Mark Conlan's whimsical character-based illustrations that draw on our emotions

"I am inspired every day by so many things around me. If it’s not a nice new colour palette I've discovered, it's a beautiful piece of illustration from some illustrator I admire, it’s the weather or a piece of music I have been listening to." These are the inspirations of Mark Conlan, an Irish illustrator currently living in Melbourne.

Working from his bright and airy home studio for clients such as The New York Times, The Guardian, Airbnb and Stripe, most of his illustrations are character-based, whimsical and emotional.

Mark studied classical and computer animation at the Irish School of Animation in Dublin before moving into graphic design. He then worked for several agencies in London and Melbourne before going freelance. And what of his process? "I'm always a notebook first kind of guy, develop as much conceptually as possible in sketches. I use a Wacom Cintiq with Photoshop for finishing my illustrations along with some custom brushes for my texture."

A must-follow on Instagram, we're especially drawn to his beautiful torchlight artworks where an individual shines a light to reveal a colourful imagined world. Discover more at


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