Figures & Faces: 50 emerging & established illustrators to follow on Instagram

When it comes to finding art inspiration, you can always rely on Instagram to dish up some satisfying visual treats. But the challenge is to find great artists and illustrators to follow in the first place.

It's a dilemma. How do we discover fresh talent? Sure, we can use Instagram's handy search facility or click on the "suggestions for you", and this works quite well, to an extent. But what about all those we might be missing? This is where it's good to ask an expert.

We called upon award-winning illustrator Niki Groom, aka Miss Magpie, to see if she could offer any suggestions. She happily obliged, and offered 50 of her favourite artists and illustrators to follow on Instagram, starting with those with the lowest follower count and ending with the most popular. As you'll see, she explains why she loves each one, and throws in a few examples of her favourite images.

We made sure she added her own Instagram account as it's a real joy to scroll through her work. Niki, it's over to you...

1. Joshua Osborn (531)

I love Josh's work so much that I bought something from his Instagram feed a couple of years ago to hang on my wall. His inky lines are beautiful.

2. Jo Thomas (1,293)

Jo's digital work is incredible. I especially love the coloured backgrounds and focus on prints and details. Deserves many many more followers.

A photo posted by Jo Thomas (@jothomasina) on

3. Nina Fuga (1,440)

Multi coloured crayon work.

4. Marcellus Hall (1,815)

I love the watercolour and dry brush captures of people on the move.

5. Alexa Coe (2,086)

Simple and beautiful line work.

6. Tracy Turnbull (2,122)

Tracy's clean, realistic and super detailed work is stunning.

7. Lyicn (2,910)

Gorgeous old school glamour, captured in ink.

A photo posted by lyicn (@lyicn) on

8. Willa Gebbie (2,932)

Beautiful clean lines and subtle colours.

9. Lyndon Hayes (4,523)

Linear observational sketchbook work.

10. Peter Turner (5,608)

I love Peter's hand-drawn pencil work.

11. Stephen Doherty (5,803)

Stephen's feed is a stunning mixture of watercolour flowers and linear figure illustrations.

12. Miss Magpie Spy (7,050)

A hand-painted illustrated collage featuring fashion and beauty.

13. Lauren Tamaki (8,358)

Lauren is someone who makes it look so easy! A splash of watercolour here, a few lines of ink here...and voila, something completely beautiful. I could lose hours on her website, so do have a look.

14. Sally Faye (8,360)

Lovely beauty illustrations.

15. Jason Brooks (9,164)

My hero when I was studying in the '90s. Beautiful feline girls.

16. Scott W Mason (9,591)

I love Scott's bold black lines and flashes of colour. I like the way he shows his work alongside photos of the outfits he's illustrated.

17. Amelie Hegardt (10,100)

Subtle faces and amazing use of ink.

18. Astrid Vos (14.6k)

All of the awesome faces.

19. Raymond Lo (16.6k)

Raymond's Instagram feed is full of drawings and paintings of faces. I love his ultra delicate pencil lines, and images of his oils in progress.

20. Dorian Vallejo (18k)

I love Dorian's art, he captures such relaxed and beautiful poses with his build up of line. I especially enjoy the videos of him creating.

21. Judith van den Hoek (18.1k)

Judith is an illustrator and photographer, so her feed is a mix of both. Her bold colours and simple lines are beautiful.

22. Stina Persson (23.5k)

Stina's videos of her working with ink are hypnotic, watching her paintings come to life is a joy.

23. Lisa Smirnova (28.6k)

Incredible illustrations and embroidery.

24. Lucy MacLeod (29.9k)

I fall in love with the dreamy girls Lucy posts on a daily basis. I'm lucky enough to have an original on my wall.

25. Caitlin McGauley (32.8k)

Caitlin draws just about everything, but when she illustrates women my heart sings.

26. PichiAvo (35.9k)

Amazing graffiti, I don't know how these guys do it. Only 90 posts on Instagram but each one is beautiful.

27. Emma Block (36.8k)

Cute and pretty illustrations.

28. Tina Berning (36.1k)

I love following Tina's artwork on Instagram. The women she paints are beautiful and haunting (and we have cat twins).

29. Sunflowerman (38.3k )

These menswear illustrations are brilliant. I frequently watch where Sunflowerman is (boy does he travel!) and what he's illustrating (man he's fast!) on Instagram Stories.

30. Bil Donovan (41.4k)

Brilliant use of negative space. Often lots of texture and contrast – stunning.

31. Tula Lotay (44.8k)

Comics and graphic art. Just incredible.

32. Richard Haines (48.7k)

Creative and brilliant. Richard seems to always be drawing on anything he can find.

33. Diana Kuksa (50.1k)

Looks as though Diana is able to use every medium. Beautiful realistic work.

A photo posted by diana kuksa (@diana_kuksa) on

34. Todorovitch (51.6k)

Realistic oil paintings. The close-ups of faces are my personal favourite.

35. Manjit Thapp (53.5k)

Totally unique style. I especially love the recent posts, with rich colour and bold black lines. Great process videos.

A photo posted by Manjit (@manjitthapp) on

36. Clym Evernden (55.2k)

Inventive, creative and unique.

37. Viktorija Semjonova (59.4k)

Fun, colourful and quirky illustrations.

38. David Downton (65.9k)

The master.

39. Miss Led (73.5k)

Stunning line work.

40. Lena Ker (75.7k)

Gorgeous hand-painted fashion illustrations.

41. Damien Florébert Cuypers (76.8k)

Damien's feed is full of his hand-drawn figure work. My favourites are full of colour. The way he captures movement and personality is incredible.

42. Gill Button (78.1k)

Gill is my ultimate hero, I find her feed totally captivating.

43. Kelly Beeman (83.8k)

I dream of hanging pieces by Kelly on my wall. I love her serene girls, her amazing use of colour and the tiny details.

44. Blair Breitenstein (93.1k)

Big lips and big hair...faces to die for.

45. Hsia-Ron Cheng (109k)

As it says in her bio "Photoshop is my kung-fu".

46. Julie Houts (132k)

Julie combines awesome pen skills with her razor sharp wit.

47. Meagan Morrison (140k)

Meagan travels, writes, draws....and posts outfit pics too. A really great person to follow on Instagram Stories.

48. Donald Robertson (183k)

Colourful, and fun. You never quite know what is going to be next!

49. Unskilledworker (234k)

The most hypnotic eyes you ever did see. Often on Instagram Live – I love watching her work.

50. Kelsey Beckett (463k)

I have a thing for half-finished oil paintings. I love seeing pencil lines and canvas against amazing intense oil colours. Kelsey's feed delivers me this and more. Just beautiful.