The letter R has never meant much to me, but Eleonora Kolycheva is challenging my ambivalence with her hand-painted typography. This isn’t the first time I’ve admired her illustrations on Brown Paper Bag, and she brings a similar floral aesthetic to the letter form. Serifs and sans serifs become nests for birds, walls for vines, and are transformed into giant blooms.
Eleonora calls this project an “experiment,” and it’s one we could all try—you simply pick your favorite letter and imagine all of its pictorial possibilities. (If you do this, send me a picture. I’d love to see what you came up with!)
Bodil Jane illustrates rooms that I wish I could live in—cozy, patterned-filled spaces with a lot of plants. She writes on her website that enjoys painting the likes of food, fashion, interiors, and flora which is evident from her colorful, fluid way to art making. Images feel carefree and fun, like Bodil was happy to be painting and drawing these people, places, and things.
Bodil sells her work as prints and ceramics in her Tictail shop.
Stitchy Friday is a project that’s sure to warm your heart. It’s an endeavor between an embroiderer mother and her illustrator daughter, Marijke Buurlage; Marijke creates the colorful, stylized images and then her mother translates the flattened shapes into stitched form. Their Instagram, @stitchyfriday, is updated at the end of each week with their progress and finished pieces.
As wonderful as Marijke’s illustrations are, her mother’s handiwork is also admirable. I love the lush texture and the mixing of threads—they add dimension and bring 2D to life. After seeing this sweet collaboration, it makes me want to plan a creative project with my own mom! Don’t you?
Tomorrow, I’m traveling from Baltimore to Los Angeles for an exciting reason—I’ve curated a show at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena! It’s called Inside / Outside features works that explore indoor and outdoor spaces. I’ve lined up fantastic artists and illustrators, so I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together.
The opening is this Saturday, August 13, from 6:30PM to 9:30PM at Flower Pepper Gallery on Union Street. If you’re local, please stop by! I’d love to meet you and say hello.
Here’s a sneak peek—a few more pieces that’ll appear in the show!
Anna Valdez, Plants on Black Wool Embroidered Bed Cover
Betsy Walton, Resting Garden Two
Sarah Burwash, Dawn and Dusk
Illustrator Chloe Bristol is a background painter for Disney Junior and Cartoon Network, but she also creates excitement in the foreground of her works. Crafted with a cinematic touch, these vignettes introduce us to many stories and characters whose scenes beg us to fill in the blanks. I would love to see them as animated GIFs—it’d add to the mystique that Chloe has so expertly crafted with setting and color.
And a couple of portraits, just for fun:
Lett Yice shares an imaginary world through intricate scenes filled with plants and animals. Tiny humans witness vessels to another land, strange waterfalls, and a barren plains with oversized birds. Painted in colorful hues, each illustration tells a fantastical story that encourages us to fill in the blanks.
We all have our own ways of achieving ~zen~, and for me, it’s witnessing the beauty of grandiose natural landscapes. The vast, seemingly never-ending horizon reminds me of just how big the world is, dwarfing whatever worries occupy my brain. Maggie Chiang captures this feeling with exquisite snapshots of open spaces. Inky and drawn textures mimic desert scenes, rapid waters, and gray skies. In every image, the Earth looks magnificent and makes me want to find the nearest hiking trail!
There are some images that just stick with you, and Aster Hung‘s above illustration is one of them—the combination of beauty and horror is both compelling and thought-provoking. It’s one part of her series called Garden in the Dark, which features figures whose bodies are ravaged—by nature or by man—yet surrounded by the splendor of blooms. Aster describes it (and with her other work) as capturing “fantastical spaces with ties to more sobering realities.”
Aster sells her work through Society6.
One somewhat-recent trend that has emerged on Instagram is artist process videos. The idea is nothing new, obviously—but with the ease of posting video to Instagram, the short broadcasts are both informative and oddly soothing.
I love watching them for their hypnotic qualities, but it’s also a great way to learn a new techniques. Andrea Lauren, for instance, just posted a 3-video series on how she creates her charming layered prints. It showed me a printmaking technique that I wasn’t familiar with.
To start your week (or day) off on a creative note, here are 7 art process videos that will soothe your soul.
Illustrator Ayumi Takahashi grew up in China to an artistic family: her father was an industrial designer and painter while her step mom was a theme park designer. She didn’t stay in China for too long, however—when she was 12, she moved to Japan, studied in Thailand during high school, and then came to the United States for college. She’s since remained in America, bouncing from the West Coast to the Eastern seaboard.
Travel is at the heart of Ayumi’s work. “I try to take at least one month off a year to go to places and get inspired,” she tells North. “At the same time, I will learn the history, culture and art of those places. I believe that before you make art, you first need to go see the world. Being away from my studio gives me time and space to rethink and redevelop the kind of art I want to make.”
This global existence is reflected in her portraits. They focus on simple shapes with “concentrated sophistication,” combining intricate patterns with large fields of colors that are a collision of cultural influences.