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Meet Stephanie Cheng, One of Canada’s Top Rising Illustrators

Meet Stephanie Cheng, One of Canada’s Top Rising Illustrators

From art prints to wine labels and calendars, the dynamic designs of Canadian illustrator and screen-printer Stephanie Cheng reflect her creator’s wide and varied interests.

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Talent and a lucky early career break set Stephanie on the path to successful self-employment. “I definitely took the scenic route to get to where I am,” she says. Around 2012, six years after completing a BFA in Design Arts at Concordia University, Stephanie found herself unemployed. To pass the time, she started designing gig posters, “paid or not,” for musician friends. She became further immersed when she decided to make her own wedding invitations. “From there, it was a lot of word of mouth.”

Success Story

Everything changed in 2014 when Stephanie landed a gig poster contract with Goldenvoice, the California concert promoter best known for the annual Coachella music festival. “The 2015 Courtney Barnett gig poster is probably my favourite. It was the first poster where I was really pleased with the printed version and it felt like a shift in my career.”  Since then, Stephanie continued to create commemorative gig posters for Goldenvoice and Live Nation until 2019. “With the pandemic, a lot of advertising dollars were the first to get cut so commemorative posters were unfortunately not high on the priority list,” she explains.

Related: How to Make Your Own DIY Screen-Print Art 

 

Courtney Barnett poster and Radiohead Poster

 

From Sports to Travel, Art for Every Passion

However, Stephanie’s art goes way beyond concert posters. Stephanie’s sports prints, including a lively series on the Toronto Blue Jays, convey a strong sense of motion.

“I like to work with negative space in my illustrations,” she explains. “I’m a big sports fan. I’ll get inspiration from the games/highlights I watch and use photos for reference when I sketch.” She created the Jays series the day after Jose Bautista’s infamous “bat flip” in October of 2015. “It grows as more moments happen.”

Having studied graphic design and printmaking in university, Stephanie has since developed a fascination with early to mid-century advertising art. “When I started my travel series, I felt it was important to focus on cities I have travelled to. It has since grown to include some areas that clients have requested.”

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Today, she sells gorgeous vibrant travel posters for places like Los Angeles, Georgian Bay and Saskatoon.

Related: Zoom is Boosting Art Sales: 10 Ideas for Better Video Call Backdrops

Stephanie Chen's art prints of the Toronto Blue Jays and Georgian Bay

 

Toronto Pride

Stephanie’s eye-catching creations are all made in her very own studio, which she moved into in February 2019.  “Toronto is an interesting place to be right now,” she says. “There are amazing musicians, artists, chefs, designers coming up, many of whom are being recognized globally. This has infused exciting energy into the city.”

In 2021, Stephanie had three separate collaborations with local female-owned and operated businesses in the city. Her collabs included Honey’s Ice Cream, an eco-conscious flower shop, Pictus Goods, and a local independent gift shop, Scout.

Stephanie Chen's art on wine labels

Where to Find Stephanie Cheng’s Art

Keep your eyes out for Stephanie’s art on some of your favourite bottles of wine. “In the last two years, I designed a handful of wine labels for local company Stel+Mar Wines, for the launch of their bottled wines,” she explained. “In summer 2021 their California Rosé was the best performing Rosé at the LCBO, and in 2022 their Cab Sauv saw international distribution.”

Looking ahead, Stephanie is excited to launch her own line of greeting cards at the end of June. You can purchase her art on her website,  follow her on Instagram, or visit her at these upcoming 2022 shows:

 

Originally published May 16, 2017, Updated May 4, 2022.

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Cheng and Stel + Mar Wines. 



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