Artist Spotlight: Nick Mayer

Nick Mayer is an award winning nature illustrator with an M.A. in Biology from Brown University. His artwork combines the natural beauty of fish and other marine life with a unique scientific perspective. From loose gestural sketches to complex scientific illustrations, Nick’s signature style is generally achieved through a mixture of watercolor work and Photoshop. His work and licensed products can be seen in galleries and stores in over 30 countries around the globe.

As the principal of Nick Mayer Nature Illustration, an art and illustration studio specializing in science-based, nature, and informative art, particularly in regards to marine subjects, Nick always manages to stay busy. This summer he split his time between working on privately commissioned projects and running workshops on Catalina and Fishers Islands.

The ‘Seychelles Dream Project’ and ‘Fossil Sea Monster Reconstruction Project’ both put Nick to the test over the last few months and you can read more about each of them here.

You can see more of Nick’s work on his Directory of Illustration portfolio page or on his website.

Campaign Spotlight: Nathan Smith’s Robotics Images

Nathan Smith was asked to produce a series of visual works for a large UK organisation earlier this year. The brief was to create a robot that was both intelligent and inquisitive, and who would elicit an emotional response from the viewer.

Staying true to the brief, Nathan used a limited and subtle color palette made up of mostly of whites and grays. He managed to create an image that felt edgy and cool, while remaining non-threatening, even with visible tech under the body plates acting as an homage to the history of robotics.

He gave the robot’s almost human face green gel eyes to induce a curious, cognitive response from the viewer.

Nathan composed the image in a way that conveys a sophisticated, yet sensitive relationship between the robot and the object rising from its hand. He kept the design minimalist, thus allowing for it to have a strong silhouette and plenty of negative space and screen estate for text.

Nathan is represented by AAARep. You can see more from him on his Directory of Illustration portfolio page.

Debut Art Showcase

Debut Art was established in 1985 and has offices in London, New York and Tokyo. With a roster of incredibly talented illustrators, motion and animation artists, and illustrative designers, Debut Art is one of the most premiere illustration agencies in the world.

They represent 140+ artists specializing in just about every type of art and illustration you can imagine, including motion and design.  Their clientele includes Fortune 500 companies from around the world, as well as various magazines and publications.

Today we’re showcasing just a few of the most brilliant artists Debut Art has to offer.

Morten Morland


Neil Webb

Ronald Kurniawan

Benedict Campbell


To see even more incredible Debut Art artists, be sure to check out their Directory of Illustration portfolio page.

Mendola Artists Showcase

Mendola Artists is among the top illustration agencies in the world. Their artists have worked with everyone from Jack Daniel’s and Penguin Random House to GQ and Pepsi. They have decades worth of experience and extremely diverse skill sets that lend themselves to almost any project or situation. They’re masters of Mixed Media, Pen & Ink, 3D, Animation, CGI, Illustration,  Calligraphy, Caricature and Photoillustration and more.

Today we’re showcasing just a few of the most brilliant artists Mendola has to offer.

Robert Ball

Robert Ball

Michael Crampton

Michael Crampton

Neil Duerden

Neil Duerden

Luke Lucas

Luke Lucas

Aaron Sacco

Aaron Sacco

To see even more incredible Medola artists, be sure to check out their Directory of Illustration portfolio page.

Rapp Artists Spotlight

Gerald & Cullen Rapp is one of world’s top illustration agencies. They’re home to some of the most recognizable artists and art work in the industry. The artists of Rapp have had their work grace nearly every major publication in circulation today. From National Geographic to Rolling Stone, you’ve probably seen the work of one of their artists without even realizing it.

Today we’re highlighting just a few of the most creative artists Rapp has to offer.

Raul Arias

Raul Arias

Raul Arias

Nigel Buchanan

Nigel Buchanan Nigel Buchanan

James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Traci Daberko

Traci Daberko Traci Daberko

Dan Page

Dan Page Dan Page

You can see portfolios from all the Rapp Artists on the Directory of Illustration website here.

Artist Spotlight: The Style of Gavin Reece

Gavin Reece has style, a lot of it. Represented by the New Division agency, he’s one of London’s leading fashion illustrators. The majority of Reece’s work has a distinctively graphic feel to it. Having started his career by studying Fine Arts at Edinburgh and St. Martins, Reece has since taken his work worldwide, creating art for clients including Mercedes, Budweiser, Virgin Atlantic, Aquafresh, Elle, Penguin Books and more.

According to Reece, he gets his inspiration from cocktails, coffee, Italian design, 60’s LA, red wine, fashion, travel and movies. If you look closely, it isn’t hard to see many of these inspirations come to life in Reece’s works. One of his most recent projects was an illustration for Imbibe Magazin titled Bevvy Metal. Reece’s graphic novel style was the perfect fit to bring this gritty biker image to life.

You can see more of Reece’s work on his Directory of Illustration portfolio page or on his website.

Gavin Reece Gavin Reece Gavin Reece Gavin Reece Gavin Reece

To see more New Division artists, visit their portfolio page on the Directory of Illustration website.

An Abstract Spotlight

“There is no abstract art.  You must always start with something.  Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.”

—Pablo Picasso


For many, abstract art can be difficult. Difficult to create and difficult to understand. It’s inherently different than most other types of art, almost by definition. Thus, many people look at it with reserve and misunderstanding.

It’s been argued that no one can truly tell you how to look at a piece of abstract art, not even the artist behind the creation. Whether that is true or not is up for debate. At the end of the day, abstract art, like almost all art, is deeply personal and it’s up to the beholder to abstract from it what they will.

All that being said, here’s just a handful of our favorite pieces of abstract art from some incredibly talented Directory of Illustration artists.

Next Disruptive Thing  by John Hersey

Next Disruptive Thing John Hersey

Untitled from Olivia Knapp

Olivia Knapp

Brainy Beauty  by Dave Plunkert

Brainy Beauty Dave Plunkert

Pattern 04  by Christina K

Pattern 04 Christina K

Paintbox  by Linda Carruth

Untitled from Simon Prades

Simon Prades


You can see more from all of these artists and others on the Directory of Illustration website.

Society of Illustrators Los Angeles Presents Illustration West 54

Image: Goñi Montes, Richard Solomon Artists Representative

Join the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 5119 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 for the opening night of their 54th Illustration West. SOI LA’s Gallery and website will be showcasing the 267 (out of close to 1300 entries) pieces of art that were juried and deemed worthy of being exhibited. The Awards Ceremony will take place at 8:00 pm. In addition to seeing this wonderful art on the walls you’ll be able to view some of the work that couldn’t travel to Los Angeles on our plasma screen. The website will launch the same night:

Their 139 accepted artists and award winners are from around the world: From Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusettes, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin to the United Kingdom, Poland, Philippines, Mexico, Italy, France, Canada, Spain, C 2015yprus and The Netherlands.

This year’s Show Chair is Marc Scheff, and their great panel of judges, Anna & Elena Balbusso, Doug Alexander Gregory, Rebecca Guay, Steven E. Hughes, Thomas James, David Mack, Lauren Panepinto, Jon Schindehette and Esther Pearl Watson all worked very hard to come up with this wonderful show from so many talented artists.

Illustration West is an annual competition and exhibition highlighting the year’s best illustration – both from L.A. and from all around the world. SILA is honored to represent established and emerging artists and demonstrate that this continues to be an exciting era for illustration.

Directory of Illustration is a proud competition sponsor of this event.

More details can be seen at

Here’s some of the work you’ll see at The Gallery:

Tran Nguyen
Richard Solomon Artists Representative


Category: Unpublished & Self Promotional
Award: Gold Award
Ink, graphite, colored pencil


Yann Legendre
Début Art Ltd.


Category: Editorial
Metropolitan is a glossy premium lifestyle magazine with a unique, hip and quirky editorial content. It is produced in English, French and Flemish, and has a monthly reach of over 1 000 000 readers. The illustration was for the cover of the special Star Wars issue.


Bonnie Hofkin
American Artists


Airbrush, prisma pencil
Concept designed to highlight not only traditional draftsmanship but also seamless transition into ‘traditional airbrush’ with a touch of medical illustration.


Joey Feldman


Black and white portrait of Charles Darwin


Rod Hunt
Bernstein & Andriulli


Commissioned by AMV BBDO for the pitch for the advertising campaign for a well known confectionery brand. “You never know what you’ll get’ was the tag line that inspired some weird and wonderful scenarios.


Aad Goudapel


Category: Editorial
Editorial illustration . It might sound great if job satisfaction is high but it might kill your companies agility. For PM Special

Maury Aaseng: The Art of Painting Sea Life in Watercolor

Maury Aaseng is currently in the process of creating 7 step-by-step painting projects of various sea life for a new book from Walter Foster Publishing in Irvine, California entitled, The Art of Painting Sea Life in Watercolor.

From the publisher:
The Art of Painting Sea Life in Watercolor opens with a guide to essential information on the necessary tools and materials for both sketching and painting, including pencils, paints and brushes, palettes, supports, and mediums. In addition to learning about basic drawing and painting techniques and color theory, readers will learn how to create compelling compositions, achieve depth, and render realistic textures.This new title in the Collector’s Series features a large variety of stunning sea life, from an adorable sea otter to an magnificent whale. With a fresh, modern spin on this majestic subject, The Art of Painting Sea Life in Watercolor is a comprehensive and indispensable resource, packed with beautiful illustrations and expert instruction, for all artists smitten with the animal kingdom.

The book is now available for preorder through Amazon with an expected release date of April 2016.

About Maury Aaseng:
Starting with his grade school days, drawing dinosaurs and animals in notebook margins, Maury Aaseng has always been excited about drawing and art. After graduating with a BFA in graphic design from the University of Minnesota—Duluth, Maury began his illustration career. The work spans a variety of subject matter and illustration styles. The range of work includes anatomical illustration and cartoons for medical textbooks, informative illustrations for young adult non-fiction, illustrated guides for out-patient care, How-to-Draw books, custom watercolor work for independent authors, and logo design and creation.

More of Maury’s work can be seen through his Directory of Illustration Portfolio and at


Parrotfish by Maury Aaseng for Walter Foster Publishing


Dolphins by Maury Aaseng for Walter Foster Publishing


Walrus by Maury Aaseng for Walter Foster Publishing