If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll probably know what attracts me to Esthera Preda’s watercolor illustrations. They’re bright, surreal, and include beautiful blooms! Featuring portraiture, landscapes, and cats (my favorite!), the minimalist paintings offer a curious interpretation of reality. Animals with two eyes? Horses that can fly? This is all possible in Esthera’s universe, and we’re better off for it.
Esthera sells her handiwork in a couple of shops: Society6 and Tictail.
Illustrator Melissa McFeeters participated in The Great Discontent’s 100 Day Project with her own, called #100daysofpapercutz. The Instagram-based series features a myriad of subject matters, including plants, animals, landscapes, and of course, pizza. Her cut outs, with their subtle texture and three-dimensionality, are totally delightful. Viewed together, they showcase the potential these projects have—not only can wonderful artwork be produced, but valuable creative lessons can come from working on something every day for 3+ months.
After completing her 100 Day Project, Melissa has continued to create paper illustrations. For October, she created some awesome spooky compositions in #31daysofpapercreepz. I’ve included a few of them here, too. (H/T Laurent Hrybyk)
If the eyes are the window to the soul, the characters by Zsalto contain multitudes. Their large pupils are arresting, drawing you into their folk-inspired worlds. In them, florals have a mind of their own and animals act as guides for their human counterparts. They watch over them, give them advice, and offer support. People aren’t in every composition, however, and it’s here we see these creatures left to their own devices. Sometimes this is good, but other times bad—and even results in death!
Follow Zsalto on Facebook and Tumblr to see more of her illustrations. And to purchase wares, head over to Society6!
I find it so charming when adults reinterpret children’s artwork. It showcases how crazy and imaginative kids are, and with an adult’s touch, it adds a level of sophistication that brings out the best of both worlds. The Monster Project has a simple mission: to “help children recognize the power of their own imaginations and to encourage them to pursue their creative potential.” Kids draw monsters, then artists from around the world recreate them in their own styles. Check out their project gallery with over 100 terrifyingly adorable monsters.
The Monster Project is currently raising funding to expand their project to schools, products, and more. Visit their Kickstarter. (Thanks to Gianluca Maruotti for submitting this link!)
Canadian illustrator Linda Yan fuses strokes of color into vibrant compositions. She mixes and matches abstracted red, blues, greens, and yellows shapes, creating a collision of textures that are offset by areas of solid color. This produces a visual “push and pull” effect and helps achieve visual balance so that our eye isn’t completely overwhelmed.
I found Linda’s work in issue 27 of Uppercase magazine, which showcases 30 new illustration talents. As with all issues, this one is beautifully designed, but if you’re a fan of the field, you’ve got to check this one out!
Discarded books have found a new life with the work of Isobelle Ouzman. Her intricate, sculptural illustration carve into the publications’ pages, creating mystical landscapes that tell a whole new story—separate from the book’s original tale. Many of her compositions feature pen and ink drawings, but sometimes she’ll accent areas with watercolor paints.
Ouzman sells her altered books through her Etsy shop. She occasionally takes commissions, too. Wouldn’t this be perfect for the book lover in your life?
I know it’s not exactly winter, but doesn’t this illustration by Natsu Wakabayashi put you in the mood? Snow, skiing, hot chocolate…doesn’t sound so bad! This was the first image I saw by the Japanese illustrator, but it’s not the last. Natsu’s enthralling portfolio is full of busy scenes that are fascinating in the amount of detail. Using pen and colored pencil, she draws tiny patterns, architectural details, lettering on sinage. It’s impressive—make sure you spend time really looking at each piece. You won’t be disappointed.
Marc Martin is a Melbourne-based illustrator whose beautiful landscape images are rich with texture. Most of these works are part of various books he’s created, and they’re my favorite kinds of publications—ones with intricate details, allowing the reader to really spend some time with each page and discover new things each time they view it. Marc’s illustrations are quiet and poetic, with some mystery sprinkled throughout. See larger versions of them on his website, and follow him on Instagram to see detailed shots of his work (and work in progress).
Last week, I shared some of my favorites from Inktober, a month-long art challenge where you draw everyday. In a similar vein, Los Angeles-based illustrator Stephanie Birdsong has her own daily project called Black-cat-a-day. It’s a sketchbook painting challenge where, for all of October, she depicts a different black cat in her Moleskine.
I’m always envious of people that keep amazing sketchbooks, where each page is a work of art. Stephanie is one of those illustrators, and it’s awesome to see how the series has progressed. Here are some of my favorites, but you can see more on her blog.
Lara Hawthorne is a Bristol-based illustrator whose meticulous compositions are peppered with creatures both large and small. Because of this, they’re worth spending some time with, because otherwise, you might miss her tiny alligators, giant cats, and massive schools of fish. In addition to an elegantly-painted cast of characters, Lara uses a lot of patterning in her work. When she’s not depicting animals and amphibians, she’s creating motifs of trees and plants.
Lara has made selected works available for purchase through her online shop.