1. Embroidered t-shirt by Cup of Needles
2. Mandarin duck embroidery pattern by Thread Folk x Pete Cromer
3. Ceramic dog vase by Katy Kimmel
4. Knitted fingerless gloves by NB Gloves and Mittens
5. Ceramic bird brooch by Fox in the Mist
6. Aria Tee by Boden
7. Monstera leaf zipper pouch by Mama Bleu Designs
Artist and illustrator Andrea Wan creates some of my favorite surreal art. For years, I’ve admired her paintings of people fused with botanicals and architecture. Not afraid to branch out from conventional 2D ink paintings, Andrea has translated her dreamlike sensibilities into three dimensional paper art.
Citing “worn out brushes” as one of her favorite tools, Sofia Moore paints scenes that fuse abstracted landscapes with elegant figures and animals. The imaginary places burst with color, texture, and gorgeous shape design that builds rich, dense illustrations.
Some people might get shy when talking about our bodies, but not embroidery artist Jess de Wahls. Her ongoing series called Big Swinging Ovaries features the reproductive organ stylized and turned into a motif representing female strength and empowerment. As hoop art, the shape of the ovaries are the centerpiece, and they act as chameleons. Cloaked in a variety of subject matter—including Frida Kahlo, cats, and cacti—the organ has a mind of its own. Sometimes, Jess even gives them eyes or other facial expression. But regardless of the subject matter, each piece is done in a Jess’ gorgeous, maximalist style that covers much of the surface in bright colors and textures.
The kiddos and college students have recently started their school year, but if you’re not one of them, have no fear. You can jumpstart your learning any time with online art classes from Skillshare. Last week, I announced a special offer of 2 free months of Skillshare Premium—that means you can take as many classes as you like!
I spent some time in Cleveland this past weekend, which included at trip to one of the best antique stores I’ve ever been to: Sweet Lorain. While there, I looked an impressive collection of dog statues (and ended up buying a pooch known as a spaghetti poodle), and it got me thinking about Eleonor Boström’s ceramic sculptures. I’ve long been a fan of how she marries form and function. Or, as Eleonor puts she depicts #dogsatwork. These pups are holding plant clippings, matches, and your morning cup of coffee—and they’re doing it all with a smile.
Women Who Draw continues to be one of my favorite things on the internet. It’s an open directory for female (and female-identifying) illustrators, and it increases the visibility of women working in illustration, arts, and cartooning—with emphasis placed illustrators of color, LBTQ+, and other minority groups.
That’s a long-winded way of introducing their new collaborative project that recently appeared on Topic. Called One Sky, co-founders Wendy MacNaughton and Julia Rothman gave 88 artists one simple instruction: look up at August 13, 2017 at exactly 12:00PM Eastern Standard Time. The selected artists then drew and painted what they saw.
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.