Matches, fire, smoke… that’s the idea behind today’s Friday roundup. There are a lot of neat matchbook designs out there, and it was my initial inspiration for this post. But, I wanted wanted to go beyond that and explore a few ways in which fire is shown/thought of in illustration. (This is by no means comprehensive.) Got a cool fire-themed illustration to show me? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!
French artist Frédérique Morrel combines tapestry and taxidermy to create fresh and unexpected works. Deer, moose, and cattle tell vibrant stories on their new skin that features a dizzying array of colors, patterns, and people. I’ve always been fascinated by both taxidermy and tapestries, so the fusion of the two is exciting to see.
But, many people don’t think of these crafts as things that are worthy of attention. Frédérique’s artistic philosophy recognizes this and tries to change it. She writes:
These tapestries are telling the stories of these key and essential casualties:
- loss of sale value : these tapestries are expensive (material and time consuming), but worth peanuts.
– loss of aesthetic value : these tapestries are considered ugly and out of date, but have their own hidden beauty, particularly for those who are them.
– loss of emotional value : these tapestries are telling love and family happiness stories, but are abandoned and thrown into mud.
I revitalize them, offering a redemption, beneath animal appearance and covered with this popular language. I give them back their central and essential place inside households.
Last week, I shared paper-crafted illustrations by Estudio Guardabosques and this week it’s the handiwork of Maëlle Doliveux. The New York-based creative sculpts paper into editorial illustrations for clients like Newsweek and the Boston Globe. But really, our enjoyment doesn’t hinge on the fact that these are professional assignments. She’s made interesting and beautiful images that stand on their own as artworks. I especially like how Maëlle uses light to add drama and enhance the cuts that she’s made in the paper. It gives them a nice 3D feel — like a relief sculpture.
Cut paper comics! I love this idea:
Using a combination of painting and collage, illustrator Chris Hagen creates vibrant works that highlight the natural beauty of this world. Animals, landscape scenes, and even some fantastical things happen in his textured scenes. I’m a huge fan of collage and love this technique. Chris painted and drew on pieces of paper and then cut them out and assembled them into a flat, folk-inspired compositions. See an in-progress shot below! He has even more on his Facebook page.
I went to grad school with the (now) New York-based illustrator Dingding Hu, and it’s been a pleasure seeing her work develop since we’ve graduated. I love these colorful, bizarre, and energetic illustrations that she’s made. They’re busy scenes with a lot of details, so make sure that you look at what’s happening in both the foreground and background — it’s all very entertaining!
Dingding writes that “she loves to make fun and juicy images, to express her curiosity about the quirkiness of everyday life.” I’d say it’s everyday life+ . She enhances the ordinary with surreal and dreamlike elements.
Each day, I receive more and more submissions from those who participated in the Collage Scrap Exchange. It’s great! I am always so excited to see the creative things that ya’ll came up with (and sent each other!). Here are a selection of 13 I’ve received so far. Check out my other earlier post that features 6 submissions.
A reminder to those who are participating: the deadline is February 15. That’s less than a month! You can email me your submissions once you’re done. I can’t wait to see them!
I’ll leave you with one very awesome email I received from participant Beth Maiden about her experience.
My friend Polly and I booked a teeny-tiny cabin in the hills of mid-Wales for the weekend — I thought this would be the perfect time to do my collage. It snowed and we woke up to a total wintery wonderland. We went out in the snow for long walk, then came home, stoked up the fire, put on the radio and got busy with scissors and glue. It was so blissful.
That sounds amazing!
So, earlier this week I shared some illustrative scarves by Nathalie Lété, and now it’s these silk beauties by artist and designer Karen Mabon. They’re whimsical as well as narrative and character driven — terms you normally wouldn’t use to describe scarves. Karen’s outrageous, busy scenes feature things such eating at a diner, robbing a candy store, and a sleight of hand. It’s totally not what you’d expect to be on a scarf and makes each piece a wearable work of art.
On her website, it says that “Karen revels in producing work that is accessible, individual and fun.” That’s exactly what I love about these scarves. This style isn’t for stodgy old ladies anymore!
Estudio Guardabosques is the collaborative efforts of creatives Juan and Carolina from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They craft scenes entirely out of paper by using complex sculpting to fold and build forms. Often, that involves perforating edges and cutting just so — enough to transform the paper, but not enough to wrinkle or destroy it.
Much of the couple’s work involves nature, and this is definitely where they shine. My favorite instances are where animals are involved. They’re cute, innocent-looking, and that fox… so wise!
See that spotted dog in the painting above? I love ‘em. And honestly, it’s the first thing I noticed when looking at Nathalie Lété’s work… like I have some sort of 6th sense for that type of thing. Her paintings are full of quirky objects set against patterned backgrounds. They are busy, but so much fun to look at!
In addition to paintings, Nathalie’s illustrations adorn many, many products. I’ve included her scarves here, and she’s created images that are on toys, tote bags, key chains, and ceramics.
One of my best pals, Perrin, recently illustrated this awesome set of praying mantises. I love how she combines these odd creatures with beautiful floral arrangements. Perrin says that they look like tiny, awkward aliens, and I’d have to agree.
These two pieces are a diptych and features one at rest and one that’s ready to attack!