Check Out Kyootopia, the Mythical Land of Cute

Kathleen Marcotte

Isn’t this tiger charm­ing? Illus­tra­tor Kath­leen Mar­cotte cre­ated it as part of a group exhi­bi­tion called Kyootopia with Bree Lund­berg and Patu Phan. “We wanted the free­dom to inter­pret ‘cute’ within our own styles,” she tells me, “so we cre­ated the myth­i­cal land of Kyootopia, where all things are cute!”

The three illus­tra­tors divided Kyootopia into nine unique islands and imag­ined their art as well as the lit­tle sou­venirs from each locale. Kath­leen cre­ated Avi­a­tion City, Round­about Island, and Facade Falls.

These delight­ful works are a mix­ture of dig­i­tal works and mixed media pieces. She com­bined linocut, cut paper, and pencil.

Kathleen MarcotteKathleen Marcotte TheGreatGallop ABumpyRide In_FlightBlueHorseBlueTwin YellowTwin OutForAStrutRunawayssneakybovine

Animation, Illustrator

Paper Flowers and Fantastic Beasts Fit for Film

lila poppins

Lila Pop­pins is an illus­tra­tor and paper designer who uses her tal­ents to cre­ate fan­tas­tic beasts, lovely blooms, out­door scenes, and much more. In addi­tion to sculpt­ing with paper, she also directs stop motion films. Lila’s Tum­blr fea­tures a few of these ani­mated snip­pets, one of which is a com­bi­na­tion of paper and 2D illus­tra­tion. The film is an illus­trated French poem writ­ten by Jacques Pre­vert and avail­able to view on Vimeo (I’ve also included it below).

And, just a note: illus­tra­tor Clé­ment De Ruyter is the per­son behind the char­ac­ter design of this crea­ture. (Lila did the paper work, obviously!)

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Collage, Illustrator, Textiles

Exquisite Illustrations Created by Drawing with Thread

Annalisa Bollini

This past week­end, while watch­ing the lat­est episode of Mad Men, I started a new embroi­dery. It’s my first one in many months! It feels good, ya’ll. Just like the work of Annal­isa Bollini. The Ital­ian illus­tra­tor cre­ates these mixed media scenes that are a com­bi­na­tion of embroi­dery, appliqué , and paper bits. She has exquis­ite line work that’s made with tiny stitches, and I love how it’s a sub­sti­tute for a pen or pencil.

Annal­isa has prints of her work for sale in her Etsy shop. You’ll find brooches there, too.

And… one last that’s apt, espe­cially since it’s Fri­day. Annal­isa gives this sage advice on her web­site: If you don’t know what to do, eat some chocolate!

AnnalisaBollini-4 AnnalisaBollini-12 AnnalisaBollini-2 AnnalisaBollini-1 AnnalisaBollini-10 AnnalisaBollini-8 AnnalisaBollini-6 AnnalisaBollini-11 AnnalisaBollini-7 AnnalisaBollini-9 AnnalisaBollini-5


Beautiful, Multilayered Fantasies by Danse de Lune

Danse de Lune

Get lost in the magic of Danse de Lune (for­merly Art and Ghosts). She’s a UK-based illus­tra­tor who has a pen­chant for col­or­ful folk­lore and dark, dreary skies. I love the mul­ti­lay­ered, fan­tas­ti­cal feel that these pieces have. They’re soft with a lot of visual oomph — just look at all of the tiny, intri­cate details! Danse gives us some insight to her work, writing:

The larger part of my work is con­cerned with the pro­tec­tion and wel­fare of nature, chil­dren, and non-human (occa­sion­ally mag­i­cal) crea­tures: per­haps as a result of my ear­li­est expe­ri­ences and a sense of close iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with the hid­den, noc­tur­nal things which speak an unknown lan­guage. Ani­mals con­cern me espe­cially, whether mag­i­cal or quite ordinary.

Dreams and the uncon­scious (Jun­gian) also play a pre­dom­i­nant role in my work, along­side sym­bol­ism, mys­ti­cism, folk­lore, mythol­ogy and fairytales.

Check out Danse’s Etsy shop for prints.

Danse de Lune art-and-ghosts-2 art-and-ghosts-7art-and-ghosts-11 art-and-ghosts-12 art-and-ghosts-4 art-and-ghosts-6 art-and-ghosts-9

Sculpture, Textiles

Bear Skin Rug? Nahhh. How About a Monster Skin Rug?

Joshua Ben Longo

Years ago, on Pin­ter­est, I saw this Mon­ster Skin Rug designed by Joshua Ben Longo and fell in love. It’s a clever take on those bear skin rugs you see in the movies, except more fun and a lot less cruel. They’re made of 50% wool / 50% poly­ester felt scales that are then sewn to a felt sil­hou­ette and stuffed with poly­ester. Plus, they plas­tic teeth!

It turns out Longo had been mak­ing the rugs by hand for years, but at a very high cost for the con­sumer. Now, he’s turned to Kick­starter to help with the cost of pro­duc­tion and pro­duce Mon­ster Skin Rug in vol­ume. For $425, you can own this delight­ful piece of decor.

If $425 is out of your price range, Joshua has other monster-related items you can own. Fin­ger pup­pets, totems, and other soft sculp­tures are all avail­able.

Joshua Ben Longo monster-rug-3 monster-rug-4 monster-rug-5

And, a lit­tle extra. Another cre­ation by Joshua!

Illustrator, Textiles

Sofia Arnold’s Naturalistic Scenes of Wild Fantasies

Sofia Arnold

For years, I’ve mar­veled at the work of Sofia Arnold. Her nat­u­ral­is­tic scenes are wild fan­tasies fea­tur­ing a host of char­ac­ters. Look closely, and you’ll see women in flow­ing dresses, small ani­mals, and ener­getic chil­dren woven in her compositions.

In an inter­view with Buy Some Damn Art, Sofia talks about recy­cling imagery and ideas in her work. It’s a valu­able prac­tice that can help your work feel con­cep­tu­ally cohe­sive. ” A copy of a copy of a copy might become visu­ally unrec­og­niz­able from the source, but I think that con­tin­ued reit­er­a­tion will even­tu­ally dis­till some kind of mean­ing for me,” she says.

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And here’s a lit­tle extra. Sofia sells this awe­some small patches in her Big Car­tel shop!

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Ceramics, Illustrator, Sculpture, Textiles

An Interactive Comic, Microorganisms & More: the MFA ILP Show

Illustration Practice

Two Fri­days ago, I had the plea­sure of attend­ing the MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice (MFA ILP) The­sis Exhi­bi­tion at Mary­land Insti­tute Col­lege of Art (MICA). I was really excited to see the show, as I grad­u­ated from the pro­gram in 2013 (the first class!) and wasn’t as famil­iar with this year’s work.They didn’t dis­ap­point! I was really impressed with every­thing I saw, and I admire how they’ve pushed the bound­aries of what illus­tra­tion is/can be. (This idea is the cor­ner­stone of the MFA ILP program.)

So, with­out fur­ther ado, here are some pic­tures of the exhi­bi­tion, but this is by no means a com­pre­hen­sive look. If you’re local to Bal­ti­more, stop by the show before it closes on April 12!

Check out more pic­tures from the exhi­bi­tion on my Flickr. (Beware — they’re unedited.)

Il Sung Na

Illustration Practice

I’ve had my eye on Il Sung Na’s work since the end of 2014. I bought one of his adorable ceramic crea­tures at MICA’s Art Mar­ket and totally want more of ‘em. He had a bunch of through­out his space, and I wish he had them for sale at the opening!

Il Sung Na Il Sung Na Il Sung Na il-sung-na-2 il-sung-na-1

Con­tinue Reading


Sainte Maria’s Sartorial Paintings Are a Love Letter to Style

sainte maria

Art, fash­ion, and design are all pas­sions of Russ­ian illus­tra­tor Sainte Maria. And, there’s no mis­tak­ing it. These sar­to­r­ial paint­ings are a love let­ter to style, and I’m a huge fan of both her cloth­ing choices and inte­rior decorating.

I would totally rock the things Maria’s mod­els are wear­ing — espe­cially the flow­ing mauve skirt, sky blue top, and floppy hat. In fact, I might need to add them to my sum­mer wardrobe…

What would you wear?

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How Did You Do That?

How Did You Do That? Nancy Liang Shares Her GIF-Making Process

Nancy Liang1b

I’m excited! It’s finally time to share my newest fea­ture called How Did You Do That? This series will revolve around mak­ers and how they cre­ate the things we love. It comes from both a curi­ous and self­ish place, because when I look at an illus­tra­tion, I often won­der how it was made. Don’t you?  For the first install­ment of  How Did You Do That?, illus­tra­tor Nancy Liang shares how she cre­ates her beau­ti­fully spooky GIFs. She also gives some great advice for aspir­ing animators!

So, with­out fur­ther ado, here’s my inter­view with Nancy!

Brown Paper Bag: What’s the first step of cre­at­ing your GIFs? What type of draw­ing mate­ri­als do you use, and how do get your images on the screen?

Nancy Liang: I begin with sketches first. They start rather loosely but become more defined as I use them as a guide when I col­lage. Some­times my final work will not look exactly like my sketches — a few things may be miss­ing or changed.


Nancy’s ini­tial sketch (fin­ished piece below).

NL (answered con­tin­ued): If it is an ani­mated piece I have to think about what I need to ani­mate before I start. I write a lot of notes and use a check­list. For me the ani­ma­tion process must be very orga­nized and con­trolled. The process is very close to that of tra­di­tional ani­ma­tion. The back­ground is usu­ally a sta­tic hand­made and/or hand drawn piece and what I choose to move is sep­a­rated into lay­ers and placed over the back­ground. I will then scan all my lay­ers into my com­puter, arrange them in Pho­to­shop and then start to animate.

I use lots of kraft paper and dis­carded card. If I ever use color I make my own tex­tures by paint­ing, using mark­ers, pas­tels etc. I use a range of graphite pen­cils rang­ing from 9H to 9B.


Nancy’s fin­ished ani­ma­tion (sketch above).

Con­tinue Reading


Beautify Your Home with Unique Silkscreens from Side Effects Print

Side Effect Print

Lay­ers of Needs by San­dra Milanovic

Side Effects Print is a col­lec­tive that con­sists of young, aspir­ing artists from the Balkans region. They pro­duce large-format silk screen prints that’ll no doubt enhance your space. Art­work is sold exclu­sively in their shop, and it’s very diverse in terms of styles. You’ll find character-driven por­traits, bold geo­met­ric shapes, and hand­writ­ten notes.

Every­thing is pro­duced on high-quality paper using 2 to 6 col­ors. Each piece has a lim­ited run of 100 prints and isn’t repro­duced afterwards.

I’ve included some of my favorites here! And, espe­cially for Brown Paper Bag read­ers, Side Effects Print is offer­ing a spe­cial dis­count. Use the code SEP15 to get 20% off your order. Offer is valid until May 1, 2015. So, get on it!

Side Effect Print

Lay­ers of Needs by San­dra Milanovic

Untitled 001 by Stefan Unkovic

Unti­tled 001 by Ste­fan Unkovic

Untitled 001 by Stefan Unkovic

Unti­tled 001 by Ste­fan Unkovic

Untitled 15 by Jovan Trkulja

Unti­tled 15 by Jovan Trkulja

Where Am I by Milica Pantelic

Where Am I by Mil­ica Pantelic

Where Am I by Milica Pantelic

Where Am I by Mil­ica Pantelic

Field of Rhombus by Danijel Savovic

Field of Rhom­bus by Dani­jel Savovic

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

BeginningEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

Begin­nin­gEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

BeginningEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

Begin­nin­gEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

Land of the Lines by Zeljko Loncar

Land of the Lines by Zeljko Loncar