We were recently contacted by Italian freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Diamante Beghetto, who has embarked on a project titled, Beautiful Jungle. In which Diamante draws on top of vintage photographs using Uni-posca paint markers. Adding creatures and distorting figures, to otherwise mundane imagery, to create humorous yet unsettling visuals.
Across all Diamante illustration work, you get a real sense that the process is rather organic, that the images feel very much spontanious. Perhaps having an idea but ultimately using the paper to explore and let her mind and hand wonder. Which in turn gives the viewer a similar experience, where your eyes dot across the illustration, trying to make sense of it all.
You can check out more of Diamante Beghetto’s work on her website and follow Diamante on instagram to see her latest Beautiful Jungle pieces.
Illustrator from Mexico City, Rafael Mayani is currently a Vancouver resident. Specialising in editorial illustration and character design for animation, Mayani shares his talents with creative studio, Giant Ant.
For the best part of 2014 Mayani occupied his time with a personal project called, Disney Challenge. After watching every Disney theatrical animated feature, he created an illustration for each movie. The challange of capturing the spirit of the characters and feelings of the movies in a single illustration allowed Mayani to grow, and you can see the progession in his work starting from the early features all the way to the most recent.
Mayani also contributed to the charitable exhibition, Secret 7. Where he illustrated three record sleeves, one for Strange Creatures by Jake Bugg, Team by Lorde, and a cubist inspired cover for Grounds for Divorce by Elbow. Currently, Mayani is part of the One Thousand and One Knights anthology. A very exciting project “celebrating kickass ladies” and “people-positive knights”, already attached with lots of notable illustrators and artist. Many of the creators involved have been revealing sneak peeks of their work on twitter, which you find using the hashtag #1001knights.
Jun Cen is an illustrator, animator and designer. Cen received a bachelor’s degree in Printmaking from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China, later, he moved to Baltimore where he completed his MFA degree in Illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Working as a freelance illustrator from 2009 and throughout his studies. In 2013, the very same year that he graduated from MICA, he won the AOI Illustration New Talent Award. His work has been selected for a number shows including The Society of Illustrators Annual Show 56 and The AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition. His animations too have been shown at multiple film festivals including Illustrative 13 Festival and Indie Memphis Film Festival.
Currently based in New York he has worked with international clients from England, France and China. His work has illuminated the pages of Elle, Nobrow, The New York Times, and Wissen. It is this diversity of work that keeps Cen motivated. When questioned, if he would prefer a steady job over freelancing, this is what he said:
It is more stressful […] But I hate getting used to the same mode every day. Dealing with different clients is more challenging to me. I feel fulfilled whenever I finish a project.
Jun Cen’s illustrations, digital and traditional, are always sensitively drafted. They utilise harmonious tones and subtle touches of texture to give a feeling of calmness and quietness, making much of his work close to hypnotic.
You can find more of Cen’s portfolio on his website and his tumblr.
Christoph Niemann is an award-winning illustrator, artist, and author. Born in Waiblingen, Germany in 1970, he studied Graphic Design at the State Academy of Fine Art in Stuttgart, between 1991 and 1997. After completing his studies, Niemann moved to New York and began his career as an illustrator.
In 2010 he was bestowed the honor of being inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall Of Fame. The only club that can boast Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Andy Warhol and Jim Henson as members.
So, how did Christoph Niemann get his name included among such greats in less than 15 years?
Well, his path has been an expensive one, which has seen his work go from strength to strength both personally and commercially. It has seen him work with esteemed publications such as The New Yorker, Time, Wired, The New York Times Magazine. As well as leading corporate clients include Google, Amtrak, Herman Miller and The Museum of Modern Art.
Niemann is habitually starting projects and in July 2008 he started writing and illustrating Abstract Sunday (previously known as the whimsical Abstract City) as part of the New York Times blog. A personal series in which he explores New York, pop culture, food, music and family life. Using a cross-section of media, from the tradition to the not so traditional, such as Lego, napkins, and leaves. The visual and often abstract series was (and still is) hugely popular putting Christoph Niemann’s name on everyone’s lips. In 2012 Abrams Books compiled sixteen chapters of the blog into highly praised Abstract City.
Abstract City is one of his many books and projects. More recently Niemann released an interactive picture book for iPad and iPhone called Petting Zoo. Where, quite simply you get to swipe and tap 21 hand-drawn animals in the most amusing, adorable and soothing way.
For Niemann, concept and visuals go hand-in-hand, he never compromises on either one and is always taking a different approach to best convey the narrative or message. He often plays with our preconceptions and pokes fun at the status quo. Unafraid to be politically contentious nor unashamedly straightforward. The strength of Niemann’s work lies in its clarity and its ability to instantly connect with the viewer. No matter how simple his illustrations sometimes appear, they always invite the viewer to look again.
Two-time Hugo Award and Chesley Award Winner, Julie Dillon is a freelance artist from Northern California. In 2005 she graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts from Sacramento State University. Then a year later she had begun working as a freelance artist professionally. Specialising in sci-fi and fantasy art, Dillon has created artwork for trading cards, book covers, magazines, and even perfume labels. Clients including Simon & Schuster, Tor Books, and Penguin Books.
Dillon’s illustrations are rich in colours with enchanting lighting. Warm glows illuminate her figures and environments. Her compositions too are equally compelling. Even though she works in a realistic style, she is unafraid to play with the laws of physics to produce more dynamic images.
Julie Dillon has run two very successful Kickstarter campaigns for a series of annual art books, titled Imagined Realms. If you missed the campaign and wish you could get your hands on a copy, you are in luck! You can pick up a hard copy of Book 1 from her shop, and a digital copy from her gumroad.