I think we can all agree… it’s time for 2016 to get outta here! But first, let’s take a look back on 15 of the most popular posts on Brown Paper Bag this year. Simply, it was two categories: embroidery and illustration—two things I love and will continue to share into 2017.
One of my fondest memories growing up was playing soccer (better known as fútbol). I was enthralled by the fact that you had to control a wild bouncing ball with just your feet. It soon became a big part of my social life with games and tournaments during three seasons of the year. (I still have scars on my knees from indoor soccer turf!)
In her first children’s book called Fútbol!, author and illustrator Taleen Keldijan has captured the spirit of the game that’s enjoyed around the world. Through activities like coloring, puzzles, and drawing, kids ages four to nine can learn about soccer, exercise their imagination, and be introduced to other cultures. That’s an aspect I really like about this book—its inclusivity, and showcasing how different places celebrate the fúbtol.
From Unexpected Discoveries
Illustrator Mark Conlan‘s engaging and playful work revolves around finding and being found. One of my favorites from him is called Unexpected Discoveries, in which he describes, “This little four part series is all about being able to find certain things that you never knew existed. Its just a mater of shinning light on to the subject. Maybe then you can truly see a whole new world.”
I saw my new favorite thing on the internet yesterday, and it’s called Women Who Draw. The site is an “open directory of female professional illustrators”—specifically, it is trans-inclusive and encompasses women, trans and gender non-conforming illustrators.
As you scroll through the website, you see a plethora of different artistic approaches, in addition to women of different races/ethnicities, religions, locations, and sexual orientations. Clicking on any of individual characteristics will filter the illustrators who identify with it.
Needless to say, I love this project. It’s a fantastic resource—especially if you’re looking to hire a woman illustrator—and encourages other art directors, etc, to do the same. And if you just wanna browse, it’s a great way to effortlessly discover new and exciting image makers.
If you’re female-identifying illustrator, join today!
At the end of November, writer Amy Rose Spiegel shared daily affirmations—mantras to help you start your day. Illustrated by Noa Snir, the short sentences are reminders to trust yourself, love yourself, and not to be afraid of what it is you want. Bookmark these mantras to look at whenever you need a mental boost. One of my favorites is “Trusting your own thoughts is the highest form of prayer.”
Gemma Capdevila turns the world topsy-turvey in her colorful collage illustrations. They often showcase both land and sea, in flattened, halved views that are a less scary version of the Upside Down. In this parallel place, it’s as if there are people living above and below the water in the same way. The homes look identical whether they reach the sky or deeper into cerulean blue. Which side would you choose?
Instagrammers, you can also follow her work that way!
Once again, Kirsten Sims has captured an incredible energy in her paintings that recall the spontaneity of pencil sketches. Her latest series was created for the Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg, and they feature vibrant outdoor and indoor scenes that act as a yin and yang—the beauty of solitude, as well as the hustle and bustle of large groups. Each is lively in its application of paint; the colors swirl and mix on canvas, diffusing and abstracting the illustrations. It’s as if they represent one long, fantastic dream… or better yet, a memory!
If you peruse Aimee Bee Brooks‘ Instagram, you’ll find that her sketchbook is full of delicate drawings with a retro sensibility. In particular, I’m fond of the illustrative ladies who don vintage hairstyles and fashions. Created with a light hand, the portraits seem to flicker, like a memory you can’t quite grasp onto in your mind—they’re fleeting and poignant.
For the past week, I’ve continually admired the cut paper illustrations of Irene Servillo. It might come as no surprise—after all, her work is crafted out of collage, my favorite medium. Using cut paper and drawing, Irene creates stylized figures and scenes by employing colorful, eye-pleasing shapes that intermingle throughout the composition.
Kailey Whitman illustrates spell-binding scenes of nature. Intricately detailed and visually complex, the layers of flora and fauna draw you into these snippets of stories, which act as a fantasy for a city dweller like me. Long grass, fields of flowers, and bodies of water seem like distant relatives—so Kailey’s work is especially nice to view, especially when your windows overlook concrete.
Kailey sells a selection of her work on Society6.