5 illustrators to watch

Wed 14 Sep 2022

What is illustration? 

Illustration is art that is made in the form of a drawing, sketch, or any other form. It’s a graphical representation of what the artist is trying to show the viewer. Each illustration tells a story, and takes the viewer through a journey, or helps understand a concept better, or even just gets a message across.  

What skills do you require to be a good illustrator? 

An illustrator is ultimately a product of their ideas and creativity, which is why it is the most important thing for someone looking to enter this field. However, illustrators can’t just rely on creativity, they need to have the technical skills to bring their ideas to life as well. 

Illustrators need to: 

  • Be able to work with different mediums and use different techniques 
  • Understand visual techniques and theories 
  • Know how to develop a story and create an exciting and involving narrative 
  • Be organised and have time management skills to meet deadlines 
  • Have good negotiation skills to avoid underselling themselves 
  • Have passion for their work 

Who are some illustrators to look out for? 

The following are some up and coming artists who are having an impact in the world of illustration. 

1. Natsumi Chikayasu

Natsumi Chikayasu-1

A graduate of Falmouth University, Natsumi has worked with clients like VICE, The New York Times, and WIRED UK. Her sublime style and beautiful moody atmosphere is inspired by feminism, science, places, and their intersections. 

2. Guang LimAlva Skog-1

Hailing from Malaysia, Guang Lim currently lives in Seattle. He has worked with Los Angeles Times, WIRED, Buzzfeed News, and more. His bold strokes and stark colours create expressive digital art that you can’t take your eyes off!  

3. Alva Skog

Alva Skog-1

This Swedish illustrator studied Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins and has since worked with Jelly London. Their work is known for its vivid colours and different perspectives. They have worked with different clients such as Chelsea FC, Apple, and WeTransfer. 

4. Lucia Calfapietra

Lucia Calfapietra-1

Lucia has worked with Penguin Books (US), The New York Times, and Los Angeles Times to create brightly coloured retro-style illustrations. Currently living in France,
Lucia is known especially for her food illustrations, where she uses different textures and colours to bring her art to life. 

5. Sam Rudd

Sam Rudd-1-1

Sam is an illustrator living in Lancashire, UK known for her simple and nostalgic work. She won the first prize in the Templar Design & Illustration Awards in the Picture Book Category, and has worked with companies like Oxfam, Noel Tatt, and Otter House. 

Want to see more? Check out the 5 most influential illustrators of all time:

Read the blog

How can you develop your illustration practice? 

Falmouth University offers an MA in Illustration that can be done online and part-time. This flexible course is perfect for those who want to work and study. The modules you will learn are: 

  • Narrative and Storytelling 

  • Process and Practice 

  • Professional Practice 

  • Visual Language 


This will be followed by a final major project. Together, these modules ensure that you will get an all-rounded understanding of the field and can hone your skills to navigate your path in the world of art. 

This MA Illustration will help you achieve your personal and professional goals, ensuring that you will learn about the different contexts where illustration can be used, explore the variety of tools and storytelling within the field of illustration. Additionally, you will also learn to create a self-promotion strategy which can help you even create your own brand. 

If you’re interested in taking the world of illustration by storm, learn more about Falmouth University's MA Illustration: 

Explore the course


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