7 Top Illustrators in Dallas
We didn’t really know what to expect from our research into the available pool of Dallas illustrators, in our constant search for suitable and available local talent to help with—or spark ideas for—a wide variety of wordpreneur and publishing projects. Dallas, it turns out, has a lot of them. And really good ones too. Here, check out some of the best among them!
“My work comes from my nostalgia for the wonderment and magic around every corner when you’re a kid,” says illustrator and designer Michelle Tran. And it perfectly captures the essence of her charming artwork, immediately bringing Tran to our attention amid the pool of Dallas illustrators. We find it particularly interesting that Tran prefers to use a more neutral, subdued palette for her creations. But it works! Also of high interest is the Design section of her website, where she showcases many product designs that incorporate her art, helping give us a lot of ideas on how to put her talent to work.
Impressively detailed and intricate, Heather Lampe Silva’s illustrations can be quite mesmerizing, as her tarot card art shows. Exploring her portfolio more reveals how her style is just as powerful and beautiful on standard white backgrounds, which we actually prefer, but that’s just our personal stylistic bias at work. Since getting her degree in Apparel Design and Technology in 2012, Silva’s been working as a designer, including a long stint with Fossil creating product designs. It’s an experience that piques our interest tremendously, what with the amount of top-level product development and marketing knowledge she brings to the table. Hmm.
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You really can’t help but notice that Melarie Odelusi’s illustrations are heavy on the light browns, and natural and neutral tones. It extends to her product designs as well. And it’s wonderful! It has to be to catch the attention of the likes of Martha Stewart Living and Laura Mercier Cosmetics. What you may find intriguing is that not only does Odelusi get commissioned for portraits (check her website), she’s actually put her skills and style to work doing action sketches, such as one she did on Mulan for Disney Plus. This sparks a number of ideas in our thinking, not the least of which are fantastical book cover design possibilities (she does lettering too!).
Now here’s an extraordinary talent and skillset we seldom see in our circles (and the only one we’ve come across among Dallas illustrators), but we’re now having fun thinking of wordpreneur possibilities! Madeleine De Caires is an exceedingly talented illustrator of characters and environments used in 2D animation projects. But it looks like she’ll do them for non-animation purposes as well! We had a lot of difficulty choosing an example image to showcase her abilities—her portfolio is simply packed with incredible stuff. We initially had chosen one of her many Disney-like character illustrations, but decided to go with what you see below to show off her brilliant environmental and color skills as well. We can keep gushing about De Caires, but your time will probably be better spent actually checking out her portfolio.
5. Ivan Aguiar
With a very clean, very precise style, Ivan Aguiar’s illustrations have a “graphic design” feel to them. Predominantly solid blocks of colors. Well-defined layouts and shapes. Distinct lines and divisions. Aguiar masterfully molds undoubtedly appealing images with these qualities. The lineal color example work shown here is actually not very representative of his portfolio, with much of his work using solid black outlines filled in with color. If you’re thinking, “These would be great for branding,” you’d be spot on—Aguiar does a lot of branding and logo designs. Excellent ones you’ll really want to check out. Frankly, among Dallas illustrators we’ve seen, Aguiar would probably be the one we’d end up working with the most for the kinds of online and print wordpreneur projects we do.
Demonstrating an impressive versatility with her digital and traditionally-drawn creations, Hannah Fraser (she likes to go by “Hannah Isabelle”) will likely appeal to a number of different tastes. From simple characters to fairly elaborate painting-like scenes, Fraser’s stylistic talents are hard to peg down in just a few short words. We actually find ourselves drawn more to her character creations and quick doodles, but that’s our taste and style. That doesn’t stop us from appreciating her more expansive illustrations, however, and seeing how they could very well work for a lot of wordpreneur and publishing projects.
7. Kat Goodloe
Commercial illustrator and letterer Kat Goodloe’s illustration style doesn’t really take much to describe: realistic comic book art. Much like the high-end stuff that appears in those expensive graphic novels with top quality printing on expensive paper. If her work reminds you of the illustrated middle grade and YA book covers you saw a lot at those school Scholastic book fairs, well, Scholastic is indeed one of Goodloe’s clients. A bunch of other big name book publishers too—and yes, Marvel and Valiant Comics as well. If you’ve ever wondered if you could access the kind of top caliber talent used to produce those mainstream print products for your own wordpreneur and publishing projects, well, here you go!