J O A N N A L A Y L A
Joanna Layla is an illustrator based in South East London. She graduated with First-class Honours in English Language & Literature – a degree that sparked her interest in visual language and communication. Seeing illustration as a parallel discipline to literature threads though all her work – from design to her poetic interpretation of a brief.
She is drawn to the human form – both the body in fashion but also in literature and art. She applies a natural instinct for fluid brushstrokes and shapes to conceptual and editorial artwork. And it’s this collision of the brushstroke, the figurative, with the conceptual that inspires and frames her editorial identity. She has evolved a uniquely refined style that embraces the overlap of hand-drawn and digital.
“I want to create beauty and joy through shape and colour whilst also making the viewer complicit in the reading of the image – leaving space for them to read their own narrative. Something complete in the incomplete. I aspire to an image that has depth, layers of meaning, whilst simultaneously retaining something minimal in its design. The word ‘Simplexity’ has been used to describe my work. I love that.”
She has recently created editorial illustrations for clients including Burning Eye Books, Popshot Magazine, John Brown Media, Healthy Magazine and Dressed&Naked, and artwork for brands/institutions including The White Company, Bombay Sapphire, Barbican, Konglomerat Berlin, and Royal Parks London. Since her debut as an illustrator in 2016 she has created illustrations for the 50th anniversary production of Cathy Come Home at The Barbican which The Guardian described as “Joanna Layla’s elegant graphics …took us into the world of tenements, hostels and campsites as if evoking a whole society”; been shortlisted for the Prize for Illustration 2017 at London Transport Museum with Association of Illustrators, debuted two new animation projects for The Woodland Trust at Hay Festival and for Lyrix Organix at Kate Tempest’s Brighton Festival and created her first book illustrations for Deanna Rodger’s critically acclaimed debut collection ‘I did it too’. In 2018, she became an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion in fashion illustration.
2019 sees Joanna Layla’s work selected for Pictoria: Best Contemporary Illustrators Worldwide, a commission to run an Editorial Illustration Masterclass at the prestigious House of Illustration and a showcase of her new work at Cluster Illustration Edition V in London Bridge in May, in addition to an array of new editorial work.
C L I E N T S
Burning Eye Books
Healthy Magazine / The River Group
The Royal Parks
The White Company & Little White Company
John Brown Media / Waterside Inn
Welcome to Macintosh
Central Saint Martins
House of Illustration
London College of Fashion
Pictoria / Capsules Books
The Woodland Trust
Cardboard Citizens / Wellcome Trust
Natalie Su Dance Company
Breast Cancer Care
National Youth Theatre
A Hackney Autobiography
Elbow Room / As Yet Untitled Publishing