What’s better than a fantastically written book? A fantastically written book with gorgeous illustrations!
I’m such a sucker for beautiful illustrations, whether they accompany a story or whether they tell a story all of there own, so thought I’d share some love for some of my favourite illustrators.
If you’ve come across The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, you’ll know exactly why Charlie Mackesy has made this list. I love the simplistic yet abstract nature to Mackesy’s drawings as they never fail to tell a story, especially as they’re often accompanied by some beautiful words.
E H Shepard
Winnie the Pooh remains one of my favourite children’s books and it’s not just because of the fun, heart warming stories. The original illustrations of this adorable little bear and his friends are timeless and I’m sure, bring a good dose of the warm and fuzzies to anyone who grew up with stories of this silly old bear.
I also love the story that, apparently, E H Shepard would write apology notes from Winnie and friends when he couldn’t attend birthday parties! What a special RSVP! If there’s one illustrator that really brought to life my favourite characters, it’s this one.
I fell in love with Gender Swapped Fairytales by Jonathan Plackett and Karrie Fransman purely based on the premise but as soon as I saw Fransman’s illustrations, I was obsessed. Full of bright colours and bold shapes, they’re impossible to miss on the page and bring me such joy to look at.
I was first introduced to Karman’s art in What Would Boudicca Do? by E Foley and B Coates when she illustrated famous women from history, with a contemporary touch. Most of Karman’s art consists of drawings of women, of all colours, shapes and sizes, but she manages to make them all look like badasses!
Similarly to Bijou Karman, I first encountered Georgia Perry’s artwork in You Goddess! by E Foley and B Coates where she got to depict various women from mythology. Wacky, wild and drawn with a cartoonish edge, Perry’s artwork always brings a smile to my face.
As I’m the youngest in my family (at 24!) and none of my friends have babies yet, I don’t tend to get too attached to children’s picture books just yet. However, as soon as we received copies of Once Upon a Unicorn Horn by Beatrice Blue back in 2019, I was in love. This book really gave my heart a squeeze, especially when we’re introduced to the tiny horses who are probably the cutest things I’ve ever seen!
(NOTE: For the following artists I haven’t added any pictures. I know reposting art can be a sensitive subject so until I physically own copies of their art/prints/comics (I’ll update this post when I do), it doesn’t feel right to include images that aren’t my own. However, I have linked all of their social media/etc. if you’d like to take a look!)
Rachel Smythe aka Used Bandaid
If you saw my post on my favourite Webtoon comics, my including Rachel Smythe in this list comes as no surprise. As the author and illustrator of Lore Olympus, Smythe’s art style is a perfect combination of simplistic and bright that never fails to capture my attention or fantastically portray some complex and often funny characters.
I discovered Larson’s art on Twitter and instantly became obsessed. I love anything that has a gothic edge (think Addams Family meets Grimm’s fairytales) and am already keeping all of my fingers crossed that one day there will be some sort of graphic novel! From witches concocting potions to your favourite beastly couples, I devour each piece of her art with fervour. I recently backed a Kickstarter campaign for Larson’s upcoming art anthology, Crimson, and am already on tender hooks waiting for it to arrive.
I first encountered Wesson’s art through A Touch of Magic Designs on Instagram when she created some ACOTAR pieces. Suggested to me by a lovely Twitter follower (who I owe a huge thank you to!), I was amazed by the art she created, capturing the characters I love so much perfectly! I’ve since bought some of her artwork and keep an eye on her Instagram account for any new releases.
I saw Elithien‘s ACOTAR dust jacket designs (done for Illumicrate) and was captivated. While I was much too slow to secure a set for myself, I did follow them over on Instagram to keep an eye out for anything else they created. I already have my eye on a few of their pins and also the exquisite covers for Scarlett St. Clair’s A Touch of Darkness series that they’ve done for The Bookish Box!
Do you have any favourite illustrators? Or maybe you have a favourite illustrated book? I’d love to know!
You can always find me over on Twitter if you’d like to discuss this post (or any of the others) more or if you’re just looking for some book chat! 😌