This is an ongoing (when I have time!) personal project to create illustrations of some famous historical characters. Some are still living, so I guess they’re not quite historical, but most are dead.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is a hero for anyone who believes in social justice for all and is known as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. The story of how she refused to give up her seat on a bus, in a section marked “Whites Only” is moving and inspiring. There’s a great biography about her on the Academy of Achievement website, with photographs and video.

Rosa Parks Illustrated by Jennifer Farley


Albert Einstein

I’ve seen the following quote attributed to Einstein many times:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

But it seems that he never actually said or wrote this. which is a bit disappointing because it’s a great thought : ) The quote I’ve used in my illustration comes from something Einstein wrote in his essay Self-Portrait (1936),

“What is significant in one’s own existence one is hardly aware, and it certainly should not bother the other fellow. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?”

As always, this illustration started out as a sketch which I finished in Photoshop. The notepad below is an actual scan of Einstein’s own notebook. You can view many of his notebooks here on the Einstein Archive.

Vera Rubin Astronomer illustrated by jennifer farley

Dalai Lama

This is my first living historical figure in this current illustration project and this time it’s H.H. Dalai Lama. In fact there’s two Dalai Lamas here – the very young boy and the elderly man. I’ve been lucky enough to hear him speak a number of times and it really is something special. He is truly the definition of peace and it was an honour to be in the same room as him.

So here’s my illustration, young and old Dalai Lama with the Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet in the background.

Dalai Lama Illustration

Isaac Newton

Here’s the exact moment when Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity 🙂

Isaac Newton illustrated by jennifer farley

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (French: Napoléon Bonaparte, Italian: Napoleone Buonaparte😉  was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and its associated wars in Europe.

Napoleon Illustration by Jennifer Farley



Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley is an illustrator, designer, author and design teacher based in Ireland. She has been teaching design for over 14 years and helps people learn Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom,Illustrator and graphic design skills to improve their job prospects and their business.

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