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Amina Bouajila’s illustrations flit between reality and limbo in colourful hues

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Strasbourg-based illustrator Amina Bouajila creates colourful, contained illustrations, which she mostly prints by hand in silkscreen. As well as editorial commissions for publications like French mags Kiblind and Retard, Amina also self-publishes her projects, fanzines and collaborations with independent publisher Matière Grasse Éditions.

“I grew up close to the ocean, so I naturally like to draw seafood and swimming pools,” says Amina and there’s definitely a summery vibe to her work with vibrant cerulean waters and happy faces appearing throughout her works. The illustrator’s style is neat and confined and this stems from having previously studied graphics before moving onto illustration full time.

Amina’s worlds straddle that fine line between reality and limbo as she plays with perspective and offers up new interpretations of the everyday. In one work we see a pair of legs crumbling like rock into the sea, in another characters mount straws and cigarettes held by giant hands and a miniature swimming pool sits atop a brick wall. To give her cartoon-like drawings some depth, Amina adds texture through a series of dots and and gradients.

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Rufusnewelllistint Work / Illustration Rufus Newell uses curves and scribbles to depict Greek gods and heroes

Artist Rufus Newell creates illustrations that use curves and scribbles to create a creative chronicle. A Leeds School of Art graduate, studio holder at Assembly House and a member of Precious art collective, Rufus is an artist on the cusp of illustrational greatness.

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If you’ve been catching the London Underground recently you will have spotted Rob Bailey’s striking illustrations for Transport for London. Rob’s vivid drawings balance informative illustration with visually pleasing design, advising commuters and tourists day to day. 

List Work / Illustration Costa Rican illustrator Adrian Mangel draws the modern American landscape

24-year-old illustrator Adrian Mangel lives in New York — where he studied at Parsons — but he grew up in Costa Rica. “Being born and raised in Costa Rica definitely influenced the way I consume images,” Adrian tells us. “For a country that doesn’t have a very solid pre-Columbian culture, the influence of American culture is very strong. In a way this gave me a free pass to appropriate images that aren’t necessarily from here, but are relevant (or present) across cultural borders. Experiences of daily life, popular culture, sports, politics, are all things that are present in the lives of people around the globe and this makes them worth exploring. This is mostly how I chose my subject matter. Also, football is religion in Costa Rica, so that always manages to creep back into my work somehow.”

Ellen_van_engelen_int_list Work / Illustration Ellen van Engelen takes us on a trip with her psychedelic illustrations

Belgian illustrator Ellen van Engelen’s colourfully psychedelic images make us think of hazy summer days, with a touch of 70s nostalgia. With loose linework and curvy figures, comic books have been a big inspiration to Ellen. “I’m a big fan of the older Franco-Belgian comic books, some of my favourite artists are Gérard Lauzier, Moebius, Tito Topin, Tardi, Miguel Calatayud, and Claire Bretécher,” she says.

Andrea_ucini_itsnicethat_list2 Work / Illustration Andrea Ucini’s conceptual illustrations play with perspective

Illustrator Andrea Ucini creates conceptual images that are inspired by everyday life. “In each illustration I try to create as much as possible, without letting the concept be expressed through an image too distant from reality,” explains Andrea. Currently represented by the Anna Goodson Illustration Agency, he has been commissioned by Wired, Scientific American and John Hopkins University among others. “The thing I enjoy most is the challenge proposed when I receive the article to illustrate. The creative part and when the idea takes shape is almost like a drug,” explains Andrea. “Thinking and processing the perfect visual version, in which all these words can be melted in an image is priceless!”

Jee-ook_choi_itsnicethat_list Work / Illustration Jee-ook Choi conveys complex ideas using fine linework and muted colours

South Korean illustrator Jee-ook Choi has adopted a minimal approach to her work and describes her style as “dry and poetic”. We shared her poster work and illustrations last year and while Jee-ook is still conveying ambiguous narratives through considered linework, it’s clear Jee-ook has pared back her images even more, making us focus on the finer details.

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