For Zack Rosebrugh, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Los Angeles, moving into the area of creativity he currently inhabits was never really the plan. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, post-high school he enrolled at Arizona State University on its film studies course, graduating only in 2016. But towards the end of his course, “I realised, maybe half way through my senior year, that I didn’t have much interest in going into the field.”
Completing the course anyway, in his spare time Zack built upon an interest of his, which turned out to be illustration. Naturally drawn to the commissions which fill the spreads of notable publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times. Deciding to begin his own holistic education of illustrator, emulating "some of the styles I saw in these publications in my doodles,” he explains, “and sometime during that last semester I decided that I wanted to be an illustrator”.
However, considering this was a relatively new career venture, Zack sensibly decided to spend some time figuring out if this was what he really wanted to do. Following some experience of teaching English as a second language while studying, he sensibly decided to work towards becoming certified. This skill opened up possibilities for the then graduate, offering the possibility of moving anywhere and teaching, which he did, relocating to France, “until I was able to figure out what I wanted to do in the long term”.
In turn, Zack set himself the plan to work as a teacher in France for two years, before embarking on an illustration career full time. “Which,” he tells us, “luckily enough is how it has worked out so far.” Now with a growing list of clients under his belt – such as Adidas, Vox Media, Buck and Dropbox – Zack’s style is starting to carve out his own place in the industry too.
Across his portfolio, the immediate quality which will draw your eye is Zack’s use of colour. Abundant in primary colours, his use of a bright colour palette encourages viewers to search for the details he may be trying to highlight. For instance, in one illustration of his, a vape is taken out of the grip of a cowboy by a floating hand. In comparison to the rest of the drawing, the vape is tiny and black against a brighter blue background, creating a humorous landscape in Zack’s use of proportion. Elongated proportions – as is the trend with plenty of illustrators currently – also feature heavily in Zack’s portfolio to date. With a hint of Seb Agreski to Ruohan Wang in his style too, we look forward to seeing Zack grow as an illustrator – it’s still an impressively new profession for him after all!
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.