I found myself in Costco this past weekend, wandering every aisle per usual, and found myself aimlessly submerged in the back-to-school section. While I’ve been out of school for a few years, there’s still a sense of magic to the season. I was fortunate and lucky to grow up in a home that valued education, and my parents always created this reinvigorating excitement about returning to the classroom every fall. Now, each year, despite not returning to school, late August always brings a feeling of growth, inspiration, and creativity. Today’s top five Instagram accounts each visually emit the childlike excitement that stems from this time of year.
Shiori Tamura | @tamshio_illust
While I’d never been one to feel inspired by crayon art, my opinions changed after seeing the work of Shiori Tamura, an illustrator and graphic designer based in Tokyo, Japan. Tamura’s account is filled with crayon-inspired sketches with funky colors, playful subjects, and a sense of mischief that perfectly aligns with back-to-school season. The drawings of elephants, flowers, koalas, robots, and more feature a consistent signature look that brings a smile to my face for various reasons.
Elizabeth Haidle | @ehaidle
Portland illustrator Elizabeth Haidle is the art and editorial director at Illustoria Magazine, a publication full of colorful pages that honor comics, stories, and DIY projects. It makes perfect sense that Haidle’s Instagram feed feels just as visually expansive, with posts that inspire the same sense of wanderlust as exploring a library. While Haidle’s illustrations look like they could be found in illustrated children’s books, the concepts behind each piece are thought-provoking enough to appeal to all ages.
Juli Tudisco | @tudi.juli
Juli Tudisco’s Instagram feed is filled with delightfully delicate, yet immersive illustrations. Each piece of art Tudisco creates is full of emotion and often depicting moments of softness, such as a mermaid hugging a dolphin, and the two women entangled in a blissful hug. There’s so much color, texture, and empathy in each work that it’s hard to look away.
manabu himeda | @himedamanabu
Admiration and exhilaration are the two emotions that come to mind when I think about Manabu Himeda’s Instagram account. The bright colors, charming illustrations, and beautifully distinctive subjects are highly hypnotic. Himeda uses glowing colors and a playful sensibility to create witty, optimistic, and precious work.
HONGAMA | @hongama56
Upon first glance, Hongama’s Instagram feed is just eccentric and lovely, but closer inspection of the images reveals amusing takes on typical cliches. Think sad clowns, crying tulips, and a person with pizza splattered all over them. Each piece is sort of like a visual riddle, an entertaining mystery that spurs a sense of curiosity and encourages the viewer to explore even more.