Congratulations to this year’s illustration graduates!
The AOI work very closely with universities around the UK and beyond to help support illustration students during their studies and into their freelance careers. Over the past few years we’ve seen new illustrators and students overcome plenty of challenges, and witnessed so much resilience and resourcefulness.
Every summer is always an exciting time to celebrate and champion new illustrators. In this feature, the AOI are celebrating 10 inspiring up-and-coming illustrators who captured our attention.
From printmaking, to animation, to 3D – each of these graduates is forging their own path into the illustration industry, and it’s a joy to watch! Make sure to check out their individual portfolios below.
Catarina Morais is a Portuguese, London-based Illustrator. Catarina is a storyteller, and her work involves bright colours, packed compositions, and funky proportions. Her characters, with tiny heads and way-too-long limbs, interact to convey the chaos and fast pace of her life in London. Catarina’s playful mark-making allows her to add humour and character to a variety of processes: traditional and digital drawing, printmaking, and ceramic work. Catarina has done work for Tate, Human After All, NinasNotJustWomen and Lisbon Fashion Week.
Chi’s works are characterised by playful and spontaneous energy, and her sketchbooks often comprise humorous depictions of everyday observations. Working freely and intuitively, she likes to squash, expand, delete and edit the elements of her drawings, creating new meanings through playful combinations driven by observation and imagination.
Imogen Donegan is a Northern Irish maker, illustrator and dabbler in animation. She is interested in making work in a sequential format, exploring themes surrounding nature, community and togetherness. Her work is characterised by its tactility and gentleness, incorporating paper textures, mark-making and harmonious colour schemes to evoke narrative and setting.
Ashni’s work often explores themes relating to psychology, wellbeing, philosophy, science, culture, and more, using conceptual strategies and symbolism to convey complex messages within everyday life. She uses a combination of traditional textures and digital mediums, and covers a wide range of illustration from editorial, zines, to board game design.
Harry’s work has a focus on fashion illustration, editorial, animation and advertising. He uses multiple techniques with a love for experimentation and the combination of analogue and digital processes. More recently Harry has also started to experiment with and incorporate 3D into his workflow.
Ly Leova is a Czech illustrator with Vietnamese heritage. Intrigued by her dreams and psychology, her work often plunges into the surreal and the subconscious. Versatile in style and medium, she mainly works digitally exploring the possibilities of illustration and sequential storytelling by experimenting with technology and combining different media such as 3D, AR and VR to create immersive and interactive experiences for the audience welcoming them to her dream worlds.
Shanyi’s work encompasses picture books, editorial, and narrative illustrations. Her poetic style of artwork is capable of creating thoughtfulness and poignancy, whether that is in children’s stories or political editorial pieces.
Chloe’s work is full of bold shapes and colours, and fittingly she was selected for the Colour in Design Award at New Designers. Through this use of shape, colour and form, Chloe’s work is able to communicate difficult topics such as body dysmorphia – citing abstraction as a powerful tool when exploring issues of this nature.
Morvern’s work focuses heavily on textures and mark-making, using traditional materials and printing techniques to create characterful outcomes. With a playfulness and simplicity, her work incorporates inspirations from her Scottish and Scandinavian background, exploring folklore and traditional stories within these cultures.
Kate creates bright, graphic artwork for a variety of clients across a wide range of projects with varying subject matters, from packaging design for alcohol brands to editorial illustrations for publications, to surface pattern design and typography. In her free time, she loves to write and enjoys creating character designs, comics and graphic novels.
We can’t wait to see what this new generation of bold, versatile creatives will do next. We’d like to say a huge congratulations, not only to our 10 illustrators featured here, but to everyone starting out this year.
The AOI supports Illustrators at every stage of their career with resources, advice, events, and much more. Whether you need help navigating your first commissions, or you want to belong to a thriving community – Find out more about AOI membership today!
Check out our previous Graduates to Watch features here and here. Also make sure to read their tips and insights for new illustrators!