Miga de Pan is the label under which Buenos Aires-based crafter Adriana Torres creates her work. Her exquisite and minimalist pieces are a lovely combination of texture and line. Quiet scenes featuring woodland creatures, geometric shapes, and even architecture are sewn onto natural-colored backgrounds. These images are inspired with the help of Adriana’s dedication and formal training in a number of fields: architecture, graphic design, illustration and general fine arts.
As someone who embroiders for fun, I am loving the variety of stitches that Adriana uses. It adds keeps things visually interesting. My eye doesn’t get bored looking at the same stitch over and over — instead, I find myself keenly examining every part of her handiwork.
You might recall the debut of How Did You Do That?, a series focused on how makers create the things that we love. Nancy Liang kicked it off by sharing her GIF-making process. Now, I’m pleased to present something totally different - the making of an app! Brooklyn-based company Tinybop just finished their newest creation called The Robot Factory. It’s an opened-ended building app that lets kids make, test, and collect robots. How fun!
As with any app, there’s a lot of moving parts. I spoke with three people involved in making The Robot Factory happen (although there were many others): Tinybop CEO Raul Gutierrez came up with the concept; Owen Davey illustrated the app; and Leah Feuer was the project manager. They all have tasks that were integral to making the app happen, and they’ll help give us some sense of how The Robot Factory was created.
Coming up with the concept: Raul Gutierrez
Brown Paper Bag: What did you do before you founded Tinybop?
Raul Gutierrez: I was working in Hollywood on film and later in the startup world on the web, but always at the intersection of art and tech.
BPB: After you had the initial idea for The Robot Factory, what was the first step towards making the project a reality?
RG: Probably the original inspiration for the app was an Apple ][ game called Pinball Construction Set. I remember thinking back then, “Building pinball machines is cool, but it would be so much cooler to build robots.” I was part of the first Star Wars generation. All the kids back then thought that when we reached the 2000’s the world would be full of robots. Maybe this app is my small attempt to make that imagined future a little more real.
The first step in actually starting the project was building a company and surrounding myself with lots of smart creative people. Continue Reading
I enjoy a good flick, and so I was really excited to see that Ellen Surrey was painting these small illustrations based on film stills. The title and year are labeled at the bottom of each piece. So, if any of these paintings intrigue you, I’d encourage you to watch the movie! I’ve never heard of The Cat From Outer Space, but I know that I need to see it.
I watch a lot of movies, especially the classic ones. Because I love the look of these movies so much I usually take screen shots while I’m watching. These screen shots make for great reference but lately I feel as if I could be utilizing them so much more. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what to draw and paint when that creative urge hits, so I thought I would start painting my collection of screen shots.
Each gouache painting is small (3″ x 4″) and on piece of watercolor paper.
Daniel Mackie’s watercolor paintings depict animals that have lush landscapes contained within their bodies. A black cat with large eyes has tempestuous sea and giant ship traveling through its elegant body. Likewise, an owl features a moonlit path winding on its chest.
Navy tattoos are a source of inspirations for these illustrations. Daniel’s website, The DM Collection, further describes the process:
In order for the paintings to work with so much detail, the shape of the animal was key in the design, it had to be instantly recognizable as the creature it represented, here Daniel took his cue from Art Deco, keeping the shape of the animal as simple as possible. Daniel is a big fan of the printmakers of the Ukiyo-e period which was between the 17th and the 20th centuries.
These illustrations are available in cards, prints, notebooks, and more. Buy em here!
Do you ever buy things just based on their packaging? I totally do. It adds a whole other level of product enjoyment for me. I also keep some packing that I really like. This tea towel by Mirdinara Kitchen, for instance, was almost too lovely to open.
Lately, I find myself looking (and really liking) soap labels. The format lends itself well to charming illustration and fun design. There’s a lot of packaging real estate to make something beautiful. After all, just look at all the great scenes that Emma Block produced on the Hand in Hand Sustainable Suds wrappers (above).
We finally have a winner! After much deliberation, Emily Haasch’s collage was selected by Papirmass for inclusion in an upcoming issue (plus a cash prize and free subscription.) “It’s a very innovative use of collage and am impressed with the effect she has achieved with such a limited color scheme,” Kirsten (of Papirmass) told me. (Read more about how they made their decision.) Emily’s swap partner, Ian Caulkett wins a free subscription, too.
Congratulations, Emily! Great work. And remember, all Collage Scrap Exchange participants — you can view all submissions here. (While you’re there, click on thumbnail of a collage to see it enlarged.)
For months, I’ve been thinking about doing a post that covers art materials. Specifically, products that are helpful and seem fun to try. I don’t test out enough of these items in my day-to-day life, and so I have the help of someone who does! Sarah Rubenstein of Art Snacks compiled a list of what to try. I’ll have her take it from here:
ArtSnacks is a monthly subscription box to the best art supplies. Every month, we send you 4–5 full-size art products that range from pens and pencils, to inks and paints. Once you get your box, we encourage you to create a piece of artwork using only the items in the box. When you’ve made your master piece, share it on any social media outlets with the hashtag #artsnackschallenge.
The MONO Zero Eraser by Tombow has a sweet pen-style grip, so the experience of using an eraser doesn’t change — compared to using a pencil. It’s really great for using within detailed pencil drawings.
The Palomino family includes 3 different eraser-topped pencils – but this one is a favorite of ours. The lead in this cedar pencil makes for a darker black than your average pencil, even with less pressure. It has a velvety drawing texture and a firm weight.
This little guy gives you a very different painting experience. The Catalyst Contour by Princeton Brush is basically a wedge that pushes paint around a surface with ease, and creates shapes you wouldn’t get with a regular brush.
Everyone loves a reliable Copic marker. This is a professional-grade, double-ended marker with the ability to blend like no other. The high-quality color creates dimension in any illustration or design.
M. Graham & Co. Artists’ Gouache has a similar recipe to their watercolor paints. The honey-based gouache won’t crack or chip when dry. You’ll achieve very fine lines without a problem, and with a consistency of soft butter, it’s suitable for impasto or thick brush work.
This is a professional-grade brush that is short in size, and will handle any type of paint. It makes a great mark when paired with the M. Graham & Co. Artists’ Gouache, and is just a staple item to have in your art bin.
The Genie Canvas Mini is the first and only fully collapsible canvas out on the market. Made in a variety of sizes, you can stretch it tight over a few wooden dowels, and take it apart when your painting is dry. It’s super easy to roll up and send to a friend.
Attention: This is just another crayon. The KRINK K-80 Permanent Paint Stick is a new product from KRINK, and is actually a solid stick of thick paint that creates a textured line, resembling the mark/line left by a crayon. It’s really cool.
We love convenience, and when it comes to grabbing art supplies on the go, we reach for our Pentalic Soft Pastels. This petite four-pack of pastels is neatly packed in a small box, making it perfect for sketching on the go.
Artist Elin Thomas makes moldy petri dishes look cute and cuddly. Using a combination of embroidery thread, crochet, and needle felting, she creates unique textile pieces. The fuzzy felt produces the effect of tiny hairs sprouting from the yarn spores.
If something has mold on it, I’m usually grossed out. But not with Elin’s work! She’s able to make these science projects into appealing brooches, rings, and art for your home. Check out more of her accessories on Etsy.
Illustrator Lacey Micallef has been a lifelong collector and trader of pins. She created Big Bud Press as a way to combine this beloved pastime with her artistic career. The 1″ (and larger) hard enamel pins are made from plated metal, filled with colored resin, and baked at a high temperature.
Lacey’s designs are super fun, featuring golden eggs, banana leafs, orange blossoms, and more. She also collaborated with Martha Porter of Buried Diamond on a dog, hand, and watermelon pin.
Big Bud Press recently launched — April 13, to be exact — and I’m super excited to see how it develops. Also, I am in love with Lacey’s styling! She uses miniatures to frame the pins in these colorful, surreal scenes.