Lett Yice shares an imaginary world through intricate scenes filled with plants and animals. Tiny humans witness vessels to another land, strange waterfalls, and a barren plains with oversized birds. Painted in colorful hues, each illustration tells a fantastical story that encourages us to fill in the blanks.
We all have our own ways of achieving ~zen~, and for me, it’s witnessing the beauty of grandiose natural landscapes. The vast, seemingly never-ending horizon reminds me of just how big the world is, dwarfing whatever worries occupy my brain. Maggie Chiang captures this feeling with exquisite snapshots of open spaces. Inky and drawn textures mimic desert scenes, rapid waters, and gray skies. In every image, the Earth looks magnificent and makes me want to find the nearest hiking trail!
This past week, I was in Austin for ICON9, an illustration conference that occurs every two years. If you ever have the opportunity to attend, I highly recommend it—there is great programing, great people, and it’s a great excuse to explore a new city! The first two days of the conference featured various workshops, and I attended one called Deconstructing the Animated GIF lead by Rebecca Mock. As the name suggests, she went through her process in creating an animated illustration, including some basic movements that bring an image to life.
Rebecca is trained as a painter and self-taught in the ways of GIF making. It’s this background, however, that makes her work so compelling—the composition-focused images are like scenes from a film, capturing small, looping movements that make a big impact.
1. Wooden House Plants by
2. Get Your Chlorophyll Duvet Cover by Modcloth
3. Bear Pin by Hörtie shop
4. Smiling Pillow by Elena Sánchez Santos
5. Personalized Cat Brooch by Makiko
6. Clay + Pattern Hand Painted Necklaces by
7. House Plant Mobiles by Natalie Joy
I was really into soft colors (and gold) while making this list.
I’m currently in Austin, Texas at ICON9, an illustration conference. It’s a great creative recharge, so I’ll see ya’ll next week. And if you’re at ICON9, come find me and say hi!
If it looks like a stump of wood… it might not be a stump of wood—it could be a book! Artist Pochiko HO has done exactly this with a handmade text that’s about insects. The clever book’s natural-colored pages are contained within a small chunk of tree bark. Simply remove the book from the circular stump and reveal the winged insects that live inside.
Here’s another mixed media piece, also about insects:
There are some images that just stick with you, and Aster Hung‘s above illustration is one of them—the combination of beauty and horror is both compelling and thought-provoking. It’s one part of her series called Garden in the Dark, which features figures whose bodies are ravaged—by nature or by man—yet surrounded by the splendor of blooms. Aster describes it (and with her other work) as capturing “fantastical spaces with ties to more sobering realities.”
Aster sells her work through Society6.
One somewhat-recent trend that has emerged on Instagram is artist process videos. The idea is nothing new, obviously—but with the ease of posting video to Instagram, the short broadcasts are both informative and oddly soothing.
I love watching them for their hypnotic qualities, but it’s also a great way to learn a new techniques. Andrea Lauren, for instance, just posted a 3-video series on how she creates her charming layered prints. It showed me a printmaking technique that I wasn’t familiar with.
To start your week (or day) off on a creative note, here are 7 art process videos that will soothe your soul.
1. Small Round Herringbone Pinched Planter by Elizabeth Benotti
2. Tiger Mask by dodo toucan
3. Thistle Bralette by Thief & Bandit
4. Eye Statement Choker by Tzunuum
5. Palm Tree Sandal by Kate Spade
6. Screen Printed Ladies Cactus Top by Doops Design
7. Leaning Lady Swimmer by Laura Bird
Happy Friday! Here’s a bonus—all hail Queen Bey. Isn’t this vase ~amazing~ ? Lovestar created it:
Since I last featured the work of Cristin Morgan, aka Marigold + Mars, she’s been busy stitching up more colorful goodness. Although she’s still focusing on beautiful blooms and embroidered text, Cristin has entered another realm of stitching: pet portraits!
The detailed hoop art features mostly canines as they’re surrounded by stars, florals, and their own names. From the looks of her Instagram, it seems that this sort of imagery is new for Cristin, but one that I hope she continues. They’re delightful.
Illustrator Ayumi Takahashi grew up in China to an artistic family: her father was an industrial designer and painter while her step mom was a theme park designer. She didn’t stay in China for too long, however—when she was 12, she moved to Japan, studied in Thailand during high school, and then came to the United States for college. She’s since remained in America, bouncing from the West Coast to the Eastern seaboard.
Travel is at the heart of Ayumi’s work. “I try to take at least one month off a year to go to places and get inspired,” she tells North. “At the same time, I will learn the history, culture and art of those places. I believe that before you make art, you first need to go see the world. Being away from my studio gives me time and space to rethink and redevelop the kind of art I want to make.”
This global existence is reflected in her portraits. They focus on simple shapes with “concentrated sophistication,” combining intricate patterns with large fields of colors that are a collision of cultural influences.