Recommendations for cute illustration commission
January 12, 2015 3:09 AM   Subscribe

For a project I'm working on, I'd like to commission a handful of artists to draw me (from reference photos) in their respective styles. In particular, I'm looking for simple, clean illustrations something like Meg Lovell or Kendra Wells, i.e. bold, cute, characterful. Who are your favourite artists in this sort of style (they can be amateur, semi-pro, or professional), who will also take commissions like this?

In general, I think I'm thinking of Tumblr / DeviantArt style artists with their own take on illustration, i.e. I'm looking for charming and fun rather than just the most technically proficient. I'm less interested in artists working in traditional western comics, manga / anime, or realistic styles, but I'll check them out too if anyone has recommendations. I'm open to artists who work in traditional mediums but tablet generated digital is probably easiest for all involved.

A professional illustrator working for commercial clients is probably out of the my price range, but cost is not really a concern - if anything I am more bothered by Tumblr artists who undercharge for their work and will always put in a higher offer when I see that.
posted by iivix to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
One place to look is Etsy -- there are a number of people doing illustrations or portraits there for hire and it's really easy to sort through your options since unlike DeviantArt and Tumblr, people on Etsy are specifically trying to sell you that service. Here's an Etsy search for "custom portrait" that shows quite a few results on the first page that might be what you're looking for.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:20 AM on January 12, 2015

If I ever need a cute, colorful, characterful illustration of myself, I will hire Terry Colon to do it.
posted by apparently at 4:39 AM on January 12, 2015

I love this question! The first person who came to mind for me was Emily Carroll. I'm not sure if she's too busy with projects now, but you can contact her agent (bottom of the page) and ask.

I'm super disappointed that Noelle Stevenson (who I partly got into because some of her stuff reminded me of something I remembered from Emily Carroll...) is no longer taking personal commissions, although perhaps if you explained your project she'd work with you on a freelance basis?

I'm hoping to add more suggestions when I get home and can find the links. I'm also sending you a MeMail.
posted by spelunkingplato at 5:23 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

You should see if Jeph Jacques does commissions.

Or, contact Joe Havasay. He's got the market corned on cutesturbing.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:52 AM on January 12, 2015

I had Meghan Murphy do an illustration of someone as a gift, and it went very well.
posted by mikepop at 6:15 AM on January 12, 2015

My friend Hanna Bliss does excellent work, does commissions, and is generally an awesome collaborator. You can check out her work at
posted by irisell at 7:41 AM on January 12, 2015

Also, Robert DeJesus does exactly this, and puts out very cute pencil interpretation portraits. His commission info page is here.
posted by spelunkingplato at 7:45 AM on January 12, 2015

Michelle from Creature Type does a lot of adorable commissioned portraits and refuses to undercharge for her valuable services. Here's the "illustration" tag on her blog. Her commercial illustration always makes a point of including lots of different body types, skin colors, people with mobility devices, etc and she is great at cute faces and cats.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:18 AM on January 12, 2015

Jemma Salume! Tooth-breakingly cute and nerdy-charming, yet also really stylish and polished.
posted by a sourceless light at 8:48 AM on January 12, 2015

Sarah Beacon does super cute stuff and I imagine she'd do a commission although I don't know her rates. I first started following her on her blog and she's developed her talent so much since I've been reading her comics.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:24 AM on January 12, 2015

I think you should look at Amy King's work, because she draws people in such a colorful, cute way. She does a webcomic, The Muse Mentor, and you can find more examples of her drawings on her Tumblr. I know that she does drawings for people who support her on Patreon so I think she would probably be open to a commission like this.
posted by shirobara at 10:01 AM on January 12, 2015

Genevra bell does adorable and affordable illustration. Google for her website, but she is amazing.
posted by Kestrelxo at 10:16 AM on January 12, 2015

Response by poster: Lots of interesting suggestions - I will check them out in more detail but they all seem very promising. Thanks everyone, you all rock.
posted by iivix at 3:11 AM on January 15, 2015

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