With vivid colours, clashing brights and bold patterns, Assa Ariyoshi’s illustrations leap out from the screen. There’s a sense of fun and joy to her work, but she has also illustrated some serious subjects, producing artwork for articles on depression and anxiety as well as detoxing and office flings.
Ariyoshi grew up in Holland and comes from a creative family: her mother is a painter and her father, an art history professor. “I was always surrounded by art, and it was the thing I was most interested in at school,” she says.
After completing an art foundation course, Ariyoshi moved to London to study illustration at Kingston University and graduated in 2014. She has since been signed to agency JSR and worked on commissions for Refinery 29, the New York Times and Buzzfeed as well as the Telegraph and the Washington Post.
Ariyoshi’s artwork is digital but her process begins with writing ideas out on a piece of paper. “I write a lot first, and then I’ll do some sketching. I’ll sketch ideas really quickly and I’ll spend a lot of time drawing up the composition. I just find it a lot easier to work things out in my head with a pen and paper,” she says. “I really love colour, and quite clashing colours as well, so after I’ve finished a concept, the thing I’ll spend most time on is picking out the right colours.”
Many of her illustrations deal with sexuality, female identity and mental health, all themes that she has a strong interest in. And while she enjoys working on editorial commissions, she is also keen to work on larger projects such as campaigns or look books for a brand.
“I’d love to work with a perfume or fashion brand,” she says. “I really love editorial but it would also be nice to work on something for a little longer … sometimes it’s tricky having such short turnarounds.” Her work is instantly recognisable but Ariyoshi is keen to continue evolving her style. “I think it’s good to be constantly changing … but I don’t think you ever get rid of your signature,” she says.
New Talent is part of Inspire, a year-long partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work across both platforms. More advice and inspiration is available at www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub. You can see more of Assa Ariyoshi’s work at assaariyoshi.com or follow her on Instagram (@assaariyoshi)