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Spotlight New Artists

Recently we’ve welcomed some fabulously talented new illustrators to the Arena Illustration list....

Our Tower by Joseph Coelho and Richard Johnson

Our Tower is a deeply personal story written by Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Richard Johnson. ...

Artist Spotlight - Richard Johnson

It is with great pleasure that we present to you a delightful and insightful Q & A with Arena illustrator and designer Richard Johnson...

Richard Johnson Illustrates Birdsong by Katya Balen

Katya Balen's emotive words along with Richard Johnson's atmospheric imagery interlace perfectly in this stunning story about the power...

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Richard’s versatility has enabled him to work with a broad range of clients on advertising campaigns, design projects, as well as newspapers and magazines. Recently producing stunning visuals for the Tokyo Olympic Games. He has a generous clutch of awards including accolades from the AOI V&A and recognition for his work both nationally and internationally.

Well know as a children’s book illustrator, Richard has had numerous books for children of all ages published including My Grandpa’s Amazing Inventions, which he wrote and illustrated. His first wordless picture book, Once Upon a Snowstorm, explores the story of a boy who becomes separated from his father in a huge snowstorm. He has recently collaboated with Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho on the picture book Our Tower.

Influenced by the theatre, film, performance, decorative objects and children’s toys. Richard’s visual language plays with exaggerated lighting, texture and shape, combined with bold characterisation and a confident colour palette making his work instantly recognisable. His drawings start life in his trusty sketchbook, he then experiments with various ways of rendering and colouring his work digitally to keep the style fresh and current.

Richard is interested in experimenting with non-linear visual narratives and is keen to develop his own storytelling blurring the lines between conceptual and narrative illustration.


  • Aardman Animations
  • BBC
  • Bloomsbury Books
  • Cadbury
  • Faber & Faber
  • Harrods
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Penguin Random House
  • Radio Times
  • The Times Newspaper