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Illustration

Illustration

Instead of a Crown, Regal Portraits Wear Nature as the Splendorous Opulence

Black Antoinette by Olaf Hajek

Illus­tra­tor Olaf Hajek is known for his gor­geous paint­ings that are a feast for the eyes. One his more recent series is called Black Antoinet­te, and it imag­i­nes Marie Antoinette—the infa­mous Queen of France—as a wom­an of col­or. The regal por­traits pay homage to his sub­jects’ beau­ty as well as the splen­dor of the nat­u­ral world. As their hair reach­es towards the sky, it’s com­plete­ly com­posed of flow­ers, birds, ani­mals, and fruit. Each illus­tra­tion is visu­al­ly over­whelm­ing (in the best way) and begs you to admire all of its fine paint­ed details.

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Illustration

Folk-Inspired Florals Find an Unexpected Fusion with Science

folk science

Fus­ing folk art with the Lat­in names of men and beasts, illus­tra­tor Sarah Wal­sh has pro­duced a col­or­ful series called Folk Sci­ence. She’s tak­en eight subjects—from rab­bits to lions to a guy with a healthy beard—and dec­o­rat­ed their bod­ies with flo­rals. In every paint­ing, Sarah includes a hand let­tered label with their sci­en­tific moniker—creating an unlike­ly fusion of the two worlds.

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Illustration

Delightful ‘Of Cats and Men’ Book Profiles Fellas Who’ve Found Inspiration in Felines

of cats and men

Men are often por­trayed in the com­pa­ny of dogs,” Sam Kalda writes in his book Of Cats and Men. “They hunt togeth­er, run hap­pi­ly side by side, and ride shoul­der to shoul­der in mud-splat­tered pickups—the per­fect image of mas­cu­line bliss. The dog is, after all, man’s best friend. Some men, that is.” But what about the feline mus­es that inspired some of history’s great artists, writ­ers, and thinkers? Well, they’re pro­filed in this beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed and delight­ful­ly writ­ten book.
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Illustration

Fabulous Fashion Illustrations Redefining the ‘Ideal Body Type’

Isabelle Feliu fashion illustration

Last week, I fea­tured the work of Isabelle Feliu as part of my list of 16 fan­tas­ti­cal fash­ion illus­tra­tions. Since then, her paint­ings have been on my mind. Comb­ing wom­en of all shapes and sizes, she out­fits them in fab­u­lous fash­ions from real-world design­ers like Vivet­ta and Guc­ci. The cloth­ing is con­tem­po­rary, but the Isabelle’s style of water­col­or paint­ings is rem­i­nis­cent of artists long ago. Matis­se comes to mind—especially in the ges­ture of Isabelle’s fig­ures, as well as her use of bold, flat­tened shapes.

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Illustration

Slot Machines and Giant Dogs | A Peek into the MFA Illustration Practice 2017 Thesis Exhibition

installation by aditi damle

Last Fri­day, I attend­ed the open­ing of the MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice the­sis exhi­bi­tion at the Mary­land Insti­tute Col­lege of Art (MICA). As an alum of the pro­gram, I’m always fas­ci­nat­ed to see how the the­sis projects turn out. The­se are mas­sive endeav­ors that take a whole school-year of work (your sec­ond year is ded­i­cat­ed to them), and even longer to plan. To say they’re involved is an under­state­ment.

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Illustration

Floating Among the Infinite Abyss with Illustrator Sonia Alins

illustrations of women swimming by Sonia Alins

Over two years ago, I first fea­tured the intrigu­ing work of Sonia Alins. Back then, she had recent­ly com­plet­ed a series called Dones d’aigua, which fea­tured illus­tra­tions of wom­en swim­ming — and some­times strug­gling — among a hazy watery abyss. Sonia has recent­ly released a con­tin­u­a­tion of the­se com­pelling vignettes that’s appro­pri­ate­ly titled Dones d’aigua II.

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Illustrated products, Illustration

Female Activists Throughout History’ Honored in One Glorious Poster

Rachel Ignotofsky Female Activists Throughout History

This week, I’ve shared vibrant por­traits cel­e­brat­ing wom­en of col­or and strong females kick­ing the shins of the patri­archy. Let’s cap off this week with the work of Rachel Ignotof­sky, who recent­ly released a poster depict­ing Female Activists Through­out His­to­ry. “The­se wom­en have fought, orga­nized, and protest­ed the inequal­i­ty they saw around them,” Rachel explains. “This poster cel­e­brates how they helped to cre­ate a bet­ter future. I hope this illus­tra­tion inspires you to use your own unique voice to resist and fight injus­tice.” Half of the pro­ceeds from each sale will be donat­ed to the ACLU in your name.

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Illustration, Interview

A ‘Kick in the Shin of the Patriarchy’ | Interview with Illustrator Hayley Powers Thornton-Kennedy

Hayley Thornton-Kennedy illustration activism strong female figures

Hayley Thornton-Kennedy illustration activism strong female figures

I first met Hay­ley Pow­ers Thorn­ton-Kennedy when I vis­it­ed the MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice pro­gram (MFA ILP) as a guest crit­ic and lec­tur­er. In their cozy, well-lit stu­dio, she showed me a selec­tion of sig­nage she had cre­at­ed for the Women’s March on Jan­u­ary 21. I was instant­ly attract­ed to the bold illus­tra­tions and, above all, imagery fea­tur­ing strong female fig­ures. I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk to Hay­ley more about her work, both in per­son and via email. The con­ver­sa­tion and her illus­tra­tions seem espe­cial­ly fit­ting for today’s Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Day and A Day With­out Wom­en.

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