Embroiderer and artist Libby Williams uses a combination of stitching and painting to create unique travel portraits of the places she’s been. “I’m from the U.S. but have been living in Luxembourg for the past year and a half,” she tells me in an email. “I like to work back and forth between abstraction and representation, always taking inspiration from the landscape.”
While many students are back in the classroom, you don’t have to feel left out if you aren’t one of them. Through the online learning site Skillshare, you can educate yourself all year long—even during summer and winter breaks! Best of all, you don’t have to leave your home to do so; they offer over 17,000 art, design, and photo classes that you can take anywhere at anytime on any device. Earlier this year, I tried Leah Goren’s Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook and had a ton of fun painting and gaining new inspiration for sketching. Recently, I’ve enrolled in another class to help build on my sketchbook skills. Ohn Mar Win’s Sketchbook Practice: Make Everyday Objects Pop With Watercolour and Pen implored me to try something I’ve never done before: use white ink. Curious? You too can try this class with 2 free months of Skillshare Premium.
Having a good journal is like having a trusty companion. I have so many small art journals and keep every one of them; I can’t bear to part with my scribbled (and often indecipherable) notes or doodles. Artist Lily Moon creates blank hand-bound notebooks that are perfect for your writing, drawing, or collages. The different themes—such as The Blue Journal, Wild Ideas Pocket Book, and Runaway Thoughts—each have their covers adorned with a different detailed illustration. In addition to their pretty painted covers, Lily includes stickers that will help get your creative juices flowing.
Illustrator and graphic designer Lia Tuia creates a charming world consisting of creature characters and botanical elements. The images, which employ a limited color palette and bold black lines, have a decorative sensibility to them and feel like posters (or some other advertisement) for a larger story akin to the Moomins. But rather than resembling hippopotamuses, many of Lia’s figures are reminiscent of rabbits.
Over the past few years, weaving—much like embroidery—has made a comeback in contemporary craft circles. It offers a way to compose abstract compositions in thread as well as the opportunity to play with texture. Some of my favorite weavings use the ends of yarn and juxtapose it with tightly-woven stitches to create a striking combination that looks both hard and soft. Allyson Rousseau is one of these prolific weavers—creating more than 200 custom pieces for homes around the world—who often plays with scale. Rather than go big, however, she opts for something that will fit in the palm of your hand; she produces miniature weaving.
I know that just last week I started the series Around the World, and I had all intentions to continue it today. But, I got a little distracted when Tiffanie Turner’s The Fine Art of Paper Flowers arrived in the mail. I love making faux flowers—last Halloween, I made a whole bunch of them for my costume—but I hadn’t tried making paper flowers before. I was eager to give one of her tutorials a try.
1. Mini flower vase by Honey Thistle
2. Cheetah backpack by Mia Charro
3. Cloud sponge by Snug.Studio
4. (Pizza) Party Night t-shirt by Artmars
5. Gentle Thrills Bad Dog jacket by Big Bud Press x Gentle Thrills
6. Prickly pear iPhone case by Idlewild Co.
7. Tiger Tiger storage box by Camila Prada
It’s no secret that I love embroidery—and that especially extends to clothing. Last week, I shared the collaboration between Rifle Paper Co. and Keds, which included, among other styles, a pair of stitched sneakers. They’re great for the warmer weather months, but Boden is ready to take you into the fall and winter with their set of suede folk-inspired embroidered boots and flats.
There are some parts of one’s visual language that acts as the thread that ties years of work together. A style might shift, but a consistent element still remains. For artist and illustrator Laura Berger, it’s nudes. For as long as I’ve been looking at her art, Laura has always incorporated some form of the nude body—figures round and jovial, like they don’t have a care in the world. This visual mainstay has grown along side her as her color schemes change or explore an abstract world.
I love organization and finding connections between things. Because of that inclination, I had a lot of fun curating The Color Series, in which I grouped illustrations, embroidery, and paper craft by hue. In a similar vein, I’m starting a new mini series that, over the next six to eight weeks, will take us Around the World. It will feature illustrators, artists, and makers who are based in a particular locale(s).