We truly are a nation of creatives here in Ireland, and one art form that has grown exponentially in popularity in recent years is illustration. Irish illustrators are second to none when it comes to innovation, use of colour and detail and bringing that inexplicable Irish je ne sais quoi (whatever that is as Gaeilge) into their work. With more and more major brands looking to illustrators to breathe new life into their campaigns, we rounded up ten of the most interesting Irish illustrators to have on your radar.
Irish illustrator Laura is based in London, where she focuses her artwork on female empowerment, self-love, bodily autonomy in a visual feast of colour and detail. It’s no surprise that her distinctive style has drawn attention from major publications and brands, including NYLON, Nike and the Guardian. But it’s nice to see that she sticks to her Irish roots – anyone else spot the bottle of TK Lemonade in the above picture?
You may most recently recognise Conor’s work as part of Arnott’s 175th birthday, but he has been working on Irish and European projects for years with clients such as Primark, Warner Bros and the National Gallery of Ireland. Specialising in muted colours and soft lines, his work is instantly recognisable.
Award-winning Kathi Burke (or Fatti Burke, as you may know her) is now based in Amsterdam, and does a lot of work with children’s illustrations, in best-selling books like Irelandopedia (2015) Historopedia (2016) and Focloiropedia (2017). Her work centres around food, animals and tradition – as she says herself, “the things she loves”.
Bold colour, strong lines and plenty of personality is what sums up Belfast-based Jacky Sheridan’s style. Specialising in typography as well as illustration, Jacky has created for everyone from Coca Cola to VICE, and always injects some much-appreciated sass into each piece. Expect plenty of swearing and a lot of laughs from her feed.
Holly’s work has been cropping up all over the country lately, and is a personal favourite of ours here at IMAGE, as her mural for the Repeal movement was painted in our neighbourhood in Dún Laoghaire. Since then, Holly has made headlines as the artist behind Connolly Station’s resident piano, which was painted in vivid orange as a tribute to Irish, Mexican and Polish folk art.
Originally from Northern Ireland, David attended university in Bristol, where he honed his craft as one of our best illustrators. Now based in Berlin, His work is mostly done using chunky crayons and thick pencils to create the childlike-yet-refined effect on most of his illustrations. His work can be found everywhere from LUSH to the Loop.
A household name (if you’re in an illustrator household), Fuchsia MacAree needs no introduction, but we’ll try our best anyway. Her use of technicolour palettes and traditional typography have landed her work with our own Cara Magazine, Air BnB, Guinness and most recently, illustrating 2018’s poster campaign for Bloomsday in June.
Tara’s style of diverse, beautiful women in her work is instantly recognisable, which made it perfect for her recent collaboration with the VHi Women’s Mini-Marathon last month. A regular addition to Cara and IMAGE magazines, Tara has built a massive online following and we expect to see her style cropping up a lot more in months to come.
A definite distinction from the bold shapes and colours of others on the list, Chelsea Bonus’s muted, realistic style is a breath of fresh air. Having completed her degree in Fashion Design in 2013, Chelsea specialises in women’s publications and products, freelancing on projects with Smashbox, Joanne Hynes and IMAGE ourselves.
Strong, bold and filled with life is Claudine O’Sullivan’s M.O. Designing labels and artwork for Jameson, Apple and MTV among others, Claudine is smashing it on the illustration front, with her colourful stained-glass vibes.