Moving into 2023, we asked more than twenty talented artists to discuss their favorite best-selling subjects to illustrate.

Design | September 14, 2023
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The domain of selling illustration venerates an opulent historical lineage that traces its roots to the 18th century. This period stands resplendent with seminal achievements, prominently epitomized by the establishment of a dedicated atelier for the craft under the aegis of Thomas Bewick. These visual articulations have permeated diverse media conduits, encompassing didactic repositories, literary oeuvres, and journalistic chronicles. As the chronological tapestry unfolds, propelling us deeper into the heart of the 21st century, the idyllic domain of has borne witness to a meteoric transmogrification, wherein nascent stylistic currents have kindled the artistic fervor of creators on a global scale. We have been graced with the distinction of engaging in dialogues with no fewer than twenty seasoned virtuosos, each expounding upon their preferred motifs for shutterstock illustrative endeavors in the ongoing year of 2023 and the epochs that stretch beyond its temporal bounds.

World Travel: A Journey Through Art

Travel has consistently beckoned illustrators, offering a vast canvas of possibilities. The allure of illustrating travel lies in the diversity of the world we inhabit. Whether it's capturing the intricate details of historical landmarks or the nuances of different cultures, travel-themed illustrations bridge the gap between art and education. They transport viewers to far-off places and spark curiosity about the world.

Annual Holidays: Festive Artistry for Every Season

Major holidays, like Christmas, Easter, and birthdays, provide an evergreen source of inspiration for illustrators. The cyclical nature of these celebrations ensures a perpetual demand for fresh holiday-themed illustrations. Artists who delve into this realm get to infuse creativity into familiar festivities, giving rise to a delightful blend of tradition and innovation.

Current Events: Art as a Reflection of Society

Current events serve as a dynamic and thought-provoking source of inspiration for artists. These popular illustrations become visual commentary on the pressing issues and happenings that shape our world. Artistry is a powerful medium for expressing personal viewpoints and sparking conversations about vital societal topics.

Local Culture: Celebrating Heritage and Identity

Illustrators who explore and celebrate their local culture and traditions often find a profound connection with their audience. These artworks capture the essence of a specific place, creating a sense of authenticity that resonates deeply with those who share that cultural heritage. The art becomes a bridge between the artist and their community.

Scenes from Daily Life: The Art of the Everyday

Daily life serves as a wellspring of inspiration for illustrators. Artists who draw from their personal experiences can craft relatable, slice-of-life illustrations. These depictions offer a mirror to the viewer's own experiences, making them feel understood and seen in the art.

Botanicals and Florals: Nature's Timeless Beauty

The beauty of nature, especially during the seasons of renewal in spring and summer, remains an enduring source of inspiration. Floral illustration pictures, in particular, possess timeless appeal and are versatile enough to grace occasions ranging from weddings to baby showers. They capture the essence of life's vibrant and delicate moments.

Landscapes: A Window to Nature's Grandeur

Nature illustration themes, including landscapes, have a lasting charm. In an era when environmental awareness is paramount, these artworks provide a connection to the natural world. They transport viewers to idyllic vistas, encouraging a deeper appreciation for our planet.

Fruits and Veggies: Deliciously Appealing Illustrations

Illustrations of fruits and vegetables are both crisp and juicy in their visual appeal. Rendered often in watercolors, they accentuate the vibrant and appetizing qualities of fresh produce. These popular illustrations frequently find a home in packaging design, where they evoke the essence of wholesome goodness.

Animals and Wildlife: Advocating for Nature's Majesty

Creative depictions of animals and the natural world retain their allure. As society becomes increasingly aware of environmental conservation, these artworks take on added significance. They not only celebrate the beauty of the natural world but also advocate for the protection of endangered species.

Cute Characters: Timeless Charms for All Ages

Character design, especially those with an adorable or 'kawaii' aesthetic, possesses enduring appeal. This timeless charm is particularly potent when targeting younger audiences. High-quality character designs resonate with children and young people, leaving an indelible mark on their imaginations.

Sustainable Living: Promoting a Greener Future

In an era focused on sustainability, illustrators have a pivotal role to play. Their art can convey the importance of sustainable living and environmentally friendly practices. These illustrations serve as a visual call to action, inspiring viewers to embrace a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

Abstract Patterns: Versatile and Timeless Abstractions

Abstract shapes and patterns, celebrated for their versatility, effortlessly weave into various artistic concepts. Their enduring appeal stems from their ability to adapt to evolving design trends while maintaining a sense of timelessness. These patterns have an almost chameleon-like quality, fitting seamlessly into a myriad of creative endeavors.

Maps: Cartographic Artistry

Maps, with their universal appeal, offer an opportunity for artists to explore cultural and geographical nuances. Word maps, in particular, provide unique  illustrations by incorporating local slang and idioms. These artistic cartographic creations become windows into the cultural intricacies of specific regions.

Wedding Invitations: Love in Every Season

The demand for wedding-themed illustrations remains constant throughout the year. Wedding planners and organizers perpetually seek elements like invitation cards, backgrounds, and bouquets. Artists who venture into this field get to be part of cherished moments in people's lives.

Unique Lettering: The Art of Typography

Distinctive lettering and typography consistently attract buyers. Customized lettering elevates text and logos, offering a creative alternative to standard fonts. These unique lettering styles add a personal touch to a wide range of design projects.Illustration ideas in the 21st century embodies a fusion of tradition and innovation. Artists draw inspiration from the world around them, finding what design style does the image illustrate and creating a visual commentary on the extraordinary. These favored subjects and emerging trends offer a glimpse into the enduring allure of visual storytelling in the digital age. In addition to creating captivating illustration pictures, many artists also consider strategies for selling illustrations and vector art. Whether through online platforms or collaborations with publishers, selling vector art and illustrations has become an essential aspect of the artistic journey.

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