Top 10 Illustrators’ Online Portfolios Worth Exploring

Photo Credit: Chow Hon LamNowadays, you’re bound to run into the work of an artist just about anywhere you look. Whether you’re at a gallery, actively seeking the creative works, or just at a market where you’re exposed to a bounty of advertising. More often than not, you’ll be amidst the work of an illustrator whose name is masked by the prominence of the product, editorial, or brand. But illustrators should be recognized because there are some really fantastic ones out there. Today, we bring you some of the best active illustrators with the most innovative, awe-inspiring, enlightening, and thought-provoking online portfolios that are worth exploring.

1. Budi Satria Kwan

Budi Satria Kwan, aka radiomode, is a successful illustrator and graphic designer from Singapore. Kwan’s illustrations feature not only the artist’s eye for design but also his broad and vibrantly beautiful color palette. His illustrations incorporate a wide range of the color spectrum, offering a feast for the eyes. Coupled with his good sense of simplicity and expert execution of silhouettes, Kwan’s plentiful creations are eye-catching without overcrowding the senses with unnecessary visual loudness.

 

 

2. Nagai Hideyuki

Japanese artist Nagai Hideyuki produces some of the most remarkably convincing three-dimensional drawings that look like they’re jumping off the page. The young illustrator’s masterpieces are playful anamorphic illusions featuring Hideyuki’s creative cast of characters popping out to interact with our world. The artist’s impressive creations are especially effective in their sculptural appearance due to the clever perpendicular positioning of two sketchpads. It adds a visual believability to the artist’s optical illusions that rely heavily on perspective. Each illustration is more mind-blowing than the last.

 

 

3. Chow Hon Lam

Chow Hon Lam, aka Flying Mouse, is an illustrator and graphic t-shirt designer with a great sense of humor that translates through his wonderfully witty work. The Malaysian artist creates clever designs that expose comical scenarios you may not think of on your own like The Flash getting a speeding ticket or Cupid getting arrested for shooting people with arrows. Lam also uses humor to provide visual interpretations of things like walking a tightrope by including a shaky Grim Ripper following not too far behind.

 

 

4. Johan Thörnqvist

Johan Thörnqvist is a Swedish artist who creatively combines photography and illustration. The illustrator digitally draws his imaginative, tiny cities atop landscape photos taken with a camera phone. Despite having very cartoonish illustrations superimposed on real photos, often with very subdued colors, the two opposing worlds combine brilliantly. Thörnqvist’s series of works offer an inventive and refreshing look at ordinary scenes. It echoes the imaginative mind of a creative child filled with wonderment.

 

 

5. Olly Moss

Olly Moss is a UK-based artist with a primary focus on pop culture. The visionary covers everything from film and television to comic books and video games. His creative illustrations and designs, heavily influenced by various pop media, have captive audiences. in this day and age of daily fixings of pop culture, Moss’ subjects resonate deeply with the public who feel connected to the works through their recognition of the characters. Besides simply choosing the right subjects, Moss has proven to be a creative genius, especially in poster design.

 

 

6. Tang Yau Hoong

Malaysia-based artist Tang Yau Hoong is an expert when it comes to working with negative space. The illustrator’s work grasps the importance that the background of an image holds. Every element within the frame of each of his illusionary drawings is essential to the image as a whole. Hoong’s body of work helps the viewer to see something new by shining a light on new interpretations to an otherwise ordinary visual. He combines multiple opposing or unrelated ideas that wouldn’t survive without each other within the image.

 

 

7. Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell is a successful illustrator known for his distinct style and witty drawings. Perhaps best known for his early support of Conan O’Brien with his “I’m with Coco” poster, Mitchell has seen great opportunities arise in the last few years, following that print. His brand of pop surrealism, often featuring humorously crafted renditions of characters from pop culture, has also garnered much attention and praise for its unique look and lighthearted humor. In particular, the series Just Like Us features dozens of popular characters doing everyday activities “just like us.”

 

 

8. Pencilfury

Illustrator and toy designer Darren Frisina, aka pencilfury, has a Tumblr blog filled with his creative projects. Perhaps most impressive are his perspective drawings. Like Nagai Hideyuki, several of pencilfury’s illustrations are three-dimensional anamorphic illusions. However, rather than placing two separate sketchpads perpendicular to one another, the artist uses a Moleskine notebook, opened at a 90° angle. The drawings incorporate Frisina’s playful style and colorful aesthetic.

 

 

9. Mathiole

Matheus Lopes Castro, better known as Mathiole, is a Brazil-based artist who isn’t afraid to use color. Similar to Budi Satria Kwan’s penchant for vibrant hues, Mathiole adds splashes of various pigments to his illustrations that are both pleasing to the eye and hold some significance in the image produced. He is also fully capable of keeping his work a bit more muted in color with energetic bursts translated through other elements like fluttering butterflies and birds. Throughout Mathiole’s portfolio, one gets the sense of the artist’s vivid imagination.

 

 

10. Carbine

R.Gegen Noviara is an Indonesia-based freelance illustrator and graphic designer best known as Carbine. The artist’s body of work, both in print and fabric, reflects an eclectic style with designs ranging from incredibly cute and cuddly to political commentary and death. While Carbine offers a wide range in subject matter, there is a recurring theme of astronauts, the moon, and nature throughout his works.

 

Which illustrator’s online portfolio is your favorite?

[Top photo credit: Chow Hon Lam]

 

 

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Pinar Noorata is a contributing writer at My Modern Metropolis, a place where trendspotters and art enthusiasts come to connect over creative ideas. After graduating from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in Film, Pinar worked in several creative fields ranging from film to publishing. Her immense appreciation for art and culture eventually led her to join the My Modern Met team in 2011. With over 3.2 million page views per month, My Modern Met is one of the leading art and culture destinations on the web.

 

Pinar Noorata / My Modern Met
Pinar Noorata
Pinar Noorata is a contributing writer at My Modern Metropolis, a place where trendspotters and art enthusiasts come to connect over creative ideas. After graduating from Hunter College with a Bachelor's degree in Film, Pinar worked in several creative fields ranging from film to publishing. Her immense appreciation for art and culture eventually led her to join the My Modern Met team in 2011. With over 3.2 million page views per month, My Modern Met is one of the leading art and culture destinations on the web.
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  • http://www.giftsspace.com/blog Online Strategies

    Great list. It takes lot of creativity and talent to become a famous illustrator.

  • Anon

    Checkout Sam Weber, Ben Weeks & Gary Taxali

  • Anon

    See also Jessica Hische, Graham Roumieu, Joe Morse, Darren Booth & Marian Bantjes.

  • http://www.bantialbumproofing.com/ Banti Album Proofing

    It’s tough to choose a favorite! I’d have to go with Olly Moss. His work is work is outstanding.

  • Spicy Number One

    Are these illustrators the blog author’s friends? If you want quality illustration, look at Jason Holley, Jordin Isip, Jeffrey DeCoster, and Riccardo Vecchio. Clayton Brothers too. I agree with Anon, Gary Taxali.

  • http://jaimegandarilla.tumblr.com/ Jaime Gandarilla

    Very cliché-ish illustrators, in my opinion