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The 15 Upcoming Illustrators That Every Art Lover Must Know About

What does separate an illustration work from an artwork? For the upcoming illustrators, the answer shall be a complicated one.

Sam Kalda, a Brooklyn based illustrator and a well-known painter said that “I’m not sure about the major distinction, yet, the boundaries that lie between the artistic practices are way more refreshing and blurry.” Olimpia Zagnoli a Milan based artist agrees on the above quote and said: “I’m not at all interested in dividing my works into two separate boxes.I’m more interested in pursuing good works that can cultivate more of my curiosity level on things.”

While the illustration has been traditionally referred to drawing a commissioned work for advertising and media, the times are completely changing, and now there is no more need to paper sketch pads and other print publications. The contemporary illustrators are now indeed looking out for ways to expand their own toolkit, a range of projects and their techniques, which they are said to be pursuing in their day to day life. Some artists are making use of the stick with pencils and paints, yet, others work with Photoshop brushes, which has been recently improved with the iPad Pro, and other animation software.

Below mentioned are the top fifteen young illustrators who have been pushing up the new medium forward, through their obsessive drawings of anime-inspired gifs, cats and other satirical portraits of the President Donald Trump.


1- Pantesha Abareshi

This young illustrator, recently started her own freshman year at the USC’s Roski Art School and Design, and she, later on, realized to pursue illustration itself as her career, while receiving her own GED, a path that she took because of her physical and mental health made it widely impossible for her to function with the traditional type of high school setting.


Panteha Abareshi, Just Cut It Out, 2017


Drawing not only made her recover from an emotional outlet, she even sensed a fulfilment which she has never before experienced in her whole life.

Despite facing so many failures and disappointments in her daily life, she was making pieces that are now talking to the public.


It’s All Excruciating, 2017


2- Daiana Ruiz

During the past year, the Riposte Magazine has commissioned Ruiz to illustrate with an article that says ‘Self care as Warfare.’ Ruiz made a digital drawing that shows two bendy women known to multitask and they stare much confidently at their reader by striking a yoga pose and by applying perfume on them.


Illustration by Daiana Ruiz

This Buenos aires artist has recently teamed up with the Cartoon Network for working on their project, under which many numbers of artists coming from all around the globe are said to be creating their own versions of cartoon female superheroes.


3- Shawna X

This Portland born and Brooklyn based illustrators has been recently making many inspirations with ‘the aftermath of a dimsum lunch’ and ‘the way a shadow is cast on water’. The ups and the downs that goes behind the creative process are itself a great inspiration to create them.


How Much Do I Love You


The artist most recent collaboration with the Portland nonprofit for the Trees, said to be depicting a naked woman who is submerged under the water on a side of the mural, and found to be rising to her own feet on the other side. This figure does represent the depress and rise to a new inspiration, which she has explained more on her website.


I Still Love You


4- Sophie Koko Gate

In one of the recent collaboration with the Lena Dunham, a conversation that happens between an actress and her father has brought to life by Gate. They do ponder upon the question: “How do you feel about the white men extinction in this world?’ The animation does conclude with a pink man, who has been represented as a monster, squashed up by the giant high heels.


Illustration by Sophie Koko Gate


5- Angelica Hicks

In this year, Angelic Hicks marked the publication of the Hick’s very first book, named as ‘Tongue in Chic.’ One among the illustration reveals the topless Frida Kahlo, who has been accompanied with a phrase that says “FRIDA NIPPLE!”.


Illustration by Angelica Hicks


In yet another diptych, there are two different cups located, one among them bears the thoughts of young Leonardo DiCaprio with a description that says “LEO DECAF-RIO,” while the other one labeled as “ARIANA’S GRANDE.”


Illustration by Angelica Hicks


6- Jack Dylan

This Canada born creator has made many different extensive woks for various publications and brans, as both art director and as an illustrator. With his major obsession towards cat, Dyland name his own design studio as Meow Maganize.


A Song of Love and Fire, created for the Pop Montreal Festival


In recent days, Dylan made a contribution to an animated videos that were used for Architectural Digest, portraying the childhood bedroom and dream to become a fashion designer.


Illustration from Jack Dylan’s recent series chronicling the Trump presidency


7- Sam Kalda

This spring, Kalda would celebrate his very first book, that deals about the famous men who have a great affection and love towards cats at first place. The book shall be released by the Ten Speed Press, with detailed portraits of Winston Churchill, NikolaTesla and Andy Warhol.


Illustration of Paul Klee from Of Cats and Men, 2017


The book will be an approach the humanity and warmth that the famous people have towards their pet.


Boyle Heights, 2017


8- Olimpia Zagnoli

Zagnoli’s bold and pop inspired style shall stand apart from other works.


Illustration by Olimpia Zagnoli


In this month, Olimpia shall launcher her second Italian fashion brand named Marella, which she was making out with a collaboration, and shall cover the Winter and Fall collections with different patterns that are designed by her.


Illustration by Olimpia Zagnoli


9- Sara Andreasson

While working work some commercial gigs and with her personal drawing practices, Sara Andreasson has made her own time to stream a new collaboration with her fellow creatives and friends.


Illustration by Sara Andreasson


She has been working regularly with director and animator named Anna Ginsburg on their animated films.


10 -Tomi Um

Her playful and sweet drawings shall depict the emotions and other manners of the creatures like vampires, bookworms, mustachioed koalas and even Bob Ross.

crowd scene

She pursued her BFA at the Parsons, she likes to portray emotions, and that is what she looks out in the public.


studio scene


11- Cristina Daura

Daura has been making many contemporary and cautionary tales that are rendered as a hyper-saturated palette.


Illustration for the project BorraelSida with PlayGround magazine and La Fundació Lluita contra el Sida


Her recent poster work shows a melting face that has been covered up with a face of a girl at the centre part. The bottom part has a young women playing polo with blindfolded horses around her.


Illustration for Eat Street


12- Daniel Zender

Zender’s illustrations and paintings are completely laced with many cinematic drams inside them.


Illustration for the New Yorker


The eyes do shine from behind the screen with smoke around them, and a glow shall be witnessed with the screaming faces, in his recent work.


Illustration for the New York Times


13- Rebekka Dunlap

Dunlap made different type of illustrations that were heavily inspired by horror comics, sci-fi and Manga, which is said to be a dusty copy of the ‘Sailor Moon to Kaito Jane’.


Illustration for short story “In Foreign Territory, Wondering: Who is the Alpha Monkey?”

This Brooklyn based illustrator finds her own time in working for non editorial type of projects.


14-Jon Hans

Hans work explodes with many splatters of streaks and different colors in them. He makes objects as a nebulous shaped one, which rather convey the overall volatility and movement of the characters.


The Room


The small and faceless figures depict his brilliant visual skills.

15- Joana Avllez

This New York born artist has been making many different illustration work for publications and her drawings are more eccentric, sprightly and highly fashionable humans.


illustration from her travel diary for New York Magazine, 2015


Her works are regularly posted on the pages of ZEIT magazine, Travel plus Leisure, the New Yorker and much more.


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