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.
You know how there’s the hashtag #TBT? (If you’re not in the know, it means Throw Back Thursday.) Anyways, it’s basically an excuse to post vintage photos and other things from long ago. I’ve always enjoyed it, but never participated… until now. I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at illustrations from the past century, with a specific focus on women illustrators. First up is my all-time favorite, Mary Blair.
Maggie Chiang (previously) remains as one of my favorite contemporary illustrators. Her work is technically beautiful and conceptually intriguing—particularly when she delves into sprawling landscape illustration. The abstract horizons leave much to the imagination as figures contemplate what’s ahead. These spaces, no matter desert or forest, permeate her imagery—even when it comes to portraiture. This dedication to spaces both near and far play into Maggie’s larger ideas of her work.
I’ve got a quick note of house-keeping: I’m phasing out my 7 illustrated product obsessions. You’ll probably see them every so often in the future, but now I’m going to dedicate Fridays to individual shops. It’ll still be an illustrated product-related day, just with more laser focus.
That being said, happy Friday! Doops Design is one of my favorite illustrated clothing shops. I love the bright colors, kooky cacti, and other bold imagery on the shirts, dresses, and tank tops.
I want to live in the colorful illustrations of Kiki Ljung. The Paris-based creative crafts vibrant imagery that’s inspired by the natural world—even her illustrations of people are seeping with beautiful blooms on their clothes and in the background. While nature driven, Kiki creates an interesting juxtaposition: her artwork is defined by geometric shapes and digital production. It really symbolizes the world today; that we love the outdoors, but also our devices.
Illustrator Lee Eunjoo explores the notion of “fantasy consuming” through her series Goddess of Fantasy. It’s inspired by Krishan Kumar’s The Ends of Utopia, that says that “modern man could consume their own fantasy, and in doing so create utopia.” Lee’s illustrations connects this with social media—specifically, the idea of “consuming images” on social media.
Have I ever told ya’ll how much I love interior illustrations? Because I do—they’re fascinating! You can learn so much about a person from the objects they own. It’s why I’m drawn to the illustrated homes of Liz Rowland. Simply called Interiors, they feature “small scenes from around the world.” There’s a window and a plant in Mexico, sunflowers in London, and a messy desk in Melbourne. Each has artifacts telling us about the person who inhabits the space, done in a style that recalls the great Jonas Wood.
For many months, I’ve admired the Instagram account of illustrator Jane Newland. Particularly, her patterned landscape illustrations. Each piece is a slice of paradise as houses are tucked away in bustling forests or along the banks of a river. They’re escapism at its best.
If you’re in the Northern hemisphere, your everyday attire probably consists of puffy jackets and knitted beanies. Might I suggest another winter addition? Animal scarves by Nina Führer! The subtly playful products feature high-quality wool with one unexpected twist—at the end of each scarf is a knitted animal’s head. Cockatoos, parrots, sloths, and cats all lend their likenesses to these accessories. They also double as a clip to secure the garment into place. This way, you can arrange them to look like they’re perched on your shoulder.
Nina sells these animal scarves in her Etsy shop—just in time for some late winter fun.