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From Bake-Off sketches to whimsical fashion drawings: the best illustrators to follow on Instagram

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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When was the last time an Instagram picture really and truly stopped you in your tracks?

Did it cause you to dwell on the photo and marvel at its beauty? If the answer is no, you're about to do just that.

When a new post by one of our favourite illustrators drops into our newsfeed, it fills us with glee and admiration.

From the man behind the cake drawings in The Great British Bake-Off to the fashion illustrator sought out by the likes of Valentino and Cartier, behold the instagrammers who will turn your photo-stream into a beautiful gallery.

  • Paper fashion

    Best for: whimsical fashion drawings

  • Paper Fashion

    Since launching her website to share her fantastical watercolours created in a small country town outside of Atlanta in 2009, Katie Rodgers has become a go-to fashion illustrator in New York City and as been commissioned by the likes of Cartier, Valentino, Swarovski and Kate Spade.

    Follow @paperfashion

  • Twisted Loaf

    Best for: fans of The Great British Bake-Off

  • Twisted Loaf

    Tom Hovey is the man behind those oh-so-delicious food illustrations on BBC's hit baking competition GBBO since it began in 2010 and has won many awards for his unique style. 

    Follow @twistedloaf

  • Nina Cosford

    Best for: travel mood boards

  • Nina Cosford

    Though Nina is based in Hastings and London, she has the ability to trigger serious global wanderlust and dreams of adventure with her little drawings of travel inspirations. 

    Follow @ninacosford

  • Johanna Basford

    Best for: the young at heart 

  • Johanna Basford

    Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford has sold millions of copies of her adult colouring books Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. See how she creates her designs with only a pen and pencil.

    Follow @johannabasford

  • The Palette

    Best for: beauty enthusiasts 

  • The Palette

    Calla O'Malley in Ottawa understands that beauty packaging can make our hearts flutter and even more so when she illustrates them so carefully.

    Follow @thepaletteblog

  • Gemma Correll

    Best for: when you're looking for a laugh

  • Gemma Correll

    This cartoonist loves pugs and is extremely clever with her words. She is a must-follow if you're after a few giggles on your commute. She's also known for her candid yet witty cartoons on anxiety.  

    Follow @gemmacorrell

  • Megan Hess

    Best for: lovers of luxury

  • Megan Hess

    Prada, Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co, Vanity Fair, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Cartier. These are just some of the luxury brands that have requested the work of power fashion illustrator Megan Hess. She's currently on an international book tour.

    Follow @meganhess_official

  • Gretchen Röehrs

    Best for: the food and fashion obsessed

  • Gretchen Röehrs

    This San Francisco-based illustrator makes playing with food look stylish with her clever and creative portraits.

    Follow @groehrs

  • Mekel

    Best for: the fashion insiders

  • Mekel

    This Perth-based fashion illustrator uses bold splashes of colour in clever ways. Her work is good enough to mount on your living room wall.

    Follow @mekel_illustration

  • Holly Exley

    Best for: all things British

  • Holly Exley

    Holly's watercolours strongly depict her love of the British countryside and wilderness, having moved away from London to a quieter part of Essex. She's also periodically peckish, which means she's always painting food.

    Follow @hollyexley_illustration

  • David Downton

    Best for: historians

  • David Downton

    Every so often, the famed Vogue fashion illustrator will share a new sketch or extract from his books. And when he does, it's well worth the wait.

    Follow @daviddownton

  • Eleni Kalorkoti

    Best for: depictions of everyday life

  • Eleni Kalorkoti

    Edinburgh-based Kalorkoti is a regular New York Times illustrator which means her works powerfully depict issues of our times.

    Follow @elenikalorkoti

  • Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde

    Best for: fictional characters

  • Ira Sluyterman van Langeweyde

    Character designer Ira in Munich has a real gift for creating fictitious female characters and giving them the most memorable and human-like expressions. We highly recommend following her heroines.

    Follow @iraville

  • Maja Säfström

    Best for: animal (especially cat) lovers

  • Maja Säfström

    Maja is a Stockholm-based architect and illustrator who sells tote bags and postcards with her sweet animal drawings on them. See her latest work on Instagram.

    Follow @majasbok

  • Nadia Coolrista

    Best for: detailed celebrity portraits

  • Nadia Coolrista

    Nadia in Virgina has a talent for capturing faces. While she sells handmade crafts from interior accessories to clothes on Etsy, her Instagram account is all about fashion's latest muses. 

    Follow @nadiacoolrista

  • Sven Rayon

    Best for: tattoo artwork

  • Sven Rayon

    This Belgium-based tattoo artist custom-draws incredibly detailed body art for his clients. Prepare to have your mind blown.

    Follow @svenrayen

  • Dani Hoyos Art

    Best for: colourful and intricate designs

  • Dani Hoyos Art

    Almost 200,000 people follow Dani's drawing tutorials on YouTube where she shares how to decorate artworks and accessories using traditional Indian henna patterns. 

    Follow @danielahoyos

  • Disney Pixar

    Best for: animation fans

  • Disney Pixar

    Every so often, the official Disney Pixar account will share photos of rare drawings from their hit films such as Inside Out, Up and Toy Story.

    Follow @disneypixar

  • Vanesa R. Del Rey

    Best for: film buffs

  • Vanesa R. Del Rey

    Vanesa from Miami regularly illustrates female comic book characters, from pulp-style femme fatales or old classics like Wonder Woman and Cheetara.

    Follow @vrdelrey

  • Sarah Stribbling

    Best for: gallery-worthy animal portraits 

  • Sarah Stribbling

    Sarah manages to do what we never could with our box of Crayola pencils - create hyper-realistic portraits of animals.

    Follow @sarahstribblingwildlifeart

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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