Citing “worn out brushes” as one of her favorite tools, Sofia Moore paints scenes that fuse abstracted landscapes with elegant figures and animals. The imaginary places burst with color, texture, and gorgeous shape design that builds rich, dense illustrations.
Having a good journal is like having a trusty companion. I have so many small art journals and keep every one of them; I can’t bear to part with my scribbled (and often indecipherable) notes or doodles. Artist Lily Moon creates blank hand-bound notebooks that are perfect for your writing, drawing, or collages. The different themes—such as The Blue Journal, Wild Ideas Pocket Book, and Runaway Thoughts—each have their covers adorned with a different detailed illustration. In addition to their pretty painted covers, Lily includes stickers that will help get your creative juices flowing.
There are some parts of one’s visual language that acts as the thread that ties years of work together. A style might shift, but a consistent element still remains. For artist and illustrator Laura Berger, it’s nudes. For as long as I’ve been looking at her art, Laura has always incorporated some form of the nude body—figures round and jovial, like they don’t have a care in the world. This visual mainstay has grown along side her as her color schemes change or explore an abstract world.
Kelly Pousette captures storybook scenes in paper dioramas. The shadowbox illustrations are vignettes that chronicle the adventures of a small fox as it traverses wintery scenes, naps by a cozy fire, and enjoys the beauty of blooms.
For many illustrators, having their work on the cover of The New Yorker is a dream. Since the magazine launched in 1925, it has produced some truly iconic covers that, in a single image, demonstrate why illustration is an important part of our visual culture. Not one to shy away from representing timely and/or controversial topics, the images produced are a snapshot of society at that particular time.
Does the middle of the week got you down? If so, escape to the dreamy illustrations by Camila Ortega. Clad in cotton candy pinks and tranquil blues, her characters greet you with a relaxed smile and sleepy gaze. They occupy a space that’s neither here nor there—the place where our subconscious thrives.
Out of all the approaches to image making, cut paper illustration is my favorite. The process is often a tedious one, but the results are awe-inspiring. Paper can quickly transform from a 2D composition into 3D, and these types of illustrations have the look of sculptures with elements that cast shadows. This visual depth is the best part of about paper illustration. In addition, it gives you a distinct feeling that the piece is made by hand, and that the meticulous snips of the scissors or the slice of an X-Acto knife were all part of the journey into creating the final result.
Like so many people on the internet, I’ve fallen in love with the work of Elisa Lefebvre. The colorful illustrated ceramics feature a watercolor-esque application of glaze. So despite their strong, often stout forms, the pieces have a feeling of levity and airiness. It’s this juxtaposition that makes them irresistible and draws you towards them—especially the animal pieces. I like the peekaboo holes cut in cats and dogs that showcases small cut leaves.
Last week, I featured the work of Isabelle Feliu as part of my list of 16 fantastical fashion illustrations. Since then, her paintings have been on my mind. Combing women of all shapes and sizes, she outfits them in fabulous fashions from real-world designers like Vivetta and Gucci. The clothing is contemporary, but the Isabelle’s style of watercolor paintings is reminiscent of artists long ago. Matisse comes to mind—especially in the gesture of Isabelle’s figures, as well as her use of bold, flattened shapes.
When it comes to hoop art, light-colored fabrics are a popular choice to embroider on. But, don’t overlook dark cloth. As Lindsay Swearingen demonstrates, it too can create beautiful pieces. Under the moniker Tusk and Cardinal, the Californian sews nature-inspired pieces that showcase, most notably, flowers and hands on a black background. The contrast makes her designs pop, and I love the tattoo aesthetic that she has in some of her pieces. The creatures, in particular, have the distinct feeling of blackwork-style body art.
Follow along with Lindsay’s hoop art on Instagram. And for her embroidered goods, head to the Tusk and Cardinal Etsy shop.