I’ve written here before about my penchant for 100 days projects, and artist Samantha Russo has recently completed one that’s full of color and pattern—plus, it’s all contained in her sketchbook. Page after page, she uses paint, markers, and pastels to create vibrant abstract compositions that experiment with scale and texture.
If you’re looking for a project to start 2017 (or finish 2016), this seems like a good one. It makes you focus on play, and I’m sure that elements from these pages will be incorporated into Samantha’s work somehow.
Stephanie Kelly Clark calls herself a “thread painter,” using embroidery to create picturesque landscapes and natural splendor. Her style of stitch is often subtle with various hues mixing on fabric to depict crashing waves, vibrant sunsets, rolling hills, and cloud formations.
Stephanie is formally trained in drawing and painting and uses it to inform her embroidery process. “My background in painting has allowed me to explore the material using techniques from the worlds of drawing and painting,” she writes. “Engaging both traditional and innovative techniques in employing formal qualities with density, texture and pattern.”
1. Black Rabbit Enamel Pin by Eradura
2. Girl and Tiger Dish by Lisa Junius
3. Embroidered Collar by Casa Tienda de Amelia B
4. Mystery Cactus! by Close Call Studio
5. Red Fox Sleeping Mask by Julien & Emily Design
6. Cat Clutch by Bunnie Reiss and pskaufman (see more of Bunnie’s work!)
7. Cave Creatures Coaster by Meg Hunt for the SALUT! Show at Nucleus Portland
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Creating typography, in general, is challenging, but it’s even more so when done by hand. Lavanya Naidoo has excelled at producing clean, bold text, and she did it entirely out of paper. Her beautiful piece A Thorn in My Side features black block type paired with sculpted and quilled florals. The visual heaviness of the white petals—that look incredibly realistic—offsets the pink lines to create balance that excites the eye. This piece is even better when viewed from the side because you see all of the great three dimensional details.
Lavanya sells this image as a print through her online shop.
Earlier this fall, Anja Sušanj shared a series called City, based on a book by Alessandro Baricco. The text influenced her greatly through the years, and was part of the inspiration for these drawings. “City is also the name of my graduation project that tries to recreate the mysterious and whimsical world of Gould, a child genius,” she explains.
The surreal illustrations are created with graphite, and they’re are a beautiful use of the material. Through her line work and shading Anja has communicated movement and drama, as people stand in fishbowls, navigate through the stomach, and wear a house around their head. Each is intriguing and begs a closer look.
Katy Biele transforms her colorful paintings into equally-as-vibrant hoop art. Her 2D pieces are created using watercolor, and then elements of them are translated into thread on fabric. “I love the different textures that we can have on watercolor paper and on fabric for embroidery,” she writes, “both are different ways but good experimentation to try.”
Have you ever tried that—translating your work into a different format? It’s a great exercise and can give you valuable insight—or inspiration—for future creations.
Katy sells her work in her Etsy shop.
1. Lily Moth Necklace by Misfit Makes
2. Ferocious Collar Pins by Vivien Mildenberger
3. Pink Swan Planter by Kitsch Kitchen
4. Wooden Dolly Parton Magnet by Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles
5. Laitia Necklace by Black Lune
6. Verdant Slipper by Charlotte Olympia
7. Say Cheese Pizza Wristlet by Betsey Johnson
Oh, how I wish I could get my cats to wear this unicorn costume:
How often do you see a redheaded person walking down the street? Probably not that much—people with this hair color account for less than 2% of the population. Illustrator Elizabeth Graeber celebrates these rare individuals in her book A Field Guide to Redheads. The petite hardbound book features 100 famous redheads (real and fictional) that run the gamut from strawberry to ginger to auburn to amber. Plus, Elizabeth—a redhead herself—has included some baking recipes and cocktails, as well as facts about this stunning hair color.
I received a copy and had a lot of fun pouring through it. To give you an idea of the delightful, energetic illustrations, I made a short video that features nearly all of Elizabeth’s inky portraits.
Here’s an even better look at the cover and several spreads:
Self-taught illustrator Jérémy Combot says that he’s “guided by passion” in creating his fashion-centric portraits. The colorful and intricately detailed—just look at all those lines!—feature a dizzying array of motifs that vibrate when placed next to one another. “Mixing patterns that are not supposed to fit at first sight makes my work very interesting and fun at the end,” he explains.
Jérémy also enjoys fusing seemingly disparate cultural influences. “I like to work on the mix of genres, reflected through my work,” he writes, “unravel the periods of time and trends to reconstruct a unique and personal look.” Continuing, “I am inspired by very eclectic references: sometimes a chic and cool Saint-Germain-des-Prés Icon, or a Shoreditch neo-punk, or even a Geisha doll-like. It is limitless.”
Artist Jessie Cunningham invites us to “Step past your porch light and into the wilds with my soft sculpture creations.” Through her shop (aptly) called Past Your Porchlight, she fashions tiny bears that carry the weight of the world on their backs. This isn’t a burden to the gentle giants—they tote their tiny friends who regal them with stories as they travel. “In all of their journeys, this worldly pair knows best that life is better when you share it with friends. ”
To create these charming felted creatures, Jessie hand stitches the bear and sculpts, sands, and primes the other elements. They “fare best on a shelf or desktop, somewhere to safely bring a bit of nature indoors.”
See all of Jessie’s felt handiwork in the Past Your Porchlight Etsy shop.