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Illustration History

#TBT | 15 Vintage New Yorker Covers That Still Feel Modern

Vintage New Yorker covers

Lonka Karasz

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.

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Paper Craft

10 Cut Paper Illustrations to Put You in Tune with Nature

paper illustration

Jayme McGowan

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.

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Colorful Illustrated Ceramics That’ll Remind You of Watercolor Paintings

colorful illustrated ceramics by Elise Lefebvre
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.

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Fabulous Fashion Illustrations Redefining the ‘Ideal Body Type’

Isabelle Feliu fashion illustration

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.

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Black Fabric Sets a Spectacular Stage for Colorful Embroidered Hoop Art

Embroidered hoop art by Tusk and Cardinal

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.

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Ceramics, Illustrated products

Wildflower Ceramics That’ll Make You Want to Frolic in a Sunny Field

painted ceramics by roootree

Inspired by wild­flow­ers, roootree (aka Kaori) illus­trates their col­or­ful beau­ty onto porce­lain plates, cups, and saucers. My favorite pattern—a mix­ture of tall grass­es and bright buds—seems undoubt­ed­ly inspired by this mead­ow of wild­flow­ers. Kaori has trans­lat­ed the end­less rows of flow­ers into lay­ers of col­or and tex­ture. Using a com­bi­na­tion of tight draw­ing and dif­fused shapes, she cre­ates the feel­ing of depth. It’s as if her illus­trat­ed ceram­ics are actu­al­ly made of a field of blooms.

Kaori sells her wildflower ceramics on Etsy.

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Illustrated Ceramics Capture the Beautiful Spontaneity of Sketchbook Pages

tiger painting

Leah Goren is an illus­tra­tor known for her awe-inspir­ing sketch­book. That spon­ta­neous, painter­ly-style works on more than just paper, though. She’s trans­ferred her vis­i­ble, ener­getic brush strokes to hand-built illus­trat­ed ceram­ic plates and ves­sels. They too feel like some­thing out of her 2D illus­tra­tions, but with these, they’ve got an added prac­ti­cal pur­pose of dis­play­ing fresh cut flow­ers or store your favorite rings. Per­son­al­ly, I wish she’d make anoth­er one of the tiger dish­es.

Leah sells her one-of-a-kind ceram­ics in her online shop. But if ceram­ics aren’t your thing, Leah also has a Skill­share class called Illus­tra­tion & Inspi­ra­tion: Keep­ing a Sketch­book.

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Illustrated products

Folk Art-Adorned Animal Totems Offer Double Good Luck

Animal totems by Emily Rose Thomson

I’ve talked before my love for illus­trat­ed ani­mal totems. I think, par­tial­ly, it comes from a child­hood fas­ci­na­tion I had with my mom’s minia­tures that she kept dis­played old print­er draw­ers. Through her online shops, Emi­ly Rose Thom­son crafts sim­i­lar­ly tiny crea­tures you can hold in the palm of your hand. Sloths, camels, fox­es, and more are hand-sculpt­ed and adorned with repeat­ing pat­terns and my favorite—tiny pil­lows and oth­er col­or­ful packs.

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