The Block

Inspiration — 3 weeks ago

16 Visual Artists to Watch in 2020

The artists to look out for in 2020. 

 

Let’s face it, January isn’t most people’s idea of fun. What’s getting us through one of the greyest (and brokest) months though, is thinking about everything we’ve got to look forward to in the year ahead. Back in December, we put together our roundups of T-shirt brands you should know and the sustainable brands that should be on your radar for 2020. Now as we kick off the year, we’re turning our attention to the creatives we can’t wait to see soar in 2020. 

 

Without doubt one of the highlights of what we do at Everpress is getting to keep up with all the best, emerging artists from all over the globe. From graduates fresh out of university, to self-taught sensations, to those that have been around for a little while but seem newly set to come into their own, it feels like there’s somebody new to get excited about every day at HQ. So we’ve put our heads together to bring you our collection of artists to look out for in 2020.

 

Our definition of ‘artist’ is pretty fluid. Really we mean all visual creatives; from illustrators to graphic designers to people who’ll use anything as their canvas. Read on for a rundown that spans a Nordic artist who takes inspiration from witchcraft, a typographer who looks to the English landscape, a Floridian jewellery designer, and plenty more.

Words
Everpress Team
Share
martin_heynen
Image courtesy of Martin Heynen (@martinheynen)

Élise Rigollet

Élise Rigollet has been on our radar for a little while now, having made her Everpress debut back in March 2019 as part of our International Womxn’s Day campaign. Working across graphic design and illustration, part of what makes her practice so interesting is just how multifaceted it is. Last year she came together with friends in Paris and Glasgow to co-found Riso Sur Mer, a collective of artists who work on Riso projects and publish a zine, Mirage. And she’s worked on plenty more collabs too, including a 2020 calendar for It’s Nice That x Dropbox Paper with María Medem.

Shop Élise’s ‘Clementine Romance’ T-shirt here.

Nam Huynh

Words come alive in the hands of Nam Huynh, whose work we got to know via a tip from our friends at Warrior Studio/Graphic Design Festival Scotland. For us, what sets the graphic designer’s work apart is his original way with font and typography; he makes text that almost seems like it could leap off the page. Having honed his skills at The State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, Germany, where he’s still based, Nam’s quickly gone on to work across all manner of projects. From a recent poster in collaboration with designer Mark Bohle to visuals for MS DOCKVILLE Festival.

Shop Nam’s ‘Cobra’ T-shirt here.

Lagrima de Pollo

Once you’ve seen Lagrima de Pollo’s work it’s hard to forget it. We got our introduction to the illustrator’s work at the BBZ Black Book: Alternative Graduate Show back in summer of last year. One of the ten brilliant participating artists in the much-talked-about exhibition, we knew we had to have her as one of our Barcelona Takeover artists for October. For February, she’s reprised her ‘Una Flor’ Barcelona tee, which explored the unconditional love we give flowers.

Shop Lagrima’s ‘Una Flor’ T-shirt here.

Studio Koevoet

Studio Koevoet’s Nicola Van Acker first came to our attention for her club flyers. Pared-back and with beautifully balanced type and imagery, they have all the hallmarks of the very music visuals. Just two years out of Belgium’s LUCA School of Arts, Nicola’s work is already springing up everywhere in the guise of yoga studio promo, surf logos, and of course as T-shirts. 

Shop Nicola’s ‘Culture Makes Me Horny’ T-shirt here.

Oda Iselin 

Straight out of her BA at Norway’s Oslo National Academy of the Arts, artist Oda Iselin’s work featured in not one, but two, exhibitions. With a solo show Magical Girl at Galleri Golsa, Oslo, and the group show Comic Tendencies at London’s Eve Leibe Gallery, it’s clear that Oda’s star is on the rise. Working primarily in watercolours, her themes of anime, witchcraft, enchantment and fairytales feel especially relevant in an era with a renewed focus on astrology and the esoteric.

Xavier Lalanne-Tauzia

When it comes to publications, Medium, Business Week and Vice have some of the most anarchic visuals around, so it makes sense that you can catch illustrator and graphic designer Xavier Lalanne-Tauzia’s work in all three titles. From Hong Kong originally but currently based in New York, Xavier has a particular knack for telling a whole story in just one image. The recent album artwork he dreamt up for The Black Lips proves he’s versatile too.

Shop Xavier’s ‘Year of the Rat’ T-shirt here.

Martin Heynen

If you’ve got a calling life tends to have a way of leading you to it, even if you don’t follow it at first. Take Martin Heynen. Though the Aargau-born illustrator started out studying environmental engineering, the pull of the visual world proved too great. Fast forward through a degree change, and today he’s working as an illustrator in Zurich.

Shop Martin’s ‘Ataraxia’ T-shirt here.

Toma Vagner 

Hailing from Sakhalin Island, a small strip of land off the Eastern coast of Russia, Toma Vagner’s route to illustration came via New York’s School of Visual Arts. Though she’s barely two years out of school, she’s already amassed a stellar list of clients that includes The New York Times, WeTransfer, LUSH, and last year saw her create giant animated artworks for Harry Styles’ live show. Toma’s work feels original because of how focused it is; she’s inspired by toys and games, and Rubik’s cubes, chess boards, and Jenga columns appear over and over in her surreal illustrations.

Nicholas Law

Everpress HQ are long-time fans of Nicholas Law, so that when it came to getting visuals made for our ‘How To’ series, he was the first person who came to mind. There’s a lot you can say about the Houston, Texas-based illustrator’s work, but something we appreciate in particular is that he proves commercial work can still be interesting – take this campaign for Rimowa. (Plus, he was also kind enough to give us some candid insights into how he manages his money.)

Shop Nicholas’ T-shirt here.

Reza Hasni 

Born and raised in Singapore, motion graphics designer Reza Hasni has been in the game for a while now, having started out in 2007. Still, it feels like 2020 is going to be big for him. 2018 saw his first solo show, Mystic Island, at UltraSuperNew and his work has been picked up by the likes of Vice, MTV Asia and MixMag too. Reza’s visuals are chaotic and intense in the best possible way; he finds inspiration in everything from geomancy, divination and his heritage to club culture and ‘90s internet graphics.

Shop Reza’s ‘Heaven’s Gate’ T-shirt here.

Ariel Kellogg

Part of a wave of new artist-cum-jewellery designers, Ariel Kellogg’s off-kilter pieces are breathing life into the world of jewellery. The Filipino-American artist, who grew up in Western New York and is now based in St. Augustine, Florida, creates deceptively simple pieces which draw links to spiritual evolution and transformation; butterflies are a recurring motif in her work. 

Shop Ariel’s ‘Yin Yang Butterfly’ T-shirt here.

Ciarán Birch

Though he made an appearance on our round-up of typographers making waves in 2019, we couldn’t pass up the chance to spotlight Ciarán Birch again. The type-obsessed graphic designer feels special, and we’d venture that’s because he seeks inspiration away from his computer. Originally from Didcot, just outside of Oxford, Ciarán’s earliest inspiration came from his countryside surroundings, and he still looks to nature when designing. His summer project drew on Neolithic monuments, chalk drawings and artefacts of the English landscape.

Jul Quanouai

Early on in the career of any creative, the question of signature style tends to loom large. Opinions vary, but when we spoke to Kyle Platts and Aiste Stancikaite about how to get your first commission they both felt that while flexibility is always valuable, it was crucial to be making work that’s recognisably your own. Jul Quanouai has his own solution to the signature style dilemma: he has two. The Bordeaux-raised, Paris-educated, and now Toulouse-based illustrator and graphic designer works to two extremes: clean monochrome line drawings on the one hand, and colourful abstract prints on the other, proving that having a visual identity doesn’t have to mean committing to just one style.

Shop Jul’s ‘Bird’ T-shirts here.

Plant Boi 

Plant Boi’s Angel 666 long sleeve was one of our favourite T-shirt designs of 2019. The medley of ink drawings and sleeve tattoo effect made for a one-off tee and was exactly the kind of off-kilter effort we’d expect from the multi-talented artist. It’s hard to pin down exactly what Plant Boi does, but whether it’s weird and wonderful ceramics (think Aunt Selma of The Simpsons painted onto the base of an ashtray) or intricate drawings in gel pen, he’s got a style that’s all his own.

Liam Hopkins

A recent graduate from California’s prestigious ArtCenter College of Design, Colorado-born Liam Hopkins’ work already makes regular appearances in the pages of The New Yorker and The New York Times. Liam has a deep love for music, especially jazz. He takes inspiration from old album covers and in his illustrations he aims to evoke the same feeling that he gets from listening to music. Part of why he likes making T-shirts is that it gives him a chance to see his work on physical mediums. As he put it, “It feels great to pull my work out of the screen into the real world. It makes it tangible.”

Shop Liam’s ‘Lend a Hand’ T-shirt here.

RENATO FLORES

Hailing from Santiago, Chile, Renato Flores (or Natofloral, as he’s known on Instagram) cut his teeth studying at Duoc UC. The graphic designer takes inspiration from the anime and cartoons he loved from childhood through to this day, and nature is a constant theme in his work. When we caught up with him to find out what it is about T-shirts he told us, “It’s cool to dress up in your own ideas. I like the challenge of creating a graphic T-shirt that can match with a whole style or a mood.”

Shop Renato’s ‘Trust Your Instincts’ T-shirt here.

Read More: 20 T-shirt Brands You Should Know in 2020