Whether you realize it or not, collaboration is inherent in embroidery. To begin, an embroidery artist will create a design and make it into a pattern for others to complete as they wish. Color choices, for instance, can change based on the whims of that particular stitcher. Libby Moore of Thread Folk takes this collaboration idea a step further with her modern embroidery patterns. In her charming Artist Series, she translates an illustrator’s work into something that anyone can complete with a needle and thread.
Last week, I shared 12 illustrators inspiring illustrators to follow on Instagram. But that’s not all of who I follow; I use my feed to track awe-inspiring sketchbooks, too. From collage to painting, these artists are using their playtime to hone their craft by trying new techniques and imagery.
“Famous Ladies is an illustrated homage,” Alexandra Beguez writes, “to some of the most influential and inspiring women in STEM, literature, the visual and performing arts, sports, and exploration.” The striking pen-and-ink drawings capture faithful likenesses of these incredible women who, as Alexandra says, “paved the way for future generations of women and men alike to work towards their dreams.”
Almost a year to the day, I wrote about Joanne Ho’s exquisite swimming paintings. From a bird’s eye view, she introduced us to a bevy of anonymous characters who were so tiny they looked like ants among the grandiose landscape. Well, Joanne is back with more! She recently shared with me some of her latest works, which still feature miniature folks doing what they do best—enjoying the scenery.
I don’t have a car, so riding the local bike share is one of the ways I get around. But, I can guarantee that my rides are not nearly as whimsical as the bicycle embroidery by Walker Boyes of TrueFort. Called the Velo Series, it features hand-stitched bikes that are decorated with colorful blooms. They represent a fantasy, like something out of a movie—carefree weekend excursions to the farmer’s market that overflow with a bounty of fresh flowers.
Instagram is my go-to social media—not only for the stories and updates, but as a source to find new and exciting illustrators. I love the insight it gives into a creative’s process as well as their latest work. If you too are on social network, here are some of the best illustrators on Instagram. Each shares a snippet of their work, process, and life that encapsulates the essence of their visual language.
I first became acquainted with the funky fashion of La Vidriola last year. Charolette Jacobs, a woman who has given me serious outfit envy, rocks many of their limited edition statement necklaces in her wardrobe and I had to know more.
José Antonio Roda creates paper cutouts that look like line drawings. Inspired by the Cubist style, his hand cut portraits have a Picasso-esque feel—like one of his famous sketches. Produced from a single sheet of paper, his careful incisions have this effortless look about them. Shape design is a huge part of cut paper illustration, and a big appeal of José’s work is their obvious dedication to detail and craft.
Have you ever shut down your computer or closed your laptop case and breathed a sigh of relief? I relish the feeling of disconnecting from the online world like that. But then, there’s the feeling of “What should I do now?” It’s easy to get wrapped up in Wikipedia articles online, but offline? Not so much. Well, I’ve got a suggestion for you: pick up a copy of Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking. Written by Emily Neuburger, it’s a “launching pad” that offers 60 journal prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
Illustrator Olaf Hajek is known for his gorgeous paintings that are a feast for the eyes. One his more recent series is called Black Antoinette, and it imagines Marie Antoinette—the infamous Queen of France—as a woman of color. The regal portraits pay homage to his subjects’ beauty as well as the splendor of the natural world. As their hair reaches towards the sky, it’s completely composed of flowers, birds, animals, and fruit. Each illustration is visually overwhelming (in the best way) and begs you to admire all of its fine painted details.