I’ve found my favorite Instagram account of the moment. Known as @thebookishmanicurist, this voracious reader and nail tech reads YA novels and paints faux nails to match. Her creations are incredibly detailed and capture the essence of the beautiful illustrations they represent. They’re often displayed as diptychs and triptych, with the images wrapping from the thumb to the pinkie finger.
Miren Asiain Lora tells the stories of small people in grandiose places. Her faceless characters explore nature and all that goes along with it—sometimes this is good, and in other instances, it can get kinda hairy. One scene (above) shows figures shining a light to reveal all that hides in the jungle.
The overall feeling of these illustrations is mystery—we aren’t getting the full story of who Miren’s characters are or what they’re doing. This is the driving force behind her work—they’re meant to “convey the magic of everyday life, the charm of little moments that hold a secret to be deciphered.”
Miren sells as selection of archival prints through the Toi Gallery.
Beautiful surface design can transform ordinary objects into functional works of art. Melbourne-based designer and illustrator Cassie Byrnes highlights this in her label Variety Hour, a print-focused endeavor that’s an outlet for her to “get as weird as she wants” and to experiment with new, crazy ideas. Each season, she hand-crafts a collection of prints that are then applied to clothing, scarves, clutches and more.
Jess Phoenix loves color. When she’s not illustrating and designing products for Compendium, she creates electric floral paintings that are adorned with gold and neon paint. Most the bouquets are imagined, she writes, “and act as a vehicle for her to create vibrant color relationships.” I’m sorta glad they aren’t real—that way, we can always enjoy their beautiful arrangements.
Jess sells prints of her work through her online shop.
1. Fox Brooch by Liten kanin
2. Miniature Needle Felted Cactus Garden in Glass Terrarium by Once Again Sam
3. Cat Return Address Stamp by Native Bear
4. Ghosts by Studio Arhoj
5. Cactus Bra by Emily Parkinson
6. Bright Blue Elephant Mug by Beardbangs
7. Peace Out Sloth Crop Shirt by SimkaSol
Happy Friday! I don’t have much to say this week—but if you hadn’t see the short video I made for the beautifully-illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, check it out!
Illustrator Molly Costello crafts compelling portraiture from cut paper. The exquisite compositions—powerful in their simplicity—are informed by her years “working on urban youth programming around sustainability and social injustice,” reflecting the themes she encountered during that time: community, struggle, love, and more. “Through my work I focus on ideas of connectedness,” she writes, “connectedness with our whole selves, with each other, our communities, its systems, the natural world, and the energy and divine of our universe at large.”
Molly sells prints of her work on Etsy!
I wear a lot of solid colors. I’m never too crazy with my patterning—instead, I prefer to accessorize with illustrative wares like enamel pins and statement necklaces. They’re visually interesting but don’t draw too much attention—critical for my introverted self. İrem Yazıcı of Baobap creates this type of wearable art, embroidered tiny collar pins with flowers, animals, and outer space. The designs look great against chambray or neutral-colored fabrics, but I could see them looking fantastic with some pattern mixing—if you’re brave enough.
Find your own set of handcrafted pins in the Baobap Etsy shop.
Hayley Mitchell paints people that you want to meet. Clad in bright colors, the Cubist-inspired ladies are adorned with beautiful headpieces and jewelry. They’re abstract, yes, but still display unique personalities, and the pigments give us some insight into who they are. Wouldn’t you like to know?
Hayley has created prints of these characters and sells them all on Etsy.
This was a fun video to make! Months ago, I received a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Andrea D’Aquino. It’s a contemporary retelling of the famous story, crafted with beautiful collage imagery that’s unlike any interpretation I’ve seen. To give you a sense of that, I created a 30-second video in which I quickly flip through the entire thing. Despite the brevity, this is a book you’ll want to spend some time with.
Andrea has illustrated spot images and full-spread compositions, with some interesting use of text. One of my favorites is how “Off with their heads!” was designed—you can really hear how low the Queen shouts!
I’ve also included some selections from the book, which is now available on Amazon.
1. Swan Collar Clips by An English Garden
2. Leather Clutch with Removable Wrist Strap by Zana Products
3. Cheetah Lapel Pin by Kristina Micotti
4. Fancy Dress Silk Scarf by Karen Mabon
5. TOTEM Bear Earrings by Marine Mistake
6. Wooden Jewelry Stand by Theia Design
7. Sheep Totems by Emily Rose Thomson
As always, happy Friday! If you’re looking for a fun and easy DIY for this (long) weekend, why not try this one that I created for eBay? All you need is some cork, an X-Acto knife, and paint, and you can make your own custom summer coasters. See the full instructions here.