If you’ve followed my Instagram for a while, you’ve probably seen the work of Abbey Lossing. I became enamored with her portraits that combine stylish ensembles, a limited color palette, and nature-inspired motifs. By day, she’s a staff illustrator and animator at Vice News, but she also maintains an active portfolio of personal work.
You can’t understate the importance of color—especially in art. It wields its power in all sorts of ways, from setting the mood to giving us important visual clues. Over the next several weeks, I’ll share a selection of illustration, paper craft, and embroidery that overwhelmingly uses one hue in its composition. Called The Color Series, first up are blue illustrations.
Today is the longest day of the year, so it seems fitting share the work of Angela Mckay, aka ohkii studio. Based in Brooklyn but hailing from Australia and Thailand, her gouache and watercolor paintings feature sunny scenes of swimming and trekking through lush tropical gardens. If you’re stuck inside all day (as I am), each of these summer illustrations will offer a momentary reprieve from the computer screen.
Kelly Pousette captures storybook scenes in paper dioramas. The shadowbox illustrations are vignettes that chronicle the adventures of a small fox as it traverses wintery scenes, naps by a cozy fire, and enjoys the beauty of blooms.
Over a year ago, I first marveled at the curious work of Vancouver-based illustrator Julia Iredale. Her surreal illustration style fuses landscapes and figures into singularly compelling scenes. While Julia hasn’t departed from her visual language, she’s continued to refine it with a new body of work. Rather than creating full-bleed illustrations, she plays raw edges to produce pieces that deftly convey lucid dreaming and memories you can’t quite shake.
Yesterday, I wrote about the ambitious #100dayproject of Cheryl Teo—she’s in the midst of building vibrant cut paper scenes on matchbook-sized stages. Illustrator Lee May Foster-Wilson, aka Bonbi Forest, is also completing this hundred day endeavor. She’s going the 2D route, however, and designed a project around celebrity animal puns. Justin Beaver, Spaniel L. Jackson, and Llama Del Rey are just a few of the “punny” creatures that she’s drawn.
Does the middle of the week got you down? If so, escape to the dreamy illustrations by Camila Ortega. Clad in cotton candy pinks and tranquil blues, her characters greet you with a relaxed smile and sleepy gaze. They occupy a space that’s neither here nor there—the place where our subconscious thrives.
Art of art. That’s how I describe some of my favorite interior illustrations by María Luque. The drawings and paintings—a blend of color pencils, markers, and acrylics—feature people living and interacting with art, and many times they’re accompanied by an animal who is seriously taking up their personal space. Either way, I want to go to the places she illustrates.
“Famous Ladies is an illustrated homage,” Alexandra Beguez writes, “to some of the most influential and inspiring women in STEM, literature, the visual and performing arts, sports, and exploration.” The striking pen-and-ink drawings capture faithful likenesses of these incredible women who, as Alexandra says, “paved the way for future generations of women and men alike to work towards their dreams.”
Instagram is my go-to social media—not only for the stories and updates, but as a source to find new and exciting illustrators. I love the insight it gives into a creative’s process as well as their latest work. If you too are on social network, here are some of the best illustrators on Instagram. Each shares a snippet of their work, process, and life that encapsulates the essence of their visual language.