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10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram

by Quelcy Kogel


10 Illustrators To Follow

In my second-grade classroom, we each had a run at the large bulletin board, the coveted chance to show and tell the many life experiences we had amassed by the ripe old age of seven-going-on-eight. Curating one’s life story earned the spotlight for the show ‘n tell circle. I LOVED that limelight just as much as I loved learning about my friends.

Consider this roundup my modern day bulletin board pinned with 10 illustrators worth following. Except, since it’s my bulletin board, I’m sharing why these illustrators jumped out at me, many of them making me squeal audibly with delight. This is show and tell, and we’re making our way around the circle, so add your own illustrators to the mix, along with your stories in the comments. —Quelcy

Image Above: I work as a food stylist and spend plenty of time obsessing over cocktails, glassware and garnishes, but this illustration has me obsessing over Valeria Danilova’s watercolor abilities. They leap off the page and make me thirsty!

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

Artisan doughnuts have finally hit Pittsburgh (and I have been supporting the new pop-up vendors a little too enthusiastically), but Ann Shen’s whimsical illustration proves doughnuts are sweet on paper, too. Be sure to check out her illustrated book, Bad Girls Throughout History.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

Adopting my pup Julep was one of the best days of my life. Ever since then, any reference to a dog makes me melt, so Sarah Neuburger’s illustrated dog map, a fundraiser for the Gloucester, VA Humane Society, spoke straight to my heart. There’s plenty more charm where this comes from.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

This illustrated portrait by Anja Reponen is a twofer — I happily return over and over to episodes of Parks and Recreation. Just seeing this portrait makes me laugh out loud at recalling my favorite scenes, but I also really admire Amy Poehler as a leader, especially after listening to her read her book, Yes Please.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

This sketch from Celeste Byers reminds me it’s time for my periodic Craigslist search for a vintage Scotty Camper, which I will one day own when the time and camper are right. This sketch is tiny and quick in comparison to Celeste’s more typical style — large, bold, colorful murals worth checking out.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

Harlem-based illustrator Debra Cartwright’s work often features beautiful, confident women, including this lovely, whose longing for Paris mirrors my own. I lived in Paris as an au pair and often wonder why I ever left.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

Filed under films I can nearly quote by heart, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulaininspired me so much I had an Amélie themed birthday party, complete with a photo booth. Belgrade-based illustrator Milica Golubović captured one of my favorite elements of Amélie’s world – her intensely saturated interiors. She illustrates other independent films, so you might find your favorite, too.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

Once upon a time I went to architecture school, but now I just spend many an hour obsessing over houses. Since you’re here, I’m guessing you too spend a lot of time dreaming about the built environment, so be sure to enter Sara Boccaccini Meadows’ world of wonky homes and city scenes.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

I love Traci Page’s food and fauna illustrations, and I wouldn’t mind diving into this miniature world of champagne, croissants and good reads. You can also take a sneak peek into Traci’s toolbox in our archives.

10 Illustrators to Follow on Instagram via Design*Sponge

Growing up with a name like Quelcy meant I didn’t have many monogrammed accessories. Fun fact: many alphabet bead kits, mugs or candle sets will outright skip the letter Q, so I appreciate that Wenjia Tang included Q in her alphabet zoo, but I also appreciate her use of textures and colors in her other collections.

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