Just a quick hello to you on Friday! I’ve been tied up with a project this past week, so today’s post is short.
Let’s connect! Did you know I tweet, tumble, Facebook, and pin?
Brown Paper Bag’s Facebook is only a few months old. I’m having fun posting stuff so far, so make sure you check it out!
Have ya’ll heard of The Sketchbook Project? If not, then let me give you a brief introduction: it’s a Brooklyn-based company that organizes collaborative endeavors. They gained fame with The Sketchbook Project, which is a crowd-sourced library that features over 31,000 (!!) artists’ books contributed by people around the world. Currently, they have that and other challenges for you to participate in.
I had the opportunity to chat with Steven Peterman, the co-founder and director of The Sketchbook Project, about it and their newly-launched website. It allows you to connect with artwork and artists in a more digitally engaging way.
The Sketchbook Project was first started in 2006 while Steven and his friends were in collage. He said they were trying to come up with ways to make “gallery space less intimidating and more accessible,” and this idea was the one that stuck. It also became insanely popular, growing from 2,000 sign ups at the beginning to 20,000 in 2010 (it currently has between 8,000 and 10,000 people participating). The gain in numbers was organic, as Steven explains that people want to be apart of a community.
If you want to view the sketchbooks in person, you can do so at the Brooklyn Art Library; it houses the collection in physical form. But, what if you can’t make it all the way to Brooklyn? Have no fear — this is where the website redesign comes in. With the extensive digital library, you can browse the books from anywhere in the world. Steven was telling me all about it - you can create collections, share work that you like, and even search by theme. It’s a way to promote creatives that you love and even find new people to collaborate with.
So, check it out! One thing that Steven mentioned was the similarities you see among books and projects from disparate people. It’s interesting how trends — colors, imagery, patterns, and more — permeate culture and are expressed throughout the world. This is expressed with as simple as the same fabric on the cover or the same thematic images.
Monica Garwood is an illustrator living in the San Francisco Bay area. She’s a fairly recent graduate of the California Collage of Arts and I’m really impressed by her portfolio so far. Garwood has a great sense of character design, which includes fashionable-looking ladies that have tattoos and cats. What’s not to love?
These images are a bit of oldies, but are definitely goodies. I’ve seen some great miniature artworks lately (like the those by Kendal Murray), which reminded me of how much I enjoy Pip and Pop’s (aka Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz) tiny, candy-colored scenes.
The Australian duo uses things like sugar, sand, glitter, artificial plants, found objects, pipe cleaners, wire, beads and more in their site-specific installations. Of course, their massively miniature works look impressive from far away, but it’s the details that I love. Small characters look as though they are traversing landscapes full of larger-than life flora and unidentifiable fungi. It’s all strange, yes, but makes me wish I could explore these places in real life.
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: kellylasserre.com / kellylasserre.tumblr.com
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.
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.
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!
Here’s more work by Nguyen. In addition to teaching and art-making, she’s also a buyer/partner of the shop Myth + Symbol.