Drawing is great. There’s something uniquely therapeutic about putting pencil to paper and letting your imagination take the reins. For those who haven’t been regular practitioners since their dot-to-dot days, drawing can stir nostalgic feelings of play, while the more seasoned illustrators amongst us may find the craft a gratifying form of expression and relief.
Line art, a simplistic form of art void of texture and intricate detail, simultaneously communicates the joy of drawing and creates a striking visual impression, and designers have been taking note. Whether this is an artistic backlash to a year of gloomy headlines, or a trend riding on the coat-tails of the ever-popular minimalism, line art has arrived and its influence can be observed across a whole gamut of products, including jewellery, pots, and wall art. We’ve selected five of our favourite Instagram accounts of the artists providing the inspiration behind one of this year’s biggest trends.
Artist Alexa Coe’s account is a treat for the eyes. The London-based illustrator and feminist sketches female nudes in a playful yet pared-back style, rebelling against society’s restrictive attitude towards women’s bodies. Interspersed with photos of sketches pinned to her studio wall and images of her own body, Alexa’s account invites you into her personal space, making it an intimate, unpretentious and completely accessible account to follow.
Graphic designer and painter John Zabawa hails from Chicago and is garnering attention for his ability to reduce subjects to the simplest of shapes and colours. The natural world is a clear source of inspiration; the sun and a variety of plants feature heavily throughout, and his use of warm hues creates a sun-kissed, welcoming feel to his art. There are nods towards his love of music too, from his clever re-purposing of old record dust sleeves as canvases to the less-subtle shots of himself strumming a guitar that are scattered amongst his photographic posts.
Specialists in one line minimalism, Differantly are an artist duo hailing from Paris and Berlin. Their ability to deconstruct complex three-dimensional objects into single continuous lines whilst still retaining their sense of depth and character demonstrates real skill. Differantly’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed; on their Instagram you’ll see snippets of their commissions for giant brands like Adidas alongside a treasure trove of unbranded offerings, including process studies, giant murals in galleries, and heaps of mesmerising animations.
Sitting proudly at the ‘really minimal’ end of the line art spectrum is Flora and Form. The brainchild of designer Danielle Romero, this Miami-based studio serves to showcase her multidisciplinary creative endeavors, most of which are inspired by nature and architecture. The impetus behind Danielle’s art is to capture the subtle forms and colours presented by her subjects in an abstract style whilst bringing about harmony between indoors and the outside world.
If a quick scroll through Christiane’s account leads you to draw comparisons with Picasso, you’d be forgiven. Whilst drawing had been her passion since childhood it wasn’t until 2010 that the Copenhagen-based artist was inspired to explore the one-line technique, having discovered similar drawings by the man himself. Much like Picasso, Christiane has a passion for portraits, painting them in a uniquely minimalist style. Despite the abstract nature of her work the faces she draws are very much human, each possessing its own personality. Christiane does not title the pieces, instead letting the audience decide who they are for themselves.