Colorful Portraits of Curious People You’ll Want to Meet

Illustrated portraits by Anne M. Bentley

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.

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Illustrated products

My Weekly 7 Illustrated Product Obsessions

Illustrated product obsessions, January 27
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.


1 Theme, 5 Ways: Sketchbooks That Are Handheld Works of Art

Illustrated sketchbooks

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.

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Embroidered Dolls Offer a Tiny Companionship in Everyday Life

Megan Griffiths embroidered dolls

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.

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Empowering Illustrated Signs from Women’s Marches Around the World

Illustrations for Women's March

Bodil Jane

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.

Carson Ellis

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Illustrated products

Accessorize with Sculptures by Adding Ceramic Jewelry to Your Outfit

ceramic jewelry

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?

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Embroidery, Illustrated products, Sculpture

Felted Peacock Sculptures Pay Homage to Their Brilliant Plumage

Jill Ffrench felt bird sculptures

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.)

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Meticulously-Arranged Artworks Reveal Adventurous Little Worlds

Little worlds by Celan Bouillet

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.

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