Roosevelt and 69th Street, Queens: Header Picture Project Featuring Kelly Lasserre


It’s another month, which means that Brown Paper Bag has a shiny new header. Illus­tra­tor and let­terer Kelly Lasserre has lent her fine pic­to­r­ial skills and depicted a block of busi­ness in her neigh­bor­hood in Queens, New York. I love all of her hand let­ter­ing and tiny details on the signs and build­ings. Makes me want to take a walk down this street!

As always, the work is for sale in the Brown Paper Bag shop as a 4″ x 6″ print — per­fect for fram­ing! Grab one before they’re all gone.

Here’s the scoop on Kelly, who I’ve had the plea­sure of know­ing since our under­grad­u­ate illus­tra­tion days:

Name: kelly lasserre
Loca­tion: queens, new york
Web­site: /
What was your dream job when you were 7 years old? a pro­fes­sional female rock climber
Your pro­fes­sion now: a semi pro­fes­sional illus­tra­tor and maker of things
What’s your favorite thing to draw? objects of sen­ti­men­tal value and sub­jects oth­er­wise over­looked in our daily lives. and food.
What was the inspi­ra­tion for this piece?
my neigh­bor­hood is really inter­est­ing and i love it, it is extremely eth­ni­cally diverse and pre­dom­i­nately filled with small busi­nesses like this. i’ve always wanted to paint the places i walk by every day, to record their unique facades in an image.
How did you cre­ate your illus­tra­tion? Was it any dif­fer­ent than your reg­u­lar process?
it was only dif­fer­ent in that i very rarely work from pho­tographs but i did here. the rest of the process was how i typ­i­cally work. i sim­pli­fied the details, like the writ­ing on the papers in the win­dows. and omit­ted any back­ground or side­walk, because that’s not meant to be a focus. then i just worked in lay­ers of col­ors– i use hol­bein acryla gouache and tiny brushes.
Have you ever tried the Fiesta Grill? If so, how is it? yes sev­eral times! you can get a combo with rice and one side for $3.95 or two sides for $6.95. you just point to what you want and they have a ton of options. great for quick tasty fil­ipino food and all the folks work­ing there are really kind.

Stacey Rozich’s Paintings Are a Pattern-Filled Cultural Mash Up

stacey_rozich8stacey_rozich5 I’ve fol­lowed the work (and admired) of Stacey Rozich for years. I think it was since she was fresh out of school, but who knows. Either way, it’s always inter­est­ing to see how one’s work evolves over time. Rozich’s work still focuses heav­ily on pat­tern, masks, and draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from folk­lore, but now incor­po­rates a con­tem­po­rary cul­tural mash up. A lit­tle more about her work via Rozich’s website:

Since mov­ing on from a world of Japan­ese ani­ma­tion and mean pen­cil draw­ings she has cre­ated a vibrantly painted folk­loric nar­ra­tive that draws inspi­ra­tion from many cul­tural ref­er­ences, build­ing sce­nar­ios pulled from a realm of indige­nous and con­tem­po­rary sym­bol­ism. Rozich cre­ates a para­ble for present day built on sit­u­a­tional vignettes that are imag­ined through the lens of famil­iar fic­tional archetypes.

Deeply rooted in cul­tural tra­di­tion and rit­ual, these alle­gor­i­cal accounts join ances­tral folk­lore with ele­ments of moder­nity and sur­re­al­ism. Influ­ence is taken from travel, world tex­tiles, child­hood mem­o­ries and the many many hours spent watch­ing television.

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A Polka Dot Hamburger and a Happy Cloud: Collages by Enemies Yay

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Thanks to Amy, I was recently acquainted with the lively work of Ene­mies Yay. It’s the brain­child of Aus­tralian artists and design­ers Pete Cromer and Laura Blyth­man. They col­lab­o­rate on vibrant col­lages that use hand-painted and cut papers that form happy ani­mals, fruits, specters, and more. I love their tech­nique and all of the kooky char­ac­ters that are made of fun shapes.

You can pur­chase prints, cards, and more in their online shop.









A Wall Covered in Tiny Ceramics? Yes, Please!

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I’m lov­ing these small objects by Chau Nguyen. The Houston-based artist and teacher cre­ated them as an exper­i­ment. She writes, “For my sec­ond test [below] of these tiny pieces (still unnamed) I used a rougher tex­tured clay. Dream­ing of a wall cov­ered with these?”

An entire wall? Yes, please!

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Here’s more work by Nguyen. In addi­tion to teach­ing and art-making, she’s also a buyer/partner of the shop Myth + Sym­bol.


10 Cute Things Just for You, on Friday

What makes some­thing cute? Is it the size? The mate­r­ial? The con­tent? Obvi­ously, it’s a sub­jec­tive term that varies from per­son to per­son.  To me, some­thing that is small, col­or­ful, and occa­sion­ally cud­dly is adorable. Some peo­ple might think oth­er­wise. Here are 10 of ‘em for your Fri­day. Enjoy!

Sriracha sauce bottle via HermanMarie

Sriracha sauce bot­tle via Her­man­Marie

Mini sloth! via Mount Royal Mint

Mini sloth! via Mount Royal Mint

Liz Boyd, via Chronicle Books.

Liz Boyd, via Chron­i­cle Books.

I just bought one of these adorable kitties from Silver Lining Ceramics!

I just bought one of these adorable kit­ties from Sil­ver Lin­ing Ceram­ics!

Meticulously Patterned Folkloric Pottery by Sue Tirrell

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Ceramic artist Sue Tir­rell describes her works as “folk­loric pot­tery and sculp­ture with a mod­ern sen­si­bil­ity.” And that they are. The scalloped-edged plates fea­ture detailed, black and white draw­ings of dif­fer­ent ani­mals like birds, snakes, wolves, and rab­bits. Behind them are brightly-colored flo­ral pat­terns that are a nice jux­ta­po­si­tion to the visu­ally heavy fore­ground crea­tures. When you view all of the plates together, they cre­ate an intrigu­ing series with a loose nar­ra­tive thread. I think you could eas­ily arrange them into dif­fer­ent stories.

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Photographic Bodies Injected with Floral Oddities by Rocio Montoya

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It’s been a while since I’ve fea­tured pho­to­graphic col­lages. I picked these works by Rocio Mon­toya because I like them and because they have a flora twist to them, loosely relat­ing to yesterday’s post about Michelle’s Morin’s illus­tra­tions. The blooms seen here peek from behind flesh and dis­tort the face with a beau­ti­ful mix of color and del­i­cate textures.

These images are from Montoya’s Behance page.

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Gorgeous Watercolor Paintings Contain Intricate Details by Michelle Morin

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I really love nature, ya’ll. Although I live in a city, it’s com­fort­ing to me to spend time in the grass and under­neath the trees. I was in Cleve­land this past week­end (see my Insta­gram) near Lake Erie, and it was great sit­ting on a rock and over­look­ing the vast body of water. This love is par­tially why I enjoy the work of Michelle Morin so much. She illus­trates dif­fer­ent flora and fauna in bright col­ors and pat­terns using water-based media.

Morin worked for many years in the hor­ti­cul­tural field to cul­ti­vate a rela­tion­ship with plants, wildlife, and their idio­syn­crasies. She writes:

With many years design­ing and main­tain­ing gar­dens, I have nar­rowed my pri­mary focus to nature as a sub­ject to ref­er­ence. I work to con­vey the beauty and com­plex­i­ties of nature using tex­ture, pat­tern, and nar­ra­tive ele­ments through­out my work, which range from elab­o­rate water­color and gouache compositions…

Buy her prints in her Etsy shop!

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Palm-Sized Moths That Won’t Give You the Heebie Jeebies, I Promise


So these lit­tle crea­tures have been mak­ing their way around the web, and with good rea­son; they’re really neat! North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita hand­crafted these tex­tile moths, using a com­bi­na­tion of fab­ric, cot­ton, fake fur, embroi­dery thread, wire, feath­ers, and more to con­struct them. The col­or­ful sculp­tures will fit in the palm of your hand and are avail­able in Okita’s Etsy shop. Via The Jeal­ous Cura­tor.

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