A picture is worth a thousand words and, if that picture is effective enough, a picture can become pure poetry. For a tiny island nation, we’re known for punching well above our weight in many an arena and today we’re going to look at a few of our personal favourites in the illustrator department.
We thought we’d put together a little list of a few Irish illustrators who manage to make images that are sure to stop your thumb mid-scroll every time …
For many, this Dublin illustrator, comedian and author needs no introduction. Dooley (AKA Nikita AKA Dublin Hun) has been firing off doodles for years which capture the spirit of our city’s people in hilarious, visually striking and altogether unique ways. In fact, she’s amassed such a large following that she released her first book of illustrations, How To Be Massive, in 2016 soon after finishing in college.
This freelance illustrator has a gift for crafting elegant, graceful figures in her work for fashion titles like Image, Xposé and Tatler. Drawing inspiration from the work of artists like John Currin, Bonus’s work honestly wouldn’t look out of place on the front cover of Vogue.
Let there be no doubt about the quality of this artist’s distinctive hand-drawn works, because they won her the 2017 World Illustration Award for Professional Advertising. Some major global brands have been enamoured by O’Sullivan’s style, such as MTV, Island Records, WeTransfer and Tiger Beer. She’s perhaps best known for creating pictures of animals composed of veins of colour that are so unique they can only really be described as O’Sullivan-esque.
Yes, we have spoken about Merriman in the past, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to make a list of great Irish illustrators without mentioning him again. The work of this illustrator, branding designer and self-professed “professional doodler” is so well regarded that he’s managed to work his way across Europe. To say he’s a versatile talent is an understatement, having worked in portraiture, poster design, branding, speed illustrations, storyboarding and web design.
As a kid Shortall would sketch the outfits of her favourite pop stars and now, as an adult, the only thing that’s changed is that those drawings have vastly improved and she gets paid to do them! The fashion illustrator’s work really managed to capture the public imagination when she made her own version of Kim Kardashian/Kanye West Vogue cover, leading to her working with the likes of Stellar and Sunday Times Style. Fun fact – she’s the illustrator who came up with Dublin Girlo’s trademark look.
An illustrator, teacher and director of Illustrators Ireland, Farley is packing plenty of experience in this field. She’s drawn pictures for children’s books, maps, apps, t-shirts, graphics for websites and promotional events. And considering she’s spent more than 14 years teaching a course on Photoshop, Illustrator and Design Theory, she’s pretty much ready for any challenge. Farley’s Instagram account is brimming with examples of the diverse range of projects she’s been a part of.
This award-winning designer who has worked with magazines, hotels, boutiques and brands, but her forté is unquestionably weddings. With her company Till Down Dear she designs bespoke wedding stationery and illustrated gifts to make someone’s special day that little bit more special. Moss collaborates with the couple she’s illustrating for, asking them about important details in their relationship and for stories about their time together, so that she can gift them both with a piece of art, painted just for them.
This illustrator is known for her whimsical, colourful style that imbues her characters with a sense of warmth and playfulness. Her style lends itself perfectly to children’s illustrations, with her book ‘A Dublin Fairytale’ being awarded with a White Raven by the International Youth Library and nominated for an Irish Book Award. Not that she works in that field alone, however, as her illustrations have also appeared in editorials as well as print and web campaigns for clients such as Boots Opticians UK and Failte Ireland.
In our mission to continue championing the creative trail blazers of our city, we’ve decided to put the spotlight on those renegade artists who want to disrupt your daily routine, challenge your preconceptions and inject more colour into all our lives.