Friday Roundup: 10 Gorgeous Illustrations You Need to See

Happy Fri­day! Hope­fully you have some fun things planned for your week­end — I know I do! In the mean­time, check out these 10 illus­tra­tions I’ve seen lately and liked! Some are from my favorite illus­tra­tors while oth­ers are new discoveries.

Interview: Alex Citrin Talks Coming of Age and Her Magazine, “Until Now”


Have ya’ll heard of Until Now? If not, then you’re in for a treat. It’s a pub­li­ca­tion started by illustrator/art direc­tor Alex Cit­rin and fea­tures sto­ries about com­ing of age (AKA the tran­si­tion from child­hood to adult­hood). Per­son­ally, I love these types of tales — they are by far my favorite sub­ject to con­sume. So, need­less to say that when I heard Alex was pro­duc­ing this for her grad­u­ate the­sis, I was excited.

Alex was a cohort of mine in MICA’s MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice pro­gram, where we’re encour­aged to think about illus­tra­tion dif­fer­ently and push the field to new places. As a result, the first issue of Until Now fea­tures a ton of great illus­tra­tion show­cased in gor­geous, large spreads.

I had the plea­sure of inter­view­ing her about being an art direc­tor and her love of com­ing of age tales. This is a long-form inter­view, but stick with it. Alex is hilar­i­ous and has some great things to say.

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So, I’ll spare you answer­ing a lot of ques­tions that you’ve already cov­ered, but for those that aren’t famil­iar with Until Now, how would you describe it? How long had you been think­ing about putting a pub­li­ca­tion like this together?

Until Now is a mag­a­zine about com­ing of age, although I envi­sion the read­er­ship to be broader than just those cur­rently com­ing of age them­selves. I sup­pose I’d been think­ing about pro­duc­ing a col­lec­tion of sto­ries related to this topic for a while, though in dif­fer­ent forms — col­lages, photo essays, a graphic novel…those ideas were reflec­tive of my focuses at the time (a col­lege art major, band pho­tog­ra­pher, and illus­tra­tor, respectively).

I’ve always been obsessed with doc­u­men­ta­tion and I am also a believer in the tra­di­tional print mag­a­zine as a medium for com­mu­ni­ca­tion as well as a kind of art object. Basi­cally, I’m a com­plete lud­dite. Con­sid­er­ing the vast cul­tural reach of your aver­age main­stream mag­a­zine, though, there’s still some­thing not quite seri­ous about the for­mat. I think there’s room to play with that con­tra­dic­tion. Sim­i­larly, com­ing of age sto­ries are typ­i­cally rel­e­gated to the “less seri­ous” YA sec­tion of the library or within mag­a­zines aimed exclu­sively at teens. I’m still fas­ci­nated by com­ing of age sto­ries at age 27.

Con­tinue read­ing

BPB’s October Header Illustration: “Lucy” by Katy Horan


Another month, another new header image for Brown Paper Bag! I’m delighted to share with you Katy Horan’s gor­geous, haunt­ing illus­tra­tion that she calls Lucy. It’s based on the char­ac­ter  Lucy West­enra from the clas­sic story Drac­ula by author Bram Stoker.

Per­fect for the spooky month of Octo­ber, right? 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.

Name: Katy Horan
Loca­tion: Austin, Tx
What was your dream job when you were 7 years old? Cos­tume Designer/ Vet­eri­nar­ian
Your pro­fes­sion now: artist / illus­tra­tor
What’s your favorite thing to draw? It’s prob­a­bly a tie between pretty dresses and spooky ghosts
What was the inspi­ra­tion for this piece? I like to lis­ten to movie scores and was lis­ten­ing to the score from Bram Stoker’s Drac­ula. It got me think­ing about the char­ac­ter of Lucy. I find her to be very beau­ti­ful and sad and I wanted to do some­thing appro­pri­ate for Hal­loween, so I decided to cre­ate my own inter­pre­ta­tion of Miss Lucy.
How did you cre­ate your illus­tra­tion? Was it any dif­fer­ent than your reg­u­lar process? I started with a loose water­color under­paint­ing then added lay­ers of tis­sue paper and gouache on top and filled in the back­ground with black gouache. That is pretty much my stan­dard process, aside from the water­color. Usu­ally I just jump straight to the gouache.
Do you have a favorite scary movie or story? It would be impos­si­ble to pick one sin­gle favorite, so I will list the first few that come to mind: The Oth­ers (with Nicole Kid­man), The Shin­ing and any story out of the Scary Sto­ries to Tell In the Dark book series.

Thanks, Katy!

Life-Like Paper Sculpted Birds by Diana Beltran Herrera


Paper sculp­ture has always wowed me. How do artists form such intri­cate works?! It’s incredible.

These small, sculpted birds by Diana Bel­tran Her­rera are gor­geous and eerily life-like; you might not even know they were made of paper. The fowl fea­ture small details like bustling chest feath­ers and long, del­i­cate tails. Plus, just look at that minute fringe for even more tex­ture! There’s no won­der why they look so realistic.

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Friday Roundup: 10 Beautifully Animated Illustrations

Ani­mated GIFS are won­der­ful, and so many illus­tra­tors have cre­ated col­or­ful, beau­ti­ful works that are like watch­ing a tiny film. I love the sub­tly that some of these ani­ma­tions use, and how you really must study them to see the small move­ments that are con­tained within.

Enjoy, and happy Fri­day, ya’ll!

Small Ceramic Spoons with Big Personalities by Nayanai


For some rea­son, I’m really par­tic­u­lar about the spoons that I like to use. They can’t be too large or small (I don’t want to feel like I’m hold­ing a uten­sil made for a baby), and it’s best if they are beau­ti­ful, too. With those stip­u­la­tions in mind, I’d totally use these ceramic spoons by French illus­tra­tor Nayanai. They have per­son­al­i­ties all their own! Sur­prised, pen­sive, and goofy — they run the gamut.

nayanai8nayanainayanai7 nayanai5 nayanai4 nayanai3 nayanai2 She also makes ceramic bowls, too:

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Vintage-Inspired Illustrations by Gosia Herba Are Sorta Dark… And I like It

Gosia Herba

Gosia Herba is a Pol­ish illus­tra­tor whose edi­to­r­ial images fea­ture larger-than-life women, reflec­tions that have a mind of their own, and other sur­real sit­u­a­tions. It’s this, cou­pled with her vintage-inspired style (even some ele­ments of Cubism thrown in there!), that ini­tially drew me to her work.

I love illus­tra­tions that offer me some­thing beneath the sur­face. Goisa’s work looks won­der­ful, but it’s also strange and a lit­tle dark, and it leaves a last­ing impres­sion on me.

(H/T my pal Per­rin)

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Yvonne Ellen Pairs Vintage Plates to Create Playful Diptychs

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Yvonne Ellen’s up-cycled ceramic plates are delight­fully whim­si­cal. Instead of keep­ing an image con­fined to a sin­gle cir­cle, the illustrator’s designs span mul­ti­ple vin­tage pieces. We see an animal’s head on one plate with its tail on another; it cre­ates an engag­ing diptych.

Yyonne’s Etsy shop is com­prised of orig­i­nal pieces and no two designs are a like. What a nice addi­tion to any table setting!

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Friday Roundup: 15 Ways to Say “Happy Birthday!”

Fun fact: This com­ing Tues­day (Sep­tem­ber 23) is my birth­day! To cel­e­brate, I’m head­ing to New York this week­end where I’ll snarf down a piece of Crack Pie at Momo­foku Milk Bar, among other things. (Fol­low me on Insta­gram to see it all: @brwnpaperbag).

So, it feels appro­pri­ate for this Fri­day Roundup to revolve around birth­day cards. Not just for me, of course, but that spe­cial per­son in your life.

Farewell Paperie. (I actually am a twin!)

Farewell Paperie. (I actu­ally am a twin!)

I guess it’s safe to say I like ani­mals and flowers.

Travis Bedel’s Anatomical Collages Made from Vintage Illustrations

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I real­ize that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted some col­lage, so let’s take a look at the work of Travis Bedel. Metic­u­lous, eh? Travis uses illus­tra­tions from old sci­ence guides and text­books and trans­forms them into new and excit­ing imagery. He lay­ers count­less flow­ers, but­ter­flies, and other insects on top of one another, which cre­ates this sur­real mass of color that explodes from dif­fer­ent parts of the human body. Instead of blood, we’re filled with the most beau­ti­ful parts of the nat­ural world.

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