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.
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.
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!
Kreh Mellick creates gorgeous monochromatic paintings that are alluring in their sheer amount of meticulous detail. The tiny leaves, facing all different directions, create a luscious movement throughout each piece and frame their curious cast of characters. I can’t help wondering—where are these people, and what is their story? They feel like they’re somewhere but nowhere, like they’re occupying someone’s dream.
Sarah Burwash is no stranger to Brown Paper Bag. Over the years, I’ve admired both her ceramics and drawings and have been following her work ever since. One of her latest endeavors is Sweet Smelling Ashes, a recently-opened exhibition at Latitude 53 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The busy, detailed paintings showcase figures living their lives in ritual and routine. They occupy sprawling landscapes where everyone is at work, whether it be in physical feats or intimate interactions towards others. Success, failure, struggle, and grace are all visible in her work.
If you’re local to Edmonton, check out Sweet Smelling Ashes until November 14 of this year. Here are some selected images. Click on them to see ’em in a larger size!