravity-defying ponytails having a wild, leisure-filled time in the great outdoors. What’s marvellous about Cozy is how his illustrations are so well-researched that they actually could have been lifted from back in the day, and are so packed full of unadulterated, candy-coloured joy that they can spice up even the most intellectually treacle-like article. Perhaps that’s why he gets so many commissions from Monocle.

  38. List

    Talk about ramping it up – it was only a couple of months back that we were marvelling at the amount of work Cynthia Kittler had taken on since graduating, and now she’s back again with shedloads more.

  39. List

    In April this year Josh McKenna was still a student, working his way through third year illustration down in Falmouth. Since then graduation’s taken place, he’s traded the peaceful coastal town for the incessant throb of London and he’s found himself producing a fair bit of lovely commercial work. When last we met Josh’s work was all poolsides and exotic colour palettes, but his subject matter reflects his move to the metropolis – huge red buses, commuter cyclists and smart phones now dominate, but there’s still that characteristic sense of fun in there too, as a personal project on bums reflects. It seems like Josh has moved up in the world, and his image-making shows that off beautifully.

  40. List

    Editorial illustration comes in all shapes and sizes and JooHee Yoon’s work is undoubtedly on the stranger end of the spectrum. That’s definitely a good thing though as her personality-packed imagery is incredibly versatile and she’s been commissioned by titles like The New Yorker, Le Monde and The New York Times as well as the likes of Lucky Peach, Jamie Magazine and Nautilus Magazine. Equally at home either printmaking or drawing, JooHee often likes to combine the two in her pieces which give them a vivid sense of vibrancy both when viewed in situ and as standalone pictures.