Illustration Archive

  1. List

    Dan Stafford where have you been all my life? Just round the corner in east London probably, making your beautiful work and keeping yourself to yourself. But I wish I’d found you sooner; I’d have pestered you endlessly to draw me things for the magazine, or draw things for my own personal collection. We’d have talked over briefs, joked about your early sketches for the commission and then fist-bumped over that final Photoshop file. We could have been great together Dan Stafford. Hopefully we still can!

  2. Siggi-list

    “The older I get, the more interested I become in form and beauty. Siggi Eggertsson’s new screensaver is filling some of that need in design.” As testimonials go this is pretty special, even more so when you consider it comes from Stefan Sagmeister, who knows a thing or two about visual brilliance. Saver Screensson is a screensaver for Mac OS X by Siggi and developer Hjalti Jakobsson, which “creates unique patterns on your display by randomly stacking vector stencils to create a virtually infinite, but aesthetically consistent set of possible outcomes.”

  3. Yoko-honda-int-list

    Although it’s a source of inspiration for a number of different creative types, Yoko Honda’s artwork channels the aesthetics of the 1980s more so than anyone else I’ve come across. Her digital paintings pay homage to the garish and the gaudy, channeling an era of affluence and excess. The self-taught artist hails from Tokyo but takes inspiration from the USA. “When anyone expresses the 80s,” she says, “there’s that element of Miami and California – you could say they’re the places that symbolise the 80s best (the place of the dream).”

  4. Ryotakemasa-int-list

    We in the studio are the first to admit that if you slap a foreign script onto something it instantly becomes approximately 200% more exciting from a design point of view. In the case of Ryo Takemasa, however, the text is kind of just the cherry on the cake. Editorial illustration for newspaper and magazine covers is his bread and butter – so much so that his portfolio site looks something like the wall of a Japanese newsagents – but with his soft style and witty observations about urban life it’s little wonder he’s stacking up commissions. Based in Tokyo, Ryo works across books, magazines and advertising, producing imagery which looks born for covers but here’s a selection of proof, if any was needed, that his work speaks for itself too.

  5. Malikafavre-baftas-int-list

    Last night us Brits got all razzed up about the BAFTAs, the annual UK precursor to the Oscars hosted by bona fide national treasure Stephen Fry which always exhibits a charming bias to homegrown films. This year Human After All worked with Malika Favre, one of our favourite illustrators, to create the poster for the event and five different covers for the brochure representing the Best Film nominees (Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game).

  6. Lazybones-blog-2-int_copy

    Sydney-based Miranda Lorikeet, or Lazybones, is an HR assistant by day, taking spare moments, evenings and weekends to produce gradient and island filled drawings on MS Paint. Using pictures of sunsets for colour reference, and taking a day per image – working for hours to get the mountain ridges and gradients just right, Miranda is crazy prolific. Her work has something of the “outsider” about it: it’s intuitive and strays only from seascapes, cliffs and rocky mountains to depict butts and sunglasses.

  7. Waiwaipang-main2-int

    Is there something in the water at Brighton? Everyone from the Graphic Design and Illustration course seems to leave with a confident streak of joy and happiness, and humour that you just don’t get from a lot of other students. Classic example here in Wai Wai Peng, a 2013 graduate who soaks up all the positive vibes in the world and sneezes them out as cute (but not too cute) pencil and ink drawings. Simple though some of her drawings seem, a closer inspection of abstract pieces such as Drift and the intelligence and skill of Lamenting the end of Olympic speed skating action suggest true draughtsmanship. I just love it. Jeez I could look at them all day. Maybe I will. See you in a bit.

  8. Gracewilson-list-nt

    These days Twitter allows everybody, from your great uncle George to an alien who’s still getting his head around language share their opinions about contemporary culture. The trouble with this, of course, is that not everybody has something interesting to say, which makes finding new ways of participating in this discussion a challenge in itself. 

  9. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  10. Janneivonen-imagemagazine-main-int

    Does anyone else still get a rush of excitement when you see someone using an iPhone in a film? I think it was while watching Superbad and you hear Michael Cera’s phone ringing the ubiquitous iPhone Marimba that I thought “Oooh! They’re using the technology that I use!” – because before that I swear every film apart from James Bond used really old fashioned brick phones.

  11. Malachi-ward-int-5

    Californian comics artist Malachi Ward treads a fine line between outlandish superhero fiction and achingly powerful personal tales. The Pasadena resident is always feverishly busy working on new self-initiated stories, or collaborating with Matt Sheehan on drawing and colouring for Image Comics’ Prophet Strikefile series.

  12. Edithcarron-list-2-int

    How’s this for a delightful collection of images? Edith Carron is a French illustrator who has been working out of Berlin for the past seven years, and her portfolio comprises a beguiling combination of fun, socially-conscious and mischievous themes delivered in coloured pencil and print. And it’s fantastic. So much so, in fact, that The New York Times, Zeit Campus Magazin and Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazin are only three from a client list longer than we care to count who have commissioned Edith to make first-rate work, including this wonderful cover for Revue Citrus, depicting two male footballers in a loving embrace before their fans. Edith also generously posts a collection of personal work in her Journal, in which she takes snapshots from everyday life and makes them look like something out of a technicolour children’s book-inspired dream. What a treat.

  13. Martinnicolausson-int-list

    It is almost exactly a year since Swedish illustrator Martin Nicolausson last appeared on the site but if it’s to become an annual tradition to check back in on his work, then you won’t find me complaining. Martin has considerable and versatile talents and particularly excels in editorial work for the likes of Icon, New Humanist and Wallpaper* magazines. But there’s also some charming self-initiated work among his recent updates, including a series dedicated to golf which actually makes this stuffy sport seem pretty darn appealing. His colour palette is often muted but he makes the most of every visual decision to ensure maximum, if sometimes quiet, impact.

  14. Samplerman-list-int

    Yvan Guillo is not an illustrator who is about to be held back by traditional practices. One day while he was sampling the tonal background of vintage comics to create a more retro feel in his own panels, he accidentally selected an area with a character in it, and his crazy new mash-up technique was born. He has continued creating works using these techniques under the pseudonym Samplerman, posting them on a Tumblr of the same name to create an extensive series. Even better, he created the word “procrastinatic” to describe such an activity. Making up formats and adjectives? Who is this enigmatic creator?

  15. Penelope-gazin-int-list

    Weird is a word that’s applied lazily to anything that’s even vaguely out of the ordinary. You start chatting to a stranger on the bus: “Weird!” You have a dream where you’re in your house, and it doesn’t look anything like your house, but all your family live there and you have your own room so it must be your house: “Weird!” You take a new route on the walk home from work for no particular reason at all: “Weird!” None of these things are weird you damn fools. Weird is MUCH more exciting than that.

  16. 1janne-kokkonen-tunica-

    We’re benevolent old things here at It’s Nice That – so much so that illustrator Janne Kokkonen reckoned that being one of our students of the month in 2013 was “one of the nicest things that had happened to me during my studies.”

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.”

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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…

  27. 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.

  28. 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?").

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.