The recent cover of Foreign Affairs magazine features this illustration by James Gilleard of Trump navigating the world.
Featured image: ©Carlo Stanga
Illustrated maps use artistic style to create an accurate representation of an area while emphasizing what’s important and eye-catching.
In this way, illustrated maps give us the ability to virtually travel across the globe and visit places we’ve never been. They also serve to help us navigate our world and help us discover new, exciting things in our own familiar surroundings.
Here are a few examples of informative & captivating maps by Directory of Illustration artists.
Explore more illustration specialties, techniques & subjects through our keyword search.
In an attempt to draw attention to the substantial impact of air pollution, UNICEF took to social media to share works that illustrate the harmful effects of pollution on today’s children.
This illustration by Bodil Jane, a talented Folio artist, was among the selected works for the project and was featured on the UNICEF Instagram & Twitter page, Medium.com and the It’s Nice That website.
Read more about her approach the project here.
Featured image: ‘Wired for Sound’ by Syd Brak
Since its establishment over four decades ago, Folio has managed to withstand the test of time. The art agency, based in central London, was founded by Nicholas Dawe in the pre-digital era when few illustration agencies existed. Though it has certainly evolved since the earlier days, Folio still consistently selects artists that implement unique techniques and create some of the most distinctive images in the industry. Their diverse group of talented commercial artists continues to produce work for high caliber ad agencies & publishers all over the world.
For Folio’s 40th anniversary, we were honored to speak to Nicholas Dawe about the origin of the agency, what has kept them going strong for 40 years, and what’s in the future for Folio.
What was the catalyst that caused you to want to open an illustration agency?
I became an illustration agent when I started working for Andy Archer in 1971. Andy had previously sold space in Queen Magazine to ad agencies – he was good at sales and had ad agency contacts – and so had set himself up as an agent. Andy taught me how to hustle on behalf of the artists. I had been introduced to Andy by his good friend, the artist George Underwood, who Andy represented. I was always fascinated when watching George draw and paint works such as the early Marc Bolan album covers and was happy to get to know other talented artists as an agent.
With five years of experience under my belt, I struck out on my own and founded Folio on October 26, 1976. There were still just a handful of agencies in the UK at the time and Folio is the only one that continues in its original form, run by its founder.
Folio has remained in the same location since it first began. Can you give us a little history about the studio/office space?
After a year in a basement shop in Edgeware, in 1977 we moved to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where the studio office was furnished with plan chest drawers, transparency holders and state-of-the-art lighting and ample flat surfaces – not to mention, of course, a bar.
Every Friday, art buyers and artists from across the country would come together at Folio studios to socialize and check out the latest artworks. For a period, several artists were based at Folio and would habitually work through the night to meet deadlines – the office became known locally as ‘the lighthouse’.
Very few artist agencies existed when you started Folio. Did you find the art commissioners to be receptive to working through an agent?
Art commissioners were very receptive to dealing with an agent because they knew that the agent had knowledge of a number of artists and connections with those resources. This was before the internet so it wasn’t so easy for commissioners to research different artists and styles – they were happy to rely on an agent to guide them.
What challenges did you face in the early days?
In a pre-digital time, all work was physical. The artists worked on paper, artboard or canvas. If you called an artist, such as Paul Hogarth, and they were in the middle of a watercolor wash, they couldn’t be interrupted. In order for clients to see the work, it had to be couriered to them, whether they were in London, elsewhere in the UK or overseas. Amendments were a huge effort; if they were required, not only did the artist need to find a way to redraw the artwork but the physical object also needed to be couriered back to the artist – and then the process began again. Oil paintings took five days to dry, but deadlines were tight so they would be packed in deep frames for shipping while the paint was still wet. I spent many a night waiting on train platforms for the Red Star Express to arrive with a painting. Twice, works fell onto the tracks and were run over by trains, and one internationally couriered artwork even arrived with an aircraft tire print running across it!
What has kept you in the business?
What has kept Folio in the business is the love of seeing the artworks created. I have worked with Royal Academicians and D&AD Black Pencil award winners, trendsetters, and innovators. In my pre-Folio days working for Andy Archer, I even worked with Salvador Dalí – not an easy artist to commission!
If you could go back in time to 40 years ago, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Get out after 20!
What excites you about current trends in illustration?
Increasingly it is when art and technology are pushing each other to new developments in each field.
What’s ahead for Folio?
The longevity of Folio comes down to its willingness to refresh itself with new talent, even from its early days – new artists are taken on all the time, bringing novel techniques, new ideas, and fresh eyes. Folio has always prided itself on working with originators: ‘often imitated, never duplicated’. The agency will continue to evolve, as it has always done, and I look forward to more and more exciting jobs worldwide.
Megapont is a group made up of Russian pixel artists Dmitry and Yuriy. Heavily influenced by early computer art, retro 2D computer games and their Russian heritage, the duo creates sprawling, detailed metropolises and scenes of pop culture mayhem that defy belief.
MUTI collaborated with FoxP2 Cape Town to create a series of wallpapers, portraying iconic movie moments with a twist towards the movie-going experience, for the foyers of Ster Kinekor Cinemas.
Last year, Ricardo Bessa had the opportunity to work on an animated featurette titled, The Dance of Dragons, included in the Game of Thrones season 5 blu-ray.
The Dance of Dragons is a 20-minute animation based on G.R.R. Martin’s novella, The Princess and the Queen, which takes place 200 years before the events in Game of Thrones.
The animation was recently shown at a few events as a lead-up to the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones.
Collage art allows artists to combine divergent thinking with principles of design, storytelling and creation.
Using collages, these Directory of Illustration artists have succeeded in describing the human experience in the most poignant and direct way.
Use our Keyword Search to discover many more artists by style, technique and subject.
Combining both hand-drawn and digital elements, Ricardo Bessa creates beautiful, otherworldly illustrations that blur the lines between realism and fantasy. Drawing inspiration from nature, comics, mythology and fiction, Ricardo has built up an exquisite portfolio that instantly transports the viewer into a colorful, ethereal world of magnificent beasts, ominous woods, mustachioed men and keenly observed human forms.
Folio Illustration Agency, Ricardo’s rep, recently interviewed the artist for the newest installment of In the Studio.
In the interview, Ricardo discusses the role that social media has had on promoting his work, his influences and motivations, his workflow in the studio, and more.
It’s a great read, make sure to check it out here.