11 Independent Illustrators to Meet at the House of Illustration Fair

With just 2 weeks to go, we’re turning the spotlight on 11 illustrators to meet at the winter edition of the Fair.


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It’s that time of year again! The House of Illustration Fair is back –a one-stop shop for all your seasonal gift-buying needs and a great way to support a diverse community of artists and makers.

With over 100 stallholders taking part we couldn’t fit them all in this blog post, so we’ve chosen 11 to give you a snapshot of the gorgeous goodies you can expect to find on the day.

1. Melissa Castrillon

Who:  Melissa Castrillon is a freelance illustrator and designer with a passion for print, pattern and punchy colour combinations.

What she does: Melissa’s riotous riso and screen prints start life as pencil drawings on separate layers of paper. Each hand-drawn layer is then digitally scanned in before the printing process begins.

What we’re lusting after: Her new wordless picture book The Balcony, inspired by plants, wildlife and strong characters. It’s just won a Gold Medal from The Society of Illustrators and we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy.

Instagram: @Melissa.Castrillon

2. Toby Rampton

Who: Toby Rampton is a Norwich-based illustrator who creates characters, landscapes and typography for all things print.

What he does: Toby works with collage and goauache when he’s coming up with designs in his studio, then translates the final version in to a riso or screen print.

What we’re lusting after: This ace Yin-Yang/Cat/Dog tote (pictured). His inspiration? “I couldn't decide which animal I love best and settled on the perfect balance of the two! It's also available in paper print.” If you can’t attend the Fair be sure to swing by Granary Square another day to pick up some of Toby’s cards from our shop.

Instagram: @Toby Rampton

3. Sharon King-Chai

Who: Sharon King-Chai is a London-based designer and illustrator working with mixed media to make everything from children’s books to greeting cards and prints (sold in our shop).

What she does: Sharon takes inspiration from the natural world, using leaf prints, potato prints, and texture rubbings to give her work extra depth, life and authenticity.

What we’re lusting after: Sharon’s limited-edition bespoke laser-cut Christmas decorations and broaches based on her new picture book Starbird, a crossover book for both children and adults.  “It's a project I've really poured my heart and soul into over the past few years – and it has silver foil on every page.” Pick up a signed copy at the Fair – the perfect personalised Christmas gift for someone special.

Twitter: @SharonKingChai

4. Bia Melo

Who: Bia Melo is a Brazillian illustrator based in East London. Her work is characterised by a bold and vibrant use of colour and type.

What she does: Bia finds her inspiration in the little details of everyday life. She builds up layers in black using a variety of materials before adding colour during the screen printing process.

What we’re lusting after: Kapy – a zine telling the story of a capybara that leaves the Brazilian jungle to embark on a global adventure. Kapy is a recurring character in Bia’s work and pops up on screen prints, ceramics and pins – all sold in our shop!

Twitter: @_By_Bia

5. Owen Pomery

Who: If intricate narrative illustrations of modernist interiors are your bag, look no further than Owen Pomery. Owen’s background in architecture has a clear influence on his illustrations.

What he does: Owen works at a very small scale, sketching his illustrations out in pencil and then ink lining them by hand before colouring digitally – we’re so impressed by how neat and precise his work is!

What we’re lusting after: We’re dying to get our hands on a copy of Kiosk, a field guide to modernist structures in a fictional country. Owen says, “It's a strange (but hopefully interesting!) little project, that is part illustration, part graphic design and part political critique, so I've enjoyed how popular it's been and it will be nice to share it with some new people.”

Instagram: @ODPomery

6. Salome Papadopoullos

Who: Drawing influence from girl pop culture and classical sculpture and mythology, Salome Papadopoullos’ illustrations are effortlessly cool and steeped in 1970s nostalgia.

What she does: Her work often features portraits and typography and is created using gouache, glitter and coloured pencils. She spends lots of time planning colour palettes and mixing paint to make sure the shade is exactly right.

What we’re lusting after: We can’t wait to pick up some stickers plus we’re looking forward to seeing her new series of Christmas cards. Not able to make the Fair this year? You’re in luck – her cards and zines are stocked in our shop.

Instagram: @SalomePapa

7. Dana Riesgo

Who: Dana Riesgo is a Spanish illustrator and doll-maker based in London. She creates characters using hand-made methods like painting, sewing and paper-cutting.

What she does: We can’t put it better than she does: “I like to say that I work in the ‘world of cute’, creating silly and lovable characters that, hopefully, make you smile.”

What we’re lusting after: We love Dana’s ceramic version of her popular character 'Envious the Fox’. This charmingly covetous creature is available as a plush toy – complete with dungarees!

Instagram: @DanaRiesgo

8. Momoko Abe

Who: Momoko Abe is a London-based author-illustrator from Japan. Her debut picture book will be published in April 2020.

What she does: Momoko creates dynamic compositions using digital media, featuring animals and beautiful colour combinations.

What we’re lusting after: We love Momoko’s classic A3 giclée print inspired by The Jungle Book, plus her delightful seasonal greetings cards are not to be missed!

Instagram: @MomokoDoodles

9. Takako Copeland

Who: Takako Copeland is a printmaker based in London working with letterpress and layered print.

What she does: Takako’s products are made slowly with care and attention. Her emphasis on kind and conscientious production methods are a refreshing contrast to the speedily mass-produced goods cluttering the shelves at this time of year.

What we’re lusting after: We can’t wait to get our hands on Takako’s pocket-sized sketchbooks. The covers are delicately adorned with foil printed designs and each is hand bound in cloth using traditional book binding techniques – a real treat for any artist or writer.

Instagram: @TakakoDraws

10. Deborah Panesar

Who:  Deborah Panesar is a freelance illustrator and surface designer based in Nottinghamshire.

What she does: Deborah’s work is rooted in craftsmanship and traditional illustration methods. She works in fine 0.3mm mechanical pencil to begin her designs and then adds colour digitally.

What we’re lusting after: We think one of Deborah’s alphabet foiled prints would make an excellent gift – the process of foiling means that each print is unique and has that hand-crafted feeling that makes for a really special present.

Instagram: @DeborahPanesar

11. Johnathan Emmerson

Who: Johnathan Emmerson is an artist and illustrator based in Hertfordshire. He makes vibrant prints and fabric designs inspired by natural history.

What he does: Johnathan begins his process by making small drawings which he then traces to create his linocut and woodcut prints.

What we’re lusting after: We can’t decide what we like more: Johnathan’s blue colourway trillobites cushion covers or his Pina Colada cocktail tea towels – we might just have to get both.

Instagram: @JonathanEmmerson

The House of Illustration Fair takes place on Saturday 14 December from 11am-5pm.