Written by Orla Thompson
Social media can be a scary and intimidating place at times. And with the state of the world at the moment the last thing we need is more anxiety from websites and apps. So we have put together a list of illustrators and artists who create body-positive art in order to remind people to not only love themselves but to find comfort in being able to see themselves in said art. These artists are taking social media (and the world) by storm with their bold, truthful and thought-provoking work. Nude bodies, confident captions and bright colours feature in almost all of the works that are focused on encouraging self-love and a healthy mentality towards yourself. All these female artists produce artwork that includes people of different races, shapes, and sexuality, in order to create art for the masses not the idealised beauty standard.
Bee Anderson (aka Beeillustrates) creates colourful and fearless illustrations, often accompanied by thought-provoking phrases. With just over 28k followers on Instagram, it’s safe to say that Bee has gained a loyal social media following. Her recent work has been focused on encouraging self-love through both mental and sexual understanding of oneself.
Joanna Thangiah uses her powerful work to dismiss beauty standards, encourage body acceptance and openness about mental health. Her colourful drawings of women come in all sizes and colours are always accompanied by a thought-provoking quote and subjects ranging from plus-size clothing to the stigma of periods. From black and white to purple and blue, her varying colours and drawing techniques encompass her beautiful message of body positivity.
Artist, author, and all-round powerhouse, Florence Given started her career by creating funky, feminist illustrations. At a whopping 523k followers on Instagram alone, Florence’s fan base is forever growing, and it’s not surprising why. Apart from releasing a book earlier this year that talks about a range of subjects from queerness to privilege, Florence also has an impressive illustration portfolio. Her work almost always features an empowering statement, her most recognisable being ‘It’s a wonderful day to dump him’. You can find prints and other merchandise by Florence HERE.
Venus Libido has been bringing modern and free-willed art to our phone screens since 2017. Since then her Instagram audience has grown to an impressive 123k. Combining different body shapes, races and sexualities in her work, Venus does not hold back on speaking her mind through her art. She also translates her thoughts about social media and technology through her work. One of her most recent pieces being captioned ‘take a break from your phone this weekend and focus more on yourself’. To hear more about Venus and her artwork you can read our interview with her HERE.
After starting Pink Bits in 2016, Armenian graphic-designer and illustrator Christine Emily Yahya has gained quite a following on social media. The Sydney-based artists intentions lie in trying to represent individuals rather than an idealised beauty standard. She creates pictures of people from different races and of different sizes, as well as people with disabilities, scarring and disorders. Illustrating ‘bits and shapes we are told to hide’, Pink Bits encourages people to be proud of their entire beings, not just the parts that fit well in society’s expectations.
Melbourne-based artist Frances Cannon uses her magical and mythical drawings to encourage love for others as well as yourself. Working with black and white her work is ominous in terms of races, but includes different shapes and sizes, as well as taking a focus on transgender subjects. Using ink, gouache and watercolour, Frances has been able to make her beautiful and heart-felt illustrations into a well-run business. You can find her gorgeous body-positive merchandise HERE.