Working as an illustrator can be tough, both in terms of finding work in the first place and when you're stuck for ideas halfway at the start of a commission.
Here at Creative Boom, we aim to help you out with both, bringing you industry-focused advice from the experts and sharing work and insights from some of the profession's top practitioners.
As part of The Review, a look back at our content from the previous 12 months, we've gathered together below our ten most popular articles on illustration in 2021. A mixture of must-read tips and incredible work, you'll find plenty to get your artistic mojo up and running in these articles.
1. Ellice Weaver on being an explorer of forms, and a fearless explorer in life
Ellice Weaver is a British illustrator and comic artist who likes to play with unusual forms and perspectives, with figures like funhouse mirrors. Discover her amazing work, and read our exclusive interview, in which she discusses working for the New York Times, evolving her work, and living on a boat.
2. 30 awesome illustrators to follow for inspiration in 2021
At Creative Boom, we like to put a spotlight on emerging creatives. And here are 30 of them in one handy place. Whether you're an illustrator looking for visual inspiration, or a commissioning editor looking for talent, these 30 awesome illustrators are well worth checking out.
3. Yuk Fun make yum goods that you can't help but love
Want to see an explosion of vivid colour? Then check out the work of Yuk Fun, an independent label based in southeast England making illustrated apparel and goods. You might want to bring your sunglasses too. We explain what makes this outfit tick and why you should love them as much as we do.
4. Justine Allenette Ross on black utopias, black trauma, and the power of visual language
Justine Allenette Ross is an American illustrator who focuses on human interaction, blackness, and playful observation. Here we chat to her about black utopias, the power of visual language and more.
5. #LetsDoLondonBetter artist Lauren Marina on freelancing during a pandemic and supporting local creatives
Illustrator, pattern, and surface designer Lauren Marina is one of the legions of creatives who had their lives turned upside down by the pandemic. Here she explains how she used art to soothe her anxiety and the thinking behind her #LetsDoLondonBetter campaign to support local creatives.
6. Illustrator Fatti Burke designs The Snug, an immersive installation that celebrates the iconic Irish pub
Here Irish illustrator Fatti Burke discusses her exhibition, which recreated an Irish pub, in a new immersive show in Dublin. The pop-up show has now ended, but you can see it in all its glory here and hear about how Fatti designed it.
7. How to get represented by an illustration agency
Want to earn more as a freelance illustrator? Finding an agent is one of the best ways to do so. Here we bring together invaluable advice from industry experts on how to get representation, including
8. Tad Carpenter's Sunday Suns is here to fill your world with positivity and light
American designer Tad Carpenter has been drawing, sculpting and stitching together an interpretation of the sun every week on a Sunday for the last six years. Here he discusses how the simple act of experimental play can be therapeutic.
9. 'I hope they will find it humble and pretty': Jean Aubertin on his calming and peaceful illustrations
French illustrator Jean Aubertin draws specific (and universal) moments manifested from life around him. He reveals how he's reached a point where art is a "peaceful meditation" for him. Things that bring him happiness. "Anything that makes me smile or that makes me think it can be a good idea for an illustration – but not necessarily a beautiful one," he shares. "Anything that I find beautiful can make a good illustration, but not necessarily an interesting one. I guess my inspiration is a combination of these factors."
10. 10 steps to help you become a better illustrator
There's more to being a successful illustrator than honing your drawing skills. There's a lot of business know-how you need to be aware of too. Follow these ten steps, and you'll quickly cover the main bases. Advice and wisdom from illustrators both old and new.