Júlia Sardà’s Lively, Vintage-Inspired Illustrations

Júlia Sardà

Júlia Sardà is a pro­lific Barcelona-based free­lance illus­tra­tor who focuses her energy on sto­ries. Mary Pop­pins, Oliver Twist, and Alice in Won­der­land are a few of the tales that she’s painted. It’s clear, through her style, that she’s inspired by illus­tra­tions from the mid­dle of the 20th cen­tury. They have a vintage-feel that mim­ics the shapes and char­ac­ter design of that era.

I’ve cho­sen a smat­ter­ing of Júlia’s work, but there’s a lot I didn’t include. Fol­low her on Tum­blr or Face­book for more! (H/T Per­rin)

Júlia SardàJúlia Sardàjulia-14julia-2julia-18julia-1julia-19julia-7 julia-20julia-15

Elsa Mora’s Exquisite Cut Paper “Winter Wonderland”

Elsa Mora

With Christ­mas only a week away, it feels very appro­pri­ate to share this mag­nif­i­cent cut-paper cre­ation by Elsa Mora. I somewhat-recently shared her amaz­ing Gar­den of Books, and she’s back with another intricately-detailed piece. This one is titled Win­ter Won­der­land which fea­tures the cross sec­tion of a house that’s all decked out for the hol­i­days. There are so many lovely things in this work, and I’m always in awe that Elsa over­looks noth­ing. Even the lamp­shade has a tiny pat­tern on it!

Win­ter Won­der­land is cur­rently on dis­play at the MoMA Design Store until the end of the year. So, if you’re local to NYC, stop by and check it out (and tell me how it looks in person!).

Elsa Moraelsa-mora1

Adorably Fuzzy Llamas & Librarians by Cat Rabbit Plush

cat rabbitIf you are a reg­u­lar reader of this blog, then you’re prob­a­bly already famil­iar with the work of Cat Rab­bit. I’ve fea­tured a cou­ple of her plushes before, but I real­ize I’ve never ded­i­cated an entire post to them!

I trea­sured my stuff ani­mals as a kid. Even now, some­where in a stor­age unit in south­ern Utah, they are tucked away in plas­tic bins (wait­ing for me?). As an adult, I love look­ing at plush char­ac­ters, espe­cially ones with per­son­al­ity like these. The Melbourne-based tex­tile artist designs and hand­crafts each fig­ure, and they have wire in their limbs for posing.

Cat Rab­bit has a pop­u­lar shop on Etsy. But, if you’re look­ing to order one of her adorable cre­ations, you’ll have to wait. She’s tak­ing a break for the hol­i­days and will be back on Jan­u­ary 3!

cat rabbit cat-rabbit-6 cat-rabbit-3 cat-rabbit-5 cat-rabbit-2 cat-rabbit-4 cat-rabbit-8

Everything Nice: Lucie Sheridan & Carrot Cupcakes

This tea towel is very well loved!

This tea towel is very well loved!

I’m back in the kitchen with the sec­ond install­ment of Every­thing Nice fea­tur­ing To Dry ForBeast in Show, and illus­tra­tor Lucie Sheri­dan. If you missed my inau­gural post, check it out here.

For this project, I chose 3 illus­tra­tors whose work I admired, and then I asked them what their favorite baked good was. Through­out the course of Every­thing Nice, I’ll make their sweet treat and show you how to do it, too. Plus, you’ll see their work in action.

When I emailed Lucie Sheri­dan about what her favorite baked good was, she gave me a list! It included Nigella’s Guin­ness choco­late cake. Although I am par­tial to choco­late, I ulti­mately decided on car­rot cup­cakes, and I am so glad I did. Cou­pled with cream cheese frost­ing, these things are deli­cious. My boyfriend and I skipped din­ner one night and only ate these cup­cakes, because you know, #adults.

I used Lucie’s Cock­apoo tea towel while bak­ing. It was extremely help­ful, not to men­tion super cute.


Lucie’s tea towel design before all the bak­ing, wash­ing, and drying.

Lucie Sheridan

So, there are two recipes here. One for the car­rot cup­cakes and another for the frost­ing. Both don’t require a lot of active time — the most time con­sum­ing thing is grat­ing the car­rots, but even then it goes pretty quickly. I own a stand mixer, so if you have one, def­i­nitely use it.

And, one last thing. I for­got to buy cup­cake lin­ers. This was a fail on my part. Although I prop­erly greased the tin, it was nearly impos­si­ble to take the cup­cakes out with­out ruin­ing their bottoms.


Take 5 Car­rot Cupcakes 

Active time: 30 min­utes | Total time: 1 hour
Makes 14 cup­cakes (I made 12)
Source: Food & Wine

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tea­spoons cinnamon
  • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda
  • 1/2 tea­spoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tea­spoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shred­ded car­rots (from about 6 medium carrots)

1. Pre­heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahren­heit and line muf­fin tin with paper lin­ers. Grease the lin­ers with veg­etable oil.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cin­na­mon, bak­ing soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, with the help of an elec­tric mixer, beat the eggs and canola oil. Alter­na­tively, if you have a stand mixer, mix ‘em in there. Grad­u­ally beat in the sugar and a medium-high speed until thick, about 3 min­utes. Add the vanilla.

4. Fold the dry ingre­di­ents into the sugar mix­ture using a rub­ber spat­ula. Once com­bined, fold in the carrots.

5. Spoon the bat­ter into the muf­fin tins and bake for 25 to 30 min­utes (mine took 25), until a tooth­pick inserted in the cen­ter comes out clean.

6. Let the tin cool slightly then trans­fer the cup­cakes to the freezer. This will make them eas­ier to frost.

7. Time to dec­o­rate! I used a pip­ing tool and then spread the frost­ing with an off-set spat­ula. But, a but­ter knife will also do the trick.

Lucie Sheridan Lucie Sheridan

Cream Cheese Frosting

Total time: 15 min­utes
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Source: Food & Wine

  • 4 table­spoons unsalted but­ter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tea­spoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar (8 ounces)

1. In the bowl of an elec­tric mixer, beat the but­ter with the cream cheese until smooth.

2. Add in the vanilla and con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar and beat at a high speed until fluffy.

Take a look at that fuzzy photobomb in the back.

Take a look at that fuzzy pho­to­bomb in the back.


Heads up! To Dry For/Beast in Show pro­vided me with Lucie’s tea towel, but the words, pic­tures, and opin­ions are all my own.

A Lightbulb as a Tail: Ceramics by Il Sung Na

Il Sung Na

See that guy? I bought him at MICA’s Art Mar­ket this past week­end! Il Sung Na crafted these adorable crea­tures that have a prac­ti­cal pur­pose. They hold tea lights, light­bulbs, paint­brushes and more. I love the col­or­ing and the char­ac­ter design. Like, the light­bulb out of a figure’s butt? How amus­ing and clever!

I saw all of these guys on Insta­gram prior to vis­it­ing the Art Mar­ket. I was on a mis­sion to snag one for myself.

Il Sung Na ilsungna-1 ilsungna-2 ilsungna-4 ilsungna-3 ilsungna-5 ilsungna-6 ilsungna-7

Friday Roundup: Tattooed People, Illustrated

I’ve cer­tainly men­tioned this before, but I am a fan of tat­toos; and, I enjoy see­ing them etched into acharacter’s imag­i­nary skin. Think about it — in an illus­tra­tion, get­ting a inked doesn’t hurt. No one is going to look at you funny or judge you harshly. Total free­dom! Just like the week­end. See ya Mon­day, folks.

Taleen Keldjian’s Illustrations Inspired by Water

Taleen Keldjian

Water and a love for swim­ming are deeply rooted in illus­tra­tor Taleen Keld­jian’s work. The Los Angeles-based cre­ative often revolves her images around the liq­uid, and it yields char­ac­ters like a bizarre group of scuba divers, a boy at the edge of the pool, and a fish­er­man. Even when not depict­ing these types of sub­jects, all of her illus­tra­tions sub­scribe to a hand-made aes­thetic using gouache, acrylic ink, and col­ored pen­cils. (FYI — the above image is intaglio print­ing, though!).

Like Esmé Shapiro (fea­tured ear­lier this week), Taleen is also a recent grad­u­ate — this time, from Art Cen­ter in Pasadena, Cal­i­for­nia. I’m look­ing for­ward to watch­ing where her career takes her!

I am obsess­ing over the cir­cu­lar illus­tra­tions below. I wish they were but­tons or something!

Taleen Keldjian taleen-4taleen-6 Taleen Keldjian taleen-5 taleen-8 taleentaleen-12 taleen-10 taleen-9 taleen-11

You’ll Never Guess What Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn has Illustrated

 Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn

Illus­tra­tor Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn high­lights the things you don’t want to click on… but often do.  Her Click­Bait Project fea­tures the obnox­ious arti­cle titles that are like Sirens, call­ing our on atten­tion until we can’t ignore them any longer. You  know, the ones that make you ask, “who should be my sugar daddy?” Or, “how did I die in my past life?!” Shauna hand let­ters the head­lines that are huge time sucks (and totally not worth it).

I’m both amused by the con­cept and enjoy her let­ter­ing and illus­tra­tive abil­i­ties. Plus, this project is a great exer­cise in improv­ing her skills. In addi­tion to the illus­tra­tions, Shauna also links to the arti­cles… if you’re curious…

As Christ­mas rapidly approaches, Shauna is also illus­trat­ing 12 Pat­terns of Christ­mas, which is a play on the old song 12 Days of Christ­mas.

(Via Quip­solo­gies)

Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn clickbait-3 clickbait-4 clickbait-5 clickbait-6 clickbait-7 clickbait-8

Strange, But Sweet: Illustrations by Esmé Shapiro

Esmé Shapiro

Esmé Shapiro is a Brooklyn-based illus­tra­tor who recently grad­u­ated from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Her col­or­ful works are a com­bi­na­tion of tight draw­ing and free-flowing pig­ment, with some strange char­ac­ters sprin­kled in her com­po­si­tions. A giraffe with four(?) eyes, a cat island, and plenty of naked buns are seen through­out. My favorite illus­tra­tions fea­ture her lush veg­e­ta­tion (which is like, all of them).

Esmé has an Etsy shop, and she recently started a mural busi­ness, too. Neat!

Esmé Shapiro Esmé Shapiro8 esme7 esme6 esme5 esme4 esme3esme9

10 Books for the Illustration Lover on Your Gift List

1. The Who the What and the When by Julia Roth­man, Jenny Volvovski and Matt Lamothethewho-book

It’s prob­a­bly time you started your hol­i­day shop­ping (I’m writ­ing this as a reminder to myself…), and if you have an illustration-lover on your list, I’ve put together a short list of sug­ges­tions. Some books were recently released while oth­ers have been out for some time. I’ve included infor­ma­tive draw­ings, inspir­ing tales, graphic nov­els, and even a children’s book! So, this short list runs the gamut.

Do you have an illustration(ish) book you’re pin­ing over? Or, one you love? Let me know on Twit­ter or Face­book!


2. Fifty Years of Illus­tra­tion by Lawrence Zee­gen and Car­o­line Roberts

3. Play­ing with Sketches by Whit­ney Sherman

4. Col­lage: Con­tem­po­rary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Trans­form by Danielle Krysa (AKA The Jeal­ous Cura­tor)

5. 120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother (And Influ­ence Peo­ple) by Ana Benaroya

6. Nobrow Issue No. 9 (a dou­ble issue!)
Sadly, this is out of stock on their web­site, but you can prob­a­bly find it at your favorite inde­pen­dant book­store!

7. Draw­ing is Magic by John Hen­drix

8. This One Sum­mer by Mariko Tamaki and Jil­lian Tamaki (illus­tra­tor)

Cur­rently read­ing this one. Great so far!

9. Aste­r­ios Polyp by David Maz­zuc­chelli
This is an old-y, but a good-y. Absolutely one of my favorite (if not my favorite!) graphic nov­els; it’s a poignant, beautifully-drawn, and multi-facted story. Excuse me while I go and read it for the umpeenth time.

10. Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smith­son­ian Design Museum by Maira Kalman