Last fall, illustrator Rose Wong had a show called Consider Death at Grumpy Bert in Brooklyn. The works included are poignant and beautiful in their simplicity —Rose mixes bold floral elements with geometric forms, inserting a contemplative figure among them. This character, devoid of a face/emotions, could be, as its namesake suggests, considering the end. It takes the illustrations to a dark place, but this is in line with Rose’s artistic philosophy. In an interview with Light Grey Art Lab, she explains:
When I get sad or frustrated, art makes me feel better. But getting myself to draw when I feel down is often an uphill battle. I am often a positive and upbeat person, but sometimes when I draw, the other part of me comes through – the quiet and contemplative side. I want people to feel good when they look at my work, but to also find some sadness in it. We are all complex individuals and life is all about the emotional experiences, whether it be positive or not.
See more of Consider Death on Rose’s Tumblr. Some of my favorites are below.
While perusing Catherine Campbell’s Instagram the other day—I told you, I can’t get enough of IG— I found that in addition to being an illustrator, she’s an embroiderer, too! Typically, Catherine works with pen, ink, and watercolor, but a small selections of her works are made with fabric. She approaches these textiles in a similar way, saying they “are very much like drawings that are made with needle and thread.” The results include chain stitching and appliqué in small banner pins and wall hangings. In addition, Catherine adds pompoms and ribbons, giving these works a celebratory and ceremonial feel.
These embroideries aren’t Catherine’s most recent work, but it looks like she’s finding time for the craft again. Stay tuned!
I’m always on the hunt for an inspirational Instagram, and this week, I’ve found it in illustrator Carolyn Gavin. Her posts feature vibrant sketchbook paintings of animals and beautiful blooms, crafted with the carefree fluidity of watercolor. Seeing them has a few effects: for starters, you’ll yearn for spring; then, you’ll want to head to the florist for a real, colorful bouquet, afterwards, you’ll have the urge to pick up your brush and create your own paintings!
After you’ve followed Carolyn on Instagram, check out her Etsy shop for prints and original paintings of these pieces.
1. Screen Printed Cactus Sleeveless Top by Doops Design
2. bermuda x Kottie Paloma Shower Curtain by bermuda
3. White Mountain Bear by Past Your Porchlight
4. Skulls Necklace by Rhys
5. Hammam Towel by Kip & Co. (illustration by Leah Goren)
6. Animal Cups by oMamaWolf
7. Thorn Hair Comb by Collected Edition
Happy Friday! After a short hiatus (because we all need a day off sometimes), Illustrated Product Obsessions are back! I don’t know about you, but that cactus tank top has me dreaming of summer…
Looking for a DIY this weekend? The House That Lars Built just posted 18 paper plant tutorials that look like fun. What a great way to (prematurely) welcome Spring!
For years, I’ve admired the bold, illustrative works of Gosia Herba. They instantly appeal to me because of the art history influence—specifically, Picasso and the Cubist movement. The bold pieces feature abstracted figures and multiple viewpoints, which is used to great effect: it provides us a lot of visual information and offers a full scope of who these characters are and the situations they’re in.
Gosia sells prints of her work in her Etsy shop!
Embroidery is all over the place right now, and I’m so happy about it—I love the craft. This includes practicing it! I find embroidery very relaxing because it’s so repetitive and meticulous. You can zone out and watch your favorite television show and just ~unwind~ from the stresses of day-to-day life.
But, what if you don’t know how to embroider? That’s okay, because Kiriki Press will teach you how! They pair embroidery with contemporary illustration, producing these adorable DIY kits that will teach you basic, intermediate, and advanced stitches that you apply to animals like hedgehogs, foxes, pandas, and more. Everything is included, from the fabric to thread to scissors. One stop shopping. How fun!
See everything they have to offer in their popular Etsy shop.
I first shared this on my 7 Weekly Illustrated Product Obsessions. Look for that every Friday to see what delightful wares I want to own.
Beautiful blooms are the focal point of a lot of embroidery. The colorful threads showcase petal after petal, but what about the green leaves—their support system—that accompany them? You don’t see these as often, except in Sew & Saunders’ embroidery, where leaves are at the center of the hoop. The brainchild of Jo Fagents, she stitches a variety of greenery, from broad leaves to tiny buds. She frames these works in light-colored wood, which creates a exquisite yet understated homage to nature.
Jo has an Etsy shop where she sells her work—including stitched text, too.
Artist Monica Rohan combines elements of realism and fantasy to create works that are as beautiful as they are alluring. They’re inspired by a “rural-idyll of a childhood in South East Queensland” and 19th century novels. Each contemplates the genre of autobiography, using this form of mysterious self portraiture to do so. Here, the figures’ faces are obscured by colorful blooms, tall grass, and patterned fabrics. Though they’re partially grounded in some sort of space, the area around the subjects is empty, giving us the feeling that these people are floating in some sort of abyss.
Vancouver-based illustrator Julia Iredale creates surreal imagery that fuses landscapes and female figures into singular, coherent scenes. Cloaked in dreamy-feeling purples, blues, and greens, these gigantic women observe what’s around them, taking in the smaller sights and sounds. This play on scale is merely one facet of Julia’s alluring works; she’s also inspired by the things that go on inside our head—like the memories that play on repeat or a captivating daydream.
Check out her Instagram and Tumblr to see her illustrations in progress.
No, those birds in flight aren’t a photograph—they’re paper sculptures by Diana Beltran Herrera. For years, the Colombian artist has crafted lifelike, graceful creatures using meticulous construction and fine textures. It’s these intricate details that make Diana’s sculptures so impressive; look closely, and you’ll notice all of the small cuts that perfectly mimic a bird’s plumage.
Diana’s formal education is in industrial design, but after graduating, she realized she didn’t want to pursue it as a career. “I am really interested in the simple processes of transformation that don’t need complicated tools or industrial processes,” she told Frankie Magazine. Hence the paper.
In Diana’s eyes, there’s a disconnect between humans and nature; through her artwork, she wants to repair this relationship. As a result, pieces are “presented as a resistance where those sculptures remain in an ideal state and act like a model of representation of a reality that doesn’t suffer any change.” They’re beautiful now and will remain so for a lifetime—that way, we can always admire them. (via My Modern Met)
Diana has recently branched out and created butterflies: