Joanna Layla is an artist-illustrator whose unique style inspired by the worlds of fashion, literature and art has won her recognition in the creative industries. Shortlisted for the Prize for Illustration in 2017 and selected for PICTORIA: Best Contemporary Illustrators Worldwide 2019, she is regularly commissioned by well-known brands and institutions and has been mentioned in The Guardian for her ‘elegant graphics’.
Through her fluid lines and minimalist design, Joanna Layla’s practice explores themes of identity and self-expression through the human body as an extension of the self. Her drive to visually document beauty in the human form pushes her drawings to redefine gender through the boldness of her feminine brushstrokes, blurring the lines between accepted masculine and feminine forms.
“My drive to draw is to try to capture some beauty I see. I find beauty in the most unexpected places. I love looking at people on the train or on the crowded streets. This urgency to document something beautiful is fundamental to why I want to express myself visually.”
Through the process of emotional creation, Joanna Layla brings to life a true expression of the elusive and unconditional love in its primal state. There is an awareness of human vulnerability apparent in her work where the figurative meets the abstract to express an idea. Light, space and the horizon come together in Joanna Layla’s drawings to encapsulate a sense of freedom that guides her subconscious explorations of what it means to be human.
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Awards | Selected for PICTORIA: Best Contemporary Illustrators Worldwide, 2019; Shortlisted for the Prize for Illustration (London), 2017; Shortlisted for the FIDA Fashion Illustration Award, SS20 Fashion Face & Fashion Figure, 2020, FIDA 'Ones to Watch, 2021
Featured | Cicada Wheels, 2019; Konglomerat Berlin, 2018; The Guardian, 2016
Solo Exhibitions | An exhibition of prints, Jord & Borg (Sweden), 2020
Group Exhibitions | Empower the maker, Cluster (London), 2019; Fashion Illustration, Acid Gallery (Lille), 2020