Illustration Archive

  1. Sigglist

    Since we spoke to Siggi Odds about his design and illustrations last year, his work has got even more vibrant. His patterns have become more playful, remaining influenced by traditional Native American work. Multi-coloured bodies tumble, cartwheel and crawl around a lady’s sari in his cover illustration for The Reykjavík Grapevine. Leaves fall around Siggi’s face in an autumnal self-portrait poster he made for a FÍT exhibition; asked to illustrate the word “Jæja” (“oh well”) for a series on the 30 most beautiful words in Icelandic, he did a picture of himself going “oh well.” Nice!

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    Remember comic books’ future king Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree last year? We were pretty excited to learn that the deeply detailed history of hip hop was going to be published in comic book form by Fantagraphics, and news that the second volume is about to drop has us going as much as the first did. Volume #2 covers years 1981 to 1983, when RUN-DMC, NWA and the Beastie Boys are arriving on the scene, in the same faultlessly retro detail as #1 did.

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    There was a time when we at It’s Nice That were inundated with internet art – we were having so much submitted to us on a daily basis that it was pouring out of our ears in waxy gifs. It’s pleasing to be faced with it again, a year or two after the craze has kind of died out, when it’s created by someone who actually has a passion and an eye for this stuff and isn’t just jumping on a weird bandwagon.

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    Considering I love smoking, guitars, bright colours and farts, I’m pretty overwhelmed by how great this work by Spanish illustrator Puño is. In a recent exhibition entitled Miseria the multi-faceted artist stuck drawings and coloured squares all over the walls much to the delight of his seemingly really good-looking friends who came to see it. Work like this, made in the gaps between Puño’s rather professional editorial illustration, is just joyous isn’t it? You can almost imagine him grinning as he cut out the yellow butts and sticky-out legs from the pastel-coloured paper. Don’t even get me started on this GIF that he made. You can see some shots of the exhibition plus arty French babes over here

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    Edward Cushenberry actually wrote to me to show me a really interesting photography project he’s working on at the moment. Unfortunately that was about the millionth interesting photography project we had seen this week, but one thing we were a bit short on was brilliant, entertaining, lo-fi illustration we could relate to. Let’s give a warm welcome then to Edward’s comics in which he deals with traumatic or memorable experiences from his own memory, or borrowed from this friends. His drawings cover such life topics as How to Properly Bury A Turtle and that awkward moment when the girl you kissed says that making out with you was “like drinking a glass of water.” Classic. Edward’s got his fingers in a lot of creative pies, but I’d say these comics were our personal favourites.

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    Girls just wanna… doodle! Celebrities including Yoko Ono, Sarah Silverman, Pussy Riot and Courtney Love are backing a Kickstarter project to inspire girls to get drawing. Confidence, curiosity, courage and creativity are terms being bandied around by the School of Doodle, which will be “a free online high school for the imagination” where teen girls can take part in lessons taught by artists or peers. It might sound a little cheesy, but with brilliant creatives like artist John Baldessari, Kim Hasreiter, founder of Paper magazine, and Salman Rushdie signed up as teachers, it promises great things.

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    It’s not especially often that creatives flock to Cornwall en masse, but the little nook of England has been awash with activity this weekend due to Port Eliot festival, featuring musicians, artists, fashion designers and journalists. It also saw the launch of The Girl Who Fell to Earth, a story written by Luella Bartley and illustrated by Zoë Taylor, a graphic artist we make no secret of our love for.

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    It’s not only the level of detail in Laurie Lipton’s drawings which is crazy; the illustrations are too. With charcoal and pencil she creates bonkers worlds in black and white which look like pictures for a short story written by the love child of Charles Dickens and George Orwell. The blacking factory meets Big Brother.

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    Ping Zhu is a force to be reckoned with in the world of illustration. Not only is she talented, mastering an inimitable style in every way imaginable, and then using it as very efficient bait to reel in the big clients, The Sunday Times, Pentagram and Nobrow included, but she’s also future proof – developing her style with every project she undertakes to make her as exciting as she is reliable, and delivering consistently good work to a broad spectrum of briefs.

  10. Mt101top

    There’s some schadenfreude at play in Masami Tsukishima’s illustrations. His series Life Of A Salesman follows lonely suited blokes trudging to and from work, talking on their phones and lugging their suitcases. I like how he plays with the angles of his illustrations; life is literally an uphill struggle for some of these poor office drones, as they plod along lanes slanting up and away from them. There’s also some sort of alternate universe in the series, where trains go up in flames and spread-eagled salesmen fall through the sky and run away from looming giant iPhones. One second the salesmen are sedately reading their emails, the next everything has spiralled out of control. The sentiment is a tongue-in-cheek 21st century Japanese rendering of “Slough”. I’m guessing Masami Tsukishima doesn’t wear a suit to work.

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    There are several reasons why we love Kyle Pellet and everything that comes out of his Pellet Factory, but first and foremost on the list is that his work is good, plain, unadulterated fun. There’s no need to muse on his choice of medium, or the narratives which seem to run from one image to the next, or the squishy-faced characters who pop up again and again, because why would you when you can look at them, laugh and imagine you’re running through a gallery with a pack of assorted animals? Turns out he’s been incredibly busy churning out work at an impressive rate, so here’s an update on what he’s been up to! If you’re curious, you can also check out five of his favourite books over here on his bookshelf.

  12. Gflist

    Doodling isn’t just for school kids. It’s about discovery. “It’s a healthy way to let it all out, with no restrictions or external rules,” says Guy, a designer and illustrator. “You just go for it.” Every single page of his sketchbooks is packed with faces, animals, monsters, questions and squiggles. “Sometimes you’ll draw a face or a hand or a dog in a way you’ve never seen or done before and that’s always a good feeling. And sometimes you just make yourself laugh!”

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    Scrolling through Marcel George’s hand-painted watercolour illustrations is like going on safari. Lipsticks hiding behind palm fronds, flamingos stalking around sunglasses, the Lacoste crocodile roaring at trainers.

  14. Dadulist

    There’s something otherworldly about Dadu Shin’s illustrations. Miniature people wander about an overgrown fairy-tale forest, an avatar-like hand reaches out into a tie-dye galaxy, a man walks a lonely path over rocks which form the silhouette of a woman’s face.

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    As far as I can tell, there will always be a place for clean, stylish, witty illustration in the pages of today’s most esteemed media outlets, and for as long as that is the case illustrator Ben Wiseman isn’t going to have any trouble finding work. He’s nailed his aesthetic, communicating funny, satirical observations in neat, stripped back images and vibrant colours, and sure enough, clients have cottoned on. His portfolio includes a TIME magazine cover alongside work the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and This American Life, a corker of a list which just about makes him Brooklyn’s poster boy for editorial illustration. And thank god, because the black and white pages of the aforementioned publications sure would be dull without him.

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    It’s very exhilarating to see people taking something destructive and turning it into something creative; with that in mind please welcome the Computer Virus Catalog.

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    Dutch illustrator and designer Eline Van Dam (Zeloot to her clients) belongs to the same circle of pals as Viktor Hachmang and Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, which goes some way to explaining why her work is so god damn beautiful. Although she’s about as versatile as image-makers come – her portfolio covers a variety of styles ranging from the niche to the commercial – it’s her posters that really stand out for their 1970s-inspired phychedelic iconography and bold, experimental use of colour; any colour she can get her hands on! Now we just need to work out what we can commission her for.

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    As our online editor Liv Siddall said, “If you like sex and you like lions, you’ll like these drawings,” and I think she’s probably right. Maria Luque illustrates naked couples hanging out with what I imagine is a pet lion. Her characters lounge around in the nude, lying across big beds in breezy looking apartments filled with luscious vases and intricate carpets, always accompanied by a big, red quizzical king of the cats. Maria is from Argentina, and she says that she likes to make people laugh with her work. We like her child-like hand and summery colours, and the fact that she’s definitely succeeded in making us giggle.

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    Editorial horoscope illustrations tend to be a bit same-y: crabs, women holding scales, goats, fish, blah blah blah. I can’t deny I was surprised yesterday when I saw that Elle Italia had commissioned one of my favourite illustrators to bring their horoscope supplement to life, mainly because Sac Magique is a weird choice for a usually rather reserved publication. They gave him the task of illustrating the horoscopes with the theme of “beach” and my, did he deliver. How refreshing and fun to have something so ubiquitous illustrated with the most fun, summer drawings ever, especially by someone who gave us this Spice Girls image that will forever remain the best thing I have ever seen.

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    What do we have here, then? Editorial illustration with a Cubist slant and an entirely unique style? We’ll take that, thanks. Polish illustrator Gosia Herba’s website is basically a treasure trove of projects for diverse clients, but we think her work is the most exciting when the faces are in profile, the bodies buxom and the colour palette muted, so that’s what we’re bringing you. The balance between malleability and a strong aesthetic is a difficult one to strike, but somehow Gosia has it down.

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    Though it’s been only two weeks since we wrote about Anders Nilsen’s beautiful Rage of Poseidon he’s just knocked out another brilliant piece of graphic art (albeit satirical rather than fantastical) so we felt compelled to feature him again. In this instance he’s lampooning online retail giants Amazon for their detrimental effect on publishing, using some magnificently wry visual metaphors to discuss what appears to be a quite unpleasant situation.

  22. Pk

    When Printed Pages editor James Cartwright first saw these images he said they reminded him of the Tetley Tea folk crossed with something out of The Legend of Zelda and you know what? He’s not wrong. The cloaked, hunched characters are actually sneaky-peeks of Patrick Kyle’s upcoming collaborative zine with fellow artist and publication maker Jason Murphy.

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    We love Jim Pluk’s work, not many illustrators openly share doodles they’ve drawn of them and their girlfriend having sex on a sofa with F.r.i.e.n.d.s on in the background. It’s an odd collection of drawings, his work travels from lo-fi paintings to crude squiggles and back to sharp, witty comics or collaged posters at an admirable speed. This is the kind of art that, personally, I’m really into – funny, odd creations made by someone who’s not afraid to try out every medium possible (even drawing on Photoshop) to get their work out into the world.

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    Do you remember Peter Judson’s bold geometric constructions from earlier on this year? He had us bowled over with his vibrant, brick-like compositions, and as his website proves he has plenty more strings to his bow. Focusing principally on Memphis-influenced design and architectural illustration, he takes familiar shapes and transforms them into something so simple that it goes full circle and becomes incredibly complex again.

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    Since we last featured Joe Cruz almost a year go to the day, we’ve commissioned him to work on editorial pieces for Printed Pages and had him into the office to check out his stunning portfolio in person. Suffice to say, in the flesh, Joe’s beautiful oil pastel creations do not disappoint – the unusual mix of deep, rich photocopier toner illuminated with oily strips of neon colour is a surefire winner online and in print. But it’s not just the colours that keep Joe’s work fresh and exciting; his constant experimentation with theme and composition means he’s just as likely to be enticing you into his portfolio with a sultry fashion illustration as he is making you leap from your skin with the needled jowls of an incensed doberman.

  26. Surgeon

    Sophia Martineck is a Berlin-based illustration whose subtle, blocky and gorgeously detailed illustrations are child-like but also intriguingly evocative and precise. We were particularly taken by her black and white etchings of New York scenes, and her illustrations for an ABC book that showcases 26 types of professions from A to Z. Sophia has worked for an incredible list of clients, from The New Yorker to The Financial Times to Le Monde, and she describes herself as a “sophisticated pencil girl,” which sums up her drawings perfectly.

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    These beautiful, bold and watery illustrations by Rebecca Clarke have really captured our imagination: we love her whimsical subject matters and blotchy, deliberate smudges of colour, and her scratchy illustrations of Grace Coddington and Frida Kahlo are especially wonderful – not to mention that wonderful portrait of Picasso in his trademark Breton. Rebecca studied art in Paris and now lives and works in New York, and she draws for a variety of clients, from The New York Times to i-D Magazine What we love about her work is how it so naturally bridges that gap between functional editorial illustration and something you would actually want on your wall.

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    Damien Cuypers is an illustrator who doesn’t so much own a niche as rule imperiously over his domain. He’s a multi-faceted fellow, but it’s his work in the fashion world for which he’s best known, and with good reason. He recently completed a week-long residency at Hermès HQ in Paris where he produced a set of teaser illustrations for their social media ahead of the Men’s Summer show at the weekend. Damien also did what he calls “a few quick drawings backstage” – of course predictably they’re full of vim and energy and skill.

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    This week we were very excited to see the clunky, rounded and loveable pink bodies by illustrator Laurie Rollitt sprinkled throughout the glossy pages of Zeit Magazin. On the bold and bright cover tableau we see a joyous ginger woman going about her daily activities: we see her shopping, kissing, doing yoga, working out, getting engaged, and lying on a couch during a therapy session. Luckily, I speak German, so I was able to work out that these illustrations are for a feature called “30 truths about being 30.”

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    There’s no end to illustration projects that revolve around the observation of daily life – in fact that’s the main skill an illustrator needs to possess in order to communicate visually. And yet there’s surprisingly few that result in work as lovingly scathing as Grace Wilson’s. Her latest publication Eyes Peeled details the trials and tribulations of studying abroad, travelling the world and returning home to mundane conversations with parents huddled around pints in a pub.

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    There’s something so nice and whimsical about Lisk Feng’s illustrations that I like to imagine there’s a wonderful garden party with the most spritely of guests happening in her mind at all times.

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    I don’t usually like crowded spaces, but I do like these big, bold and bright posters of teeming crowds by the French illustrator Virginie Morgand. The illustrations are eye-catching and joyous, made of great splodges of vibrant colour and rounded, playful shapes. Featuring swarms of red hot sunbathers on blazing yellow sand, and synchronised swimmers doing laps in a brilliantly blue pool, Virginie’s crowds are ones that I really don’t mind getting lost in.

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    Israeli illustrator and cartoonist Tomer Hanuka needs no introduction. Ten years ago (before this website even existed) he was making extraordinary illustrated works – some of which inspired me to go to art college – for the very best editorial clients out there. He’s done Rolling Stone, the now defunct Spin, The New York Times and GQ, he’s worked for Marvel, DC, Universal and Lucasfilm. In fact there’s very few people out there worth working for by whom Tomer hasn’t been employed.

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    How often is it that you come across a cartoonist who manages to combine space-age wicca, metal-head monsters and rainbow coloured dystopian cities, all on the same page? Dogboy, aka Philip Huntington, achieves this seemingly impossible feat in his kaleidoscopic illustrations, which he describes as working “towards the creation of an alternative reality.”

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    If you happen to be in north-west Corsica come Saturday then you’re in for a treat with the 12th annual Calvi On The Rocks music festival. My limited French and the beautifully baffling shortcomings of Google’s translation tools (“DJs take you in hand, scholars selectors make you smarter tan”) means I can’t give you too much detailed information, but a glance down the line-up and the fact that the irrepressibly brilliant Leslie David has created these posters for the event should be enough to convince you that it’s something worth knowing about. Leslie’s big, bold colour daubs offset the retro black and white pictures of the town with typical skill and evoke the spirit and energy about to be unleashed on this pretty coastal idyll.

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    French illustrator Benjamin Courtault has been extremely busy since last we spoke, beavering away on a beautiful concertina book, La Descente. This lovely new piece of screen-printed magic reads like the opening of a Marquez novel, following the story of a technician working for the National Telecommunication Company who’s forced to take a road trip through an extraordinary world to fix some ailing antennas. With each spread rendered in varying three-colour shades, Benjamin demonstrates not only his prowess as a storyteller but also as an exceptional printmaker. Shame they’re all sold out!

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    We stumbled across these bright floral posters for YCN by Mexican illustrator Elena Boils this morning, a lovely find that has perfectly coincided with the new edition of a baby spider plant on our communal It’s Nice That desk. Elena’s lively, layered plant patterns look like something you might find on Frida Kahlo’s dresses, and we love the angular, boxy backgrounds juxtaposed with her luscious, textured shrubbery. Now based in the UK, Elena is interested in “nature as well as surreal creations,” an influence which is prevalent in her vibrant layering of two-dimensional shapes against three-dimensional spaces.

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    The stooped, gangly characters in Barbara Dziadosz’s illustrations look like they’re on constant adventures in their bubblegum-pink world. Her energetic bunch are either deep sea diving, catching butterflies in nets, or peering speculatively through a magical telescope, always surrounded by the same blobby, stenciled flora. We love the scratchy lines and rough, overlapping components of the compositions, and Barbara’s consistent pink and purple colour palette. The images are surreal and summery and joyous, with plenty of cacti terrariums containing lurking leopards and oversized cats being led by their owner through a polka-dot jungle. These bold and bright illustrations will have you itching to join in on the surreal, summery fun.

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    I’m always up for a good story, so if a visual piece of work has some sort of narrative thread running through it my eyes instantly widen with intrigue and excitement. Take illustrator Davide Bonazzi’s series Day Trippers, individually these images are done well but when seen together as a whole package, the beautifully observed moments between an elderly couple exploring a city together tells a much deeper story of love and companionship.

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    Hey that girl’s sticking her finger into an elf’s butt! That can only mean this is the work of a genius. Sure enough, the drawing I’m referring to is by Frau Franz, the sweetheart of the modern-day comic book industry. Her being handy with a crayon is particularly useful to the rest of the world as it allows her to spill the contents of her brain out on to the paper so we can marvel at it. Cool little guy reclining on a lilo, someone fingering an elf’s butt, a dog woofing at a rainbow cloud lurking in the gutter – where does all this gold come from? At the moment Frau’s living in Berlin doing freelance illustration for cash, and is a living and breathing inspiration to those who have funny, silly and sometimes gross thoughts all over the world.