Patrick Kyle is a Toronto-based comic artist and illustrator. His non-traditional comic designs often feature troll-like creatures and a world rendered with a flat sense of abstract space and gradated pastel and neon hues. One series of drawings on Patrick’s website is directly inspired by the troll illustrations of Swedish artist John Bauer. Below is the cover to Patrick’s recent mini comic, Foreigners, published by Space Face Books.
Patrick experiments beyond his primary medium with ease and created this animated video for the track “Vacationation” by the band Hooded Fang:
You can see more drawings and comics from Patrick on his Tumblr, Flickr, portfolio website, and comic website What Things Do.
Studio-Takeuma is the professional name of an artist from Kyoto, Japan who creates illustrations with thick black lines and deeply saturated colors.
Studio-Takeuma’s line work has a bold quality that is reminiscent of lines that are ideal for printmaking techniques, especially when colored in flat blocky areas of color with suggestion of texture, as they are here. Many of these pieces also seem to have the precision-line qualities of digital art that was produced with artistic brushes, although there is the possibility that they were simply drawn with precise human skills and traditional media. In his sketchbooks Studio-Takeuma has a looser, expressive side as well which you can see on his Flickr account, like this drawing of a tiger pacing in a zoo:
See more illustration and art work from Studio-Takeuma on his portfolio website and Flickr.
Hamburg, Germany-based Frederik Jurk draws an assortment of monsters, girls, and other characters often in limited, flat colors. He is a recent graduate of HAW Hamburg, Fakultät DMI.
For Jurk’s thesis project, he created the book, Monster Limericks, which you can download in a free digital version.
Most of Jurk’s characters whether they are dragons, werewolves, humans or cats share a similar-looking skull structure–perhaps something like a kitten/human hybrid skull might look like. See more work from him on his Tumblr, Flickr, older blog, and portfolio website.
Second-year CalArts student Citlalli Anderson draws funny cartoons and shares her school work, doodles, and notes, including items such as this sketch for a school layout assignment:
The 48-hour film challenge is a regular event at CalArts. The theme for 2013 was “duck” and Nicole Stafford’s 48-hour film from the same group was a recent Cartoon Brew short pick of the day. Anderson put together the following short, called Buff Dog Workout Video, featuring a hapless duck and one of her characters, Buff Dog. The rest of the students’ “duck” films are collected here.
See more school projects and personal work from Anderson on her blog and Tumblr accounts, including these sketchbook notes from DreamWorks and Glen Keane lectures.
Brussels, Belgium-based artist Pieter Fannes shows off insightful skill in his drawings of musicians performing. His collection of work includes many drawings that are drawn from life at music festivals and other live performances. He also draws stylized rural and urban cityscapes as well as expressive cartoon illustrations.
See more work from Fannes on his Flickr account.
Nancy, France-based artist Thierry Martin illustrates comics and books. Below, you can spend a relaxing three minutes watching Martin ink a comic panel with confidently placed brushed strokes accompanied by nature sounds.
Martin’s work includes cartoon illustrations geared toward children and all sorts of narrative character-based work executed with a professional cartoonist’s precision. On his Tumblr and blog you’ll find additional artwork of his (and of other artists who inspire him), sketches, animated GIFs, and photos of his drawing table and various works-in-progress.
Colombia-based artist Jim Pluk illustrates comics and books and generally creates piles of cartoon drawings full of quirky, strange characters. Pluk shoots photographs, creates collage artwork, publishes art zines and contributes his work to gallery shows.
You can see more work from Jim Pluk on his Tumblr, Flickr, and blog, the latter of which has his work neatly cataloged.
Düsseldorf-based artist Nadine Redlich specializes in funny googly-eyed character drawings and animated bits. Redlich also enjoys drawing little faces on little tufts of moss, wigs, trees, and a pear that looks like it has a butt.
Redlich’s character art seems to be filtered through a childhood full of muppets and other colorful beings, perhaps things like the Mister Men and Little Miss books, but distilled through her distinctly individual perspective. See more on Redlich’s Flickr and Tumblr accounts.
Netherlands-based artist Maarten Donders creates, in his own words, “cosmic illustrations,” a description that nicely captures the visual texture of his artwork. Donders’ art feels connected thematically because of his process in which he places utmost importance on the authenticity of the work–the part of each piece that appeals to him personally no matter what the subject.
The dreamy, dark, psychedelic qualities in Donders’ visuals combined with his musical interests have lead to frquent collaborations with musicians and bands. See more work from Donders on his portfolio website and Flickr.
Shanti Rittgers is an artist from Connecticut who studied illustration with a concentration in animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Shanti has worked as a concept and comic artist for several companies, and has been working toward becoming a visual development artist for animated projects. Rittgers is able to reproduce traditional media texture in her digital illustrations that never looks gimmicky or overdone.
See more work from Riggers on her Tumblr and portfolio website.
Nick Iluzada is an illustrator in Brooklyn who collaborates with the art collective Slow Youth and produces zines and comics with Get Lost Press.
Nick’s illustration portfolio shows off work created for a variety of clients, including the editorial illustration at the top of this post that was completed for a same-day deadline, which is not an unusual scenario for professional freelance illustrators. Nick also creates inventive personal warm-up sketches and sketchbook drawings which he posts on his Tumblr.
UK-based artist Rebecca Crompton draws scenes in ink, pencils and crayons of smiling animals and people existing in flat, textured planes and highly stylized natural settings.
Crompton’s work appears to walk the line between a naive, flat execution in some places and solid observational drawing in others. See more of Crompton’s work on her Flickr, Tumblr and portfolio website, where you can also purchase her playful designer desktop icons for your computer.
Berlin-based illustrator Till Hafenbrak designs compositions crammed full of characters and scenery rendered in flat, solid shapes. When using limited color selections, Hafenbrak will sometimes overlay the areas of color to let them create new colors, an effect related to printing processes in which semi-transparent inks are layered atop each other.
Hafenbrak is one third of the self-publishing collective Edition Biografiktion which he formed with fellow classmates from Universität der Künste Berlin. Hafenbrak also created a comic strip that appeared in the sixth issue of Nobrow.
See more work from Till Hafenbrak on his portfolio website and Flickr.
Fabien Mense is a visual development artist and comic book author. He recently developed the character designs for a French television production called Robin Hood—Mischief in Sherwood (mentioend here) for Method Animation. A few examples follow—click on most images in this post for larger views:
Fabien’s packed fantasy compositions require concentrated viewing to soak in all of the detail and little moments that he inserts into the artwork.
For more artwork, visit Fabien’s Tumblr and blog.
Wroclaw, Poland-based artist Pawel Mildner composes narrative images with all types of characters. Mildner’s recent style of image-making involves bold, bright colors and characters rendered with solid flat shapes and simple lines. Other work is drawn in pencils and colored digitally with a grungy aesthetic.
Isometric perspective and a strange city block make a curious picture above.
English readers will at least be able to understand the glass sound effects and the growl in this comic:
See more from Pawel Mildner on his portfolio website and Flickr.
Japanese illustrator Takao Nakagawa produces character-centric artwork that is published in magazines and books and painted as murals.
The quirky illustrations have a naive childlike quality in part lent from the materials used. Line art appears to be drawn in a waxy crayon, although it is becoming increasingly harder to tell when something is produced with a digital tool and when with a traditional one. These drawings are digitally colored and designed with a retro-print quality that has generally limited, flat color areas. Digging back in Takao Nakagawa’s Flickr collection of artwork, you will also find sections of work drawn in pen-and-ink washes painted onto canvases.
See more illustrations and art at Nakagawa’s portfolio website.
Glenn August is an artist from Denmark who studied at the Animation Workshop and is currently working on earning a production design MA at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design in Copenhagen.
There is something to be said for exploring a theme thoroughly, and Glenn has doubled-down on drawing duck doodles.
Glenn has also drawn other things, and you can see more work on his Tumblr and website.
Israeli artist Shimrit Elkanati creates narrative illustrations (and some animation) in scratchy pencils and pixels, depicting both family life and office culture, as well as imaginative scenes with children and animals. Here is Shimrit’s take on a rough morning at the office, BOKER (morning):
Elkanati contributes her drawings to collaborative art zines such as the Minotaur zine.
See more of Elkanati’s work, including recent illustrations for the New York Times, on her Flickr and Facebook accounts.
Anne Laval studied at École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg. She illustrates picture books and other work using colored pencils, watercolor washes and printmaking techniques.
Even with the continuous color blending possibilities of her pencil and watercolor materials, Anne often chooses to draw color areas that are largely self contained, as in these leaf and plant designs, perhaps relating to her experience creating color separations for printing processes. The resulting images have a high-eyeball-impact color style.
See more work from Anne on her website.
Guillaume Fesquet is a French artist who works in visual development on animation productions. He currently works at Illumination Mac Guff in Paris, but in 2012, he worked as a trainee at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He posted some of the work that he made there such as these early Frozen concepts:
Here is Fesquet’s 2011 demo reel:
Guillaume’s studies have a strong sense of atmosphere. With simple digital brush strokes and savvy color choices, light appears to filter through murky particles and focuses attention on objects while dark areas frame the composition. Everything is done in service of strengthening the mood.
See more work on Guillaume’s blog and 2011 portfolio site.
Daniel Stone is an artist who works in animation and creates drawings and comics as personal work. According to the annotations of his sketchbook drawings, Bob’s Big Boy is a location where he often finds himself inspired to doodle.
Stone’s drawings show off loads of smooth style hung on solid, structured forms. See more of Daniel’s drawings on his Tumblr, his other comics-specific Tumblr that leads to mini-comics like Dog Paws, and his old blog.
Vince McKelvie creates experimental computer generated animation and publishes his work as animated GIF loops, hardware accelerated interactive animation, and rendered real-time interactive animation, all presented within a web browser.
The undulating, reflective objects are hard to stop staring at. Vince creates so many that he has been able to explore variations on themes in the forms and materials of his imaginary creations.
Visit Vince’s website here and prepare to be overstimulated. Since the site is built on the Tumblr platform, you can view Vince’s posts there in the archive view, which provides a nice catalog of animated gifs to click on.
Antwerp, Belgium-based illustrator Astrid Yskout creates friendly colorful scenes of characters that appeal to both children and adults. In an interview from 2011, she reveals that she took several years of working beyond art school to shake off the notion that her work needed to be aimed towards adult audiences with melancholy undertones–a notion foisted on her by some of her art school instructors. She found happiness and a comfortable drawing style after simply drawing the way she felt–happy and at ease.
Yskout’s work includes some comics, album cover art, and a variety of illustrations. See more work from Astrid on her Flickr and portfolio website.
Jasmin Lai is an artist who works as an effects colorist and background painter on Steven Universe at Cartoon Network. Below is an image that she created that was part of the official, unofficial Steven Universe art zine released by members of the show’s crew this past summer.
Besides animation production work, Lai also freelances as an illustrator, where she applies a well-developed geometric style that is rendered with textured digital brushes. Her third year student film, When I Grow Up, is embedded below, and it displays the same refined design sensibilities:
See more work from Jasmin on her blog, Tumblr, and portfolio website.
Jacob Sluka is an artist who studies animation at CalArts. He also collaborates with Ben Crouse on animated projects as Grossbus, and they collectively keep their videos here.
Jacob’s work includes collage artwork, multimedia compositions and sketchbook drawings that appear to be made with an experimental exuberance.
Check out more work from Jacob and follow along as he works his way through his college experience on his Tumblr.
Ivan Dixon is an artist and animator who makes up half of the creative team behind Melbourne, Australia-based Rubber House Studio. He also is an organizing member of the LoopdeLoop animation challenge. A section of Rubber House’s recent Cartoon Network ad:
Rubber House Studio is composed of Ivan and Greg Sharp, and has been posted about repeatedly on Cartoon Brew for its entertaining work. Here is a recent video featured on the Rubber House website, See Why Everyone’s Talking About Grass!:
I’ll take a moment aside to write directly to the TV network executives out there. Ivan has got some ideas for shows. From a post on Ivan’s Tumblr about his creation Muscles McQuack: “I wanted to do a show about relationships and sexual fetishes. It’s about a body building duck called Muscles McQuack, his girlfriend Sally who works in a sex shop, his buddy Science Pete who does nothing with his science degree because his parents died and he inherited their house, and Peli-can-do who works at a take away place.”
Call up Ivan now.
That idea doesn’t cut it for your network? How about War Prawn, created by Ivan and Thomas Hunter? Again, their description: “A little known fact about prawns is that they’re actually a noble and valiant people. Warrior Prawn is the elected hero of Drysdale kingdom. With his devoted apprentice, Shrimp, and his trusty stead, Tiger, he roams the desert wasteland looking for battles whilst completing the King Prawn’s odd jobs.”
See more funny work from Ivan on his Tumblr, at RubberHouseStudio.com, and the studio’s Tumblr.