Illustration

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Art Illustration

Stamps, Scientific Charts, and Hand-Drawn Maps Occupy Every Inch of Travel Notebooks by José Naranja

January 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © José Naranja, shared with permission

Author and artist José Naranja ensures he won’t forget any detail of his year-round travels across the globe through a meticulous and unique documentation process. Formerly an aeronautic engineer, Naranja now archives his thoughts while visiting foreign countries by hand-crafting journals replete with items like collected stamps, an illustration of the periodic table, and a study of fountain pens. Each mixed-media page centers on a theme, such as the culture surrounding eating a bowl of ramen or the flamingos found in a zoo.

Since he last spoke with Colossal, the artist published a second work titled The Nautilus Manuscript, a 208-page handbound leather journal chronicling his life from 2015 to 2019. Similar to how he constructs each page, Naranja is committed to maintaining the integrity of his work during the production process. “The project is about offering the people the same feeling as having the originals in their hands: same paper, size, leather cover and mainly the same ‘touch.’ It’s bound by hand, slow but the only way to take care of details,” he says. The Nautilus Project, which is written mostly in Spanish, is available for purchase. Keep up with the artist’s most recent spreads brimming with insights and elaborate sketches on Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Combining Vibrant Shapes and Simple Lines, Illustrator Willian Santiago Evokes Scenes of Brazil

January 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Willian Santiago

With an affinity for bold colors, Willian Santiago documents what he sees around Londrina, the city in southern Brazil where he lives. He utilizes bright blues, greens, and reds to create his illustrations of wild animals and posed female figures that often resemble the geometric shapes and lines of woodblock prints frequently seen in Brazilian art.

“I love exploring,” Santiago said in an interview with WePresent. “It may be the step I spend most of my time on when creating an illustration. Color arouses different feelings in people. I ultimately want my work to create feelings of joy.” With a background in textile and pattern design, the artist says “old Vogue magazine covers, Art Deco and overly posed figures” often serve as inspiration, in addition to being “surrounded by strong women” as a child. Follow Santiago’s striking digital illustrations on Instagram, and check out his available prints on Society6. (via Tu Recepcja)

 

 



Animation Craft Illustration

Artist Nancy Liang Combines Illustration, Craft, and Digital Art to Create Playful Gifs of Nighttime Scenes

December 27, 2019

Grace Ebert

Sydney-based artist Nancy Liang (previously) takes an unusual and multidisciplinary approach to creating whimsical looping gifs of star-filled nights. Liang begins with kraft paper cutouts and hand-drawn illustrations in her sketchbook that she transfers to a digital platform like Photoshop or After Effects. She then arranges her work in a collage and animates it, creating darkly colored, moving scenes that often focus on the natural elements of cityscapes and suburban life in Australia.

Liang said in an interview with Paper Darts that much of her inspiration comes from her habit of working throughout the night, something she’s done since she was a child. “While most people are asleep, I find something very exciting about being awake. The night is quiet and still, and much like my thoughts, this inspires curious and mysterious urban stories out there,” Liang says.

You can learn more about the artist’s unconventional process that combines programming, craft, and illustration on Tumblr and Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Artist Yuko Shimizu Utilizes Repetition and Primary Colors in Her Idiosyncratic Illustrations

December 13, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Yuko Shimizu, shared with permission

Award-winning artist Yuko Shimizu describes her detailed illustrations in a note to Colossal as “a bit off, weird, and dreamy.” Her work, which is often centered on but not limited to Japanese culture, frequently employs primary colors and repetitive elements. In one illustration, the artist portrays a marcher wearing a red uniform and blowing into a multiple-belled instrument with blue birds and yellow flowers in the mix; another features a female figure ascending from dark, swirling waters with a mask seemingly ready to be fitted to her face.

Shimizu says her “Blow Up” series was designed originally for a show at the Society of Illustrators where the images first were exhibited stretching from floor to ceiling. One work depicts dozens of legs donning red and white striped socks that are bound together by a thick rope. It’s what Shimizu terms her illustration about “wind blowing up to form a human-storm.” In another piece, a body stands knees pointed inward with just the mouth visible in a blur of red swirls. The series is inspired by multiple definitions of the phrase “blow up.”

The artist has a background in marketing and advertising, and many of the works she produces today are commissioned for an impressive list of clients, including Apple, Microsoft, and Nike. Based in New York City, Shimizu also teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Keep up with all of her unusual imagery on Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

‘Joy of Reading’: A New Book of Illustrations by Christoph Niemann Promotes Free Press

December 9, 2019

Grace Ebert

Illustrator Christoph Niemann (previously) has released The Paper, a book celebrating what he calls “the joy of reading magazines and newspapers.” The wordless book totals 194 pages and features pink, black, and white illustrations that depict people engrossed in magazines and newspapers. One couple lays with a large piece of newsprint covering them like a blanket, while another image depicts numerous hands and arms coming from all directions to grab and hold on to pages. Niemann says his intent for the book was to highlight the problems surrounding attacks on the media and press freedoms.

The world is facing countless pressing issues. I don’t know how to solve them, but I’m convinced that in order to find out, we need a press that can ask the relevant questions, without fear of threats, persecution and violence. We need to protect reporters who take risks to shine light into the darkest corners of the world and to bring us the truth about sensitive subjects involving our health, our safety and our geopolitical environment.

All of the proceeds from The Paper will go to Reporters Without Borders, an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the freedom of information. The book, which is published by Abstractometer Press and features design by Ariane Spanier, is available for purchase on Niemann’s site. Find more of Niemann’s illustrations that are at the crossroads of humor and activism on Instagram.

 

 



Animation Art Illustration

Fantastical Worlds Created with Dappled Brush Strokes by Illustrator James R. Eads

December 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Illustrator James R. Eads (previously) incorporates elements of Impressionism and fantasy in his colorful landscapes. The Los Angeles-based artist builds imagined worlds with vibrant, short brush strokes, often featuring exotic birds, half-sunken boats, and swirling star-filled skies. Eads shares with Colossal that he is deeply connected to music, which consistently influences his work. His personal passion translates to client commissions, as he has created imagery for dozens of bands ranging from The Black Keys and Leon Bridges to Jerry Garcia and Iggy Pop.

“I’ve been really inspired by a lot of different things lately, including many worlds theory—the idea of multiple universes and timelines existing simultaneously,” Eads tells Colossal. “I’ve been working on a series of pastel paintings called Many, Many Paths that explores this idea through meandering paths in otherworldly gardens.” The artist shares that his most recent undertaking is a series called Cosma Visions, “which explores the idea of past lives and reincarnation reimagined on the traditional tarot. It takes the reader through the journey of the soul in the spirit plane after death.”

Eads also experiments with Virtual Reality artwork, an example of which you can see below, and runs a screen-printing studio in Los Angeles. He produces a range of limited edition prints and other buyable items that incorporate his colorful illustrations. The artist also recently successfully crowdfunded a Lenormand deck called Green Glyphs. Shop Eads’s online store and follow along with new work on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Illustration

Good Clean Fun: Dianna Wood Wields a Power Washer to Blast Birds, Butterflies, and Flowers onto Dirty Driveways

November 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Since receiving a power washer for her birthday this fall, Dianna Wood has turned her driveway, and those of her lucky neighbors, into works of art. Similar to the reductive processes of printmaking and scratchboard art, Wood removes areas of her “canvas” to reveal lighter tones in the form of cardinals, dogwood blossoms, butterflies, and other delicate flora and fauna. On her blog, Wood explains that she deftly adjusts the distance and angle of the power washer nozzle in relation to the cement to create the nuanced illustrations. The hobbyist artist and lifelong creative has garnered widespread attention for her just-for-fun street art. Those interested in keeping up with future projects can follow Wood on Facebook. (via My Modern Met)

 

 

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