Illustration Archive

  1. Barbara_dziadosz_itsnicethat_list

    It was in summer 2014 that we last featured the wonderful illustrations of Barbara Dziadosz. Hailing from “a little town in Northern Poland” the illustrator is currently finishing her studies in Hamburg, and with one scroll through her Tumblr it’s clear she’s been hard at work.

  2. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  3. Mattbooker-electiondrawings-itsnicethat-list

    It’s only been a couple of weeks but already the UK election seems a lifetime ago. If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s an undeniable drama about it all as the tension ratchets up across the campaign and breaks on election night itself as the results filter through from around the country. Topolski Studio commissioned eight young artists to capture the goings-on through the medium of drawing and the results will be published in its upcoming Election Chronicle.

  4. List-george-douglas-holy-mountain-its-nice-that

    George Douglas seems like a pretty cool guy – he’s chosen to immortalise David Lynch’s notoriously tricky Inland Empire and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s weird-as-hell surrealist classic The Holy Mountain in poster form, after all. But it’s not just his penchant for the peculiar side of celluloid we’re interested in – it’s his deft approach to collage, a medium often done shoddily but all the more impressive when done well. George is based in Edinburgh, and alongside his film posters he also creates well-composed works formed of abstract shapes and often murky colours, which could work just as well across the pages of a creatively minded commissioning editor’s publication as on more esoteric applications.

  5. Kate_prior_itsnicethat_list

    Kate Prior’s bright, tongue-in-cheek and colourful illustrations have secured her commissions for The New Yorker , ASOS, Adidas and Pitchfork among others. Kate is currently working as an in-house illustrator for Urban Outfitters in Europe and the USA, but she still remembers drawing in more humble surroundings at her parents’ house, “as a way to keep me quiet.”

  6. Andygilmore-itsnicethat-list

    It’s no real surprise to learn that image-maker Andy Gilmore is also a musician because his geometric compositions feel orchestrated. The New York-based creative brings colour, shape and pattern together in tightly formatted visual symphonies which swell to become more than the sum of their parts, dazzling the eye and tricking the brain simultaneously. It’s been three years since we last featured Andy’s work on the site but he’s as in demand as ever, with clients like Ogilvy NY, Wired and The New York Times queuing up for a bit of his brilliance.

  7. Janbuchczik-int-list

    If Jan Buchczik were to start a fan club – one which you could enter only by correctly spelling his surname 15 times or more – we’d be first in line, happily clutching our Jan badges. And not least because we’ve got his name down. Finally.

  8. Thokamaer-itsnobiggie-itsnicethat-list

    It was way back in 2012 that we first featured Thoka Maer’s it’s no biggie, a blog of joyous GIFS that capture little moments in life, by turns sweet and surreal. A lot has happened since then – not only the fact that we can now actually embed GIFs on our site and show you Thoka’s creations in all their glory. She meanwhile has graduated from the Visual Communication course at the University of the Arts, Berlin, and inb (as all the cool kids are calling it) won the self-initiated category at last year’s Association of Illustrators awards.

  9. Gigi_rose_gray_solo_show_its_nice_that_list

    There’s a beautiful vividness to Gigi Rose Gray’s illustrations – reds are crimsons, blues are ceruleans and yellows have seeped into deep ochres. Gigi crops into the small moments and hones in on a handful of people or the facade of a building.

  10. Adamhigton-itsnicethat-main

    Did you ever see that copy of Die Zeit with the front cover illustrated by Adam Higton? A cheerful, smiley sunflower resting on a retina-searing yellow to declare to all the grumpy, cold commuters that SPRING was finally here! Adam doesn’t often do high profile mag covers like that, he tends to spend his time cutting out shapes, arranging them into creatures and characters, creating collages and photographing them in woodland environments.

  11. Tuesdaybassen-itsnicethat-list

    Most of you probably have an inkling of who Tuesday Bassen is; she’s a powerful LA illustrator, brand consultant, public speaker and all-out entrepreneurial maverick who can already count folks like Playboy, Lucky Peach, The New Yorker and The New York Times as clients. She’s doing pretty well for herself. But somehow – SOMEHOW – we’ve never given her portfolio a good airing on the site. I feel just awful about this because I spend at least half an hour a week watching her compelling process videos on Instagram that demonstrate the deftness of her brushwork as she inks images of gnarly skate chicks and stony-faced punks. So without further ado; Tuesday, everyone, everyone, Tuesday. I’m sure you’re all going to get on famously!

  12. Robertnicol-itsnicethat-list

    It’s been a few years now since we posted the work of artist, illustrator and Camberwell tutor Robert Nicol, but our tardiness only means there’s a heap of new work for us to enjoy in his portfolio. From paintings to book covers, editorial illustrations to ceramic sculptures, Rob’s able to turn his versatile talents to a number of different ends. It’s interesting to look at his work together and see how he can amplify or refine certain traits depending on the job in hand. So we have his wonderful paintings where bold colours and surreal characters are given free rein, contrasted with his stylish book covers where hints of narrative achieve a lot in a quieter context.

  13. Alexanderrobyn-itsnicethat-main

    I wouldn’t say I fully understood a lot of Alexander Robyn’s comics, but it says a lot for his skill with a set of pencil crayons that I fully disregard that fact when I happily browse though his endless Tumblr stream. Alexander’s work is a patchwork quilt of sci-fi, human behaviour, sex, violence, talking mooses, cuss words and technology, illustrated on natural paper in vibrant crayon and graphite. Part of Alexander’s trademark style is the way he uses neat, childish stencil typography in his comics. The aesthetic of stencil type gives his comics and beautiful drawings a naive quality, which is totally offset by the wit, skill and wry, adult humour evident in the content. To top it off, he’s bloody great at drawing geodesic domes.

  14. Unnamed-1

    GIFs are just a part of life now, like shoes or the BBC. In a world overrun with these oddly satisfying little snippets of expression, the general vibe of GIFs so far has been leaning much more on the quantity level than the quality. When you find yourself scrolling cross-eyed through the internet and you come across GIFs with such delicate majesty such as these by Rebecca Mock, it hits you like a pixelated smack in the face. Rebecca is an illustrator from New York who creates exquisite digital illustrations for the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Medium among others. Her illustrations are subtle and somewhat tender moments represented in GIF form, un-showy and delicate. Sometimes the only thing moving in the whole image is a flashing light on a laptop, or the endless sideways scroll of an iPad. How refreshing to see someone leaping on this medium, and using it to illustrate the strange new digital world we’re in.

  15. Davebrown-electioncartoon-itsnicethat-list

    It’s election day here in the UK and so shrouded in uncertainty is its outcome that we’re going to the polls without really any clue about what we might wake up to tomorrow. God bless democracy! We thought it would be interesting to see how cartoonists have covered the campaign but to be totally honest it was a struggle to find that much to get excited about. Too often key players and recurring themes were reduced to glib stereotypes – at best spectacularly unfunny and at worst patronising, sexist and xenophobic.

  16. Ping-zhu-sketches-itsnicethat-list

    Right now somebody’s beavering away coding up the latest iteration of illustrator Ping Zhu’s portfolio website. I’m jealous. I’d love to see what images she’s selected to showcase on there. Doubtless they’re all pretty damn lovely. While I’ve been waiting for this new site to arrive I’ve accidentally come across a selection of her sketches that she’s less than proud of. Who knows why; they’re brilliant! A flying penis, a dirty man trying to lick something, a blob with limbs bouncing on a trampoline and a whole host of weird cats are all rendered in sketchy form on this unusual archive. They might not be Ping’s best work – they’re definitely not – but it’s nice to know that even Ping is capable of some pretty weird sketches.

  17. Newyork-itsnicethat-list

    One of the biggest cultural shifts in the past 20 years has been the emergence of TV as a credible and innovative creative medium. New York Magazine produces an annual TV issue and this time around they commissioned Italian illustrator Giacomo Gambineri to create a mural for the cover, featuring a staggering 146 memorable small-screen moments from the past year. There’s spoiler alerts aplenty but with nods to Wolf Hall, Mad Men, Gotham, Game of Thrones, House of Cards plus Katy Perry and her dancing sharks and a very rude scene from Girls , this is a comprehensive cavalcade of the characters that have defined another stonking year of TV. The good people at Vulture have broken them down if you want to see all 146 represented on the cover.

  18. Tomium-itsnicethat-main2

    Last week a woman called Jaci Kessler emailed in showing us some of the art direction she’s done for Bloomberg Businessweek’s ETC section. As well as working directly with some of my absolute favourite illustrators such as Jan Buchczik, Golden Cosmos and Dan Stafford to make the spectacular, rule-breaking editorial features they are famed for, Jaci also introduced me to a whole host of other artists who totally blew me away. In particular New York illustrator Tomi Um, whose work is crisp, cute and funny and illustrates the chaos and cheerful aspects of modern life. Honing in predominantly on crowd scenes, Tomi is at her best when illustrating bustling ski slopes, busy shops or dramatic events like horse racing. Her piece for Popular Mechanics is neat as a pin, as well as representing the article she’s illustrating perfectly. No wonder she’s in such high demand at the moment. Well done Tomi, and thank you Jaci for the heads up!

  19. Weekender-list

    If you’re in the UK, IT’S BANK HOLIDAY SEASON, PEOPLE. We’re downing our pens and replacing them with pints, and we’re not going to stop until it’s Monday afternoon and we’ve got tennis elbow from all the lifting.

  20. Christophniemann-esgibtnichtgutes-itsnicethat-list

    My colleague Emily Gosling wrote a great piece for the latest issue of our Printed Pages magazine in which she called out the patent nudity of the emperor by saying that in reality, the creative process can be pretty dull to witness. Obviously that’s not to say that we want to see slick creative work with all traces of the artist removed; in fact in our digitally-defined age we delight in being able to see the spirit of the image-maker writ large.

  21. Merijnhos-itsnicethat-main

    When I see someone’s work and automatically create sound effects for it in my head, I know it’s super special. I’ve always felt like that for Dutch illustrator Merijn Hos’ work, and I tend to I hear trombones and comedy parps, whistles and one-man-bands when I peer at his celebratory, fruity characters. In his more subdued work such as his latest wooden sculptures for Kinfolk, you can hear someone playing a cello in a room a few doors down a corridor. His ability to hop like a happy frog from brand to brand, creating work that is totally different but perfect for each one is evidence of his genius as a commercial artist. Who else do you know who would get away with that drawing he did for corporate, slick sound company Bose?

  22. Black-yaya-comic-list

    You know Jeffrey Lewis draws don’t you? Of course you do. He’s been making merchandise for his own musical output since he first put audio on wax. You also might know that he’s a dab hand at telling surreal stories, both in musical and comic form. But what you perhaps don’t know is that Jeffrey’s a gun for hire (for the right bands) and can put together a hilarious, sci-fi inspired comics series for your latest release. That’s what he’s done for Black Yaya, the solo project of David Ivar. In it David battles various demonic beasts with his superior experience in the music industry, quashing their nefarious plans with anti-folk anecdotes. Take that!

  23. 44flavours-lgc-itsnicethat-list

    In just a few weeks now the class of 2015 will graduate from art schools across the country – nay the world. For four years (at least) they’ve been honing their craft and developing their skills in the supportive student environment, but come the summer they’ll be leaving to make their own way in the creative world. It’s an exciting time for sure but it can also be quite intimidating with pressures and challenges as well as opportunities and new chapters.

  24. Daehyun-kim-itsnicethat-list

    Artist Daehyun Kim started to create his evocative, mystical Moonassi world out of ink while studying oriental painting in Seoul, South Korea, and has continued to grow it ever since. “The series is my life-time project,” the artist explains on his website. “There is no specific background story or a theory about the drawing. Each drawing is created based on my daily thoughts and feelings. I draw to meditate on myself and others, and to be able to see the whole story of the series in the end.” Daehyun operates out of a world in which the oceans are both shallow and bottomless, light is dark and dark is light, the moon acts as a torch, an eye and a character’s inner being are one and there’s nothing to do but reflect on your own existence all day, and it’s completely spell-binding.

  25. Charlotte-molas-itsnicethat-list

    French illustrator Charlotte Molas’ work falls somewhere between the masterpieces pre-school children make with blow-pens and water-based paints, and expertly stencilled murals. She deals predominantly in texture, having developed a soft shading technique redolent of vintage luggage labels and tourism postcards of yesteryear, to build modular figures which aren’t always necessarily what they seem. Girls dancing and jumping around is one thing, but some of her pieces present couples making out masquerading as mountainous landscapes, and silhouetted trees hiding far saucier situations. Obviously we’re huge fans.

  26. Carlindiaz-itsnicethat-main

    It’s rare to find people who can animate with true flow while still retaining their signature style, but in the case of Carlín Díaz it seems he’s mastered the art perfectly. An illustrator who dabbles in moving image, Carlín is one of the small but perfect little group of illustrators and animators that live and work in Paris. We’ve heard that over in Paris the illustration scene can be hard to crack, and even harder to earn a living from, but Carlin’s portfolio suggests he’s doing alright. Carlín’s charming mission statement is: “Let’s make attractive and expressive shapes.” Personally I haven’t seen someone with a strong a personal style as Carlín’s in a long while – kind of psychedelic with a hint of mysticism and sauciness, yet still retaining that hypnotic, liquid-like flow throughout.

  27. Lea-itsnicethat-main

    Great work here from German illustrator and comic artist Lea Heinrich who, according to her online bio, “often dreams about being on a subway train traveling underneath the massive steel and concrete construction of New York City. Sometimes she observes the other passengers, sometimes there’s nobody else on the train, and sometimes she doesn’t know where she is going, but either way it’s always exciting.” Cool! Her work is a nice mishmash of urban cuteness à la Andy Rementer and old German folk tales, and her comics have a wit about them not dissimilar to someone like Frau Franz or Matt the Horse. As well as being totally adept at cartoons and comics and illustrations, Brooklyn-based Lea can also design a banging poster, which is always a big plus.

  28. Marcelgeorge-port-itsnicethat-list

    Maybe it’s because I am a notoriously un-stylish man, but the product spreads in magazines usually do absolutely nothing for me. Flicking through multiple pages of artfully arranged man-bags strikes me as purgatorial, but I understand these kinds of features often have a commercial rationale in the complicated financial climate of modern magazine-making. Credit though when a publication strives to do something more interesting with these spreads, like the Russian version of Port magazine (or Port Россия) which commissioned Marcel George to illustrate a recent feature on watches.

  29. Adamnickel-itsnicethat-main

    I came across Adam Nickel’s work on a Mr Porter Journal article entitled How To Speak Professional-ese which outlined how the common man can attempt to understand office and business jargon. Adam Nickel’s perfect for a brand like Mr Porter. His drawings are inspired directly from packaging design and illustration in the 1950s and early 1960s, channeling the kinds of characters you may have seen rushing about in the background of The Pink Panther or chasing a pesky critter through some well-animated opening credits. Adam states on his site that he’s a lover of all things old – I assume he’s referring to design? – and is pushing out so-good-they-could-almost-be-actually-vintage illustrations at a mile a minute. Definitely one to commission if your brand or publication is lacking a spot of style and olde worlde charm.

  30. Sarahmazzetti-mit-itsnicethat-list

    It’s always a joy to hear from Bologna-based illustrator Sarah Mazzettti who has been a firm favourite of ours since we first stumbled across her gig posters back in 2012. The Italian image-maker seems to have settled on a more confident style in recent months and big-name commissions from the likes of Vice, The New York Times and MIT Technology have duly followed. But that unpredictable playful sensibility we so loved has not been entirely banished, as evidenced by her huge yellow giant holding up a room for the TICTIG exhibition at Casa Testori in Milan.

  31. Hattie-stewart-itsnicethat-list-2

    Hattie Stewart is back – not that the self-proclaimed doodle-bomber ever goes away for long – and this time it’s with reams of new work for her very own exhibition at the House of Illustration, entitled Adversary. In the first of what looks to be a whole series of commissions by the London-based gallery, she has created a collection of new (and enormous) pieces in her signature doodle style, decorating images from pop culture with accessories, stripes, googly eyes and emojis and generally elevating them beyond magazine fodder and into something entirely unique and infinitely bolder. 

  32. Jonjones-itsnicethat-list

    You know what we really love apart from great illustration? Seeing how that great illustration was made. Jonathan Jones is a South African illustrator who flits between countries making his beautiful work, but what sets him apart from most of the rest of his freelance counterparts is the way he documents that work online. It’s lovely of course to see the final product of his endeavours, but to see layers of red, yellow and blue build up into a singular image allows a kind of eureka moment where you instantly understand the practitioner’s skill and wish you’d spent more time learning about colour separations at university.

  33. Steven-harrington-itsnicethat-listr

    If pastel colours, psychedelia, totemic piles of strange, Lennon-esque faces and a Salvador Dalì approach to yin-yang symbols are your thing, it’s likely you’ll love the work of illustrator Steven Harrington. The California-based illustrator has spent his career making dreamy, magic, sunshine-infused work; and he’s recently updated his site with a bunch of new work. The piece that really made us grin like a blissed-out, long-haired hippy is the poster for Noise Pop, a refreshingly playful approach to promoting the likes of the equally playful Dan Deacon. Elsewhere, Steven’s been keeping himself busy designing some great patterns and images for New York clothes brand Staple, which are all melting yin-yangs and cactuses bent into Loch Ness Monster-type forms, naturally.

  34. Sacmagique-itsnicethat-main

    Sac Magique’s back with a brand new (magic) bag! The Finnish artist has updated his site – which I check almost as regularly as the news – with a bunch of new drawings in a new, sketchier style. As always his work has gotten funnier and more daring and I daresay he’s cracked up the weird levels a few notches. That’s why I love him, much like fellow Helsinki-based illustrator Rami Niemi, he approaches briefs from big brands with a carefree childish wit, unafraid to use cuss words, toilet humour and sarcasm in ample spoonfuls. He’s been making work for bands such as Fat White Family recently, and has been making personal work that rings of the cynical one-line cartoons found in pages of The New Yorker –the one entitled Drunk Online Shopping, and the London scene in particular. Sac, I love you. Let’s elope.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.