I’m thankful to live in a world where animals exist, and I say this as my rescue dog is curled up protectively, yet warmly, against my feet. Not only would our ecosystem fall flat on its face without the work of bees, beavers, and elephants, but we’re lucky to be able to exist side by side within their beauty, grace, and traditions.
While artists often find inspiration in the natural world, there is a particular niche of illustrators that have found inspiration through animals, and we’ve listed the top five that you should follow on Instagram below. While animals are at the core of what they create, they each have an individual style that sets their work apart.
Zaine Vaun | @zaine.vaun
Based in Austin, Zaine Vaun is an artist, illustrator, and textile creator with a sharp eye for creating art with animals at the focus. The thing about Zaine’s work is that it feels like it mixes two specific vibes, the first being Smokey The Bear’s aesthetic and the other being a more refined National Geographic polish, but it’s the combination of the two that makes Zaine’s work stand out.
Holly Storlie | @hollystorlie
Based in Indiana, Holy Storlie not only is a gallery owner, but she teaches painting and drawing classes for children and adults out of it. Furthermore, her Instagram account is chock full of exquisite animal paintings that showcase luxurious colors, textures, and framing of animals’ faces. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ringling College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Holly is doing what she’s always done and what she’s learned to do, and that is to create and inspire. We admire it.
Made By Harriet | @harriet_lowther
The vibe in Harriet Lowther’s animal drawings is a mood, to say the least, that is. Her animal portraits portray animals’ characteristics and personalities in a mix of editorial and cartoon style. As a result, the animals’ moods are passive, annoyed, cheeky, ambivalent, and downright sweet. Harriet is based in Wiltshire and focuses on various mediums, including watercolor, pen and ink, crayons, and ceramics. And if her animal creations on her Instagram aren’t enough for you, she also has an account for her dog Doughnut that is quite heartwarming.
Becca Barron | @beccabarronart
Becca Barron is a professional pet portrait and wildlife artist based in Preston, Lancashire, and when you scroll through her account, you’ll understand why. Somehow, Becca can realistically draw animals in a way that’ll make you question if her posts are photographs. While she currently works with colored pencils, she used to work with oil paints but found that they were too messy. One of the things I love most about her account is that she’s willing to take the time to answer her follower’s questions and often gives behind-the-scenes looks into her work. Oh, and did I mention that she just recently graduated from university? Becca will be on to big things shortly; I just have a feeling.
Lucy Besch | @lucybeschh
The thing about Lucy Besch’s art is that it’s so full of color and life that you can’t help but fall in love with it. Plus, Lucy’s love for animals shines through. It’s no surprise that she’s also a dog sitter in her free time. Based in Kansas City, Lucy is an artist that doesn’t shy away from anything; whether it be vivid hues or funky patterns, her art incorporates it all. In a bad mood? Need an instant pick-me-up? Want an excuse to smile? Follow Lucy’s account.