Collage will always be a technique that’s near and dear to my heart, because it’s my chosen way of (art) working. Creating in the same vein is Chia-Chi Yu, a Taipei-based illustrator who uses a myriad of textured papers to create stunning landscapes and feathery friends. I love how the papers are paired, which gives the compositions a sense of structure while also distorting them. The slightly-abstract results are curious and marvelous places—just like the real world.
You’ve got mail! And no, not those pesky spam emails, but beautiful, hand-painted envelopes by Lucy Halcomb. The Brooklyn-based illustrator uses gouache to adorn brightly-hued paper products which she then sends to lucky recipients. Lucy chronicles her delightful creations on her Instagram called @lucy_mail. Some of my favorites are below.
Recently, I shared something off my summer wish list: shirts and tanks by Doops Design. If you didn’t see them, I suggest you check ’em out—they’re fashionable with charming cacti-themed illustrations.
You know what would look great with one of their tank tops? These ceramic accessories by Bea Bellingham! They have the same sort of warm-weather appeal with repeat-patterns of bananas, chili peppers, palm trees, and more. They’re statement pieces without being too loud, making them great for a special outdoor gathering or a Tuesday at the office.
Bea sells her jewelry, planters, and tiny pots on Etsy.
Geraldine Sy creates colorful compositions inspired by the screen printing technique. Fields of flat, distress-textured hues overlap one another and produce an off-registered effect. It gives her work a handcrafted feel—even though she works in Photoshop. This, I find, is something we crave when staring at a screen—to know that there’s still the human touch beneath all those pixels.
Geraldine sells her work through Society6. Pick up a new cellphone case!
I’ve tried different productivity apps, Google Tasks, and calendar reminders, but nothing feels as good as physically writing my to-do list down. My love extends beyond list making, though—I find it soothing and satisfying to scrawl pen to paper, so it’s no surprise that I love notebooks. Not your average spiral-bounds—I’m talking beautifully illustrated covers with high-quality papers. Mossery is a shop I’ve recently swooned over thanks to their selection of delightful notebooks and planners. The colors are bright and feature a fun cast of characters like ducks in hats and pugs in socks.
“We believe in effortless sophistication, quiet confidence and living light—free from fuss and clutter—with just a little mischief thrown into the mix,” they write. “So whether you’d rather roar or whisper, we hope to add a splash of color to your busy day.”
Pick up a notebook (or three) on Etsy.
Illustrator Malin Koort creates charming characters out of cut paper. Her work features elements of 2D and 3D design—most notably, she’ll fold paper and casts its shadows onto the composition. This produces the illusion that they’re really sitting. Surface patterns—on clothing, in hair, etc—are otherwise drawn onto the figures. Coupled with bright colors, these two approaches give her work a fresh and playful feel with the best of both flat and tactile worlds.
Malin sells selected works on Society6. I’m partial to her iPhone cases!
Alice Lindstrom creates cut-paper collages that are packed with luscious colors and textures. (I can’t help but be reminded of Eric Carle’s work.) One of my favorite of her series is The Pushpin Ladies, which is inspired by her love for “Modern art movements and vintage fabric and fashion design.”
The project started when I was browsing in a local vintage boutique named Pushpin Boutique and was struck by the overlap between the dresses displayed in the store and modern art movements. I decided to take the design of an existing dress from the boutique and match the design to a world inspired by a famous painting. The finished collages were then displayed at the boutique, beside the dresses that had originally inspired them.
I’m a big fan of her sketchbook, too:
Yesterday it was en vogue ladies, and today it’s fashionable frocks perfect for the fast-approaching summer. Doops Design has created a series of colorful cacti patterns on tank tops and t-shirts. Jane Newham is the designer/illustrator behind these delightful pieces, and she creates everything—from the garment’s construction to the screen-printed images. Because they’re handmade, every piece is slightly different and wholly unique. You’re not only wearing a shirt, but a work of art!
Jane sells her garments in the Doops Design Etsy shop. Follow her work-in-progress on Instagram.
At its core, illustration is visual problem solving. When working with a client, for instance, you have to learn how to adapt your artistic language and style to the brief or article. Likewise, when you’re producing surface patterns for a product, you have to take into account the object on which it will appear.
With these challenges come a myriad of ways to tackle or “solve” them, and nothing demonstrates this idea better than highlighting one subject and many illustrators. Here are 5 of ’em (and certainly not all) making illustrations that focus on fashionable ladies.
Perrin (one of my best pals!) created a series of works that “explore the relationship between garment and environment.” Her figures accompany all sorts of lovely details like intricate lace patterns, blooming florals, and the macabre.
Oslo-based illustrator Natalie Foss combines a candy-colored palette with a style that’s simultaneously graphic and realistic. Body parts—primarily the face—are handled with a delicate realism, while clothing looks incredibly flat and two dimensional.
I’ve written before about Kelly Beeman and her elongated figures reminiscent of the artist Modigliani. They’re elegant and represent high-fashion looks—I want to wear them all!
Kathleen Marcotte recently illustrated fabulous ladies inspired by the fashions of Anna Sui. The images are busy, lush scenes where patterns collide.
Madalina Andronic focuses her illustration style on Slavic folk art with a touch of fairy tale. Despite these historic roots, her work is contemporary—I could see these as editorial fashion spreads. Madalina’s figures don gorgeous hairstyling and makeup and prove that clothes aren’t always necessary.
I’ve featured a lot of brightly-colored artwork this week (did you see the paper cacti?), so let’s continue the trend! Illustrator Lucie Brunellière produced this series of playful images for The Very Jungly Jungle Book. In it, she uses beautiful jewel tones to create a world that’s both familiar and fantastical.
Lucie’s stylized landscape is inhabited by a vibrant cast of animal characters. Pandas, leopards, toucans, and many more creatures are seen throughout the spreads—there are 55 in all. Some are hidden and encourage you to pour over each page to spot each one.