Laura Callaghan is an Irish-born, London-based illustrator with a penchant for including fierce, fashionable women within her work. Since graduating from Kingston University in 2010, Laura has worked with a long list of clients including the V&A, Nike and MTV. She creates all of her work completely by hand using a combination of pen, Indian ink and watercolour paints. Laura’s illustrated world is populated solely by women clad in intensely-patterned, brightly-coloured outfits. Scenes see everything from the women posing with plants to lounging around stylish apartments playing video games.
Even if the artwork features just one woman, there is always plenty to explore. A host of colourful patterns cover each and every available surface in Laura-land. A single frame can include animals prints, marble textures and doodled repeats. With this amount of clashing pattern in one image, things logically should seem garish and cluttered. However, Laura manages to keep her illustrations clean and easy on the eye with her delicate line work. Over on her Instagram stories, Laura often shares snippets of her inking her incredibly intricate drawings. Seeing her precise process in action is one of the most satisfying things on the internet so I would thoroughly recommend heading over and giving @lauracallaghanillustration a follow.
Body positivity and diversity are consistently celebrated through Laura’s bold and colourful artworks. In an interview with Dazed, she explained why this is important to her…
It’s important that my illustrations are relatable and accessible, I’m trying to create narratives within my work and those stories don’t just belong to one girl.
- Laura Callaghan
By portraying the world in an honest and positive way, Laura encourages others to see it in the same way. This is particularly important when it comes to social media - a subject which Laura has specifically targeted with her work in the past. Previous projects of Laura’s have highlighted how misleading and unhealthy social media can be particularly for young women. Filling Instagram with Laura’s inspiring artwork as opposed to overly-edited selfies and pseudo-inspirational quotes would without a doubt promote a more positive message for the future generation of fierce females.