5 YouTube Illustrators Who Really Inspire Me

I can't quite believe I only discovered my love of drawing about three years ago. I remember around that time noticing a comic day challenge hashtag on Twitter which led me to Frannerd... I started watching Fran's vlogs and it sounds strange to think of it now but until that moment I knew I loved doodling but I hadn't really thought about what illustration could be. I thought of illustration as something for picture books but suddenly my eyes were opened to comics, graphic novels, prints... Then watching Fran's videos led me to discover Holly Exley... And then By Bun came up in my suggestions... All of them showing me that illustration could be a living. Although it started with Twitter, YouTube opened a whole new world to me. Here are five of my favourite YouTube illustrators who I revisit regularly for inspiration. I'm so grateful to them all for showing me what's possible.

Holly Exley
"I can not rest, I must draw, however poor the result." - Beatrix Potter
I've mentioned Holly before on my Quiet Life pages, her videos are just so lovely and calm. She paints in watercolour but manages to achieve a bright, bold, detailed finish which makes her style instantly recognisable. I draw digitally a lot and Holly inspires me to take time to practice with watercolours. Her videos also feature her pug Quentin and greyhound Midge who both make me want to get a dog immediately : ) The video below is one that stayed with me, a beautifully put together piece inspired by Beatrix Potter.

By Bun
I stumbled across Roxanne Coble's lovely daily vlogs just before Christmas last year when I was spending time drawing at home and they became a daily treat to look forward to with my afternoon cup of tea. Roxanne's videos show her creative process, her daily routine, her studio set-up all accompanied by pugs Olive and Behr and her husband James (#croutecorner - it'll make sense when you watch the videos regularly!) I love Roxanne's multimedia, layered, super creative and spiritual approach - it encourages me to play more with abstract ideas. The video below gives you an example of how much effort and creativity By Bun puts into her vlogs.

Minnie Small
Minnie came up as a suggestion on YouTube for me recently so I am only just at the beginning of working my way through her videos. Her voice is very calm and absorbing and her videos offer really detailed insights into how she paints and creates. In the video below Minnie is trying out a technique where you paint the dark colours first and then work towards the light. I always work the other way round so am looking forward to giving this a try.

Fran has created a unique style to her videos where you can just tell they are her vlogs by the graphics, pastel colours, post-it notes and filming into her mirror. They are beautifully crafted. I love how she shares her knowledge about being a freelance illustrator and is honest about her own learning curve. As someone who is just starting out I find her so encouraging, kind and inspiring.

Taryn Knight
Unfortunately Taryn doesn't post much on YouTube but her back catalogue is a lovely watch and she also posts frequently on Twitter and Instagram. This video is one of my favourites as it was the reason that I bought Kyle T Webster's brushes for Photoshop and I can honestly credit that moment with leading me to fall in love with illustration.