1. Cactus Detachable Embroidered Collar by Collar Me Pretty
2. White Tiger Enamel Pin by Aitch for Olschinsky Art Store
3. Eyes Cross-Body Bag by Anya Hindmarch
4. London City Bangle by McKean Studio
5. Be Brave Pendant by Bonbi Forest
6. Mint Cactus Lamp by Spearmint Love
7. Large Octopus Air Planter by Cindy Searles
Illustrator Melodie Stacey paints imaginary landscapes that remind us to stop and smell the flowers. Towering mountains and winding paths lead the way to blooms that are as tall as a person, showcasing a fantastical view of nature—but one that was clearly inspired by the splendor we witness in everyday life.
Despite that rosy (pun intended) interpretation, I like how dark these paintings are. The blue/black skies heighten the drama of each scene, as if the women are finding these flowers are on a secret quest in the middle of the night.
Melodie sells prints and originals through her Etsy shop.
I look at a lot of tattoos, and I haven’t seen a style quite like that of Mattia Mambo. The Milano-based artist creates small pieces of body art that look like they’ve been digitally produced rather than one etched by hand. The bold lines and flattened shapes remind me of vectors in Adobe Illustrator, the elements sitting off-register to give them an additional screen-printed effect. They’re colorful, engaging, and eye catching—my favorite are the flowers, but I’m also impressed by Mattia’s commitment to food!
Step into the strange and lovely lands imagined by Alexandra Dvornikova. The St. Petersburg-based illustrator creates these special, often liminal spaces featuring characters that look like they’re straight out of a fairy tale. Often dark in coloring and tone, they’re a reflection of the inner worlds that Alexandra finds interesting, such as neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychoanalyses. The brain-centric concepts invite us to project who we are onto these images and consider what their symbolism and meanings hold for us.
Alexandra sells a selection of her work through Society6.
A few weeks ago, I made a (very) short video about the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that gave you a brief introduction to the awesome illustrations that lie within. Well, I’ve made another video in that same vein—this time, we’re traveling through The Wonder Garden written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Kristjana S. Williams.
The book “opens the gates of the Wonder Garden” and takes us through five of Earth’s habitats: the Amazon Rainforest; the Great Barrier Reef; the Chihuahuan Desert; the Black Forest; and the Himalayan Mountains. Each of its 80 illustrated animals are drawn with a technical hand and stunning attention to detail—the tiny lines are reminiscent of old scientific engravings. This vintage feel, however, is offset by the bold neon colors that permeate the pages. The hues put a contemporary spin on the entire thing.
These are some of my favorite spreads, below. When you read this book, get ready to LEARN. There’s a lot of information packed in those pages.
Wink Poppy Midnight, cover illustration by Lisa Perrin
I’ve found my favorite Instagram account of the moment. Known as @thebookishmanicurist, this voracious reader and nail tech reads YA novels and paints faux nails to match. Her creations are incredibly detailed and capture the essence of the beautiful illustrations they represent. They’re often displayed as diptychs and triptych, with the images wrapping from the thumb to the pinkie finger.
The Square Root of Summer
The War that Saved My Life, illustrated by Josie Portillo
Iris and the Tiger, illustrated by Sandra Eterovic
How to Be Happy
The Secrets We Keep, illustrated by Sandra Eterovic
The Stars at Oktober Bend
Beautiful Broken Things
More Than This
Miren Asiain Lora tells the stories of small people in grandiose places. Her faceless characters explore nature and all that goes along with it—sometimes this is good, and in other instances, it can get kinda hairy. One scene (above) shows figures shining a light to reveal all that hides in the jungle.
The overall feeling of these illustrations is mystery—we aren’t getting the full story of who Miren’s characters are or what they’re doing. This is the driving force behind her work—they’re meant to “convey the magic of everyday life, the charm of little moments that hold a secret to be deciphered.”
Miren sells as selection of archival prints through the Toi Gallery.
Beautiful surface design can transform ordinary objects into functional works of art. Melbourne-based designer and illustrator Cassie Byrnes highlights this in her label Variety Hour, a print-focused endeavor that’s an outlet for her to “get as weird as she wants” and to experiment with new, crazy ideas. Each season, she hand-crafts a collection of prints that are then applied to clothing, scarves, clutches and more.
Follow Cassie on Instagram to see beautiful colors, patterns, and works in progress. (via The Design Files).
1. Fox Brooch by Liten kanin
2. Miniature Needle Felted Cactus Garden in Glass Terrarium by Once Again Sam
3. Cat Return Address Stamp by Native Bear
4. Ghosts by Studio Arhoj
5. Cactus Bra by Emily Parkinson
6. Bright Blue Elephant Mug by Beardbangs
7. Peace Out Sloth Crop Shirt by SimkaSol
Happy Friday! I don’t have much to say this week—but if you hadn’t see the short video I made for the beautifully-illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, check it out!
I wear a lot of solid colors. I’m never too crazy with my patterning—instead, I prefer to accessorize with illustrative wares like enamel pins and statement necklaces. They’re visually interesting but don’t draw too much attention—critical for my introverted self. İrem Yazıcı of Baobap creates this type of wearable art, embroidered tiny collar pins with flowers, animals, and outer space. The designs look great against chambray or neutral-colored fabrics, but I could see them looking fantastic with some pattern mixing—if you’re brave enough.
Find your own set of handcrafted pins in the Baobap Etsy shop.