At Format, we’re constantly impressed with the calibre of creative talent using our website builder to showcase their work. From fashion photographers to illustrators, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of online portfolios that stop us in our tracks. We know that few can do what you do. Honestly, we also know that creative people are just better.
It’s almost halfway through 2017 and there have already been some names we keep seeing everywhere. They’re making waves and catching spotlights in publications like Vogue, Dazed and The New York Times. The work we’re seeing is visually impressive and conceptually poignant, and we’re confident that it’s just the beginning.
Here are the 17 creatives to follow in 2017:
Here’s a quick list of people and projects Daria Kobayashi Ritch has shot, just in the past few months of 2017: Coachella style for Vogue, a SS17 lookbook for Pull&Bear , Cole Sprouse for The Last Magazine, a Bullett magazine editorial, Bianca Chandon x Union Los Angeles, and Kim Gordon with her daughter Coco for i-D. Then, like that’s not already a dizzying project list, Ritch found time somewhere to shoot a short film, She Wanted to Dance, which premiered on Oyster magazine. Keep your eye on this photographer—we guarantee you’ll continue to see big things from her.
With recent features in Vogue, Dazed, and It’s Nice That, British photographer Ronan McKenzie should be on your radar. McKenzie is also working on a stunning ongoing photo series titled Girls. The project explores a diverse range of female subjects through intimate photographs.
We’re not the only ones onto Hetty Douglas. The British painter was featured on this year’s Dazed’s 100 List of notable young creatives. Vogue included her on their 20 Names of Now hit list as well. Douglas’ paintings are funny, offhand, and yet also very personal. We’re fans and you should be too.
British photographer Neil Bedford’s work ranges from fashion to portrait to documentary projects. His client list ranges from twee lifestyle magazine Kinfolk to rapper Wiz Khalifa. Most recently, Bedford shot the album artwork for Kasabian’s new album, For Crying Out Loud. He’s also found time this year to put out a self-published book. Titled Goodboys | Jacob, the project documents contrasting lives in Bali (as seen above) and Yorkshire, UK.
Photographer Kyna Uwaeme is deconstructing stereotypes with her stunning portraits. The Nigerian-American photographer’s powerful photo series, documenting teenage Muslim girls in America, has been featured on Dazed and Huffington Post. When you visit Uwaeme’s portfolio website, you’ll be transfixed scrolling through her intimate portraits—and we can’t wait to see more.
Maisie Cousins has quickly become known for turning the female gaze upside down. She’s a London-based photographer who’s been featured by Vogue Italia, Dazed, and i-D, and she shows no signs of slowing down. This month, Cousins’s unusual, textural photography appeared in Girl on Girl, a book compiling influential new female photographers.
Selected as EyeEm’s photographer of the year in 2016, photojournalist Zacharie Rabehi is a stand-out talent. Rabehi, who grew up in Paris but is based in India, recently published a striking photo series in Wired, documenting pollution around India’s Yamuna River. He’s also been nominated for 2017’s Joop Swart Masterclass, a World Press Photo event that recognizes the most promising new talent in photojournalism.
So far in 2017, Mexican photographer Tania Franco Klein has received a Sony World Photography commended photo award, Lensculture Exposure Award, and been published in the British Journal of Photography. She’s also has credits in i-D, Aperture, and a variety of other publications. The image above is from her ongoing project, Our Life In The Shadows. Klein’s work has a noir-inspired, cinematic feel that’s highly distinct and hard to forget.
Illustrator Gizem Vural’s work stands out due to its unique, free-form style and vibrant colors. The New York-based Turkish illustrator has created work for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Guardian, just to name a few. “Lately, I am interested in drawing one-page comics between editorial and personal work,” Vural recently told It’s Nice That. You can find some of her personal work on her portfolio too—it’s just as impressive as her editorial projects.
Myles Loftin is a Parsons student whose photo series Hooded breaks down stereotypes of black masculinity. “When you google ‘black boy hoodie’ you get images of criminals while the search ‘white boy hoodie’ produces cookie cutter stock photos of white teenagers smiling,” Loftin says in his artist statement for Hooded. The photographer’s work challenges this racialized depiction of black youth, creating a new narrative for black teens that’s “more accurate and free,” as Loftin told Buzzfeed when they featured his work.
Currently working with Ariana Grande, American photographer Stefan Kohli has shot a wide roster of celebs, with highlights including DJ Khaled, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, and even Adam Sandler. His personal project 100 Hours, which just debuted on Highsnobiety, documents summer in L.A. on film with lots of candid portraits of hip hop names like Big Sean and MadeInTyo.
Shooting for up-and-coming indie mags like Gut and Crack, Joshua Gordon is an Irish photographer based in London. In a recent feature for It’s Nice That, he demonstrates the loose, interdisciplinary nature of his work through diary-like photos. “I don’t really focus on one subject or story,” he explains. In addition to his engaging, unusual personal work, Gordon is featured in Carhartt’s new Rizzoli book, The Carhartt WIP Archives.
Bristol painter Alfie Kungu was selected as one of the UK’s New Contemporaries of 2016, a list which recognizes the country’s most promising emerging art students. Most recently, Kungu took part in an exciting South London group show featuring exclusively artists of color, and he’s also shown with Hetty Douglas in a group show which Dazed described as “painters unafraid to fuck with tradition.” Bring it on, Kungu. We’re ready to see more.
The British Journal of Photography described photographer Francesca Allen’s latest exhibit at London’s KK Outlet with another one of our favourites, Maisie Cousins) as “unabashed hedonism.” Allen isn’t a stranger to galleries and has previously shown at The Serpentine, Southbank Centre, among others. She’s shot for The Fader, Dazed, and Noisey. She was also recently featured on a Rolling Stone list of 10 artists you need to know.
Graphic designer Charles Williams, known by his studio name Made Up, combines typography and illustration to create a unique, retro-inflected style. In 2016, Williams created illustrations for music festivals including the UK’s Bestival and New York’s Bonnaroo. This year, Williams’ artwork has been seen on the covers of New York Times, Modus, and The Globe and Mail. The work pictured above is from a WeTransfer collaboration.
With clients like Nike, Selfridges, Gap, and Stella McCartney, London photographer Nadine Ijewere is in high demand. Her personal project Same/Difference (pictured above) documents mixed-heritage siblings in gorgeous portraits. It’s been featured by i-D and was shown at Tate Britain in December 2016.
Working together since 2013, Bunny Collective is an Irish-based female art collective that’s caught the eye of everyone from The New York Times to i-D. They’ve ramped it up in 2017 with a new zine about witches. The new publication was launched at F_Festival in Dublin and features work by Amanda Coogan, Bunny Rogers, Cherry Styles, Melanie Gaydos, Linda Stupart. We can’t wait to get our hands on it, and the rest of their merch.
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Header image by Nadine Ijewere