Freelance Illustrator Laura Graves

Laura Graves is a former animation industry artist (graduate of the Vancouver Film School). After working for a variety of studios, she went out on her own and now works as a freelance illustrator.


‘I get a lot of inspiration from vintage children’s books and nature. Most people wouldn’t think a city as big as Toronto would have much wildlife, but there are plenty of racoons, squirrels, skunks and possums wandering around, and by mixing that with all the cats and dogs you have a constant source of inspiration. I love that old Toronto is this fairy tale mix of turn-of-the-century architecture, beautiful trees and streetwise animals.

My work is a direct result of imagining the inner lives of animals, “Does that bear look bummed out? Maybe someone interrupted his hibernation and he really wants to get back to bed”… “What kind of a home would an empire penguin build if he could?” I guess I’m fortunate to have an active imagination, although I think I drive my partner nuts when I speculate out loud.’


‘I started working for studios at a pretty young age. I was so busy inbetweening and cleaning up other artists’ work that I didn’t really get a chance to develop my personal style. I found the hectic pace of studio contracts didn’t leave me much time for my personal work, but it was fantastic training. I’m now in the fortunate position to be able to pick and choose my workload and I’m loving the freedom to try new things and just see what happens.






Website | @lauragravesart