Archive for the ‘children’s art’ Category
This Art Crush entry has truly been a long time coming. I first came across Lisa Congdon by way of Meighan O’Toole’s former art blog and podcast, My Love For You (which is post-worthy in its own right–it was an enormous source of inspiration for me during my college years). While I definitely gravitated to Lisa’s work on a visual level, it was her personal story that drew me in. Freelance illustration had been her second career. She didn’t start painting or making art until she was 31, and here she was, participating in museum-level shows, working with clients like Chronicle Books, and just being a genuine, successful badass. Lisa is not only someone I look up to artistically–she’s also a prime example of a human being.
Lisa’s art career was secondary, after she accumulated over a decade of experience in the education and nonprofit industries. By pure chance, she stumbled into a painting class and began making art of all kinds from that day forward–fueled by pure joy instead of the desire to succeed quickly. Having always been an avid collector, her random ephemera would find their way into countless collages as well as a series of photos, drawings and paintings that would eventually make up her A Collection A Day project. As she continued to develop her craft and share it with the ever-expanding Internet, people began to catch on. Today, she is an accomplished and prolific working artist, blogger, illustrator, public speaker and writer. Some of her most notable clients to date include The Land of Nod, The Museum of Modern Art, Harper Collins, 826 Valencia and Martha Stewart Living Magazine.
Lisa unabashedly tackles the subjects she is most passionate about, and that fearlessness is expressed effortlessly in the execution of her work. She describes herself as a “visual junkie,” and is deeply inspired by patterns, travel, architecture and vintage packaging, just to name a few. A faithful blogger, Lisa writes about her own process in addition to other artists whom she admires, as well as her life “outside the studio,” which includes swimming, biking, sewing, and traveling. In other words, she’s just making all of us look bad! (I only kid.)
One of the reasons I relate to Lisa’s work is due to the versatility and ever-evolving nature of her aesthetic. Certain characteristics like neon hues and her penchant for all things Scandinavian are mainstays, but she continues to branch out and explore all kinds of mediums (block printing and calligraphy, to name a few). These explorations fuel her work and expand her direction, which is most recently geared towards abstract painting. She’s a wonderful example of why you don’t need to narrow yourself down to one specific style (something I often grapple with).
Lisa is quite a unique artist in that she is not only a creator, but a mentor as well. Breaking into freelance illustration can be a challenging and solitary undertaking, and she continues to give her generous time to those who wish to pursue and learn more about the field through classes, speaking engagements and conferences around the country. I first met Lisa at her first Freelance Illustration class at Makeshift Society back in December 2012, and it was one of my most pivotal learning experiences to date.
Lisa recently released her new book, “Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist,” which is a revolutionary and timely answer to the starving artist stereotype. It covers all areas of the freelance artist’s domain, such as photographing fine art, finding printing services, copyright, and diversifying income. It sits on the shelf above my working desk (I like to call it my “VIP” shelf) as I reference it constantly.
On that same note, I’m very excited to be taking Lisa’s “Become A Working Artist” class through CreativeLive next week! You can follow along with the class virtually by RSVPing here.
Follow along with Lisa below:
Purchase Lisa’s books below:
Posted by Rachel Frankel on 09/28/14 under abstract,apparel / products,artists,children's art,children's illustrators,creativity,design,digital,freelance,Lettering,master of the month,pattern,pen/brush and ink,typography
Post by Heather Ryerson
Julia Denos’ loose, colorful illustrations are sure to make girls everywhere ooh and ah. Her quick lines and saturated colors say a lot with a little and her playful evocation of texture and pattern is pitch perfect for children’s fashion. She has illustrated numerous picture books for girls like I Had A Favorite Dress, Just Being Audrey, and Grandma’s Gloves. Candlewick Press, HarperCollins, Penguin, RandomHouse, Scholastic, and Highlights are amongst her many clients.
See more of her work on her website.
Post by Heather Ryerson
Montreal illustrator Janice Nadeau has won three Governor General’s Awards for her poetic, evocative illustration. She uses watercolor and pencil (and sometimes charcoal and ink) to create her sophisticated color palettes and detailed characters and scenes. Nadeau has illustrated three books including Harvey, a long-form graphic picturebook that appeals to both children and adults for its honest portrayal of loss. Nadeau is now working on an animated short.
Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrated children’s books Migrant, Spork, and Virginia Wolf have been much praised and received numerous awards, including two Governor General’s Awards. Her children’s graphic novel Jane, the Fox, & Me was published in 2013. She lives and works in Montreal.
I got a kick out of these monsters painted by Nate Wragg. He’s a dynamic illustrator that is featured in Gallery Nucleus and hangs out on the internet as a professor at CGMA. Check out his work: Nucleus | Blogspot
Posted by Angie
Gustavo Aimar is an Argentinean graphic designer, illustrator, and fine artist. He draws from all of these disciplines to create mixed media collages with a variety of materials and textures. He collects vintage and used papers, and allows the materials tell him what to do.
Lately, his work is focused on children’s illustrations. He has worked on more than a dozen books, and occasionally collaborates in diverse publications and projects. His work is so rich with ideas and inspiration that every time I see one of his pieces, I feel the urge to immediately stop whatever I’m doing and start working on something of my own. He’s brilliant.
Post by Clio.
Kevin Waldron is an Irish born illustrator currently living and working in New York City. Kevin makes beautiful picture books for children with funny characters and bold colours and shapes. Kevin’s first book Mr Peek and the Misunderstanding at the Zoo, unveiled Mr Peek, his eccentric and amazing zoo keeper character and it won the Bologna Ragazzi Award Opera Prima Award in 2009. The sequel Pandamonium at Peek Zoo was released in April of this year.
Posted by Angie
Aurora Cacciapuoti is a Sardinian illustrator currently based in Cambridge, UK. She splits her time between running art workshops and working as a freelance illustrator, and her clients have included several magazines and books, and Wordsation, a baby clothing shop online. Her recent projects have included drawing 365 faces in a year, inspired by real and imaginary people.
In 2012, she drew 52+2 book covers– one per week and then one for each extra day of the solar year. She chose her favorite books for the project.
Posted by Angie
Alessandra Cimatoribus was born in Spilimbergo (Friuli, Italy), where she continues to live and work. She has illustrated children’s books, games, packaging, advertising, and provided designs for theatre costumes.
Check out more of her work on her website.
Post by Naomi
I am in awe of Yan Nascimbene’s breathtaking watercolors. Such a sense of stillness, light, and life.
Yan Nascimbene was raised in France and Italy. After working as a photographer in a Paris fashion studio, he studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at the University of California at Davis. He later spent many years living variously in California, France, and Italy. His illustrated edition of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way. Antibes, Clarievere et Autres Couleurs, his first book as author and illustrator, won the Graphic Award at the Bologna Book Fair in 1992. Yan illustrated Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Palomar, The Baron in the Trees and others. Nascimbene has illustrated over 50 books and 300 book covers. He passed away in Mexico on Feb 1st 2013.
Here is what he had to say about working with clients:
Rather than feeling limited by a client’s idea, I find that the challenge of expressing precisely his/her idea in my own aesthetical terms forces me to think harder, to search deeper and ultimately to create a much stronger and interesting image than if I had been given total freedom of style, format and subject-matter. I try to illustrate a literary piece between the lines, and I feel that an illustration must reflect at once the client’s idea and my identity. First and foremost comes the need of the client, then my understanding of such a need and the elaboration of a concept. This is the most taxing and important phase of the work, often the one that will require most time. A thorough sketch (or sketches) will allow me to explain the concept to the client and structure the image (composition, balance, etc.) until his/her unequivocal satisfaction. The final painting, although still an emotional and creative task, will rely at least as much on technique and my ability to translate our early discourse and sketches into a factual image, as it does on pure imagination. In my case, it is usually a quicker stage, as all but a few challenges have already been resolved.