Maggie Chiang (previously) remains as one of my favorite contemporary illustrators. Her work is technically beautiful and conceptually intriguing—particularly when she delves into sprawling landscape illustration. The abstract horizons leave much to the imagination as figures contemplate what’s ahead. These spaces, no matter desert or forest, permeate her imagery—even when it comes to portraiture. This dedication to spaces both near and far play into Maggie’s larger ideas of her work.
Inspired by flora, fauna, and Victorian shadow puppets, Kate Appleby creates delightful hoop art that combines a variety of stitching techniques. From the basic backstitch to French knots, she illustrates birds with fowl mouths (pun intended) and hands with sprawling leaf tattoos. The embroidery airs towards the side of minimalism, but Kate has an excellent sense of composition and balance that’s informed by her back ground in graphic design.
I’ve got a quick note of house-keeping: I’m phasing out my 7 illustrated product obsessions. You’ll probably see them every so often in the future, but now I’m going to dedicate Fridays to individual shops. It’ll still be an illustrated product-related day, just with more laser focus.
That being said, happy Friday! Doops Design is one of my favorite illustrated clothing shops. I love the bright colors, kooky cacti, and other bold imagery on the shirts, dresses, and tank tops.
The inspiration for Chao Zou’s paper craft project Forest Smell is aroma. “My wife sprayed herself with my perfume,” he explains, “who [wore] the [smell] of the forest for all day…” Motif of leaves were his starting point, and Chao layered a variety of plants within the silhouette of a woman. Alone, it’s a compelling image that has an exquisite shadow box effect. Once you know the short backstory, however, it’s a unique love letter.
I want to live in the colorful illustrations of Kiki Ljung. The Paris-based creative crafts vibrant imagery that’s inspired by the natural world—even her illustrations of people are seeping with beautiful blooms on their clothes and in the background. While nature driven, Kiki creates an interesting juxtaposition: her artwork is defined by geometric shapes and digital production. It really symbolizes the world today; that we love the outdoors, but also our devices.
Here’s an interesting combination: polymer (aka oven bake) clay and embroidery. Artist Justyna Wolodkiewicz has fused the two in her latest series of abstract hoop art. Full of color and texture, these pieces use flattened pieces of clay with tiny holes poked in them, which are then attached to fabric. The result is a rich juxtaposition between the smoothness of the clay with the fuzziness of the thread.
This clay embroidery represents a new path for Justyna, who has previously made elaborate polymer clay clocks. You can find it all in her Etsy shop.
Illustrator Lee Eunjoo explores the notion of “fantasy consuming” through her series Goddess of Fantasy. It’s inspired by Krishan Kumar’s The Ends of Utopia, that says that “modern man could consume their own fantasy, and in doing so create utopia.” Lee’s illustrations connects this with social media—specifically, the idea of “consuming images” on social media.
One of my favorite embroidery artists Señorita Lylo (aka Srta. Lylo) is known for her collars that come ready to party. Aside from making these special accessories, she also creates hoop art and recently collaborated with the thread brand DMC. “I made a design of 10 patterns for them,” she tells me in an email. “All are for free!” So, if you ever wanted to try DIY embroidery, now’s your chance.
Have I ever told ya’ll how much I love interior illustrations? Because I do—they’re fascinating! You can learn so much about a person from the objects they own. It’s why I’m drawn to the illustrated homes of Liz Rowland. Simply called Interiors, they feature “small scenes from around the world.” There’s a window and a plant in Mexico, sunflowers in London, and a messy desk in Melbourne. Each has artifacts telling us about the person who inhabits the space, done in a style that recalls the great Jonas Wood.