Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

Pick of the Week for VINTAGE and This Week’s Topic

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Posted by Thomas James on 07/01/16 under artists,call for entries,illustration
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A reminder about growth, learning and taking small steps by Sarah K. Benning

Amy Ng
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Amy Ng

Amy is a teacher, writer and a self-taught illustrator. Her blog Pikaland, is popular stop for illustration lovers, students and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity and commerce. Amy is also an adjunct lecturer at a local design college and has created online workshops for artists; teaching them how to use their unique strengths to create their very own opportunities. She believes that we each have a role to play and a story to tell –- and her personal mission is to help you discover what that is.
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I was reacquainted with the work of Sarah K. Benning a while back through Instagram, and I was floored. And you can see why. The subject matter at hand combined my two interests – gardening and craft in the beautiful, intricate embroideries that remind me a little bit of 8-bit pixel art (also my favourite). All three of my favourite things all rolled into one? Yowza.

It’s easy to think (and I can almost hear gasps going) – wow – her work is amazing. Her skill is amazing. OMG plants. I have plants. Why didn’t I think of that before?! And yet, hers is a journey that is familiar to a lot of artists out there. She didn’t start out doing the kind of embroideries that you now recognise as her handiwork, plastered all over blogs and magazines. Like everyone else, she started out by experimenting and taking small steps.

I first knew about her work when she hand embroidered greeting cards and art cards and sold them on Etsy back in 2013:

Her work evolved to include embroideries in hoops in 2014, and as you can see from her pictures below, her embroideries also started to evolve in intricacy:

Towards the end of 2015, she started to experiment with more complex patterns in her embroidery, using her plants and cactuses as the main subject of her work:

While Sarah is trained in fine arts, she is self-taught in the art of embroidery.

From her About page:

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Originally from Baltimore, she attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BFA in Fiber and Material Studies.  Shortly after graduating in 2013, Sarah discovered her love for embroidery, a relaxing hobby she could enjoy while working as a full-time nanny. She approaches each piece as an illustration rather than a textile, often abandoning traditional stitches and techniques in favor of bold shapes, playful patterns, and contemporary subject matter.

Sarah’s embroideries often depict potted plants and her newest works position these potted gardens in interior spaces and pairs them with other textiles.  She approaches these pieces as illustrations, creating drawings in pencil directly onto the fabric before filling the image in with thread.  In this way, the thread becomes more like ink or paint than traditional embroidery, which accentuates the bold shapes, patterns, and color in the compositions.

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While her earlier works (2013-2014) already showed a love of plants, cacti, and landscapes, her continuous experimentation in embroidery has allowed her to be able to execute more intricate and detailed compositions, such as more recent ones below:

It was gradual, and organic – as laid out in her FAQ page:

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Where do you get your patterns and how do you transfer them to fabric?

I invent them! Drawing is a major part of my practice, so I keep sketchbooks of ideas, composition thumbnails, plant details, and textile diagrams to aid in the creating of my stitched works.  These sketches then come together as final designs by re-drawing them directly onto my fabric with pencil.  The underdrawing gets completely covered up with the stitching.  This process allows for a lot of revision and experimentation before I get down to sewing.

What stitches do you use and how can I learn how to do this?

I don’t always adhere traditional embroidery stitches and techniques, thinking of the thread more like ink or paint and inventing or adapting stitches as I go.  The one common embroidery stitch I do use is the satin stitch, which is how I achieve the fields of color that create the foundation of each element in my compositions.  The final and most fun stage to every piece is the surface pattern that creates all the detail in the plants, textiles, and pots.

My advice to anyone wanting to learn is to go get the basic materials (hoop, fabric, thread, needle, scissors) and just start experimenting!  My work has evolved over the past 3 years and is my full-time job.  Believe me, I didn’t start out sewing complicated things.  Be patient with yourself and have fun!

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It’s easy to look at an artist’s success and think that they knew what they were doing right from the start. Looking through Sarah’s work, I’m not sure if she had any inkling that her work would evolve to be where it is right now. But what I see is persistence, evolution and a constant challenging of her craft. Her love of subject is already apparent even in the beginning, and they run like threads interwoven in the fabric of her progression. They’ve always been there, and it’s exciting to see where her experimentation will take her.

You can purchase her work from website (they sell out fast!), and follow along her journey on Instagram.

[ALL IMAGES FROM SARAH’S ETSY, INSTAGRAM, AND WEBSITE]

Amy Ng blogs at Pikaland, a popular stop for illustration lovers, students, and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity, and commerce.

Posted by Amy Ng on 06/28/16 under artists,business,illustration,technique
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Pick of the Week for WISDOM and This Week’s Topic

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Posted by Thomas James on 04/01/16 under artists,call for entries,illustration,weekly topics
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Illustrator Submission :: Lotta Nieminen

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe is a freelance illustrator and designer who makes up one half of the collective, Buttercrumble. She is currently studying a degree in Graphic and Communication Design at The University of Leeds. When she is not drawing, she can be found baking or trawling vintage shops and loves all things quirky and sweet. Her work is inspired by mid-century design, folk art and anything cute.
Chloe Baldwin

Latest posts by Chloe Baldwin (see all)

Post by Chloe

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Lotta Nieminen’s illustrations are packed with detail, colour and narrative. The bold vector shapes combined with subtle texture and an atmospheric colour-scheme is what really brings this work to life. Lotta Nieminen’s talent doesn’t stop at illustration either. She is also a graphic designer and art director who runs her own studio based in New York.

If you would like to see more of Lotta Nieminen’s work please visit her portfolio.

Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 03/15/16 under artists,editorial submissions,freelance,illustration
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Illustrator Submission :: Laura Manfre

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe Baldwin

Chloe is a freelance illustrator and designer who makes up one half of the collective, Buttercrumble. She is currently studying a degree in Graphic and Communication Design at The University of Leeds. When she is not drawing, she can be found baking or trawling vintage shops and loves all things quirky and sweet. Her work is inspired by mid-century design, folk art and anything cute.
Chloe Baldwin

Latest posts by Chloe Baldwin (see all)

By Chloe

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Laura Manfre is a self-taught illustrator from France. Her work has a beautiful traditional quality to it but still remains relevant and appealing. It’s difficult not to feel hungry when looking at Laura Manfre’s work due to one of her main subjects being indulgent treats and tasty snacks. She is equally talented though at depicting other subjects such as animals and people.

If you’d like to see more of Laura’s work, please visit her portfolio.

Posted by Chloe Baldwin on 01/08/16 under artists,illustration
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New Sketchbook Skool Class by Penelope Dullaghan

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

Latest posts by Thomas James (see all)

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“Illustration Friday friends, hello!
 
I wanted you to know that I am teaching at Sketchbook Skool for the first time! Sketchbook Skool is an online video course (or ‘kourse” as they say at Sketchbook Skool) that lasts six weeks and has a different teacher every week. We made more than a dozen videos in which I appear telling stories, sharing pages of my sketchbooks and doing some demos. Here’s a video trailer about the kourse
 
You can learn all about the Skool at their website, sketchbookskool.com
During the week I am teaching, I will be right there with you, answering questions and comments and admiring the artwork you’ll share! It’ll be so fun!
 
One of the things I love about SBS is the wonderful, supportive community that has developed there. There are thousands of people from around the world, some are professional artists and illustrators, some are complete beginners, all collaborating and encouraging each other. It’s a great experience I think you’ll love, too!
 
Enrollment starts today and the kourse begins on January 15th. I hope to see you in klass!
 
As a special treat (and for the very first time ever) Sketchbook Skool is offering a 20% discount only to members of Illustration Friday — like you.  When you check out, just use the code: Pennyatskool2016 and do it soon — it expires on January 15th.
 
Can’t wait to begin!”
-Penelope Dullaghan

Posted by Thomas James on 01/04/16 under art supplies,artists,business,children's art,classes,community,Events,idea generation,IF community,IF news update,illustration
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Paul Smith

Andy Yates

Andy Yates

Andy is a freelance illustrator, and animator. He writes about comics at comicstavern.com. See his work at plumdill.tumblr.com.
Andy Yates

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This week we celebrate the artwork of comics legend Paul Smith! The 600th issue of Uncanny X-Men hit the stands this week and I was very pleased to see that Smith contributed one of the variant covers for this landmark issue. X-Men was really the reason I got into comics as a kid. In fact the very first comic I picked up and read(besides the Bob’s Big Boy comics they used to give away when you ordered a kid’s meal..) was Uncanny X-Men #166 with that glorious Paul Smith cover of The X-Men battling the Brood!

A good friend of mine at the time(probably ’83/’84) had an older brother who collected comics and he had an big, old chest full of them(no bags ‘n boards, mind you..). So, when I’d go over there for a sleep-over, I’d get to rummage through his treasure trove of funny-books and then pull a few out for some late-night sleeping bag reading! Those Paul Smith issues of X-Men were truly magical, and always will be to me. There have been many great artists to work with Chris Claremont on his classic X-Men run, including legends like Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, John Romita Jr, Barry Windsor Smith, Arthur Adams, Alan Davis, Jim Lee, etc. etc, but for me, my favorite X-Men artist will always be Paul Smith. 

Smith is mostly a self-taught artist. He worked as an animator on Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings and American Pop before working at Marvel Comics in the early 1980’s. After establishing himself on titles like X-Men, Doctor Strange, and Marvel Fanfare, Smith would go on to do more independent, critically acclaimed series like Leave It To Chance and The Golden Age, both with writer James Robinson. He continues to work in mainstream comics for special projects, and cover illustrations, while also staying very busy with private commission work.

The best place to get updates on what Paul Martin Smith(PMS) is up to and to see more art is on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/05/15 under artists,black and white,comic,design,illustration,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Jeremy Bastian

Andy Yates

Andy Yates

Andy is a freelance illustrator, and animator. He writes about comics at comicstavern.com. See his work at plumdill.tumblr.com.
Andy Yates

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Since this is Halloween Week, I thought how better to celebrate than exploring the intricately detailed work of Cursed Pirate Girl creator Jeremy Bastian! A graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Bastian spent his years studying the works of the great engraving art masters and old time book illustrators. One of the inspirations for Cursed Pirate Girl was a children’s book called The Ship’s Cat, featuring illustrations by Alan Aldridge. It takes about a week for Jeremy Bastian to draw one page of Cursed Pirate Girl. Each page is meticulously packed with the smallest details; it’s fun to just stare at a page and let your eyes wander. You can read about Jeremy’s art process on this blog post here.

Cursed Pirate Girl follows the title character’s search for her Pirate Captain father on the mythical Omerta Seas, encountering many strange and wondrous creatures along the way. The first 3 issues were published by Olympian Publishing and are now highly sought after collector’s items. Much bigger publisher Archaia/BOOM has taken over on Cursed Pirate Girl and if you’re quick enough, you might still be able to find a copy of Cursed Pirate Girl 2015 Annual(52 pages), which hit stands this month. The plan is to do 2 more yearly specials to complete the 6 part story, but there could be more material set in the Cursed Pirate Girl world after that.

If you want to get the latest news on Jeremy Bastian & Cursed Pirate Girl, fell free to follow him on Twitter here!

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/29/15 under artists,black and white,children's art,comic,design,illustration,Interviews,prints,technique,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Sonny Liew

Andy Yates

Andy Yates

Andy is a freelance illustrator, and animator. He writes about comics at comicstavern.com. See his work at plumdill.tumblr.com.
Andy Yates

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The story goes that legendary Uncanny X-Men scribe Chris Claremont discovered Malaysian-born artist Sonny Liew at a comics convention and got him his first big break into comics, landing Liew a gig illustrating Iron Man for Marvel. It was a small gig, just one illustration, but it set the stage for Liew’s bright future in comics! In 2004, Sonny Liew won the Xeric Award(an award for excellence in self-published comics) in 2004 for Malinky Robot. Later, he would go on to illustrate such titles as Slave Labor & Disney’s Wonderland series, Marvel’s Sense and Sensibility adaptation, and collaborate with artist/inker Mark Hempel on DC/Vertigo’s My Faith in Frankie.

Before studying illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, Liew attended college in Singapore(where he currently resides) and in the UK. His work has been featured in the critically acclaimed anthology Flight and he’s served as editor of the Southeast Asian comics anthology Liquid City.

Liew has been a celebrated artist at home, winning Singapore’s Young Artist Award in 2010, but recently he’s found himself in a bit of controversy over his latest book, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. The grant that supported the making of that book was withdrawn by the National Arts Council for containing sensitive topics. You can hear more about this story from the man himself at this book sharing session.

Right now is a great time to become a Sonny Liew fan, because he’s making some of the best comics art of his career on the newly relaunched Doctor Fate series with famed DC writer/editor/former-president Paul Levitz! I see that more people are catching onto this series, now that it’s up to issue 5, so hopefully that will continue to happen and we’ll get a nice, long Doctor Fate run out of Liew!

If you’d like to see more art and learn more about Sonny Liew, check out his blog here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/22/15 under artists,black and white,comic,design,illustration,weekly topics
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Month of Fear art challenge

Latest posts by Jeanine Henderson (see all)

Posted by Jeanine

The Month of Fear is a weekly art challenge for the month of October, created by illustrator Kristina Carroll. A companion blog to February’s Month of Love, the idea is to inspire artists to get together, shake things up, push themselves, and create new personal work. 

A curated roster of artists have been selected to participate and are challenged to create a new piece each week in response to an assigned theme related the subject of fear. But, the challenge is also open to anyone who feels inspired, by sharing work on Tumblr using the hashtag #monthoffear. The challenges are designed to be open-ended so artists can interpret them in a wide variety of ways.

This is the third year of the Month of Fear, and the work is incredibly impressive! With challenge themes ranging from villians, spooky mirrors, and the dance of death—the images are all frightfully fantastic! A few highlighted pieces here by Reiko Murakami, Sam Flegal, Lindsey Look, and Samuel Araya.

Check out the Month of Fear site for much more!

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© Reiko Murakami

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© Sam Flegal

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© Lindsey Look

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© Samuel Araya

Posted by Jeanine Henderson on 10/22/15 under artists,illustration
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