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!
London-based illustrator Amy Worrall is inspired by “topless girls in Florida and sunburnt Brits abroad on the Costa del So.” With this in mind, she creates a range of functional and decorative objects, focusing on simple dining wear and vessels. Her pieces are colorful, often using neon pigments to create fun bikinis. To do this, she uses a technique called majolica—opaque white glaze is applied over earthenware, then other (vibrant) glazes on top of it. This helps achieve such bright colors.
Some of these pieces are available for purchase in Amy’s Tictail shop.
1. Hand-Painted Cat Brooch by Harriet Damave
2. Metamorphosis Notebook by Perrin for Anthropologie
3. Porcelain Plate by Goisa Herba
4. Bat Scarf by Jessica Roux
5. Night Bloom temporary tattoo by Alyssa Nassner for Tattly
6. Banana Cup by Bobo Choses for Mokkasin
7. Swan Bag by Sonia Cavallini
Tutorials to Try
I write for Craftsy, creating fine art-based tutorials for anyone to try! It’s a lot of fun. Here are a couple of my favorites—time to bust out your paint!
(This is my cat, Pauline)
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.
For my latest installment of Illustrators with Ink, Vancouver-based illustrator and tattoo artist Nomi Chi is sharing her ink and drawings. She has a fantastic artistic style, and I’m especially fond of her tattoos—they have the spontaneity and dynamism of pencil sketches! (All of the tattoos you see here is work that Nomi has etched on her clients.)
So, without further ado, here’s Nomi!
How did you get in to tattooing? Did you ever envision yourself doing it?
I had a very fluid and relaxed apprenticeship, most of what I know I’ve learned through observation or through the general diffusion of knowledge that comes with working with people more experienced than me. I began tattooing quite young, but I never imagined my work would be sought-after, at least not to the degree that it is today.
How much of your time is spent tattooing and how much of it is spent illustrating?
Most of my time is spent either tattooing or doing preparatory drawings for tattoos. In the future, I would like to be illustrating more.
How does your illustration style translate into tattooing? Do you see much of a difference between the two?
I try not to illustrate the way I tattoo. Both practices share the same vessel (me), so there is going to be some cross-pollination, but at the moment I try to keep them relatively compartmentalized. Tattooing is not only a technically restrictive medium, it inherently involves the preferences, desires and vision of another person. In my illustrative work I try to explore themes and technical possibilities that I could not/would not in tattooing. Tattooing has its own wonderful qualities and does not have to look like illustration to be visually appealing.
Your tattoos are beautiful and feel like energetic sketches. What are the inspiration behind the tattoos you create? Are most of them your vision? If not, how much input do clients typically give?
My interest in visual art was spurred by animation, so capturing movement is important to me. I also strive to implicate a kind of immediacy in my my tattoos, so there’s a lot of improvisation — It keeps the process fresh and fun for me. I’m glad my clients like it too, of course!
As for subject matter, that’s usually provided by my client. I am often given room to apply my own kind of twist to the concept as well.
What is the most memorable tattoo you’ve given?
The first tattoo I made on another person. The experience is etched into me like a sigil. I remember every detail of the room we were in, it’s surreal how clearly I can recall that moment.
What’s the inspiration for your illustrations?
Lumpy things, fleshy-ness, squishy hairy things, feelings, feminism, desire, death — not necessarily in that order.
How long have you been illustrating?
Gosh, I don’t know. I learned at a young age that there are people out there who will pay money and give me praise and attention for drawings, so I’ve been hustling art for about as long as I can remember.
Any exciting projects on the horizon?
I am very soon releasing a sketchbook of sorts, in an unconventional and exciting format, with my publisher vonzos! I’ll definitely be talking it up all over my social media pages as the release date draws near, so keep your eyes peeled.
What tools do you use for creating your work?
Lately I’ve been returning to classic illustration staples: pen, ink, gouache, etc. But I’m also into CNCing sculptures from MDF board and painting them, and building figurines with Sculpey.
Thanks, Nomi! Make sure you follow her on Instagram to keep up with her work.
1. Leather Clutch Bag by boo+boo factory
2. Hand-Painted Girl Plate by Pretty Little Thieves
3. Geo Block Bookmark by Dowse
4. Stoneware ghosts by Studio Arhoj (sold by Dowse)
5. Blossom Flap Backpack by BagyBag
6. Happy Ceramic Sugar Dish by Beardbangs
7. Flocked Dog Brooch by Sally Haysom (sold at Howkapow)
Happy Friday! In case you missed my tweet about it, Mallory over at Gems recently shared some beautifully illustrated books, including one of her own: Here Kitty Kitty. As the title suggests, it features an impeccably curated series of cat illustrations.
Here are some others. Aren’t they lovely? (See the full list!)
One last thing: next Monday, I’m sending out my monthly newsletter! I’ve recently revamped it and added some fun features. Subscribe here!
Not too long ago, I was writing about my love for face pots, sharing the ceramic work of Kinska (if you aren’t familiar, definitely check them out). Polkaros is another maker of similarly adorable pieces, crafting small vessels that don sweet expressions and colorful patterns. The person behind it all is Ros Lee, who has a passion for creating things you use regularly but with a fun twist. You’ll find that your days are better off because you have these special, unique objects in your life.
Polkaros sells online, and you can buy more than just ceramics in the shop—accessories, textiles, and paper goods are all available.
I’m fascinated by the amount of little things that there are in the world. Going to overstuffed antique malls and examining all the small objects crammed onto the shelves is enthralling: people have amassed collections of buttons, figurines, flags, postcards, and much, much more, and I love to see how these objects are grouped together. I feel the same way when I look at collages by Adrienne Slane, an Ohio-based artist whose intricate pieces are careful gathering of images. Her diverse imagery includes shells, wildlife, fruit, and fungi, with sources ranging from the 1500s to mid-1900s. The disparate elements come together in a pleasing compositions.
“My work celebrates the beauty and interconnectivity of the universe in a time when our environment is in crisis,” she writes in her artist statement. “It draws its imagery from a wealth of illustrations that encouraged exploration, wonder, and appreciation of nature in decades past.”