The Department of Illustration

The Illustration blog everyone should know about

Posted in Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on October 25, 2010

Chris Mullen set this generous resource up a while ago, a repository for ‘the visual telling of stories’, while he was teaching on the Sequential Illustration MA at Brighton.

It is a constant source of inspiration and full of ideas, like Chris himself. From wunderkammer to infographics via everything interesting you can imagine. Highly recommended.


Top Ten Graphic Design Books

Posted in Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on August 17, 2010

Is it the time of year or is everyone and his dog compiling ‘best of’ lists. This latest from Patrick Cramsie in the Guardian

Design is History

Posted in Historical, Ideas, Writing, Theory, Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on August 17, 2010

’50 Best Illustration Blogs’

Posted in Digital Culture, Online resources and archives, Professional by The Department of Illustration on August 16, 2010

as chosen by

50 Best Illustration Blogs on the Web

Illustrators are finding inspiration and tips on how to improve their technique on the web. From cartoonists to those exploring digital art, illustrators can learn a lot from each other. Many illustrators are using blogs to show off their commercial work, while others have a niche following for their quirky drawings.

Tutorial and Illustration History Blogs

These blogs aim at helping artists new and old learn how to draw with a creative edge.

    1. Drawn : Arguably the ultimate online resource for illustrators this site is packed with tips on drawing, improving your craft and learning how to make images come together.

    2. Today’s Inspiration : This blog focuses on illustrations from the 1940s and ‘50s and also moves into the ‘60s at times. It makes for a great lesson in art for aspiring illustrators or those who want a refresher on techniques of the past.

    3. The Comics Journal : This is the place for cartoonists to get an insider’s perspective on everything from classic comics to more modern graphic novels.

    4. Animation Archive : Check out this amazing site that’s packed with cartoons and illustrations from the days of yore, plus countless pointers for improving your own technique when drawing.

    5. Drawger : Get ready to be inspired and laugh like crazy at this site for illustrators of every kind.

    6. Sea Nursery : This fascinating blog will keep you busy for hours as it explains the importance of taking care of our oceans and how sea life is managing major changes.

    7. Tiny Showcase : Developed in 2004, this site is devoted to putting small illustrators in the spotlight. It’s a tiny gallery with a whole lot of talent.

    8. 100 Years of Illustration : This blog is a massive retrospect of cartoons and illustrations over the past 100 years. There’s tons of World War II images and great comments from folks all over the world who own authentic posters from the era.

    9. The Little Chimp Society : Whether you’re an artist or not, you’ll be drawn to this illustration blog with amazing drawings for everything from emerging artists to album art.

    10. BibliOdyssey : If the obscure grabs your interest, head over to this blog that tracks remote illustrations on book covers and music albums.

    11. Cartoon Brew : It’s all cartoons at this blog with tons of animated shorts and interviews with cartoonists.

    12. Illustration Art : Sometimes less is more and this site celebrates the forgotten artists that worked on posters and ads that shaped the 20th century.

    13. Pencil Test Depot : If you’re an illustrator who works mainly with pencil or charcoal, you’ll go nuts for this blog where simple sketches become jaw dropping images in motion.

    14. Ape on the Moon : This site provides a look at modern comics. The best thing is there’s publications from all over the globe, giving you a taste of what’s out there without leaving home.

    15. Motionographer : It’s all movies at this blog where the writer analyzes typography and animation.

    16. AniPages Daily : Pull up a chair and sink into the lengthy posts found on this blog that discuss everything anime, including some of the first anime films ever made.

    17. Illustration Class : Learn the tricks of the trade at this fantastic illustration site that makes drawing seem easy.

    18. Illustration Friday This site has all types of clever art, but the drawings really take the cake.

    19. Illustrophile : A team of illustrators contribute to this blog. Get ready for everything from quirky to breathtaking, proving the word”illustrator” has a very broad range.

    20. Journalista : Find all of the news that’s fit to print for illustrators and cartoonists.

    21. Meathaus : Illustrators will love this blog because it’s packed with drawing tips, but also showcases inspiration from photographers and video artists.

    22. Animation Backgrounds : Read interesting commentary on the background animation of famed cartoons like Disney movies and classic TV shows.

    23. Animation Blast : This is an animation site that has delved into the world of print successfully. See some of the artwork featured in the magazine here.

    24. Chris Wahl Art : If you want to caricatures of celebrities, this is your blog. Check out cool illustrations of Thom Yorke and Megan Fox.

    25. Pikaland : If quirky illustrations are your thing, you’ll fall in love fast with this blog that also features goodies on Etsy.

General Illustration Blogs

Check out these illustration blogs for inspiration and tips on how to market yourself as an illustrator.

    26. Creative Opera : This site provides business help for designers and those in the creative field.. This is a great resource for those who deal with freelancing contracts.

    27. Vandelay Desgin : This blog is aimed at designers, but illustrators will appreciate the open advice about selling your services online.

    28. Escape from Illustration Island : This blog has the best of both worlds – plenty of creative inspiration as well as business-minded posts to help you make a living at illustrating.

    29. Illustration-Design : Illustrators and designers can check this blog for updates on job openings around the world and the web.

    30. Illustration Pages : Tracking the talent on Facebook, this site is full of art from amazing artists that draw for the love of art.

    32. Booooooom : Get ready for some serious inspiration from this neat blog that’s chock full of the strange and surreal when it comes to many mediums of art.

    33. Hai! : The name is short for”hire an illustrator” and the site is packed with portfolios to get your creative juices flowing.

    34. Sugar Frosted Goodness : If you’re a beginner, this is a good site to check out that will make the illustrating game feel approachable.

    35. Illustration House : This is an auction house for vintage illustrations. The techniques and concepts behind these old images will inspire you.

    36. The Art Department : With occasional auctions for charity, this site is devoted to creating book cover art for new wave sci-fi novels that will amaze you.

    37. Illustration Mundo : Ever wonder what it’s like to matter in the world of art? This site takes a look at the heavy hitters in the industry and the future of illustrating and publishing.

    38. Zero 2 Illo : While this site no longer updates, the archived material is worth a look for beginner illustrators or those looking to make a career out of their hobby.
    39. Editorial Anonymous : This secretive children’s book editor shares his or her’s woes on the job and solid tips for those looking to break into the biz.

    40. The Daily Cartoonist : News for the modern cartoonist. There’s everything from commercial animation to web comics and classic panels and storyboards.

    41. Lines and Colors : The art at this site will stun even the most seasoned illustrator. Be prepared for serious inspiration from the amazing artists featured on this blog.

    42. Signature Illustration Blog : Another homerun of an illustration site with exceptional work from artists. Some images are so startling, you’ll find yourself thinking of them throughout the day. It’s that intense..

    43. Fuel Your Illustration : Be prepared for inspiration galore at this site. There are featured illustrators and archives posts that will improve your craft.

    44. Thunder Chunky : It’s illustration, design and even screenprinting at this ridiculously addictive site that will make you channel your inner artist (even if it’s just a remote part of you).

    45. The Illustrator Academy : This site is full of tips for illustrators and comes to you from the pros.

    46. The Illustration Site : Real tips for people who want to work in illustrating. Sit down and take in the great tips that illustrator Lorraine Dey has to offer.

    47. Art and Story : Listen to these podcasts which examine the relationship between a storyline and the images that bring it to life.

    48. Character Design : A look at all of your favorite characters, re-interpreted by illustrators who bend the rules. The site gets especially busy during events like Comic Con when readers submit work they’ll be selling at the iconic convention.

    49. Illustration Magazine : This magazine tracks illustrations throughout the 20th century, giving yo a taste of what once was. While there aren’t many images available online, there’s info on how to subscribe to and order back issues of this exceptional publication for illustrators.

    50. How Design : This is an excellent site for artists looking to improve the business side of their services.

Illustrators are using social media and blogs to showcase their work and their audience. There’s a niche crowd for illustrators and the Internet has allowed networking, exposure and more work for this underappreciated craft.

Design Initiative

Posted in Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on April 11, 2010

worth subscribing to

info about opportunities and events such as the  northern futures award deadline 30th April.

Stefan Kanchev

Posted in Historical, Online resources and archives, Visual Language by The Department of Illustration on November 4, 2009

“The purpose of this project is to fill the information vacuum about the life and art of Stefan Kanchev. The quality of his works is so high that they are worthy to be shared with more people. Kanchev is the author of more than 1000 trade marks and symbols, 650 stamps, posters, post cards and envelopes, book covers, packaging and etc.”


daily book graphics

Posted in Documentary, Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on November 4, 2009

cargo collective

Posted in Digital, Online resources and archives, Professional by The Department of Illustration on November 1, 2009

Highly recommended for archiving projects, and for finding your feet with a bit of CSS. Its free while its in beta so nothing is stopping you from applying to to join. Here are two I made earlier-


secret cavern

Posted in Collaborations, Digital, Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on October 27, 2009

I am really liking the interface at cargo collective, with visual boxes for links as well as lists at the side.

National Geographic photo of the day

Posted in Online resources and archives by The Department of Illustration on October 25, 2009