Emerging Talent: Three Illustrators from Edinburgh College of Art

“To make clear, to explain or elucidate by means of pictures, to cast light upon …These words seek to define illustration, an element within the architecture of the page encompassing form, colour, line and composition.” Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Illustration Department

We are three illustration students from Edinburgh College of Art invited to the Mill on the Fleet so show some of what we do in the marvelous, magical world of illustration. Three women from three countries showing three very different approaches to the discipline, which we hope will convey the extraordinary depth and breadth of work to be found within the field.


I am originally from Sweden and currently studying at Edinburgh College of Art. Illustration is such a broad discipline, which allows so many different forms of expression from fine art to more commercially driven design. My own work usually involves some form of narrative as I enjoy telling tales. These stories are not necessarily clear-cut and sometimes ambiguous, perhaps more fine art based. Illustration is also about working towards a set brief. I consider myself a designer as well as an illustrator and I enjoy making my own typefaces and putting together layouts for books, zines, posters etc. Drawing is what I really love and it is the reason why I chose to become an illustrator. I have always expressed myself through drawing and I think that a really good illustration should be able to say more than words could.

For me illustration is all about communication. The moment when someone picks up my work and the spark of connection lights up their eyes is what keeps me addicted to this multi-faceted, ever-changing area of the creative industries. Originally from Devon I now live on a sheep farm in the Borders. The natural landscape around me informs a great deal of my illustration.

I grew up in the Swiss Mountains. I love to draw. Most of all I am interested in characters and the simple and subtle traits of the human condition leading to the tragicomic. At the same time I find it fascinating to try to capture specific atmospheres and feelings in an image.

Emma Ahlqvist
Emma Ahlqvist