Laani Heinar - Illustrator

I am an illustrator and designer who is inspired by the shimmering layer of magic that is woven into our ordinary world. I love to delve into stories, places, themes and characters, to find and highlight their everyday magic and spirit. It's the kind of magic that you might not notice right away. It's the kind that you have to be very still and quiet in order to see. Then, you'll see those sparkly drops of dew gleaming in a spider's web like jewelled treasure. You'll hear that eerie loon call that whisks you into a feeling of timelessness.

I work to capture this mystery through the interplay of colour and pattern, using a mix of gouache, watercolour and digital media. My illustrative work is also guided by my experience studying textile and fashion design at NSCAD University in Halifax, the oceanside city on Canada's east coast. There, I designed woollen winter coats and started to explore the influence of my Estonian and Finnish roots within textile design – some of which you can see popping into my illustration work from time to time.

The "härmatis / frost" pattern coat c. 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

The "härmatis / frost" pattern coat c. 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Currently, I live in Toronto, where I continue to work as a freelance illustrator and designer. I love working with children's books and media, magazines, editorial illustrations and surface pattern design. 

For inquiries, licensing, commissions, or just to get in touch, you can reach me at:  laani.heinar (at)

Select clients and features include: CBC Arts, Uppercase Magazine, Estonian Studies Centre, Kotkajärve Metsaülikool/Forest University