19 illustrators worth keeping an eye on in Toronto
Illustrators are the ultra-trendy artists you want to know about in this city. You name it, from dad hats, t-shirts, pins, tattoo designs, logos, album covers, murals and fashion editorial, we searched the endless loop of Instagram to find the illustrators that people in Toronto are talking about.
Here's a round-up of Toronto illustrators to keep an eye on.
Well known for his commercial work, Milan Rakocevic keeps it casual and fun on his various social media feeds with quirky and minimalist icons and wallpapers, including local imagery. This playfulness belies the clout of his resume, which boasts major clients in Canada and beyond.
Her work has graced the pages of Canadian Living, The Kit, Herringbone Magazine and more. Laura Gulshani is a name that's becoming well known in the world of fashion illustration.
Emily May Rose
You may have seen her work at the Spring Into Parkdale edition of the Parkdale Flea at Northern Contemporary Gallery. Pulling inspiration from the city's wildlife, Rose is well-known for her gangs of bandit racoons, smoking squirrels and fox paparazzi. Her t-shirts are pretty cool, too.
Get lost in Fortner's intricate illustrations of gardens, flowers, mazes and animals. With notable editorial work featured in The New York Times, Canadian Living, plus album covers and advertorial work with brands like Converse, Fortner is an expert in editorial, advertising, and children's book illustration.
Most know her by No Cent Jokes, but she's so-so-so much more. A highly skilled illustrator, photographer and all-around creative guru, there's no shortage of top 10 lists to shout her out on.
Allison Burda and Cameron Gee
Here illustrations are retro, sultry and cheeky, which make Allison is a trendsetter in the Toronto illustration scene. Paired with Cameron Gee, other illustrators can't help but follow in the footsteps as they blaze a trail with their hairy babes, party pooper cats, and dog butts.
Vanessa Lee is an OCADU grad and top illustrator with a playful portfolio of sumo wrestlers, lovers, noodles and contemporary culture. Published in Lucky Peach, BUST, and Maisonneuve, Ness is one of Toronto's claims to illustrated fame.
Flip through recent Rookie yearbooks and you'll see a neon storyboard of cultural commentary that will make you feel all the feels. Get lost on her website and flashback to early Internet nostalgia.
Meet the mastermind behind the Picasso Bulls, the greatest team that never existed. But that doesn't matter; Lucas has an impressive roster of logos that will make you feel ultra-relevant in pop culture swag. Look out for more of his illustrations on Sidewalk Hustle.
Madison van Rijn
From Bar Fancy to Holt Renfrew, there's no shortage of name drops to include in Madison van Rijn's fully-loaded illustration portfolio. Just follow her on Instagram and see for yourself.
She's a gluten-free girlfriend with illustrations that will make you wish you live in a magical world of flamingos, pineapples and avocados. Adorable, bright and eye-catching, if you're looking for illustrated vegan food porn, start following this woman.
Rap Game Jane
Hannah is a Parkdale illustrator that jumped on the scene after her solo exhibition at Community54. Building street credibility with her one-of-a-kind hip hop, wasted youth, and trap queen illustrations, she's got a natural-born swag that's endearing.
If there's one way to illustrate Toronto in one Saturday night scene, it's one big bangin' orgy. Sam Nolan does just that, with relatable illustrations that explore sexual orientation and identity.
If you read Monica Heisey's first book I Can't Believe It's Not Better, you'll recognize Kitagawa's illustrated book cover. Kitagawa has also designed pieces for Long Winter Toronto, Market Collective and more.
Stained period-stained panties look pretty damn cool when they're BIG SIS illustrated. Commemorating the panties we've loved and lost, it's hard not to fall in love with this illustrator's giftable goodies and snarky comments. You go girl.
Spot her recent illustration work in Mary Young's new SS16 collection. A Fashion and Communications student at Ryerson, Joanis has a graphic style that's hyper-realistic and topical; Kardashians, melting popsicles and runway fashion are all included.
Shop Kitty Chan for a neat selection of exclusive pop culture illustrations (Drake), cards, plus experience in e-commerce, photography, and marketing. Don't get it twisted; this woman is a one-stop shop if you're looking for branding help.
Pui Yan Fong
If you visit the new Michael Jordan store, you'll see a wall covered in mid-flight basketball players drawn by Pui Yan Fong. Originally from Hong Kong, this artist puts an original spin on sports.
Andrew "Rewfoe" Foerster
Look no further for animated monsters, dancing cartoons and running pregnancy tests, Rewfoe is the creative mastermind with a client roster including Ted Education, School of Life and World Vision.
Who did we miss? Share the Toronto illustrators you're excited about in the comments.
Top image by Milan Rakocevic.
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