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With illustrations bearing the mark of the artist, there is a certain authenticity attached to a hand-drawn work of art. Illustrations have the power to charm, amuse, and evoke a feeling of nostalgia in the viewer. In a world where everything is digital, it’s little wonder we’re seeing a big return to illustration in art. Here are ten contemporary illustrators you should know about right now.

1. Ana Zaja Petrak

Cook Often Lettuce Mocha

Graphic designer turned illustrator, Petrak works and lives in Zagreb, Croatia. Working for clients across the world, Petrak specialises in food illustration. Colorful, accessible and witty, her illustrations have a healthy dose of feel-good factor.

2. Tiffany Lynch

Hare

Little Bird and Deer Sky

Poppies Sunshine

Having studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, Lynch is now a freelance artist and illustrator, working for publishers, retailers and magazines, including Penguin, Paperchase, BBC and Magma. Known for her charming, atmospheric illustrations, Lynch combines illustration and painting to create endearing artworks.

3. Leigh Viner

Atmosphere, 2009

Cricket, 2009

I'm Afraid I Can't Help It

Denver-based artist, Leigh Viner creates beautiful fashion illustration and portrait pieces. Viner is a self-taught illustrator, with a background as a makeup artist. Her keen interest in the fashion industry brings a distinctive stylish flair and elegance to her work.

4. Sophy Henn

Chica Chica Boom Chic

Hello Sailor

Sleepy Panda

Central Saint Martins’ fashion graduate, Sophy Henn, worked in advertising for ten years before completing an MA in illustration to pursue her true passion. Now, she writes and illustrates children’s books from her studio in Sussex, England, creating images which are fun, quirky and packed with personality.

5. Stephen Anthony Davids

Bonjour

Hardcore

The Pencil is Mightier than the Mouse

There’s something a little different about Stephen Anthony David’s work. Born and bred in the East End of London, Davids’ illustrations have the freedom of childlike doodling matched with an honesty and humour straight from the street.

6. Alice Tait

Early Spring Day

Palace Guard

Illustrated World Map

Popular British illustrator Alice Tate, has worked for the likes of Chanel, Vogue and Random House Publishing. Her illustrations depict quintessentially English scenes, like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, through to famous global cityscapes; these are drawings to delight and charm the viewer.

7. Louise Cunningham

Town Square Jazz

Bear on Double Bass

Sunbathe

Freelance illustrator and hand-lettering artist, Louise Cunningham creates charming retro-style artworks from her studio in Bristol. With a degree and diploma in illustration from Edinburgh College of Art, her work has been published on greeting cards, patterned textiles and non-fiction children’s books.

8. Julia Gash

Rome Cityscape

Las Vegas Cityscape

Hong Kong Cityscape

The founder of Bag It Don’t Bin It and Doodle-Bag – eco-friendly bag making companies, Julia Gash has a great love and understanding of how illustrations translate to print. Gash creates illustrated maps of iconic places with a distinctive vintage-feel. 

9. Rosie Scott

Shelling Peas

Tulips

Apples, Pears and Plums Colour

Freelance illustrator, Rosie Scott, holds a BA and HND in illustration, as well as an MA in sequential design. Working across publishing, advertising, editorial and packaging projects, Scott has an instinctive approach to line drawing, creating beautifully composed illustrations.

10. Anthony Peters

All My Childhood Dreams Were Analogue

Sweet Memories

Upside Down

Anthony Peters has worked in the design and illustration industry for more than ten years, and runs a successful design studio on the South Coast of England. A master of pared-down graphic illustration, Peters has worked for global clients including HSBC, GQ Magazine and Macmillan. His illustrations are mini-narratives, with a humorous, nostalgic and playful twist.

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Posted by Milly Youngs

Milly is Content Editor and Community Executive at King & McGaw, a leading online art retailer and framer. With a background in PR and Marketing, Milly specialises in art, design and interior design editorial.

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