French illustrator Juliette Oberndorfer has wowed me—for years—with her gorgeous landscape scenes. Using deep, rich colors and a vintage aesthetic, she creates compelling images that are snippets of fantastical stories. The moody pieces convey adventure, romance, and more—all with a folklore appeal.
Juliette produces many of these illustrations as concept art, but her style shies away from the video game artwork of muscly, gun-wielding men that I’m so used to seeing. Hers, instead, recalls the work of Mary Blair—especially her work for Alice in Wonderland during the 1950s.
1. Cactus Detachable Embroidered Collar by Collar Me Pretty
2. White Tiger Enamel Pin by Aitch for Olschinsky Art Store
3. Eyes Cross-Body Bag by Anya Hindmarch
4. London City Bangle by McKean Studio
5. Be Brave Pendant by Bonbi Forest
6. Mint Cactus Lamp by Spearmint Love
7. Large Octopus Air Planter by Cindy Searles
Illustrator Melodie Stacey paints imaginary landscapes that remind us to stop and smell the flowers. Towering mountains and winding paths lead the way to blooms that are as tall as a person, showcasing a fantastical view of nature—but one that was clearly inspired by the splendor we witness in everyday life.
Despite that rosy (pun intended) interpretation, I like how dark these paintings are. The blue/black skies heighten the drama of each scene, as if the women are finding these flowers are on a secret quest in the middle of the night.
Melodie sells prints and originals through her Etsy shop.
The right collar can make or break an outfit. Think about it—how many times have you judged a shirt or jacket based on its cute (or wonky) collar? I know I’ve passed by certain pieces. That’s why I like illustrative collars so much—they add some fun pizzaz to an otherwise plain outfit. Vivetta is one designer who is slaying this realm by creating playful statement collars. They’re adorned to look like a freshly-painted manicure, flower garden, abstract face, and more. The quirky designs transcend your average detachable collar and are wearable works of art.
Some of Vivetta’s collars are available to purchase through Lyst.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr, you might’ve noticed that I changed my avatar. After years of it being the same cut paper selfie, I finally updated my picture with another collaged portrait. The timing was intentional—I’m headed to ICON9 in a couple of weeks and wanted the image for new business cards.
While working, I recorded video of me working and combined some of the clips into a 4-minute long compilation. It’s not everything I did when make creating this portrait, but it gives you a good idea of my process.
For tools, I use:
As far as paper goes, I gather from a lot of places. Kraft paper, watercolor paintings, construction paper, magazines… it all goes in my giant collection.
If you have any questions about collage or my construction techniques, let me know! I’d be happy to answer them.
I look at a lot of tattoos, and I haven’t seen a style quite like that of Mattia Mambo. The Milano-based artist creates small pieces of body art that look like they’ve been digitally produced rather than one etched by hand. The bold lines and flattened shapes remind me of vectors in Adobe Illustrator, the elements sitting off-register to give them an additional screen-printed effect. They’re colorful, engaging, and eye catching—my favorite are the flowers, but I’m also impressed by Mattia’s commitment to food!
1. Slumber Sloths by Spoon & Moon
2. Lace Up High Waisted Bikini Bottom by Mara Hoffman
3. Mersquad Screen Printed Pouch by Meg Hunt
4. Rain Cloud Coasters by Pygmy Cloud
5. La Croix Can Planter by Hello Happy Plants
6. You Are The Universe Patch by Lisa Junius
7. Paint Tube Doorstop by Bluw
Have I mentioned my love of animal-shape kitchen items? This Goosey Colander and Bowl Set recently caught my eye!
Step into the strange and lovely lands imagined by Alexandra Dvornikova. The St. Petersburg-based illustrator creates these special, often liminal spaces featuring characters that look like they’re straight out of a fairy tale. Often dark in coloring and tone, they’re a reflection of the inner worlds that Alexandra finds interesting, such as neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychoanalyses. The brain-centric concepts invite us to project who we are onto these images and consider what their symbolism and meanings hold for us.
Alexandra sells a selection of her work through Society6.
A few weeks ago, I made a (very) short video about the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that gave you a brief introduction to the awesome illustrations that lie within. Well, I’ve made another video in that same vein—this time, we’re traveling through The Wonder Garden written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Kristjana S. Williams.
The book “opens the gates of the Wonder Garden” and takes us through five of Earth’s habitats: the Amazon Rainforest; the Great Barrier Reef; the Chihuahuan Desert; the Black Forest; and the Himalayan Mountains. Each of its 80 illustrated animals are drawn with a technical hand and stunning attention to detail—the tiny lines are reminiscent of old scientific engravings. This vintage feel, however, is offset by the bold neon colors that permeate the pages. The hues put a contemporary spin on the entire thing.
These are some of my favorite spreads, below. When you read this book, get ready to LEARN. There’s a lot of information packed in those pages.
Señorita Lylo has inspired me to spruce up my ordinary collars, and now FRKS Lingerie is doing the same with bras and underwear. The Hungary-based brand, the brainchild of Zsófia Farkas, stitches flowers and animals onto delicate fabrics with neon-colored threads. With sexy cuts and revealing silhouettes, they’re both an homage to the craft as well as our bodies.
FRKS Lingerie is for sale on Etsy.