This post on Ethiopian illustrators originally published on Medium by Addismiraph Abebe.
What’s the creative scene in East Africa, specifically Ethiopia like? On our end, we’re mostly aware of Jember creator, Debebe Beserat (Etan Comics) and afro-futurist illustrator Fanuel Leul. Luckily, Addis Ababa-based Addismiraph Abebe took the time to share a list of 10 Ethiopian illustrators (most also doubling as graphic designers) he admires.
In Addismiraph’s list, we’ve found even more candidates for our Bahari Blue series.
You can take note of the visual style each person has. Then in your next branding or advertising project, you could find a perfect match for collaboration.
Let’s take a trip into the sensational art of Ethiopian illustrators.
1. Ermias Assefa
Ermias is an architect, concept designer, illustrator. His style is expressive, cute and very polished. He is also the Art Director at Behagerlij Studio.
His Telegram channel is updated more often t.me/artofermias.
Follow Ermias @ermiasassefa
2. Fanuel Leul
Fanuel’s work effortlessly combines scenes of Ethiopia with high-end technology. It’s like Wakanda. The art is so seamless that it takes time for my eyes to adjust and take in the details. Take your time here.
This is a must-follow account. Follow Fanuel @fanuel_leul.
3. Diana Tekleab
Diana draws patterns by hand. They are food for the eyes — Mandalas, Zentangles and more.
In February 2020, I worked with Diana to create the brand identity for Africa Arise 2020.
Follow Diana @dianatekleab.
4. Izzat Amanuel
When you’re looking for colorful, rebellious, and eye-popping illustrations, Izzat Amanuel’s Instagram feed is the place to stop at. He is also the co-founder and illustrator at GetzMag.com (you should check this out too).
5. Yeabtsega Getachew
I met Yeabtsega at the Yeha Digital Exhibit 2020. He creates consistent vector art portraits. His style is unique internationally.
Follow Yeabtsega Getachew @yabi_7.
6. Woini G
Woini is an architect, illustrator and skater (how cool). Her illustrations have a relatable brush-look feeling.
Follow Woini @woini_g.
7. Mudot (Mussie Belachew)
If you like simple, minimal arts, Mudot is your guy. His designs feature one object — usually from the collective experience of Ethiopian childhood and tradition.
Follow Mudot @mudot_00.
8. Zeamanuel Abera
Clean, spacious and thought-provoking: Zeamanuel comments on current events through his work.
Follow Zeamanuel @iamzeamanuel.
9. Noh Balcha
Describing himself as a culture provocateur and a proud African, Noh’s pieces are strange yet familiar. His work, like Fanuel Leul’s, has an afro-futurist look.
Follow Noh @noh_b.
10. Abyssinia Design (Two Mickys’)
Michael and Mikias are the hands behind this account. I got to met them, both Mickys’, at Yeha Digital Exhibition.
Most of their artwork feature faces from local tribes with a modern interpretation. In addition to these striking pieces, they show exciting Amharic and English type design.
So if you are looking for inspiration that is traditional, modern and colorful: give them a follow.
That’s it! Thanks for being here.
What are some accounts of Ethiopian illustrators you love? Let me know! Let’s do a part 2 together.
[Cover illustration by Izzat Amanuel]
This post was originally written by Addismiraph Abebe and slightly tweaked for context by @kadi