Celia Jacobs’ illustrations are the epitome of summer. Sticking to a warm color palette (reds, yellows, and orange that mash together perfectly), the Portland-born, Los Angeles-based creative describes her aesthetic as “pretty colorful, soft and a little hard, sweet, and a little weird.”
Her interests include nature, music, and social issues, all of which she illustrates with sensitivity and California technicolor. “I like everything to look purposeful, but like a hand made it purposefully, so it got a little messed up on the way,” she remarked once in an interview with Ballpitmag.
You can also expect to find a lot of patterns and texture in her work, with naturalistic themes popping out throughout. Her chosen themes tie in nicely with her creative process. Jacobs described as being one of those “dying breed of traditionalists”, whose illustrations include no digital touch-ups using a computer.
Rather, she sticks to more traditional mediums, using gouache, acrylic, and a heavy dose of colored pencils, which add to the textured look of the finished piece. According to Jacobs, she’s a drawer more than a painter, feeling most comfortable with a pencil at hand.
“Put most simply, I sketch out the drawing then color it in,” she describes her process. “I try to picture what a piece is going to look like beforehand so that the act of drawing is mostly brain-hand translation. I also like to do a lot of research and get myself into Google wormholes.”
Recent collaborations include The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Her According to Jacobs, her job can take her to some rather unconventional settings, once working from an oceanographic research vessel and once from a lab in Bermuda. But mostly, Jacobs works from the home studio she shares with a black and white dog named Archie.
Take a look at some of her eye-popping illustrations in the gallery below and follow her for more.