Whimsical, Surreal Illustrations with iStock’s Signature Artist – Iveta Vaicule

Illustrations are at the forefront of communications these days, with everyone from small businesses to major brands using them to make a visual connection.


Illustrations used to act as supporting elements to big beautiful photos on websites and campaigns, but now advertisers and designers are using illustrations more and more as the main vehicle for expressing their message

iStock by Getty Images Senior Manager of Illustration Jennifer Borton said. They can really provide a unique and personal stamp on any project.

Iveta Vaicule, one of Jennifer’s favorite illustrators, is creating her own mark on the illustration world. Born in Latvia and now living in Norwich, UK, she originally started her career as a graphic designer before realizing her true passion lied in illustration.

Illustration provides me with more freedom than graphic design, it feels more like ‘me,’” Iveta said. “I love the creativity and how you can put together a bunch of scribbles and something beautiful comes out of it.

Iveta’s signature hand-drawn style combined with the whimsical, childlike quality of her designs helps her stand out among other illustrators.


“Iveta’s style is very surreal and almost primitive — it’s deliberately clunky and very charming. Her color palettes are really bizarre and cool. She’ll take two colors that you would never think would work together and she crashes them together and it works beautifully,” Jennifer said. “I also love the texture she builds up. The more you look at her illustrations, the more you get drawn into the composition and start noticing all the little details she’s added.”

One of Iveta’s favorite topics to draw are cityscapes. Her illustrations provide a quirky, fun perspective of destinations across the globe from Moscow to Rio. Interestingly, she hasn’t actually been to most of the cities she’s drawn, and instead uses photographs as inspiration to create her own unique spin.

“She takes the buildings and landmarks and mashes them all together into these crazy compositions with a skewed viewpoint,” Jennifer said. “They’re really interesting and stand out among a sea of more straightforward, realistic depictions of these locations. It’s almost like she just draws whatever she wants.

And that’s exactly what she does.


It gives me great joy, excitement and happiness to create something. It’s a good way to express myself — it’s almost like a diary of my life. Looking at various illustrations of mine brings back memories of places, people, pets, happy and sad times from my past, I’m really just trying to draw for myself, that’s how I produce the best work. If you do something for yourself and other people like it, that’s a massive bonus.

This photo was inspired by a man I once dated a long time ago who was very good at playing piano and writing little songs. He was a very entertaining and interesting person but he didn’t pursue his dream of becoming a musician and instead, he sold pianos and caravans. He also couldn’t click his fingers. So in this illustration he is in a band, singing away and clicking his fingers too.

iStock are offering a free download of Iveta’s chosen image

Free Download
Free Download

[button url=”http://istockphoto.7eer.net/c/261011/258824/4205?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.istockphoto.com%2Fvector%2Fman-singing-snapping-and-planing-piano-in-the-band-gm464993388-59423702%3Fst%3Dd525181″ postid=”” style=”btn-primary” size=”btn-default” target=”_blank” fullwidth=”false”]Download Now[/button]

View Iveta’s collection and millions more royalty-free images at iStock.com

Published by

Max Stanworth

I am the creator and editor of Design Shard, I created this blog to post my inspirations, work and free resources. I hope you find them as interesting and useful as I do. By day I am a UX focused product designer.