Community: Meet Adam, the ill-ustrator

We want to kick off the second segment of our Community Journal series with the Prince of the Pen Tool, the Vector Virtuoso, the Skilled Shape Builder and all around Adobe Assassin: Adam, The ill-ustrator. 

For those who aren't native Torontonians, Adam's catalogue of therapeutic and uplifting designs can be found all around the city, from your local ice cream parlour to courtside at a Toronto Raptors game. The brilliance behind Adam's work isn't only in the smooth lines and soothing colours, but the humanistic approach to his messaging: keeping it real about the ups and downs of everyday life, and letting the audience know they're not alone.

Introduce yourself and describe what you do:

Hey what's up, I'm Adam Bosley aka Adam, The ill-ustrator and I'm an illustrator / graphic designer. I illustrate posters with messaging that allows people to know they're not alone tied together with cute illustrations. I try to be as transparent as possible within my work, messaging and process.

How did you get started and why did you choose the industry/career you’re in?

It's been quite a long process to get to where I'm at today. I got into the arts world pretty late, probably 21 / 22 years old and I changed my major from education to Graphic Design. I fell in love with the process of creating even though my skills and technique weren't very good. From University I just kept illustrating here and there for fun in my spare time. From posting my work on instagram, I slowly started picking up random illustration gigs for clients such as Lost & Found (first client ever) and Collectif Nude. It was a long process in terms of making it into a career with a ton of ups and downs and late night freelance projects. I just really enjoy creating. There's something to be said about starting off with a blank artboard and working through the ups and downs of getting to the final piece. I enjoy it a lot.

A lot of your art has very positive messaging and focuses on promoting mental health. What made you want to create work with that inspiration in mind?

I'm not 100% sure it's purely positive messaging but more messaging of understanding. It sort of just happened. I was working through a How To Guide back in 2020 and the messaging was leading towards a negative tone. I sat with it and decided to switch my tone and perspective. I like creating this type of work because it's truly thoughts and reminders I'm telling to myself and putting it out to the world. It's really humbling to have others relate or connect.

What’s next? Anything cool you’re working on?

I'm working on my first ever NFT release which should be dropping in June or July. I'm doing a massive website launch with some new prints, stickers, keychains and other merch at the start of May. And I'm trying to get my Nothin' But Net initiative sponsored again this year.

Photographed by Nathan Legiehn

Check out Adam on Instagram at @adam_theillustrator

Adam is wearing Bather’s Blue Checkerboard Swim TrunkYellow Striped Sock and the PYC Navy Camp Shirt