Best Local Illustrator

Elizabeth Graeber
Elizabeth Graeber is a talented lady, but her freakishly prolific portfolio is just as admirable as her linework. She crafts prints, coloring books, and postcards for her Etsy shop, hand-paints bags for U Street NW store Ginger Root Design, cranks out monthly pieces for art-subscription service Project Dispatch, and tweets new sketches almost every day. Oh, and let’s not forget her public and private murals, her designs for the Phillips Collection and U.S. Postal Service stamp blogs, and her illustration for a City Paper cover story last year (which, full disclosure, I hired her to do). Graeber’s linework is both delicate and defined, and her subjects, from Eames lounges to donuts, are rendered in a style that’s unmistakably hers; she ranks with the Maira Kalmans and Claudia Pearsons of the world. But it seems Graeber’s charming designs won’t stay a mere local treasure much longer: Recently, Penguin’s Gotham imprint picked up An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails, the 2011 booze bible featuring her designs (and text from former City Paper Beerspotter Orr Stuhl). Big things are happening for the prolific scrawler. Luckily, her prodigious output amounts to a welcome barrage.