Drawing inspiration from “a dream that has been unfolding for almost a decade”, Michael Highway’s illustrations hail from an elusive and warm place. After peering into his “soft illustrations”, there is no telling where you’ll land. Based in Toronto, the illustrator is on a deliberate path trading countenance for bodily gesture, with figures appearing in an always-drifting motion to depict the fragile and ever-shifting nature of life.
Describing this fleeting nature as “the reflection in a cat’s eyes during an evening stroll or the gentle sound of waves echoing in an indoor swimming pool caused by a passing train”, his work is immediately visceral and poetic. “I like to depict scenes that defy conventional logic,” he tells us. And that he does, as after time spent trying to piece his puzzle together, you realise that his illustrated world isn’t really about solving, but a feeling instead.
Michael Highway: To our lighthouse (Copyright © Michael Highway, 2023)
About the Author
Yaya (they/them) is an editorial assistant at It's Nice That, with a particular interest in Black visual culture. They have previously written for publications such as WePresent, and worked as researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.