Esther Coombs is a professional illustrator based in rural Kent. Her work often starts with observational black drawings, embracing a slightly wobbly quality of line, with a view to creating a polished but unique end result. 

We were thrilled when Esther said she would love to take part in our Q&A...


Esther is probably best known previously for drawing urban architecture, large public murals, accurate diagram instructions and children activity books. However, more recently also domestic and more ‘natural’ subjects such as animals, plants and people (even the Queen).

Recent clients include: Guild of Master Craftsmen Button Books, Stone water Development, A-space, National Gallery Company, Lark Books USA, Kyle Books and numerous private briefs. Esther is happy to welcome commissions small and large, corporate and private.

Esther is also a member of The Association of Illustrators and The SCBWI.


Instagram: @esthercoombsillustration


Describe your creative style in 3 words.

 Linear, clean, adaptable


What made you decide to be an Artist?

It's kinda morphed into being.. less that I set out my stall and decided this is what I'm gonna do, and more that it slowly became, along side other work, teaching etc. I don’t think many creatives just think: ‘today I'll start my business', but more that they do a couple of things at once, until they can manage financially to do just their creative work solo.


What are you most proud of so far in your career, any highlights you’d like to share?

 I’m really pleased to have created two activity books for kids. I’m working on another now that I’ve written and illustrated for the garden which i think is gonna be really lovely. ('Plant, sow, make and grow' will be out with button books Spring 2019).


Which artist or designer inspires you?

 Many, various, all in different ways. One of the illustrators I love most is Oliver Jeffers, i love his combination of painting work and line work, his various outputs and invention of a whole new look to childrens' books; I’d love to publish a children's book with a narrative story, its on the to do list, I'm almost there, but needs more work!


Favourite tool you use in your creative practice? 

 Black fine liner


What top tip would you give to anyone who would like to turn their creative passion into their career?
 Start now, don’t wait, run it alongside what your already doing and try and do lots and get as good as you can, then find other creative people to share it with.

What are you reading now?
 Art as therapy, but alane de botton (i think!! im crap with names and titles!)

What music are you listening to at work/in your studio?
 Grace Petrie, but mostly lots and lots of podcasts about economics, behavior and true crime!

First app you open on your phone in the morning?
 Instagram (I'm always trying to do some kind of drawing a day challenge.. (often failing!)

Favourite Tipple?
 A good decaf coffee

Favourite flower or plant?


Are you named after anyone?
Yes, a patient my mum really liked. She was a nurse and had a soft spot for this older lady, and liked the name and named me after her. I hated my old lady name when i was younger but have totally grown into it!

Tea or Coffee?
 See Above

Summer or Winter?
 Summer, i get terrible SAD’s symptoms!

Red or Green?
 Umm… neither, but if you pushed me, green.

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