These 10 Creative Storybook Illustrators Are Redefining The Art of Visual Storytelling


Between the ‘once upon a time’ to ‘they lived happily ever after’ comes a gap of pages which are embossed with words in black, these words come together to tell you a story; but the vision of the writer truly comes to life when it’s supported with illustrations. Storybook illustrations not only make the book more interesting to read, but at the same time it defines the characters to the readers, it helps the reader understand the emotions and simultaneously caters to different age groups which attracts them from taking one step towards the book, flipping through the pages and sub consciously purchase it in admiration of the illustrations made in them.

Today we have drawn up a list of creative storybook illustrators from around the globe who weave in the golden thread of creative illustrations into storybooks and accelerate our imagination to absorb, imbibe and cherish every bit of the story.

1. Ruchi Shah

I came across Ruchi’s works while flipping through ‘The Sob Story of A Farmer’ on my tablet. Trust me, the illustrations are like petrichor. Ruchi has a very unique style of giving a blend of indian art (madhubani, warli, etc.) in the modern age story. She did her Masters at IDC, IIT Bombay and has an MA Visual Arts from University of the Arts, London. Currently a freelance illustrator in Mumbai, India, she spends her time experimenting with different mediums and materials. She has exhibited her art in London, Beijing and Poland. You can see more of Ruchi’s works here.

These stories were created as a part of a graphic novel with 16 stories of different farmers from the same region, who committed suicide. The project is in collaboration with the Damroo Project at IDC, IIT Bombay. Agriculture in India is better known as – a gamble with monsoons  – because in case of failure it can lead to a series of droughts, lack of better prices and exploitation. This along with the advent of the BT cotton seed in India; that failed miserably in yielding a good crop, led to a spate of suicides committed by farmers, in the region of Vidarbha.



2. Khoa Le

Based in Vietnam, Khoa le is an illusrtator, artist and a graphic designer. Khoa’s works are a journey in itself, the color scheme that is used is subtle and serene which gives a sense of tranquility, the portraitures are simple caricatures standing out vividly on the base. The entire scheme has an oriental soul which makes it dream like, with all the sparkle and glitter. To explore more of Khoa’s works, click here.

thumb (1)

3.Oliver Jeffers

‘The Day The Crayons Quit’, ‘The Moose Belongs To Me’ and ‘The Way Back Home’ are a few picture books illustrated by Brooklyn based illustrator Oliver Jeffers who is known world wide for his simple yet enchanting way of story narration in the form of illustrations. The true charm of his illustrations is in bringing out the inner child in the reader through his minimalist sketches. You can find Oliver’s works on his official website, right here.


4. Yasmeen Ismail

Born in Dublin and based in London, Yasmeen Ismail is one of the most inspiring story book illustrators of all times. Why? Well, she went from a no job phase to becoming one of the most successful illustrators in a span of less than 5 years. Her sketches are fun and they brighten up the storybook in itself, the color scheme is like sunshine and would want you to let your imagination take a dip in it. ‘Let’s Go Find A Tiger’ is one of my personal favorites. Check out her official website and let her work enchant you!


5. Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde

Meet Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde, whose Instagram account has taken the world by storm. Followed by 235k people, this illustrator and character designer is from Munich. Now what’s the element which attracts people towards her WIP’s and sketches? Well she gives us the perfectly prepared mocktail of urban sketching, cartoons with real life expressions and a kick of the city life. Check out her work on Instagram and on her website right away!

tumblr_o2k2blvZqI1sqhy0go1_500 tumblr_o3bjohriaa1sqhy0go1_500 tumblr_o3xa4i7Pkf1sqhy0go4_500

6. Kevin Hawkes

Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of over 40 acclaimed picture books and chapter books including Chocken Cheeks, Library Lion and Sidewalk Circus. Vibrant colors, unusual perspectives and a dry sense of humour are hallmarks of his work. Find more of his wonderful landscapes and surreal character sketches on his official website.

7. Jill Barton

“I was born during the war – I had a Mickey Mouse gas mask and I wore a siren suit,” say hello to Jill Barton, a veteran illustrator whose graphite sketches and watercolor wash illustrations are a complete out-of-the-box idea. A graduate from Manchester School of Art, she’s worked as an illustrator for many books including ‘Puss Jekyll, Cat Hyde’. To know more about Jill, click here.

Puss Jekyll extract-6

8. Traver Dodorye

Traver Dodorye is an abstract expressionism artist living and working in Miami. He paints with a theme that reflects on things he’s seen or learned from his past, growing up in the 80’s. He employs a variety of surfaces such as shirts, canvas, car tires and walls. Inspired by street pioneers and art icons such as Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Pablo Picasso, Traver paints with a unique genre and level of complexity in a fictional way. Illustrators need not work on storybooks particularly, it could be something off beat as well. For instance, take Traver’s illustrations in his award winning coloring book for adults called ‘Outside The Lines’ which revolves around contemporary art and a story book on the famous architect Frank ‘O’ Gehry. Do visit Traver’s official website to get a perfect dose of photography, illustrations and graphic design.


9. David Sossella

You can find all the Uptown Funk in David’s illustrations which consist of bold sketches combined with micro detailing. His illustrations have wooed brands like Ray-Ban and many others to illustrate books, ad campaigns and much more. Graduated with honours in painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, from 2000 he began working as an illustrator and graphic designer. Find more about David, right here!


10. Andrew Fairclough

Andrew Fairclough is a Sydney based Illustrator, Designer and Art Director. Often working with a restricted colour palette, Andrew’s work seeks to hint at the nostalgia and tactility of found art, whilst also creating something completely new. ‘Attempting Normal’ is a biography on US Comedian Marc Mason for which the illustrations were made by Andrew. The illustrations are so catchy and attractive that you’d just want to pin it up on your board. Find more about Andrew on his official page, right here.


Inspired to create yet? We sure are!

Image Courtesy of respective artists, Creative Bloq, Walker



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *