Need a Halloween Costume Idea? Crankbunny to the Rescue!


Hal­loween is right around the cor­ner! So, if you haven’t fig­ured out a cos­tume, now is the time. Maybe you pre­fer to go a min­i­mal­ist route and don only a mask; don’t worry, I’ve got you cov­ered. These illus­trated paper pop-up masks by Crankbunny (AKA Norma V. Torayaare per­fect! They come in three designs — a bunny, cat, and devil — and fea­ture intri­cate details and implied tex­ture. A rib­bon secures the mask to your beau­ti­ful face.

Every­thing is made by Crankbunny. Noth­ing is out­sourced and she does all of the design­ing, cut­ting, and assem­bling. The imagery is inspired by the whimsy found in vin­tage ephemera and mechan­i­cal toys.

There’s a lot more to see in her shop. (Via Lustik)

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Allyson Mellberg Taylor’s Alluringly Grotesque Portraits on Ceramics

Allyson Mellberg Taylor

I’ve been a fan of Allyson Mell­berg Taylor’s draw­ings for sev­eral years now, but only recently real­ized that she cre­ates illus­tra­tive ceram­ics, too! Her slightly grotesque por­traits have made their way onto vin­tage din­ner plates where the sub­jects have pim­ples, two heads, and talk in leaves.

I can’t help but be reminded of the graphic novel Black Hole by Charles Burns when I look at Allyson’s work. If you aren’t famil­iar with that story, it’s about teenagers in the 1970’s who con­tract STDs and develop out­landish things such as tails and weird growths. Like these plates, the comic is slightly unnerv­ing but unde­ni­ably alluring.

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There’s a Palpable Energy to Miroco Machiko’s Painted Animals


In some works of art, you can tell that the illus­tra­tor has really attacked the image. Not in a bad or destruc­tive way, of course, but there’s a pal­pa­ble energy left on the page. That’s how I feel when I look at the illus­tra­tions by Miroco Machiko. The loose, painterly style fea­tures dif­fer­ent crea­tures in abstracted ways. We see every brush stroke and pen­cil line, which adds to the finished-sketchiness of each image. It’s not over­worked but gives us enough infor­ma­tion to visu­ally put every­thing together.

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Collage Scrap Exchange: What Should You Send, Anyways?


Col­lage artists, have you signed up for the Col­lage Scrap Exchange yet? It’s a fun, cre­ative art con­test where you can win awe­some prizes! I’ve part­nered with Papir­mass to offer this.

The premise is sim­ple: bun­dle some of your favorite scraps and send them to your part­ner — another col­lage artist. They’ll ship their scraps to you, and the two of you will have a whole new set of mate­ri­als to exper­i­ment and play with! Then, make art­work that fuses both of your unique pieces. Learn more about prizes here! Any­one and any­where is eli­gi­ble to sign up and win.

So, what makes a good set of scraps to exchange? Here’s a col­lec­tion of my own, diagramed:


  1. Mag­a­zine pho­tographs (like these col­or­ful flowers!)
  2. Hand-painted papers of pre-cut shapes (such as hands)
  3. Pho­tographs of peo­ple you don’t know
  4. Scraps from your lat­est print­mak­ing project
  5. Kraft paper (or other con­ven­tional papers)
  6. Air­brushed experiments
  7. Inter­est­ing shapes cut out from papers
  8. Pat­terned papers (like scrap­book pages)
  9. Hand-painted paper with ink lines on them

When you pack­age your scraps, think about a vari­ety of things to offer. Maybe it’s a bunch of multi-colored papers, or a lot of dif­fer­ent tex­tures. Either way, com­pile a col­lec­tion that you’d like to receive and I’m sure your part­ner will appre­ci­ate it!

Friday Round Up: Repeating Patterns (+ Making Your Own!)

Ever since I made a repeat­ing pat­tern this week, I’ve been jonesing to make some more! So, here are 10 of ‘em as inspi­ra­tion.  You can see that there are all dif­fer­ent sub­ject mat­ters, illus­tra­tive styles, and color com­bi­na­tions pos­si­ble; but clearly, flo­rals are my per­sonal favorite.

If you want to learn about how to make a repeat pat­tern (with­out a com­puter), check out this tuto­r­ial by Julia Roth­man on Design Sponge. I thought that it was pretty easy to do!

Complex and Colorful Paper-Sculpted Food Illustrations

María Laura Benavente Sovieri

Ah, paper sculp­ture, you never cease to amaze me, and make me wish that I was bet­ter at think­ing in more than two dimen­sions. These hand­made, illus­tra­tive cre­ations by María Laura Benavente Sovieri are of plants and foods that are arranged into still lifes. This par­tic­u­lar series was pro­duced for the Cen­tral Mar­ket of Las Pal­mas de Gran Canaria.

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Illustrative Tea Towels Inspired by Folklore by Mirdinara Kitchen

Mirdinara Kitchen

Ya’ll. Ever since Lisa sent me the link to Mir­di­nara Kitchen, I’ve been admir­ing the entire line of tea tow­els. They are designed by illus­tra­tor Dinara Mir­tal­ipova and are inspired by her eth­nic back­ground and folk­lore (she’s orig­i­nally from Tashkent, Uzbek­istan). You can see the influ­ence in her visual lan­guage; the style of flow­ers and women with babushkas are def­i­nitely of a cer­tain world.

Mir­di­nara Kitchen believes that cook­ing together stim­u­lates healthy rela­tion­ships to food — it shows the joy that comes with prepar­ing a meal. Kids, espe­cially, ben­e­fit from being involved in food prepa­ra­tion. They explain, “Through the sto­ries we share about cook­ing together we are aim­ing to inspire our read­ers [they have a blog] to rather try and learn new recipes, than pur­chase processed food.”

Gor­geous! You can buy them here.

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Barruntando Ceramics Are Cute, Functional, Sometimes Just Cute


The Span­ish col­lec­tive Bar­run­tando cre­ates adorable, hand-painted char­ac­ters out of clay. Sleepy foxes, baby sloths, minia­ture croc­o­diles, and more are all avail­able in their Etsy shop. Some, like the piece above, serve a dual pur­pose aside from just look­ing cute; they are illus­trated prod­ucts like yarn bowls and magnets.

An obvi­ous strength of Barruntando’s work is their char­ac­ter design. With just a select areas of col­ors and sim­ple line work, they con­vey a light­hearted feel­ing to all of their pieces.

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