Inspiration: Nell Brinkley

This is the first in a series of hopefully regular posts featuring work from other artists I’ve been looking at.

Nell Brinkley (1886-1944) was a newspaper and magazine illustrator. Her work focused on independent, exuberant young working women, and she was a proponent of suffrage for women. Her archetypal character quickly became known as the “Brinkley girl” in her time.

I hadn’t seen Brinkley’s work until recently, when I heard about a new book about her work, written by Trina Robbins and published by Fantagraphics. I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy soon.

The energy and richness of this line work is just wonderful. Some of the historical vignettes remind me of Barry Windsor Smith’s work- I wonder if she was an influence for him.

Free Image Hosting at

See more on the Fantagraphics Flickr page


One thought on “Inspiration: Nell Brinkley

  1. Neat–it looks to me like someone took flappers and illustrated them in the style of Russian lacquer work, with all that swirling golden hair and the splashes of red.
    I look forward to seeing who else you’ve been perusing–my favorite artists are really all illustrators or woodblock printmakers.

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