Laura Slater is a pattern and textile designer based in West Yorkshire, where she runs her own studio. Her work is largely inspired by Danish design and is a superb combination of shape and texture which unite to create intriguing abstract interpretations of nature. Laura hand prints each piece in her collection onto lampshades, pillow covers, dish towels, aprons and paper products. Laura’s work is a true testament to the idea that simple shapes, textures and a limited color palette can make some truly impactful imagery.
You can check out Laura’s work on her website, or follow along with her process and inspiration on twitter. She recently posted this video about her process; it’s a really interesting peek into her world and inspiration!
The first time I came across Dinara Mirtalipova’s work, I spent a few days pouring over her website. Her command of patterns, her linework, the worlds she created in her paintings were so captivating, and I was instantly hooked. Her compositions are lush and whimsical. There is a beautiful tension in her pieces that is all at once energetic and quietly meditative.
In addition to children’s magazines such as Storytime and Girls’ World, Dinara’s work has appeared on sleeping bags and rugs for Land of Nod, her own line of dishtowels entitled Mirdinara Kitchen and a fabric collection for Windham Fabrics. She has also hand-painted beads, nesting dolls and clay eggs. Her work is inspired by folklore, fairytales, textiles, and songs her mother used to sing to her.
Be sure to follow Dinara on Instagram where she shares process shots, projects and other little glimpses into her world. You can see the rest of her work on her website, too!
Hi there! I’m so thrilled to be the newest contributor here – I hope we’ll become fast friends. I thought I’d tell you just a little bit about myself and then dive right in to my first artist. I’m Bryna – a freelance illustrator, photographer and yoga teacher based in Portland, Oregon. I have a particular love for surface design, and that’s what I’ll cover here on the blog. When I first decided to pursue illustration, I didn’t really know all the potential ways my artwork could be sold and used by other companies. Once I discovered the world of surface design, I felt like the possibilities were truly endless! We are lucky as illustrators, that our work has so many applications. I’m really looking forward to sharing with you some of the most exciting surface design work out there in hopes that it may inspire new dreams for your own work. If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to connect with you, so don’t be shy! Feel free to email, instagram or tweet me. Alright, enough about me, let’s dive into the wonderful world of surface design, shall we?
It’s rare, but really exciting, to find an artist who is as prolific as she is passionate about creating patterns. Enter Kendra Dandy, illustrator and pattern designer. Her instagram feed boasts colorful patterns featuring fruit, makeup and girls in fancy hairdos with fun shades. Her distinctive patterns have appeared on lipstick packaging for Anthropologie, beautiful silk scarves, and tote bags for Baba Souk. Any surface she can paint on, she likely has (including a french fry box!). The way she layers patterns together makes her work instantly recognizable and memorable. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!
Take a look at her portfolio, and be sure to follow her instagram for more juicy patterns!
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.
Meg Hunt is a fabulous illustrator and hand-letterer, although her aesthetic is informed by the printmaking process as well. In her own words, she’s inspired by “a sense of delight and the ability to tell stories.” She’s a self-described bookworm, nature buff, and former aspiring Muppeteer.
It’s obvious that Meg has a sincere love of nature and animals, a fondness acquired during childhood and one that flourished once she moved out west. A native of New London, CT, Meg attended the University of Connecticut and received a dual degree in printmaking and illustration. She’s mentioned that attending an interdisciplinary college aided in her own abilities to explore and play within her art–while there are obviously some pros and cons of attending state schools, I definitely agree with her sentiment on this. After finishing up college, Meg moved out to Phoenix, AZ for 4 years, then to settle in Portland, OR.
Meg turns to a variety of literature and comedic podcasts to help her draw out ideas. Her process shifts between analog and digital–she employs different physical tools such as watercolor paint, powdered graphite, mechanical pencils, wax pastels, and many more to add texture to her final compositions.
In addition to her work as a freelance illustrator, Meg has also taught at Portland State University and currently teaches Visual Techniques at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is represented by Scott Hull Associates and her client list includes Nickelodeon Magazine, Junior Scholastic Magazine, Radiolab, Chronicle Books, and Threadless.
Andrew Holder is a mixed media illustrator currently living and working in Los Angeles. He graduated from Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Illustration and his impressive list of clients include Etnies, Google, Herman Miller, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, New York Times, NPR, Print Magazine, Sub Pop Records, Target, and Urban Outfitters.
I love his geometric compositions and vivid colors. I enjoy looking at his work and trying to visualize the process and methods he used to create it.
Jenean is a Memphis-based artist and designer whose colorful and unique patterns grace stationery, wallpaper, fabrics, rugs, giftwrap, stationery and other surfaces and products. She licensees her work to companies including Fisher-Price, Sigg, C.R.Gibson, Gelaskins, Free Spirit Fabric and more. I love the organic shapes and bold color combinations that give her collections a distinct look!
I recently came across Mel Kadel’s work, and it’s so unique and special I can’t stop looking at it! Mel’s originally from Pennsylvania and graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. She now resides in Los Angeles and uses coffee-stained paper, micron .005 pens, hand mixed ink wash, Q-tips, pencil and blades to create carefully detailed and layered drawings.
Mel’s work has shown in numerous galleries throughout the United States and abroad in London, Sydney, and Denmark. Her work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Juxtapoz and LA Times Magazine.
Illustrator and designer Jen Skelley is from New Jersey and currently lives in Western Massachusetts. She earned a BFA in design from Syracuse University and began her career working as an in-house artist creating wrapping paper, cards and many other kinds of social stationery. A few years later she branched out and opened her own studio, specializing in cute whimsical illustrations of animals, flowers and birds.
Her impressive list of clients includes Galison/Mudpuppy, American Girl, Mattel, Land of Nod, and Graphique de France. She recently illustrated a nationwide campaign for Sweet’N Low and also sells screenprints of her work in her successful Etsy shop.