I’ve known for a long time that my heart lies in the arts. As a child, art supplies were always my choice playthings, and craft days felt like Christmas. Those feelings remain to this day and that’s why it’s so exciting for me when I find a new designer or artist making a splash in the world. Seeing how different designers have used colour, shape, typography, and line work has allowed me to explore my own work and creativity. I’ve often researched other artists and designers when I’m stuck for a colour palette, or if there’s a certain mood I can’t quite capture. It’s always a great day when I find new work because I know that I won’t be able to resist making a new piece inspired by my findings. To quote Jean-Luc Godard: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”
So here is a list of five of my design crushes:
1. Chip Kidd: After watching his TED Talk about designing book covers, I realized that he has an incredible job. His work is often fun, clever and unique in the best ways possible. One could say that his work was what pushed me into taking the Langara Publishing program, because who could resist the world of designing in the book industry after watching that?
2. Madalina Andronic: After stumbling upon this lady’s Behance account, I was delighted at the variety of her work. She had a little bit of everything: book covers, crafts, beautiful illustrations, and even some gorgeous ceramics. That’s just a little bit of what this talented woman has to offer. Her work has a graceful balance between delicate and intricate that I admire in a person. It shows detail, patience, and playfulness, and seriously, it looks amazing.
3. Linn Olofsdotter: This illustration was the one that hooked me. I discovered Linn Olofsdotter’s work several years ago and it was a huge inspiration for me, it still is. A talented illustrator/graphic designer, Linn has always produced interesting pieces that leave me itching to illustrate. She incorporates textures, patterns, and colours in beautiful ways and her line work is on point.
4. Georgia Hill: Holy typography, Batman! Seriously, this woman is so talented with type that it makes me simultaneously want to slave over a page for the rest of my life and give up completely. Perhaps if she was doing it all digitally I’d be able to swallow it better, but because she does it by hand I can’t help but stare in shock and awe at the magic she produces. It’s both graphic and detailed and I think she’s a typographer out for my heart.
5. Hanna Paivikki Konola: There will always be a soft spot in my heart for details and patterns, and Hanna has done them in such a fun way, I can’t help but be drawn to her work. Her pieces are either soft and very intricate and soft, or bold and very Finnish—especially with her textiles, which she has designed for Finnish textile company Kauniste.
Frankly, these designers/illustrators/typographers/artists inspire me every time I sit down to work. Always at the back of my mind influencing my work, they continue to be an excellent source of excitement, and fuel my never-ending desire to design and create art.