Colleen Tighe: The Newest Illustrator of BPB’s Header Picture!

colleen tighe

I’m delighted to share the newest header pic­ture for the Brown Paper Bag. Colleen Tighe, a Brooklyn-based illus­tra­tor, has cre­ated this gor­geous illus­tra­tion of girls play­ing with mar­bles. I love the tex­ture and sub­tle nature of the image.

Leran more about Colleen and the illus­tra­tion below. 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.

Loca­tion: Brook­lyn, NY
What was your dream job when you were 7 years old? I wanted to be an artist, nov­el­ist, and vet. I’m at least one of those, and I live with some­one else’s dog, so 1.2/3 isn’t bad.
Your pro­fes­sion now: Hope­ful illus­tra­tor and a cus­tomer ser­vice email robot on the side
What’s your favorite thing to draw? Oh hm, I’ve always had a thing with hair, I love draw­ing hair, and I like draw­ing sim­ple repet­i­tive pat­terns on things. I’ll end up doo­dling lit­tle flow­ers and leaves over every­thing.
How did you cre­ate your illus­tra­tion? Was it any dif­fer­ent than your reg­u­lar process? No dif­fer­ent than my usual process. I do a sort of pho­to­shop col­lage now, where I’ll block in the image on Pho­to­shop with flat col­ors and cre­ate the shapes of the peo­ple or objects, and then I go back and add in tex­tures I’ve scanned in and brushes I have in Pho­to­shop, and then I’ll add the lines and defin­ing fea­tures last.
You men­tioned to me that you were inspired by the Mar­garet Atwood book titled Cat’s Eye. Can you describe what that story is about and how it influ­enced your illus­tra­tion? Cat’s Eye fol­lows the life of a woman named Elaine from her child­hood to her present day life, cut­ting back and forth from the past to the present. It focuses on a lot of things, but espe­cially women and their friend­ships. I found the most inter­est­ing parts were of her child­hood. Elaine has a manip­u­la­tive and abu­sive best friend, and it shows how weird and dis­ori­ent­ing it is as a child to expe­ri­ence that, and how intense toxic friend­ships can be. This illus­tra­tion was inspired by that rela­tion­ship, and Cat’s Eye comes from the cat’s eye mar­ble Elaine car­ries with her, so that’s where the mar­ble cir­cle came from.
Do you have any excit­ing projects on the hori­zon? Cur­rently I don’t! I’m doing another Mar­garet Atwood inspired piece for the sec­ond vol­ume of Ladies of Lit­er­a­ture, a great zine, that will be com­ing out I think some­time in early 2015. Besides that, I grad­u­ated from art school in the spring and I’ve been try­ing to let myself get really inward and exper­i­ment with my stuff pri­vately to try to fig­ure out what I want to do with­out the pres­sure of show­ing it on the inter­net or to a group of peo­ple. I would actu­ally love to con­tinue on this theme of young girls and games, though, and cre­ate some more pic­tures based on that.

Friday Roundup: 17 Illustrations from #Inktober

Are you famil­iar with #ink­to­ber? If not, it’s a fun cre­ative exer­cise that chal­lenges artists and illus­tra­tors to com­plete one ink draw­ing a day for the entire month of Octo­ber. I kept see­ing the hash­tag crop up on my Tum­blr, Twit­ter, and Insta­gram, and so I started col­lect­ing some of the draw­ings that I liked. Here are 17 of ‘em that were com­pleted dur­ing #ink­to­ber.  There are, of course, tons and tons more images that were tagged, and these are just some of my favorites. Search any num­ber of social net­works and you’ll pour through so many drawings!

This sounds cool, right? Any­one is wel­come to play, so if you missed it this year, keep it in mind for 2015.

And happy Hal­loween! Are you dress­ing up in a cos­tume? If so, as what? Check out my Hal­loween round up from last week. There is some adorably spooky stuff on there.


10 Amusingly Illustrated Idioms from around the World


In grad school, Lisa and I always enjoyed teach­ing our Mex­i­can pal Eduardo dif­fer­ent Amer­i­can idioms; the things we say and don’t give a sec­ond thought can really befud­dle some­one who’s a non-native speaker. In fact, these Idioms of the World totally con­fused me! Well, con­fused me and made me laugh. Some of them con­jure hilar­i­ous imagery, and my per­sonal favorite is, “not my cir­cus, not my mon­keys.” It basi­cally means “not my prob­lem” in Polish.

Hotel Club cre­ated 10 images that illus­trate dif­fer­ent idioms in Por­tuguese, French, Russ­ian, and more. (Via Mash­able)

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Laura Knight’s Elegant Ink Drawings of Staffordshire Figures

laura knight

I posted the above illus­tra­tion on my Insta­gram (@brwnpaperbag) recently, but I like it so much that I had to share it here. British graphic artist Laura Knight painted these por­traits that are inspired by Stafford­shire Fig­ures, a pop­u­lar tchotchke for some­one to have in their home.

I’m famil­iar with these types of things after hav­ing vis­ited many antique stores with my mother and woo­ing over them. Laura explains their appeal to the blog Spi­tial­fields Life. “They were on everybody’s mantle­piece and everybody’s dresser. They are a vivid back­ground, deep in our mem­o­ries of home. There wasn’t a kitchen with­out a piece of wil­low pat­tern or a mantle­piece with­out a piece of Stafford­shire,” she says.

Do you/did you have any­thing like these fig­ures grow­ing up?

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Collage Scrap Exchange: There’s Still Time to Sign Up!


If you’re a reg­u­lar reader of this blog (and I hope that you are!), then you’ve prob­a­bly heard about the Col­lage Scrap Exchange I’m host­ing with Papir­mass, a mail art sub­scrip­tion ser­vice. In short: it’s a super fun art con­test where you can make cool col­lage art and win awe­some prizes!

This is geared towards those work­ing in col­lage, but any­one is wel­come to par­tic­i­pate (as long as they are will­ing to fol­low the guidelines!)

How it works:

  1. Sign up to par­tic­i­pate in the Col­lage Scrap Exchange (CSE) with the form below.
  2. After Novem­ber 15, we’ll match up col­lage partners.
  3. You’ll pack­age your scraps and mail ‘em via snail mail to your partner.
  4. Once you receive your col­lage partner’s pack­age, make a col­lage using both of your scraps! Theme: New Landscapes
  5. Turn in your fin­ished art­work before the Feb­ru­ary 15, 2015 deadline.

Win a prize pack­age worth over $250!

  • $125 cash prize
  • 2 free sub­scrip­tions for Papir­mass
  • Get your work pub­lished in an issue of Papirmass!

Project theme: New Landscapes


  • Sign up until Novem­ber 15, 2014
  • Art­work must be received by Feb­ru­ary 15, 2015

All are wel­come to par­tic­i­pate, so please pass this along to a friend! I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Sign ups are now CLOSED! If you missed out on sign­ing up, don’t worry. The Col­lage Scrap Exchange will be back!

Illustrations by Alice Pattullo: Food, Glorious Food!

alice pattullo

Alice Pat­tullo is an illus­tra­tor and print­maker based in East Lon­don. Her mono­chro­matic images of things like fruits, veg­gies, and cheese are beau­ti­fully drawn with gor­geous lines. They have sim­i­lar look and feel to linoleum and wood­cut tech­niques, and Pat­tullo men­tions that she works pre­dom­i­nantly in screen printing.

I love food!

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Countless Ceramic Beads Make Up One Incredible Whole

fenella elms

British artist Fenella Elms cre­ates ceramic art­works that are com­prised of intri­cate, meticulously-placed porce­lain beads. They are con­structed intu­itively, mean­ing that there’s no for­mal plan for their com­po­si­tion. The var­ied ori­en­ta­tion of the pieces result in a chang­ing per­spec­tive depend­ing on your van­tage point.

So, how does Fenella do it? The indi­vid­ual ele­ments (and there are so many!) are joined to a sheet of porce­lain with slip. Then, the entire thing is fired to make one sin­gle piece.  You can affix them to your wall for dis­play; I bet any one of ‘em would look stunning!

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Friday Roundup: Let’s Get Excited for Halloween!

Inspired by yesterday’s paper mask post, here are some Hal­loween images to get you excited for the hol­i­day! Ghosts, ghouls, were­wolves, and more. Oh my!




Lee Jacqui... The cutest Instagram!

Jacqui Lee… The cutest Instagram!

And… check out Katy Horan’s spooky print, Lucy, which is avail­able in the Brown Paper Bag Print Shop. It’s based off the char­ac­ter of Lucy from Bram Stoker’s Drac­ula:


Need a Halloween Costume Idea? Crankbunny to the Rescue!


Hal­loween is right around the cor­ner! So, if you haven’t fig­ured out a cos­tume, now is the time. Maybe you pre­fer to go a min­i­mal­ist route and don only a mask; don’t worry, I’ve got you cov­ered. These illus­trated paper pop-up masks by Crankbunny (AKA Norma V. Torayaare per­fect! They come in three designs — a bunny, cat, and devil — and fea­ture intri­cate details and implied tex­ture. A rib­bon secures the mask to your beau­ti­ful face.

Every­thing is made by Crankbunny. Noth­ing is out­sourced and she does all of the design­ing, cut­ting, and assem­bling. The imagery is inspired by the whimsy found in vin­tage ephemera and mechan­i­cal toys.

There’s a lot more to see in her shop. (Via Lustik)

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