Gemma Capdevila turns the world topsy-turvey in her colorful collage illustrations. They often showcase both land and sea, in flattened, halved views that are a less scary version of the Upside Down. In this parallel place, it’s as if there are people living above and below the water in the same way. The homes look identical whether they reach the sky or deeper into cerulean blue. Which side would you choose?
Instagrammers, you can also follow her work that way!
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Hannah Claire Somerville’s ambitious 365-day project called 1 Year of Stitches. The name says it all—each day, she adds at least one stitch to the same embroidery hoop. Throughout the year, the design grows and grows, taking on a life of its own inside of this circle. In addition to the stitches, each day is chronicled via Instagram and includes a short post. It’s a compelling public diary of sorts.
I’ve thought a lot about Hannah’s project and decided that I want 2017 to be my 1 Year of Stitches. Hannah has always invited people to join her, and yes—I will take her up on the offer! I heard from many of you through my weekly newsletter that you’d be interested in working on it, too.
So, let’s do it! Let’s make 2017 the year of embroidery.
It’s no secret that I love Etsy. Each week, many of my illustrated product obsessions come from perusing the online marketplace—so, it’s one of my go-to places for holiday shopping, too. If you’re just starting to buy for friends and family, here are 35 of my favorite illustrative gifts that you can only find on Etsy.
If you’ve read this blog over the past year, then you’ve definitely seen illustrations by Madalina Andronic. She’s talented in both 2D and 3D, with her latest endeavor being “tableware essentials” like cups, bowls, and plates.
Once again, Kirsten Sims has captured an incredible energy in her paintings that recall the spontaneity of pencil sketches. Her latest series was created for the Turbine Art Fair in Johannesburg, and they feature vibrant outdoor and indoor scenes that act as a yin and yang—the beauty of solitude, as well as the hustle and bustle of large groups. Each is lively in its application of paint; the colors swirl and mix on canvas, diffusing and abstracting the illustrations. It’s as if they represent one long, fantastic dream… or better yet, a memory!
I love creating illustrations in cut paper collage; this past summer, I made a self portrait using hand-painted papers that’s my social media avatar. So, when Shutterfly approached me about their customized holiday cards, I instantly thought about making a collage for the cover.
If Slow Stitch Sophie encapsulates intricate wildflowers in her hoop art, Allie Frazier captures the diffused—and chaotic!—beauty that’s reminiscent of a hazy landscape. Using a variety of stitches (including my favorite, French knots) and beading, the layered, textured pieces are similar to abstract patches of fog or storm clouds that could seemingly erupt at any moment.
If you peruse Aimee Bee Brooks‘ Instagram, you’ll find that her sketchbook is full of delicate drawings with a retro sensibility. In particular, I’m fond of the illustrative ladies who don vintage hairstyles and fashions. Created with a light hand, the portraits seem to flicker, like a memory you can’t quite grasp onto in your mind—they’re fleeting and poignant.