Showcasing your innermost thoughts through simple drawings, sans color, isn’t only powerful but decisively complex.
There are, however, great artists that are sharing their black and white illustration skills with the wonderful world of the internet, and we’re excited to have gathered five inspiring accounts to share with you. While there might be a lack of color in the literal sense, there’s no shortage of ingenuity, originality, and emotion with the creatives below.
And yes, we realize that the continuous awful news of the never-ending pandemic might make you think you need more color in your life, but these accounts prove that what you might actually need is a sense of humor, wit, and a little bit of charm.
Sara Hagale | @shagey_
In a modern mix of 90s aesthetics and modern-day themes, Sara Hagale’s Instagram account is a funky breath of fresh air. You can see Sara’s range of emotions and thoughts from post to post, each creating a unique perspective and idea. And while, yes, I did cheat a little with a few splashes of color, most of Sara’s work consists of simple black and white illustrations. One of my favorite pieces of recent work comes with the caption, “A loaf inspired by nuggets I know/knew,” which features a little animal sitting on the floor, off-centered, filled with emotion. Downright animated and emotional.
Liana Finck | @lianafinck
As a contributor to The New Yorker, The Awl, and Catapult, Liana Finck’s work has a seemingly ever-expanding reach. Furthermore, with over 500k followers, it’s clear that her work is relatable and refreshing. Each post on this Instagram feed will make you feel a lot less alone, and no, those thoughts you’re having aren’t wrong, bizarre, or irregular. Some of my favorite pieces from Finck get drawn on what looks like either toilet paper or paper towels, proving that great art comes from within, no matter the materials, no matter the moment.
Ueli Johner | @yallah
Swiss cartoonist Ueli Johner’s Instagram is remarkable enough, but what’s even more impressive is that he has not one but two outstanding accounts. With more work featured on @howareyou_questionmark, Ueli’s knack for creativity and black and white illustration is quite apparent. His posts are thought-provoking, creative and leave you thinking more profoundly through showcasing different perspectives and charming inquiries. On the @yallah account, there are humorous posts featuring imagery like two rockets side by labeled “Jeff Bezos’ Rocket / Elon Musks’ Rocket” that pokes fun at the dystopian state of our modern world, and yet there are more formal drawings collecting his views of people from a recent trip. All of the work is impressive and worth checking out both accounts individually.
Kamwei Fong | @kamweiatwork
Kamwei Fong’s Instagram account is dedicated to the furrier things in life and illustrated with impeccable detail. From fluffy and emotive to glum and uninhibited, each of the lovely cat illustrations expresses familiar feelings that are instantly recognizable and relatable. Every line is impeccable, and, even without color, the expressions radiate through the screen. Depicting emotions is hard enough, but doing so through four-legged felines is beyond remarkable.
Noah Harmon | @relaxadult
When you first come across Noah Harmon’s Instagram, you might be perplexed by the sheer amount of feeling he’s able to wring from each image. Harmon’s feed makes your emotions feel more valid, and your tears feel less alone, precisely as art should. One of my favorite posts is a set of four eyes, each crying, with the words, “Crying at the same time for different reasons,” written underneath. While this account is full of feeling—some melancholy—there’s still an optimistic harmony to it all.