Last fall, illustrator Rose Wong had a show called Consider Death at Grumpy Bert in Brooklyn. The works included are poignant and beautiful in their simplicity —Rose mixes bold floral elements with geometric forms, inserting a contemplative figure among them. This character, devoid of a face/emotions, could be, as its namesake suggests, considering the end. It takes the illustrations to a dark place, but this is in line with Rose’s artistic philosophy. In an interview with Light Grey Art Lab, she explains:
When I get sad or frustrated, art makes me feel better. But getting myself to draw when I feel down is often an uphill battle. I am often a positive and upbeat person, but sometimes when I draw, the other part of me comes through – the quiet and contemplative side. I want people to feel good when they look at my work, but to also find some sadness in it. We are all complex individuals and life is all about the emotional experiences, whether it be positive or not.
See more of Consider Death on Rose’s Tumblr. Some of my favorites are below.
Every year, the Inktober (#inktober) project encourages artists and illustrators around the world to draw something everyday for the whole month of October. It’s a fun exercise that can inform later work, which is the whole idea behind the project. The creator, Jake Parker, writes, “You can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.”
So, I know that we’re only halfway(+) through October, but here are some of my favorite illustrations I’ve seen so far. You can find them with the hashtag #inktober on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Behance.
And: Check out 17 of my favorites from Inktober 2014!
Not every artist can make their sketches appear like finished works, and vice versa — not every finished piece can have the qualities of a sketch. Mathilde Vangheluwe is an illustrator who rides this fine line, and she colors her drawings with the soft hues of colored pencils, often leaving her initial graphite sketch visible. This technique is great way to add some shine and polish to something that can feel raw.
Check out Mathilde’s illustrated products in her shop!
I posted the above illustration on my Instagram (@brwnpaperbag) recently, but I like it so much that I had to share it here. British graphic artist Laura Knight painted these portraits that are inspired by Staffordshire Figures, a popular tchotchke for someone to have in their home.
I’m familiar with these types of things after having visited many antique stores with my mother and wooing over them. Laura explains their appeal to the blog Spitialfields Life. “They were on everybody’s mantlepiece and everybody’s dresser. They are a vivid background, deep in our memories of home. There wasn’t a kitchen without a piece of willow pattern or a mantlepiece without a piece of Staffordshire,” she says.
Do you/did you have anything like these figures growing up?