The Playful Illustrations of Susie Ghahremani

Illustrator, author, and nature lover, Susie Ghahremani, has a penchant for the quirky, with her anthropomorphized characters a reflection of her love of both animals and patterns. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and based in San Diego, California, her original artwork is sold through her online store, printed on stationery, tote bags, t-shirts, and other such goodies.

She also illustrates for commercial and editorial clients, as well as illustrating children’s books. And with almost 20k followers on Instagram, and awards and recognition from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators New York, and the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles —she’s clearly doing something right.

Like most illustrators, Ghahremani’s process begins with a light sketch, with some exceptions. “Sometimes I have a little sketch in my sketchbook that is the perfect fit for a painting, so I’ll just jump right into the foreground and fill in the background as I work,” she explained in an interview with Culture Crux. “Other times, very precise sketches are completed and I transfer them in chalk to wood to paint compositionally. Other times, I’m just winging it as I work, beginning with a background.”

Using gouache on wood, she paints her work by hand, adding it’s many delightful details one by one. “The evolution to my particular style came in trusting what I’d do naturally, rather than forcing it to be something conventional,” she explains. “Using colors I like rather than the ones that are realistic. I think I’m always refining my work and style as well, so it’s an ongoing evolution.”

Follow her Instagram page for more.