Calgary-based embroiderer Maria Arseniuk adorns geometric-style portraits of animals with stitched bouquets and floral wreaths. Using pre-designed stencils, she heat transfers them onto cotton fabric and then hand-embroiders them with floss. The result is simultaneously graphic and tactile—her blooms have a sculptural effect, which are more pronounced when paired with the 2D designs. They’re colorful and playful twist on conventional portraiture. Better yet, some are available in Maria’s Etsy, Femmebroidery.
Maria started her online shop in 2014, as she was writing her dissertation in Women’s Studies. “I began embroidering women’s rights and queer related hoops,” she stated on Etsy. “As the shop has progressed and as I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve moved to encompass a broader subject matter in my art: from feminism to wildlife to popular culture to all kinds of custom orders from around the world. I am always looking for new ideas and striving to create new products with an ever-present commitment to social justice and intersectional feminism.”
I love enamel pins. They’ve been around forever, but within the last year or so have had a renaissance in a big way. Now, there are a ton of brands, artists, and illustrators creating their own collectable pins, everything from celebrity portraits to food to emojis. It’s precisely what I love about this trend—the creative possibilities are endless!
I’ve compiled a list of 50—yes 50—illustrative pins to own. Whether you have many pins or none, hopefully this will help you get your #pingame right.
I normally wear my pins on my denim jacket or on a shirt collar, but I love this idea, below. I have an old purse that’d be the perfect place for a pin collection!
As I say every week, happy Friday! This weekend, I’m writing my newsletter to send out on Monday. Are you a part of my mailing list yet? If not, please consider joining! It’s an extension of my blog, but with bonus content that appears only to email subscribers.
And before I leave you, here’s a bonus illustrated product. Taking the adult color craze one step further is Jiggle Ma Wiggle, an Etsy shop that creates an sells color-in wallets. Like this one!
Morgana Wallace crafts fantastical female heroines with cut-paper collage. Her colorful creations feature capes, crowns, crows, and more, exciting the imagination with intricate details—each piece has multiple layers and textures that produce a three-dimensional effect.
To create these gorgeous illustrations, Morgana works with multiple types of paper. She will often use Japanese linen paper, combining it with thin card stock to create elements such as flowing hair. Not all of her work is cut paper, however, and she’ll also use watercolor, gouache, and pencil crayons to add the illusion of shading and depth.
New beginnings happen everyday. Sometimes, they’re momentous occasions, like starting your dream job or moving to a new city for a fresh start. But often, they’re much less grand. Whatever your beginning may be, it’s important to face it, accept it, and enjoy the process of starting anew.
Illustrator Jen Collins reminds us to embrace this attitude with her new bold and colorful print. Created in collaboration with Worker Bee Supply Co., this two-color silk screen is hand printed on 11″ x 14″ natural colored card stock paper. It’s inspired by her willingness to welcome beginnings—specifically, her move from Scotland to Canada, and the new opportunities that came from it. Here’s Jen talking about it:
Embrace Beginnings is now available for purchase through the Worker Bee shop! And for Brown Paper Bag readers, the company is offering a promo code to get $5 (CAD) off your first order. Just use BROWNPAPERBAG at the checkout. Free shipping to Canada and the USA!
In addition to Jen’s work, Worker Bee Supply Co. has many other pieces available to purchase. They make inspirational prints that don’t suck and are designed in collaboration with independent creators. Artists get a cut of every print sale—it’s Worker Bee’s goal to create meaningful passive income for independent artists.
Marigold + Mars is modern hand embroidery by Cristin Morgan. Her colorful hoop art is centered around lettering and flowers, often combining them into one beautiful piece.
In addition to her embroidery, Cristin creates banners to hang on your wall. (In fact, one of them made my recent list of Illustrated Product Obsessions!) I love the luscious, floral banners, and I’m definitively keeping my eye out for them in her shop. It’s perfect for my office!
Illustrator and graphic designer Erin Jang (aka @theindigobunting) plays with her food to form whimsical works of art. Appropriately dubbed “food faces” she arranges edibles on a plate that resemble facial features of various sizes and shapes. Erin has impressively fashioned hair from octopi, eyes from fried eggs, eyebrows out of sesame pork, and so much more. It’s a lot of fun to see what comprises each face!
Mondays can be tough…but hopefully your week has started off on the right foot. If not, have no fear! I’m here to make your Tuesday great with two delightful food-themed posts. Holly Fox is a Los Angeles-based cookie designer who creates sumptuous and colorful treats. These aren’t your standard baked goods, however—they’re edible artworks! Holly uses unconventional cookie cutters to create sugar versions of diamonds, lips, apples, and much more. But that’s only part of their appeal. I also love the icing—it’s vibrant and can be customer matched to Pantone hues.
Holly sells these delicacies in her Etsy shop. Those interested in ordering must give her a 2 week lead time.
Manon Bijkerk (aka Lanonette) paints portraits in a colorful, mostly-graphic style that features sections of selective realism. Visually flattened elements are paired with minimal areas of shading, giving parts of her images a three-dimensional feel. When coupled with Manon’s thin and decorative lines, it looks exquisite—a perfect complement to the ladies in her work.
These illustrations are available for purchase in Manon’s Etsy shop.
These are two more of Manon’s paintings… they aren’t portraits, but are beautiful all the same:
Happy Friday! And, happy first full week of 2016! I am just getting over a nasty cold and feel like my old self. It finally feels like my year is just beginning, especially since the last weekend was spent on my couch binge watching Happy Endings.
Here’s one other product obsession for this week: cacti coasters. I am someone who needs a coaster—I hate condensation rings. I like this display because it doubles as an art object, and would look great in your home when the coasters aren’t in use. Buy it here.