Illustration takes a lot of forms, and to appreciate it, you should consider all of them. That's why when I was tasked with finding 15 inspiring illustrators on Instagram (say that five times fast), I decided to find people from all walks of life. I've heard of some of them and follow them personally, while others are completely new to me — and that's how it should work.
Let me put out a few disclaimers before we get into this. First off, these selections here are for a wide variety of illustrators, from tattoo artists to comic books and everywhere in between. Some of them may have some drawn "tasteful nudes" in their feeds, so if you go venture off to find them, know that you might find stuff like that. Otherwise, enjoy.
As a comic book fan, I can say that Robbi Rodriguez is one of my favorite artists. But seeing him on Instagram, made me a huge fan. His "That real desk shot" series is pretty stellar, and packed with stuff that I love to see. And even if you don't appreciate comics, you've got to love his use of color. So cool.
Sara Pichelli won me over with her work on Miles Morales, the Ultimate Marvel Universe version of Spider-Man, but she's kept me going on her Instagram feed. Not only does she work on great comic book stuff, but her art in general is quite stunning, with amazing line work and details. To this day, if she's drawing a book, I pick it up.
I am in the creative world because of Jim Lee, no doubt about it. His work on X-Men in the 1990s put me on a path to a studio art major in college. And today, way too many years later, he's still inspiring me. I love this man's art.
If you're feeling inspired by the visual cohesion in these accounts, make sure to download this free Instagram grid and moodboarding template to polish your own profile:
Kris Anka has been instrumental in changing the costumes of some of the biggest names in comic books over the years, and doing so in a body positive way. His suits don't hug curves like the superheroes of old, and instead fit the body naturally. That alone is impressive, but so is the rest of his illustration. Check it out.
Clément's work here is pretty nice. I love hand-drawn stuff, and seeing his work with lettering inspires me.
The use of color here — on pretty much her entire Instagram feed — is second to none. I love that she's not afraid to make bold choices, and the results bear that out.
I've been a fan of pen work since I was in the seventh grade. Most people can get a pen, and if they can turn it into something magical, the results are awesome. Needless to say, Troels fits that standard.
At this point, you're probably noticing a theme here, and I think Kacper fits in nicely. Pen and ink work, combined with some crazy ideas, makes his stuff stand out from the crowd.
I'm a big fan of art with bold strokes that looks somewhat cartoony, which is where Erin hits my sweet spot. Between the logos she's done and the iconography, her illustration work is on point.
The thing a lot of people don't realize is that tattoo artists are illustrators, too. Most of their work starts out as pencil on paper, and then it's transferred onto the skin. I've been a fan of Annie Frenzel's work for a while now, and someday I want to get some of her work. I just have to make the trip to Texas.
More tattoo artists? Yeah, of course. They're illustrators that work with an unforgiving canvas, and every mark is permanent. Can you imagine that pressure? Well it looks like Liz Clements handles it in style, because her line work is impressive.
Illustration takes many forms, and I dig what Ben has going on. His artwork is clean and crisp, and works for both logos and otherwise.
There's just something about the free-wheeling style that works for me, and Chris's Instagram page is packed with animation. Illustrations that make me smile are the best.
When I was a kid, I used to draw with these fine-tipped Pentels, and I loved it. I spent hours pouring through details, and making things just so. Seems like Mackjohns1991 feels the same way, and I appreciate that.