Some of my favorite Instagram accounts are those that use it as a digital sketchbook. This is the case for @virgin_honey, aka Sabine Timm, who crafts whimsical assemblages that combine painting, drawing, and three-dimensional objects. Nothing—materials wise—seems off limits or too weird for her work, and she often adds funny faces to slices of bread, bottle caps and leaves. In addition, Sabine utilizes toys you’d see in a dollhouse and stacks miniature furniture as well as single-family homes into puzzle-like arrangements. Everything in her photos feels very fleeting—like she’s going to disassemble it as soon the picture is snapped—giving it a feeling of spontaneity.
1. Crocheted Cacti by Little Prick Shop
2. The Ruby Bear Clutch by Sylvia Soo
3. Only Dog Can Judge Me Patch by Kodiak Milly
4. Ring Holder (Six Finger Hand) by Wool Sculpture
5. Adopt a Cat Enamel Pin by kookoobird (20% of sales will be donated to SPCA!)
6. Flower Flask Enamel Pin by Jasmine Prasad
7. Ringed Fox Doormat by Anthroplogie
I’m really excited about all the fantastic enamel pins that are being sold right now. It’s finally pin season again—I’ve busted out my denim jacket and want to fill it with even more of these fun illustrative items. (Need some suggestions? Check out list of 50 enamel pins.)
Paper engineering fascinates me. I’ve tried it before, and my brain… it just doesn’t design/illustrate in three dimensions. Instead, I’ll just admire the work of others—like illustrator Simon Arizpe! He used paper folding to create THE WILD, a “pop-up object that reveals a story as you play with it.” As you interact with the piece, its illustrations change and tell fantastical tale.
Simon is currently raising funds for THE WILD via Kickstarter, which will help him bring his unique form of storytelling to a wide audience. Watch the video below to see the book in action!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sometimes, you just wanna look at beautiful flowers. Artist Carrie Schmitt creates vibrant compositions of blooms in a couple of visually-striking styles. Some of her paintings feature thick sculptural strokes, while others utilize expressive lines and haphazard drips. Both are lovely.
Carrie’s career in the arts came later in life. In 2009, she developed a life-threatening allergy to heat and couldn’t leave her home for months. She turned lemons into lemonade, however, and used the time indoors to pursue her dream of becoming a painter. Carrie explains, “Creating became my therapy and escape as I struggled with being homebound.”
Carrie’s work—originals and prints—are available in her Etsy shop.
Yesterday it was en vogue ladies, and today it’s fashionable frocks perfect for the fast-approaching summer. Doops Design has created a series of colorful cacti patterns on tank tops and t-shirts. Jane Newham is the designer/illustrator behind these delightful pieces, and she creates everything—from the garment’s construction to the screen-printed images. Because they’re handmade, every piece is slightly different and wholly unique. You’re not only wearing a shirt, but a work of art!
Jane sells her garments in the Doops Design Etsy shop. Follow her work-in-progress on Instagram.
At its core, illustration is visual problem solving. When working with a client, for instance, you have to learn how to adapt your artistic language and style to the brief or article. Likewise, when you’re producing surface patterns for a product, you have to take into account the object on which it will appear.
With these challenges come a myriad of ways to tackle or “solve” them, and nothing demonstrates this idea better than highlighting one subject and many illustrators. Here are 5 of ’em (and certainly not all) making illustrations that focus on fashionable ladies.
Perrin (one of my best pals!) created a series of works that “explore the relationship between garment and environment.” Her figures accompany all sorts of lovely details like intricate lace patterns, blooming florals, and the macabre.
Oslo-based illustrator Natalie Foss combines a candy-colored palette with a style that’s simultaneously graphic and realistic. Body parts—primarily the face—are handled with a delicate realism, while clothing looks incredibly flat and two dimensional.
I’ve written before about Kelly Beeman and her elongated figures reminiscent of the artist Modigliani. They’re elegant and represent high-fashion looks—I want to wear them all!
Kathleen Marcotte recently illustrated fabulous ladies inspired by the fashions of Anna Sui. The images are busy, lush scenes where patterns collide.
Madalina Andronic focuses her illustration style on Slavic folk art with a touch of fairy tale. Despite these historic roots, her work is contemporary—I could see these as editorial fashion spreads. Madalina’s figures don gorgeous hairstyling and makeup and prove that clothes aren’t always necessary.
1. Miniature Ceramic Vases by Polly Fern (via Artistic Moods)
2. Stuffed Badger Toy by Woodland Toy
3. Handmade EL-AICH Plantpot Planter Ball Pot by EL-AICH
4. Gardening Skirt by Dinara Mirtalipova
5. Urban Greenery Enamel Pin by Hannah S. Bottino
6. Jungle Greenhouse Necklace by Kate Rowland
7. Hiking Guide Rings by Min Pin
Happy Friday! I hope you have something fun planned this weekend. I’m headed to DC to catch the WONDER exhibition at the Renwick Gallery… pretty excited to see a room wallpapered in 5,000 bugs!
Artist Karolin Reichardt crafts colorful embroideries based on her “personal observations and reactions to the built and natural environment.” These reflections are inspired by maps, plans, and models—something that’s evident in their compositions. They’re intricately detailed with small embellishments of beading and resemble cellular forms and microorganisms—which happens to be the name of her newest series. Through these pieces, she “comments on the romance and realities of scientific discovery on an intimate scale.”
If you’re looking for a great textile-themed Tumblr to follow, I’d recommend Karolin! She posts a nice mix of her own work and that of others.
Last February, I marveled over Sonia Alins Miguel’s surreal illustrations featuring women floating in the water (or some mysterious blue-gray void). These similar full-bodied figures make an appearance in her newest series called En Femení (translation: In the Forest). Here, the paper characters navigate through the thick brush. It’s definitely reminiscent of the tale of Adam and Eve—given the nudity and fruit—but it’s a contemporary twist on a common theme, and it still makes us question who these people are and their motivations for being in the woods.
Formally, I like how Sonia has integrated real objects into the composition, creating a diorama of sorts—it’s as if she’s set the stage for dramatic tales.
Esmé Shapiro (@esmeshapiro) is an illustrator I’ve kept my eye on since discovering her work in 2014. I love following her Instagram, which is a mixture of illustrative experiments, works in progress, and finished pieces. She also, occasionally, posts snapshots of her life that mimic the types of pictures she makes—it’s no surprise where her aesthetic comes from!
Follow Esmé’s feed as she works on her first book OOKO that’ll be released this summer from Tundra Books.