Rachel Joanis was born and partly raised in Cambridge, spent her teenage years in Winnipeg before returning to Ontario as a student of Fashion Communications at Ryerson University here in Toronto. Art has been a fixture of Rachel’s life from an early age. Born into an artistic family, her passion was enthusiastically nurtured with countless trips to galleries & museums and she attended many art classes.
Since graduating in 2016, Rachel has carved out a formidable career as a graphic illustrator and digital artist. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art & fashion as is obvious from her pieces. Representation and inclusivity are at the forefront of everything she creates. As a woman of colour, she feels a responsibility and a desire to foster and promote a broad representation of different ethnicities and body types in her work.
Rachel is the artist behind the incredible mural “Life at The Square’ which can be viewed at CIBC SQUARE as part of the south tower’s finishing touches. She was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2020 for her spectacular multipage illustrated piece in Fashion Magazine entitled “New York London Milan Paris”.
In addition to her freelance work and online print store, Rachel works for a boutique design studio illustrating for a variety of products including calendars, journals and jigsaw puzzles.
Written by Jonathan Shaw (Rachel’s partner)
Which ‘hood are you in?
I just recently moved to St. Clair and Lansdowne area. After living on Queen West for the past few years, I’m excited to explore and get to know this new area.
What do you do?
I am a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, and the founder behind Rachel Joanis Illustrations, a Toronto-based online print shop. Equal representation is very important to me, the majority of my work focuses on promoting different ethnicities and body types to help further inclusivity and allow everyone to see themselves represented in art.
What are you currently working on?
I feel very fortunate to be involved in some exciting projects currently; I’m working on a number of commissions for custom artwork, working on illustrations of my own to add to my print store, creating illustrations for a new upcoming ARG, and more projects and collaborations to be unveiled soon!
Where can we find your work?
As a freelance digital artist, the majority of my work can be found online, on my website and on Instagram. While most of it lives online, I’m thrilled to be creating more artwork for physical spaces; namely, a project I recently completed and am very excited to share with the public is an immersive mural at the new CIBC SQUARE office development in Toronto’s Financial District. The mural, titled Life at The Square, showcases the every day and night at CIBC SQUARE, reflecting the community members and guests that come to work, stay, or pass by. Viewers can find it located in the P1 Valet area. It’s always been a dream of mine to create artwork for a mural. I’m beyond excited for people to finally be able to see it!