Leah Goren is the illustrator your favorite illustrator follows. Based in Southern California, she’s amassed a cult following online, thanks to her playful approach to illustration. Drawn mostly by hand, her illustrations tend to portray scenes of everyday life: a woman eating fries and a man scrolling idly on his phone. There’s also a lot of house plants.
Having graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2012 with a BFA in Illustration, she has since worked with brands as big as Anthropologie, The New York Times, Penguin Random House, Vanity Fair, and Urban Outfitters.
Aside from being an illustrator, Goren also works as a surface pattern designer (and indeed, scrolling through her Instagram page – her fondness of patterns is evident). “I like making patterns because they repeat endlessly and I don’t feel restricted to containing my drawing within a box,” she admitted in an interview with Spoonflower. “I’m always interested in home interiors, and I’d love to see my patterns on wallpaper or an upholstered chair or couch.”
According to Goren, patterns seem to come easily for her—each, having a clear theme or motif. Her toolbox includes brushes, gouache, ink, watercolor, palettes, a scanner, and Photoshop for finishing touches. “Gouache is my favorite to paint with,” she admits, “but depending on the piece I may use ink or watercolor instead.”
But when it comes to the creative process itself, she tends to stick to a clear schedule. “I usually finish everything from start to finish in one go,” says Goren, “though it may take days or weeks to complete a project depending on my work schedule and the complexity. I draw quickly and loosely and I’m used to the quick turnaround times of commercial illustration.”
Scroll down to see some of her selected work.