Illustrator Olaf Hajek is known for his gorgeous paintings that are a feast for the eyes. One his more recent series is called Black Antoinette, and it imagines Marie Antoinette—the infamous Queen of France—as a woman of color. The regal portraits pay homage to his subjects’ beauty as well as the splendor of the natural world. As their hair reaches towards the sky, it’s completely composed of flowers, birds, animals, and fruit. Each illustration is visually overwhelming (in the best way) and begs you to admire all of its fine painted details.
Ezgi Pamir (previously) has recently created a denim jacket embroidery that’s a snapshot of contemporary pop culture. The large portrait adorns the back of the garment, and it features a woman wearing a floral crown with a bubble of one Instagram “Likes” next to her. As with Ezgi’s previous embroideries, she incorporates real objects—in this case, it’s a lovely selection of blooms.
For U.S. folks, Mother’s Day is just around the corner—May 14. But, there’s still time to buy your mom a special gift. If you’re looking for a present that’s centered around illustration, I’ve got you covered. Here are 15 creative Mother’s Day gift ideas, all available through Etsy. And if you’re looking for everyday playful illustrated products, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to them!
Painted ceramics have a long place in our history. The rise of vase decoration was seen in ancient Greece, which used the surface as a way of depicting everyday life. Today, illustrators loosely follow in this tradition and create their own sort of histories on fired clay objects. Ceramicist and illustrator Laura Bird is no stranger to Brown Paper Bag. I’ve marveled at her many times before.
It’s no secret that learning new things helps keep your brain sharp. In art, it’s especially valuable to take time and gain a new skill. Doing so, at the very least, can improve the way you work. But more importantly, it can change the way you think about your art. Luckily, you can learn new things from the comfort of your own home. That’s where Skillshare comes in. They’ve got 15,000 online classes available for you to take from people at the top of their field. I recently enrolled in a class that I was eager to try: Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook by Leah Goren. You too can try this class with 2 free months of Skillshare Premium.
Last year, Isa Beniston wowed me with her playful clothing that looked like the pages of a sketchbook. She’s been busy since then; through her retail line called Gentle Thrills, she’s released her most recent collection for spring, the aptly-named Get Sprung. Here, Isa branches out from hand-painted clothing and includes revamped vintage and military surplus pieces into her one-of-a-kind garments. They’re adorned with embroidery based on her own drawings, and the colorful additions add a contemporary look and feel to these upcycled pieces.
Fusing folk art with the Latin names of men and beasts, illustrator Sarah Walsh has produced a colorful series called Folk Science. She’s taken eight subjects—from rabbits to lions to a guy with a healthy beard—and decorated their bodies with florals. In every painting, Sarah includes a hand lettered label with their scientific moniker—creating an unlikely fusion of the two worlds.
Drips are in. Sweet, sticky drip cakes are one of Pinterest’s 2017 wedding trends, and the same goes for ceramics. The latest drip pots by the London-based Kinska use her signature minimalist palette and tiny faces that are overrun by dribbles of black and white glaze. But rather than looking messy and haphazard, it adds visual tension to the otherwise sweet, tranquil faces—like these pot people are slowly melting from within.
Most of us have probably heard of the toy company Fisher-Price. They’re the manufacturers of classics like Little People, Power Wheels, and the View Master. It’s been around since the 1930s, and was co-founded by Golden Age illustrator Margaret Evans Price. Before she founded one of the world’s most popular toy manufacturers, however, she was a young girl interested in art. And, talented, too; she sold her first illustrated story to the Boston Journal when she was just 12 years old.
“Men are often portrayed in the company of dogs,” Sam Kalda writes in his book Of Cats and Men. “They hunt together, run happily side by side, and ride shoulder to shoulder in mud-splattered pickups—the perfect image of masculine bliss. The dog is, after all, man’s best friend. Some men, that is.” But what about the feline muses that inspired some of history’s great artists, writers, and thinkers? Well, they’re profiled in this beautifully illustrated and delightfully written book.