Remember when I declared my love for face pots (here and here)? Well, I’ve come across more planters that have stolen my heart: animal face pots by Bonnie Hislop. Her colorful ceramics are a mix of glam rock and Lisa Frank—the vibrant designs include rainbow stripes, decorative polka dots, shooting stars, and much more. It’s perfect for those wanting playful accessory for their desk and also dream of a blue cat or orange dog of their own.
India-based illustrator Svabhu Kohli celebrates the splendor of the natural world with her intricately crafted works of art. The colorful, multi-layered images depict the oceans and cosmos, specifically focusing on creatures like whales, seals, and turtles. Each illustration utilizes many digital textures in order to create visual depth and excitement, but they still feel very painterly with evidence of the human hand.
With so many tiny details, I’m glad that Svabhu has produced vignettes to accompany her larger pieces. Think of them like a microscope into her work!
If you’re a long-time reader to this blog, you might know how much I love daily art projects like #The100DayProject. I’m enthralled by the process and the lessons learned when you’re forced to make something everyday. Artist Kate Keara Pelen (previously) recently completed this type of endeavor with her One Pot Per Day series. “Every day in 2015, I produced one soft hand-made vessel using simple crochet techniques,” she wrote to me in an email. “This project came out of the desire to find a manageable way of sustaining a commitment to my artistic output during a period when extensive time in the studio was not possible.” As someone who finds embroidering calming, I can imagine that this project would contribute to a mental well-being, too.
As a group, the sheer number of pots are very impressive. Individually, each has unique characteristics, making them fun to study. Some are tall with long necks, while others are short with a shallow opening. Kate worked with a variety of colors and types of yarn, which makes some vessels appear soft and others rigid.
Now that the collection is complete, the pots are going on tour. Later this month, it’ll be Collation of Craft in London.
Calgary-based embroiderer Maria Arseniuk adorns geometric-style portraits of animals with stitched bouquets and floral wreaths. Using pre-designed stencils, she heat transfers them onto cotton fabric and then hand-embroiders them with floss. The result is simultaneously graphic and tactile—her blooms have a sculptural effect, which are more pronounced when paired with the 2D designs. They’re colorful and playful twist on conventional portraiture. Better yet, some are available in Maria’s Etsy, Femmebroidery.
Maria started her online shop in 2014, as she was writing her dissertation in Women’s Studies. “I began embroidering women’s rights and queer related hoops,” she stated on Etsy. “As the shop has progressed and as I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve moved to encompass a broader subject matter in my art: from feminism to wildlife to popular culture to all kinds of custom orders from around the world. I am always looking for new ideas and striving to create new products with an ever-present commitment to social justice and intersectional feminism.”
I love enamel pins. They’ve been around forever, but within the last year or so have had a renaissance in a big way. Now, there are a ton of brands, artists, and illustrators creating their own collectable pins, everything from celebrity portraits to food to emojis. It’s precisely what I love about this trend—the creative possibilities are endless!
I’ve compiled a list of 50—yes 50—illustrative pins to own. Whether you have many pins or none, hopefully this will help you get your #pingame right.
I normally wear my pins on my denim jacket or on a shirt collar, but I love this idea, below. I have an old purse that’d be the perfect place for a pin collection!
As I say every week, happy Friday! This weekend, I’m writing my newsletter to send out on Monday. Are you a part of my mailing list yet? If not, please consider joining! It’s an extension of my blog, but with bonus content that appears only to email subscribers.
And before I leave you, here’s a bonus illustrated product. Taking the adult color craze one step further is Jiggle Ma Wiggle, an Etsy shop that creates an sells color-in wallets. Like this one!
Morgana Wallace crafts fantastical female heroines with cut-paper collage. Her colorful creations feature capes, crowns, crows, and more, exciting the imagination with intricate details—each piece has multiple layers and textures that produce a three-dimensional effect.
To create these gorgeous illustrations, Morgana works with multiple types of paper. She will often use Japanese linen paper, combining it with thin card stock to create elements such as flowing hair. Not all of her work is cut paper, however, and she’ll also use watercolor, gouache, and pencil crayons to add the illusion of shading and depth.
New beginnings happen everyday. Sometimes, they’re momentous occasions, like starting your dream job or moving to a new city for a fresh start. But often, they’re much less grand. Whatever your beginning may be, it’s important to face it, accept it, and enjoy the process of starting anew.
Illustrator Jen Collins reminds us to embrace this attitude with her new bold and colorful print. Created in collaboration with Worker Bee Supply Co., this two-color silk screen is hand printed on 11″ x 14″ natural colored card stock paper. It’s inspired by her willingness to welcome beginnings—specifically, her move from Scotland to Canada, and the new opportunities that came from it. Here’s Jen talking about it:
Embrace Beginnings is now available for purchase through the Worker Bee shop! And for Brown Paper Bag readers, the company is offering a promo code to get $5 (CAD) off your first order. Just use BROWNPAPERBAG at the checkout. Free shipping to Canada and the USA!
In addition to Jen’s work, Worker Bee Supply Co. has many other pieces available to purchase. They make inspirational prints that don’t suck and are designed in collaboration with independent creators. Artists get a cut of every print sale—it’s Worker Bee’s goal to create meaningful passive income for independent artists.
Marigold + Mars is modern hand embroidery by Cristin Morgan. Her colorful hoop art is centered around lettering and flowers, often combining them into one beautiful piece.
In addition to her embroidery, Cristin creates banners to hang on your wall. (In fact, one of them made my recent list of Illustrated Product Obsessions!) I love the luscious, floral banners, and I’m definitively keeping my eye out for them in her shop. It’s perfect for my office!