Influenced by vintage pottery, fashion, and mid-century architecture, Anne M. Bentley paints curious portraits of mysterious folks. Clad in oversized sunglasses and 70s-inspired outfits, they pose with big cats, poodles, and feathered friends.
Anne’s bright colors and bold visual approach leave me wanting more. I wish I knew the stories of these illustrated portraits—but, I can always make up my own back stories of these people. That’s part of the fun.
1. Green Cactus LED Light by YiaMia
2. Peelin’ Myself Pin by Katie Turner
3. Polar Bear Bracelet by Liten Kanin
4. Tiger Vessel by Bonnie Hislop
5. I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss by Martha Rich for BlueQ
6. Iris Apfel Birds Socks by Happy Socks
7. Hand iPhone Case by Coucou Suzette
Don’t get me wrong… I love my Rifle Paper Co. phone case, but that case by Coucou Suzette? I’m in love.
The sketchbook is a powerful place. It’s a place where artists and illustrators can play—try out new techniques, subject matter, or even jot down the occasional note. Many people prefer to keep these books private, and I don’t blame them. They can be incredibly personal spaces. So, I’m always delighted by those who choose to let us in on their sketchbook—it’s like seeing how someone’s mind works.
There are some who, with little effort, are able to make every page of their sketchbook look like a finished work of art. These books, in turn, are not just places to jot down lists or make a silly doodle. Rather, they’re intimate galleries that travel with them as they move throughout the world.
Here are 5 different illustrators who take the sketchbook to a whole new level.
Inspired by “mystical folklore, Indian animal tales, and a love of vegetables,” illustrator Megan Griffiths creates tiny embroidered dolls. The intricate totems are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and are adorned with a variety of stitched patterns as well as fancy attire. They’re welcome companions to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Unless you were in an isolation chamber this past weekend, you probably heard and/or participated in a Women’s March. I was fortunate to be able to make it to the main Washington, DC event (Baltimore is just an hour train ride away). It was incredible! The streets were full of people marching for the equality of all women, while also protesting Donald Drumpf’s disgusting attitudes and actions towards women.
Art and activism go hand in hand. The signs I saw were powerful, often incorporating humor or puns to make a point. Some were beautifully illustrated to boot. Here are some of my favorites I’ve seen around the web from the marches in DC and around the world.
One of my favorite trends lately is necklaces, brooches, and rings made from kiln-fired clay. I’ve got a few pieces now and love how essentially, these are mini sculptures you’re wearing on your fingers, around your neck, or on your favorite shirt. Some makers color their jewelry with glaze while others leave their designs bone white. What style of ceramic jewelry do you like?
Fiber artist Jill Ffrench crafts felted bird sculptures that pay homage to their voluptuous plumage. Using 100% pure felt, she stitches the hand-held creatures and adheres them with embroidery thread, wire, and wax. When complete, the soft figures don ornamental long, tails, which feature a combination of layered felt and decorative stitches to produce a spectacular effect. (The detail shots are my favorite.)
Artist Celan Bouillet creates “little worlds full of animals, greenery, and adventure.” The colorful, highly-detailed pieces feature places that are everywhere and nowhere. Sloths, giraffes, tropical leaves, and peacocks—all painted at the same scale—occupy the same composition. They are, however, so carefully arranged while together, they never fully interact. This is Celan’s design. “These mixed media pieces are highly detailed and manipulate scale along with pattern to create complex narratives,” she writes.
To produce these pieces is an exercise in meticulousness. Every branch, rock, and animal is painted gouache on paper which is then cut out and placed on a background. Celan’s compositions are so seamless that at times, it’s hard to tell—but her in-progress works on Instagram showcase her beautiful process.
Celan sells her work as large limited edition in her Etsy shop, The Bayou Botanist.
Hello Tangle is a collaboration between two sisters named Bibi and Veronica from Melbourne, Australia. Together, they create colorful, texture-filled weavings. But lately, they’ve ventured into Hello Trinkets —beaded creations that you can hang in various places.