Heavily influenced by Japanese culture, Toronto-based illustrator Ness Lee’s work manages to be cute and saucy at the same time. Set against blank backgrounds, many of Ness’ characters echo the physique of sumo wrestlers, and their plump and heavy limbs complement their stoic expressions and dark, silky hair.
The illustrator’s work really flies when she depicts groups and pairs of people, with many being captured in compromising positions. Despite the canoodling there’s nothing garish about Ness’ work, rather she conveys a tenderness and love through her rumpy pumpy illustrations.
The humour and surrealism she injects into her images also prevents them from being becoming twee with sights including; a woman lying down with a smaller couple resting on her lower back, a sea of people fervently eating ramen noodles and a couple mid-coitus as a herd of horses run over them. Flipping between digitised commissions and more textural pieces for her personal illustrations, Ness’ style is equally as strong in both approaches as it’s her characters that are the real stars.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.