Illustrator Celia Jacobs has just graduated from Art Center College of Design, California, and her latest project is a drawn ode to Los Angeles.
“I chose to study illustration because I liked drawing so much and it seemed like the easiest way to keep doing that forever,” Celia tells It’s Nice That. After basing her most recent project on LA, she names David Hockney as an influence, whose use of colour joy you can see in her illustrations, as well as “Nicole Eisenman and Jonas Wood, the usual suspects,” she says. “I love looking at contemporary illustration, of course. Eleanor Davis and Jillian Tamaki are two big obvious ones.”
Outside of artistic influences, Celia explains that it’s her peers that provide inspiration. “I get inspired by my friends a lot, their weird cool personalities and looks, also it helps to care about the people I’m drawing!” Care is evident in how the illustrator depicts places too.
Her LA-based illustration book, Hello From The Horizontal City was a university assignment, “but ended up being really good for me,” she explains. “I’ve always liked Los Angeles, a complicated, unusual city.” Aiming to illustrate the city in a similar style to artists David Hockney and Ed Ruscha, Celia created each illustration from a horizontal aspect, “a shape for me to explore LA in”, she says. “I got to think about about the stereotypes, the landscape, the architecture. I loved getting deep in the bright colours and the weird idiosyncrasies of the place.” The result is a thoughtful and personal portrait of the sunny city, from textured drawings of burritos to neighbourhoods and skaters.
In terms of process, Celia starts everything by drawing, “but after sketching I block in colours on the computer and mess with them endlessly,” she explains. “Then I just replicate, slowly because I’m slow, with gouache and acrylic. The last step, and my favourite, is taking my beloved coloured pencils and doodling, putting lines and texture all over until it looks really satisfying.”
As a fresh graduate with an obvious glee for illustration, we look forward to seeing more of Celia, and her movement-filled, pastel-coloured drawing techniques.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.