If there is one (non-superpower) skill I wish I could acquire without having to spend thousands of hours practicing, it’s illustration. I took a bunch of drawing in college but I was never that great and I’ve let myself go out of practice. I look at a lot of illustrators work today and it makes me jealous! Illustration can really kick up the awesomeness level of any project.
I also find that Illustrators tend to take good care of their websites. Perhaps it is because the web is just another canvas, and just as they wouldn’t allow ugly, out-of-place marks on their illustrations they don’t allow ugly out-of-place elements on their websites.
Here are just a few illustrators that I like, that I include here just because I follow them on Twitter and interact with them a bit.
Apparently the Niener family is made up of some seriously talented people. I’ve known Doug for a while and he consistently blows my mind with his coding and design skills. John does the same with his illustration. Interestingly, John doesn’t seem to have one particular style. The only common thread I see is unbelievably good. John will be heading up Pixel Graphic Design Studio refocused on print and illustration work. He is @johnneiner on Twitter, johnneiner on Dribbble, and has an eBook on vector graphics.
Good timing with this post, as Joe just redesigned his website and it’s kick ass. You get a great sense of his style, his humor, and plenty of examples of his work. Definitely spend some time there if you haven’t seen it yet. I knew I liked Joe after I read this part of an interview: What, or who are your influences for your illustration style? “The band logos 15 year olds draw on their Biology notebook covers.” Joe is on Twitter @hugsformonsters.
Luc’s style reminds me a bit of the style of Samurai Jack which is definitely one of my favorite cartoons of all time. His illustrations are typically people-based and are playful, energetic and just plain fun to look at. Luc has a portfolio site, is @luclatulippe on Twitter, and Tumbles (is that what we are calling it?)
Jonathan says “I enjoy the puzzles of design and creating cool and engaging solutions to visual problems.” I think that comes across strongly in his work, especially in the covers and posters which are always well put together, thought out concepts. Jonathan is @jtwilcox on Twitter, tumbles, and has a portfolio site.
I love how prolific Ricardo is. You can see his work on his Behind the Websites site as well Smashing Magazine. I first heard of him as he did the custom illustratons for the Front End Design Conference last year, as he did this year. His style is full of simple satire. Some of it works better than others, but hey, that’s life right? There is no mistaking a Ricardo illustration with anybody else and there is something to be said about owning a style like that.
Marc work is just as much about the writing as it is about the drawing. Think of what a drawing with the text “Three hairy legs belonging to aristocrats” looks like and you will probably be right. I think there is an addicting quality to his drawings where I just want to see more and more and more of them. That quality makes the book super great, amusingly named “Serious Drawings.” Marc has a personal site, is @marcjohns on Twitter (sweet background), and keeps a log of his drawings on Flickr. I really like how Marc stopped selling prints of work because he thinks people should own original artwork.
If you have some favorite illustrators of your own, please link them up!