Words: Dylan Murphy & Izzy Copestake
We’re living in an era where mediums cross paths, combine and coalesce organically. Likewise, the internet means creating is more affordable and accessible than ever before. Alongside Irish artist’s dedication to making subversive pieces, this inseparable soup of complementary conditions means that we’re in a genuinely in a golden era for art in the island.
In music, we’re seeing Kojaque release a top three Irish album completely independently and producers like WhipItConall work with heavy hitters like Big Sean from his bedroom. This success isn’t restricted to music. In fact, illustrators and artists are finding new avenues to broadcast their work and find their audience, whilst also providing essential commentary on the important issues of our times. With that in mind, we’ve decided to highlight six artists whose practice often involves (But is not restricted to) illustration in Ireland.
AaronFDesign’s style is immediately recognisable. Hailing from Waterford, the mixed media artist came into his own during lockdown, using simple Crayola drawings of album covers to form the back bone of his practice. Later scanning them and sometimes even creating moving images, he’s evolved his approach to tap into huge pop culture moments ranging from memes to Frank Ocean’s Coachella performance. He’s even worked with the biggest artists in the game. Being recruited by Lil Nas X, Orla Gartland and more. He’s also had co-signs from SZA.
Mundomoo’s Instagram bio says “Dublin artist that f*cking loves drawing” – and it shows. Obsessed with line work, he’s built a following on both YouTube and Instagram as a way of showcasing his work in different ways, he’s a blueprint for modern artists creating whole universes around their craft. He most recently teamed up with An Post for their ‘Send Love’ campaign and brought his skills from the feed to his local community, illustrating a post box to celebrate the importance of postal workers and services in connecting people.
From day dot, Hephee has captured Irishisms and shared social experiences in his trademark succinct imagery. Whether that’s Ireland quintessential self-depreciation or illustrating the pure hanxiety of a Sunday morning. The sketch-quality of the imagery has a special charm to it. There’s a conversational tone in the work, with drawings often finding their source material from the kinds of chat you have in the pub with friends. What’s even more impressive is when he responds to events in real time – he’s quick. All this together makes for art that’s inherently shareable. Worth peeping his ‘Send Love’ collaboration with An Post, which saw him create postcards to celebrate the way we stay in touch.
Sarah Moloney’s illustrations can be found all over Ireland, from independently owned brands to venues and charities. Her statement bold colour schemes and original portrayal of human expression are what make Irish brands such as Harry’s Nut Butter, immediately recognisable. But Moloney’s work goes beyond commercial, spanning social politics, music, and culture. Her work with LGBTQ+ organisations such as ShoutOut, and GCN have brought campaigns to life with the illustrator’s signature style.
You probably recognise Jacky Sheridan’s snail in the HSE campaign around drug harm reduction or maybe her match day poster for the Irish women’s team. If you’re unfortunate enough to be unfamiliar, get to know! Big, bold and unapologetic, Jacky is a master of bringing inanimate objects to life and often centres queerness in her designs. You’re just as likely to get an exhibition around Greek mythology as you are club posters and we’re here for it.