Flowing, expressive lines seem to be a growing trend, specifically in drawings of bodies. An example is Kelly Anna’s electric blue women. She blows up the rules of proportion with bellowing legs and arms that give the flat colours she uses a life of their own. The wobbly line work brings movement to the illustration, again in Marco Demasi’s work, that the pen in any Adobe programme tool cannot.
Maybe in a response to the ultra curated Instagram feed, characters that aren’t stereotypically perfect seem to be cropping up more. An example is a Janicee Chang’s illustration where two women are enjoying shovelling sushi into their mouths (rightly so!). You can see up their noses if you look close enough. This trend is great for depicting women as normal people who aren’t Photoshopped to their eyeballs in magazines. More of this please.
With the rise of Procreate, illustrators seem to be taking full advantage of the brushes they have to hand and with it, a way of working that doesn’t restrict them to a desk. Listening to an ‘It’s Nice That’ talk by WKAmsterdam, they said their work revolves around giving a grittiness to technology and in doing so giving the perfection of digital media a soul.
The rise in texture is apparent in illustrators like Molly Mendoza or Haley Tipmann who use a range of pencil and brush textures to give a rawness to clean lines. We could drool over Molly Mendoza’s work for hours, the pencil lines she uses almost hint at the Art Brut movement, adding a childlike craft and inconsistency to the work.
Big eyed, doll-like characters modelled in 3D mediums such as clay in Charlotte Mei’s work or cinema 4D in Alex Kieslings and Cesar Pelizer’s work. Their cuteness can give them licence to get weird or grotesque, with bulging eyes or having see-through skin. Cute characters that comment of the darkness in our media at the moment are perfect for editorial work, making the horrible news a little bit more digestible.
Big hands is still going strong and we don’t just mean the Manchester bar. Skewed proportions have been a massive trend, arguably pioneered by the likes of Alva Skog and her hunched colourful characters, and it seems to be a common theme. From small heads and big bodies, the trend is now progressing playfully to different body parts.
There are loads more trends in illustration but these are our personal favourites at the moment. We’re excited to see what new themes emerge as 2019 continues.