2017’s Best Up-and-coming Illustrators

Mariana Rodrigues 

Leading illustration agencies tells about artists to keep an eye on this year. 

Fresh talent is something we love to feature, and these illustrators have proved they’re worth admiring. From animation to pencil sketch - we’re excited to see where 2017 leads them. 

We asked five leading illustration agencies - Jelly London, Handsome Frank, Good Illustration, Colagene and Bernstein & Andriulli to tell us about new signings that they think will be producing outstanding work in the year ahead.

Make sure to check out more of their work by clicking on the links below.

Jelly London: Mariana Rodrigues


Mariana’s style is based on deconstructing things — often nature — and reassembling them into a new, imaginary whole. She loves intricate patterns and symmetry. 

Her illustrations are created by a combination of techniques: pencil, ink, watercolour, digital manipulation, digital colouring, and even photography. So far she has worked with Patrick Watson, Country Living, Vogue Japan, PopWalls and Work Club for Original Source. 

Mariana studied communication design at ESAD College of Art and Design Matosinhos, Portugal, and worked as a graphic designer before moving to London and becoming a full-time illustrator.  

Mariana has a strong Instagram following and has dominated projects and the Jelly London blog over the past few months.

Jelly London: Andrey Kasay

It’s hard not to be intrigued by the weird and wonderful work of Andrey Kasay.

His bold use of colour, ludicrous compositions and recurring characters make for an invigorating, if not pleasantly confusing, experience. 

Originally from Far East Russia, Andrey said he learnt to draw and make animated videos alongside neighbours Amur the tiger and Dingo the dog.

We asked Andrey about his creative process and inspiration earlier in the year.

Handsome Frank: Leonie Bos

Leonie is a Dutch illustrator whose work is both minimal and modernist, taking influence from traditional printmaking. Working digitally she uses semi-transparent colour areas to create shades and tones by layering them with limited colours and the negative 'white' of the paper itself. 

It's been all go since Handsome Frank signed Leonie with a wide range of clients wanting her on commissions, who think it's the tactile qualities and refreshing colour palettes she incorporates that makes her someone to look out for.

Handsome Frank: Anna Kovesces


Anna is a Hungarian illustrator who creates sweet, child-like digital collages using bold, minimalist shapes in a trademark palette. Her sketches and process possess a simplicity and naivety, leaving the final pieces with a charmingly folkloric final aesthetic.

Anna has a wonderful ability to captivate a wide audience from young to old with how she solves creative problems and approaches colour palettes which is something that brings a smile to client's faces. 

Handsome Frank: Quentin Monge


Quentin is a French illustrator based in Paris, through his minimalist characters and beautifully composed patterns he is able to capture a world of bikini-clad women riding crocodiles, surfers in harmony with sharks and not to mention gardens of crisp and juicy watermelon.

Quentin is the newest addition to the HF family and with his interesting approach to form and his compositional skills we think he'll be much sought after in the year to come.  

Good Illustration: Luis Toledo


Luis' insanely detailed artwork is formed from a fusion of cultures which captivates and rewards the viewer with hidden gems and surprises! Blending historical, iconic and medical imagery to create surreal and engaging scenes is a hallmark of this creative genius. Luis' Stormtrooper mask is a fantastic example of unexpected application with remarkable results. 

Who would have thought that antique Asian artwork, vintage floral patterns and encyclopaedic references would sit so well on such an iconic sci-fi property?  It is precisely this unorthodox inspirational approach which makes Luis such a hugely exciting talent commercially-speaking, and it will be intriguing to see how his unique artwork influences and inspires clients throughout 2017 - expect bold and beautiful campaigns! 

Good Illustration: Sonia Hensler


Exciting, dynamic and elegant. Three words that come to mind when viewing Sonia's extensive and beautiful portfolio. Heavily inspired by Victorian aesthetics, Sonia's work combines unique, Anglian elegance with a dark, sometimes challenging, gothic flair.

The world of fashion and beauty is renowned for its exacting standards and Sonia's decisive yet playful portfolio reflects the same aspirational qualities and characteristics high end brands look to project. 2017 is set to be a busy year for Sonia - expect her opulently elegant artwork to adorn campaigns by the world's most discerning brands. ?

Good Illustration: João Neves


Full of ideas, this one-man creative power house is made for advertising and design. Delivering eye-catching vintage hand lettering and graphics, João's panache is easy to spot! Having landed projects the minute he appeared on our books, João is definitely one to watch. 

His ability to problem-solve whilst maintaining exceptionally high creative output will ensure João earns his spot as a trusted Art Director resource - expect a plethora of varied and exciting lettering gorgeousness in 2017! 

Colagene: Benoit Tardif


It is after he completed his studies in graphic design at Université du Québec à Montréal that Benoit started the illustration. Since then, he offers simple, effective and colorful images. Often tinged with irony, his style is marked by an interest in silk screen and posters.

Benoit, Quebec’s illustrator, works from traditional and digital techniques to build images that are designed to convey a specific and conceptual message. 

His style: naïve art. See his creative capsule interview to understand better his universe.

Colagene: Damien Vignaux


When Damien a.k.a. Elroy, sits down at his drawing table, it’s like he’s an eight-year-old on a sugar high from being overfed candies at Grandma’s house. He’s influenced by pop culture, music and films, and he likes to experiment with a variety of media in his work, which often has a timeless quality. 

His style: modern collage and low poly. He is also a talented motion designer. 

Bernstein & Andriulli: Ornamental Conifer

Bernstein & Andriulli told us they selected the following three artists as they all have such distinct practices and have built huge social media followings from doing their own unique work.

Ornamental Conifer is so fresh, he doesn't even have a Bernstein & Andriulli write-up yet. Either that or he doesn't need one need one. Either way, Nicolai Sclater describes himself with one phrase: Never perfect but always awesome. 

Check out Ornamental Conifer’s Instagram here. 

Bernstein & Andriulli: Cachetejack


Cachetejack are Nuria Bellver and Raquel Fanjul, a Spanish freelance illustration duo based in Spain right now.

Their illustration universe is full of colours, energy, humour and irony. The hand drawn work of Cachetejack takes a fresh and unique style working in a variety of mediums, including—but not limited to—books, magazines, newspapers, clothing, drawing, painting, walls and illustration.

Cachetejack combines reality with a quirky point of view to create situations and environments closer to the viewer.

Check out Cachetejack’s Instagram here.

Bernstein & Andriulli: David McLeod


David McLeod is a multi disciplinary Illustrator and Artist. Originally from a small coastal town in Australia, he now lives and works in New York City.

His work is driven by a curiosity for exploring new methods of visual expression in CGI, with experimental materials, simulations and generative methods playing a central role in his creative process. 

Employing this approach David McLeod creates 3D environments, typographic treatments and short format films characterized by vibrant palettes and organic motion.

Check out David McLeod’s Instagram here.

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