Slot Machines and Giant Dogs | A Peek into the MFA Illustration Practice 2017 Thesis Exhibition

installation by aditi damle

Last Fri­day, I attend­ed the open­ing of the MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice the­sis exhi­bi­tion at the Mary­land Insti­tute Col­lege of Art (MICA). As an alum of the pro­gram, I’m always fas­ci­nat­ed to see how the the­sis projects turn out. These are mas­sive endeav­ors that take a whole school-year of work (your sec­ond year is ded­i­cat­ed to them), and even longer to plan. To say they’re involved is an under­state­ment.

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Ceramics, Illustrated products

Adorable Ceramic Animals Offer a Warm Smile and Home For Your Favorite Plants

Cumbucia Chic cute animal planters

Remem­ber last week when I was declar­ing my obses­sion for planters? Cum­bu­ca Chic is anoth­er online shop that makes my list. Brazil­ian artist Priscil­la Ramos is the woman behind these cute ani­mal planters, which fea­ture fox­es, whales, sloths, and even tiny capy­bara. Each is adorned with a com­bi­na­tion of shiny glaze that’s off­set by the mat­te stoneware. I like this combination—it offers a nice visu­al con­trast that proves that some­times, min­i­mal­ism can say as much as heavy dec­o­ra­tion.

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Paper Craft

Thriving Plants You Don’t Have to Water… Because They’re Made of Paper

Paper cactus

Some peo­ple lack the green thumb nec­es­sary to take care of plants. If you’re one of them, here’s a solu­tion for you—no water­ing nec­es­sary! Tania of Lisso­va Craft cre­ates tiny paper craft cac­ti that you can hold in the palm of your hand. Each pot­ted plant is indi­vid­u­al­ly cut and intri­cate­ly detailed with things like dec­o­ra­tive planters and tiny flow­ers. Lisso­va will use a dif­fer­ent types of papers to cre­ate a vari­ety of tex­ture, as well as cut­ting fringe into the paper itself.

These paper cacti are available on greeting cards and as original art in the Lissa Craft Etsy shop. And if you want to see works in progress, follow Tania on Instagram.

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Black Fabric Sets a Spectacular Stage for Colorful Embroidered Hoop Art

Embroidered hoop art by Tusk and Cardinal

When it comes to hoop art, light-col­ored fab­rics are a pop­u­lar choice to embroi­der on. But, don’t over­look dark cloth. As Lind­say Swearin­gen demon­strates, it too can cre­ate beau­ti­ful pieces. Under the moniker Tusk and Car­di­nal, the Cal­i­forn­ian sews nature-inspired pieces that show­case, most notably, flow­ers and hands on a black back­ground. The con­trast makes her designs pop, and I love the tat­too aes­thet­ic that she has in some of her pieces. The crea­tures, in par­tic­u­lar, have the dis­tinct feel­ing of black­work-style body art.

Follow along with Lindsay’s hoop art on Instagram. And for her embroidered goods, head to the Tusk and Cardinal Etsy shop.

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Illustrated products

Felted Animal Planters are the Perfect Companions for Your Tiny Plants

The Yarn Kitchen felted animal planters

I’ve become some­thing of a planter collector—especially those illus­tra­tive that are in nature. I recent­ly filled a (sim­i­lar) Beard­bangs planter with a small suc­cu­lent, as well as a biki­ni clad pot from Group Part­ner. And, I backed this self-water­ing pot on Kick­starter! Maybe col­lec­tor isn’t the right word. Obsessed?

The Yarn Kitchen, with its felt­ed ani­mal planters, is next on my list for my col­lec­tion. Online pur­vey­or Stel­la Mel­grati cre­ates adorable ani­mal-head pots that are per­fect for air plants or suc­cu­lents. Best of all, her planters come in 28 dif­fer­ent col­ors, because, she says, “love is a rain­bow.”

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#TBT | Vintage Embroidery by Mariska Karasz That Looks Strikingly Modern

Mariska Karasz vintage embroidery from the 1940s

Let’s #TBT with a tex­tile artist whose illus­tra­tive approach to the medi­um is both influ­en­tial and strik­ing­ly mod­ern. Mariska Karasz was a Hun­gar­i­an-Amer­i­can design­er and tex­tile artist who got her start design­ing cloth­ing in the 1920s and 1930s. Her approach to fash­ion sounds like some­thing I’d wear today; gar­ments incor­po­rat­ed tra­di­tion­al Hun­gar­i­an embroi­dery and appliques that were “sim­i­lar to Hen­ti Matisse’s cutouts” and uti­lized bold, abstract­ed shapes.

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Needle Felted Llamas Carry Beautiful Embroidered Blooms on Their Back

Fuzzy and Flora needle felted llamas

Becky of Fuzzy and Flo­ra hasn’t even opened up shop yet, but I’m excit­ed about her hoop art. It revolves around lla­mas and alpacas! I love alpacas, and I have more than a few fig­urines sit­ting on my shelf that pay trib­ute to this mem­ber of the camel fam­i­ly. Becky’s homage uses nee­dle felt­ing to depict their fluff and embroi­dery to show­case beau­ti­ful blooms that they car­ry on their backs. I love the com­bi­na­tion of tex­ture between the smooth thread and felt­ing fibers. As the two oppo­sites com­ple­ment each oth­er, they togeth­er cre­ate a visu­al feast for the eyes.

UPDATE: The Fuzzy and Flora shop is open!

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Ceramics, Illustrated products

Wildflower Ceramics That’ll Make You Want to Frolic in a Sunny Field

painted ceramics by roootree

Inspired by wild­flow­ers, roootree (aka Kaori) illus­trates their col­or­ful beau­ty onto porce­lain plates, cups, and saucers. My favorite pattern—a mix­ture of tall grass­es and bright buds—seems undoubt­ed­ly inspired by this mead­ow of wild­flow­ers. Kaori has trans­lat­ed the end­less rows of flow­ers into lay­ers of col­or and tex­ture. Using a com­bi­na­tion of tight draw­ing and dif­fused shapes, she cre­ates the feel­ing of depth. It’s as if her illus­trat­ed ceram­ics are actu­al­ly made of a field of blooms.

Kaori sells her wildflower ceramics on Etsy.

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