Mats Gustafson (Swedish, b. 1951) began his career as an illustrator in the late 1970s, a time when editorial illustration was eclipsed by photography, and watercolor as a conceptual medium had barely been explored. A graduate of Dramatiska Institutet (University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre) in Stockholm, he first applied his graphic sensibility to the art of stage design. This experience translated into illustration when he began publishing his work in eminent international fashion publications. The elegant and subtly expressive character of Gustafson's watercolor, pastel and cut-out paperworks expanded the possibilities of fashion illustration and nearly single-handedly reinvigorated
Gustafson’s fashion and portrait illustrations have been included in editorial publications such as French and Italian Vogue, The New Yorker, and Visionaire, and he has created advertising art for Hermès, Tiffany & Co., Yohji Yamamoto, and Comme des Garçons. His work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group shows. Gustafson lives in New York.