I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sometimes, you just wanna look at beautiful flowers. Artist Carrie Schmitt creates vibrant compositions of blooms in a couple of visually-striking styles. Some of her paintings feature thick sculptural strokes, while others utilize expressive lines and haphazard drips. Both are lovely.
Carrie’s career in the arts came later in life. In 2009, she developed a life-threatening allergy to heat and couldn’t leave her home for months. She turned lemons into lemonade, however, and used the time indoors to pursue her dream of becoming a painter. Carrie explains, “Creating became my therapy and escape as I struggled with being homebound.”
Carrie’s work—originals and prints—are available in her Etsy shop.
Yesterday it was en vogue ladies, and today it’s fashionable frocks perfect for the fast-approaching summer. Doops Design has created a series of colorful cacti patterns on tank tops and t-shirts. Jane Newham is the designer/illustrator behind these delightful pieces, and she creates everything—from the garment’s construction to the screen-printed images. Because they’re handmade, every piece is slightly different and wholly unique. You’re not only wearing a shirt, but a work of art!
Jane sells her garments in the Doops Design Etsy shop. Follow her work-in-progress on Instagram.
At its core, illustration is visual problem solving. When working with a client, for instance, you have to learn how to adapt your artistic language and style to the brief or article. Likewise, when you’re producing surface patterns for a product, you have to take into account the object on which it will appear.
With these challenges come a myriad of ways to tackle or “solve” them, and nothing demonstrates this idea better than highlighting one subject and many illustrators. Here are 5 of ’em (and certainly not all) making illustrations that focus on fashionable ladies.
Perrin (one of my best pals!) created a series of works that “explore the relationship between garment and environment.” Her figures accompany all sorts of lovely details like intricate lace patterns, blooming florals, and the macabre.
Oslo-based illustrator Natalie Foss combines a candy-colored palette with a style that’s simultaneously graphic and realistic. Body parts—primarily the face—are handled with a delicate realism, while clothing looks incredibly flat and two dimensional.
I’ve written before about Kelly Beeman and her elongated figures reminiscent of the artist Modigliani. They’re elegant and represent high-fashion looks—I want to wear them all!
Kathleen Marcotte recently illustrated fabulous ladies inspired by the fashions of Anna Sui. The images are busy, lush scenes where patterns collide.
Madalina Andronic focuses her illustration style on Slavic folk art with a touch of fairy tale. Despite these historic roots, her work is contemporary—I could see these as editorial fashion spreads. Madalina’s figures don gorgeous hairstyling and makeup and prove that clothes aren’t always necessary.
1. Miniature Ceramic Vases by Polly Fern (via Artistic Moods)
2. Stuffed Badger Toy by Woodland Toy
3. Handmade EL-AICH Plantpot Planter Ball Pot by EL-AICH
4. Gardening Skirt by Dinara Mirtalipova
5. Urban Greenery Enamel Pin by Hannah S. Bottino
6. Jungle Greenhouse Necklace by Kate Rowland
7. Hiking Guide Rings by Min Pin
Happy Friday! I hope you have something fun planned this weekend. I’m headed to DC to catch the WONDER exhibition at the Renwick Gallery… pretty excited to see a room wallpapered in 5,000 bugs!
Artist Karolin Reichardt crafts colorful embroideries based on her “personal observations and reactions to the built and natural environment.” These reflections are inspired by maps, plans, and models—something that’s evident in their compositions. They’re intricately detailed with small embellishments of beading and resemble cellular forms and microorganisms—which happens to be the name of her newest series. Through these pieces, she “comments on the romance and realities of scientific discovery on an intimate scale.”
If you’re looking for a great textile-themed Tumblr to follow, I’d recommend Karolin! She posts a nice mix of her own work and that of others.
Last February, I marveled over Sonia Alins Miguel’s surreal illustrations featuring women floating in the water (or some mysterious blue-gray void). These similar full-bodied figures make an appearance in her newest series called En Femení (translation: In the Forest). Here, the paper characters navigate through the thick brush. It’s definitely reminiscent of the tale of Adam and Eve—given the nudity and fruit—but it’s a contemporary twist on a common theme, and it still makes us question who these people are and their motivations for being in the woods.
Formally, I like how Sonia has integrated real objects into the composition, creating a diorama of sorts—it’s as if she’s set the stage for dramatic tales.
Esmé Shapiro (@esmeshapiro) is an illustrator I’ve kept my eye on since discovering her work in 2014. I love following her Instagram, which is a mixture of illustrative experiments, works in progress, and finished pieces. She also, occasionally, posts snapshots of her life that mimic the types of pictures she makes—it’s no surprise where her aesthetic comes from!
Follow Esmé’s feed as she works on her first book OOKO that’ll be released this summer from Tundra Books.
1. Pretzel Shape Cushion by Whimsy Milieu
2. Rain Drop Pen Caddy by Oh Dier
3. Slip Cast Porcelain Cloudy Big Bud Vase by Bean and Bailey
4. Menagerie Oven Mitt by Donna Wilson
5. Ferns Linen Pouch by Amelie Mancini
6. Colored Concrete Planter by Fox and Ramona
7. Taco-Shaped Clutch by Charlotte Olympia
I’ve been baking a lot lately, so that Donna Wilson oven mitt is so on point… how fun!
I’ve featured a lot of brightly-colored artwork this week (did you see the paper cacti?), so let’s continue the trend! Illustrator Lucie Brunellière produced this series of playful images for The Very Jungly Jungle Book. In it, she uses beautiful jewel tones to create a world that’s both familiar and fantastical.
Lucie’s stylized landscape is inhabited by a vibrant cast of animal characters. Pandas, leopards, toucans, and many more creatures are seen throughout the spreads—there are 55 in all. Some are hidden and encourage you to pour over each page to spot each one.
If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve probably noticed that I pin a lot of paper flower DIYs. I’m attracted to their bright colors and the sheer novelty of recreating living things out of inanimate objects. Illustrator Kim Sielbeck does just this with her charming series of tiny cacti. Using papier-mache, cardboard, polymer clay, paper, styrofoam, and clay pots, she’s constructed living-ish sculptures you can hold in the palm of your hand. All I can say is: do want!
Kim will be selling these small plants at the NYC MoCCA festival on April 2 and April 3.
Kim’s tiny plants are inspired by a spectacular window display she created at Desert Island in Brooklyn: