It’s been a while since I’ve shared a glimpse into my studio! Here’s a fun embroidery I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks. It combines two things I love: stitching and good food.
The [working] title for this piece is called Favorite Bites in Baltimore, and it will include a half dozen of my favorite things I’ve eaten while living in Baltimore. So far, I’ve completed S’mores in a Jar from Hamilton Tavern and the Dirtyboy from Bun Shop. Now, I’m in the middle of a slice of pizza from Joe Squared.
I’m planning on embroidering a few more foods, but narrowing down the choices has been really hard. Baltimore has some great restaurants!
(Follow me on Instagram to see regular updates of what I’m working on.)
For many years, I embroidered on paper. It’s not the easiest way to work, but it sure creates an interesting, unexpected effect that can act as a substitute for a pen, pencil, or paint. With this idea in mind, illustrator Izziyana Suhaimi combines drawing and thread in her series of portraits called Friends to keep you warm. The images are what you might expect from the title — people are depicted wearing colorful, whimsical hats and scarves. Izziyana draws their faces with a fine-tipped pen and adds a little shading. Then, she stitches and knits their accessories so they’ll never be without something on their head or neck.
(Thanks for the link, Marisa!!)
Nebraska-based artist Meghan Stratman fashions her colorful portraits into telling vignettes, as if you were looking at a film still or a comic book panel. “I am drawn to stories and lore in all forms,” she writes, “books, movies, video games, theatre, myths, and urban legends.” Subjects like ghosts, girls, monsters, and animals are paired with themes of friendship and loneliness, with a nod to urban decay and abandoned spaces.
Meghan’s beautiful illustrations are crafted out of paper with some tiny details drawn using colored pencils. Look closely and you’ll see all of the carefully-cut shapes and speckled paper. Lovely!
Check out Meghan’s Etsy shop called Bunny Pirates and pick up a print or postcard.
London-based illustrator Alessandra Genualdo paints fantastic gouache works that are a satisfying fusion of shapes and a limited color palette. She pairs pale pinks, mustard yellows, and fiery reds with blacks, grays, and whites, which are a great juxtaposition of cheerful and dull. And, I especially love it when she mixes these hues with her patterns and blob-like forms. They have a visual ease about them, making them feel contemporary and stylish.
Are you a zine lover? If so, Alessandra has made a few that are available in her online shop.
Aimee Bee Brooks is a recent art school grad who creates colorful illustrations featuring stylish vintage ladies and familiar objects.
“My work is inspired by the past,” Aimee explains. “I don’t have a strong interest in contemporary things. My artwork generally depicts items and people from the time periods I find aesthetically pleasing. I believe the items I surround myself with, the music I listen to, and the art I’m fond of have an affect on the work I create.” It’s this sentiment that I find so comforting about her illustrations. They’re often things I grew up (tape cassettes and all), and that I attach a certain nostalgia to.
Buy Aimee’s zines, scarves, pins, and more in her Etsy shop!
Mai Ly Degnan is a Baltimore-based illustrator and a former grad school cohort of mine. Since graduating in 2014, she has kept herself busy by drawing all sorts of curious ladies in strange lands. They’re great – her characters don costumes, have swim parties, and best of all, scheme! I love it when she releases a new illustration – it’s always a joy to see what her stylish girls will be doing next, crafted with a meticulous attention to detail.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Mai Ly’s Instagram is one you should follow. Check it out to see her sketches, illustrated products, and more.
In addition to illustrative prints, Mai Ly has made mermaid brooches. They’re all available in her Etsy shop.
Teresa Bellon is a Spanish illustrator who caught my eye with the young Frida Khalo piece that’s above. I love the color, simplicity, and shape design, in addition to the distressed printmaking texture that gives her works a hand-crafted touch.
Teresa’s illustrations often depicts jungles, oceans, and people generally on the go. I don’t know about you, but they make me want to get up and start moving!
When you’re trying to promote yourself, you often have to figure out how to “cut through the noise,” and do something/have that’ll make you stand out above the rest. Illustrator Michael Lester certainly accomplished this with his unforgettable “world’s smallest portfolio.” It’s so small that the entire thing can fit on the tip of your finger!
Michael’s project was created as part of a brief set by jelly London for the D&AD New Blood Festival. They wanted to get students putting themselves out there and getting their worked noticed.
When coming up with this playful concept, Michael considered what was it about his work that he wanted people to talk about. He tells jelly London, “For me, ideas have always come before style, so to communicate that I was an ideas-driven visual communicator I decided to shrink my portfolio, in size and content, leaving just a tiny book of visual ideas.”
Illustrator Madeline Kloepper explores the relationships we forge with nature through her gorgeous and alluring paintings. The works have elements of surrealism as dragons, dancing bears, and larger-than-life birds all make an appearance.
I really enjoy Madeline’s more detailed compositions, specifically the ones featuring a quilted blanket fort and clothes line. The heavily-patterned textiles tell us a lot, like characters’ personality and their aesthetic preferences. In addition, we understand more about the characters in how they interact with these objects. Here, it communicates a reverence for simpler times that are away from screens and stresses of everyday life.
Follow Madeline on Tumblr, too! (H/T Perrin)
Martin Tomsky is a London-based illustrator who creates brilliant relief sculptures with layers of laser cut stained plywood. They range in size from small accessories to larger, more intricate artworks. Martin hand-assembles each piece and sells them in his Etsy shop, Tomsky Store.
The amount of detail in these 3D illustrations is remarkable. The fish, for instance, includes more than a simple skeleton. It features fanciful flourishes with tiny creatures that are hidden amongst them. Take a close look and you’ll see all of Martin’s clever additions. It’s not what’d you expect from wood.