Illustration

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Art Illustration

Melancholy Creatures Explore Imagined Worlds in Wistful Murals by Hayley Welsh

July 29, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Hayley Welsh’s playful murals pair imaginative creatures with universal messages of uplift and encouragement. Often featuring furry, plump critters that seem to be hybrids of dogs, rabbits, and teddy bears, Welsh’s subjects peer through periscopes atop mechanical fish or aboard paper boats, tug clouds from penny farthing bicycles, and sprout trees as antlers. Occasionally, Basquiat-esque crown motifs appear as well.

In a statement on her website, Welsh’s “ominously soft” work “explores inner voices of self doubt and fear, weaving a poignant narrative into every piece⁠—a message for each person to reflect on in the moment.” The British-born artist lives and works between Perth, Australia and Blackburn, U.K. Explore more of her outdoor and gallery-based artwork on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Deep Ocean Waters Amplify Emotions in Sonia Alins’ Evocative Mixed Media Illustrations

July 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“The swimmers III. The gathering”

Illustrator Sonia Alins (previously) creates evocative aquatic scenes using a combination of two and three dimensional elements. Smooth, translucent vellum creates the visual effect of water, and Alins sometimes inserts tufts of colored thread or small sheets of tulle to invoke the ocean floor’s textural topography. Alins then creates carefully placed slits in the vellum to allow her figurative illustrations to peek through the water. Swimming women and the occasional whale move through the murky water, with expressions ranging from peacefulness to mild distress. In an interview with Sara Barnes, Alins explained her deep connection to the water:

I was born near the Mediterranean sea and the influence of it and water in my culture is something defining. I guess it’s part of my DNA. The truth is that the sea has always been present in my life and has transmitted a special and positive energy to me. When taking the first steps of my Dones d’aigua series, water came to me as the perfect medium to communicate and expand emotion. The protagonists of my works interact with this mass of water where they are immersed and, there, their feelings are amplified, their shouts are heard louder, their desperation is felt more profoundly… But also, when they are calm, it feels like a more rewarding emotion too.

The Spain-based artist’s minimal yet impactful style lends itself to literary and editorial illustrations, and Alins has received several advertising and book awards for her work. You can explore more of Alins’ aquatic worlds on Instagram and Behance, and shop prints and products in her Society6 store.

“What I learnt from whales” series

“Dones d’aigua III” series

“The Swimmers”

“The Swimmers” (detail)

“What I learnt from whales” series

“Dones d’aigua III” series

 

 



Illustration

Surprised Dandelions and Frustrated Erasers Come to Life in Delightful Illustrations by Sean Charmatz

July 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Sean Charmatz anthropomorphizes everyday objects with universal emotions of surprise, frustration, and togetherness. By adding simple black lines to fruits, plants, and office supplies, Charmatz turns these otherwise unremarkable items into relatable characters. Though the California-based artist has gained quite a following for his one-off cartoonish “explorations”, he also has a long resume in Hollywood. Charmatz has worked on several Disney and Dreamworks films in addition to his previous roles as a storyboard artist and director for six years on SpongeBob SquarePants. You can follow along with his visual musings on Instagram, and watch his animated “Secret World of Stuff” compilations on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 



Design Illustration

Woodblock-Printed Matchboxes Light up with Canine Personalities

July 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

As a follow-up to last year’s wildly successful woodblock-printed matchboxes featuring the questionable decisions of tipsy cats, Ravi Zupa has just released a set of canine designs. Comprised of ten designs, the set includes a Boston Terrier with a high opinion of himself, a loyal hound, and an endearingly self-deprecating pug.

“These are the people in our lives with complicated dispositions and attitudes who never fail to bring
us joy, even when they’re jerks,” Zupa explained in an artist statement. “This new set of matchboxes is an effort to give the overly expressive, stubborn, supportive, unpredictable, confused and self important beings in our lives the recognition they deserve.”

Zupa used oil-based intaglio ink to create the three-color prints, and each one includes a pint-sized certificate of authenticity. The matchboxes can be ordered in the artist’s online shop, along with pre-orders for larger prints of the same designs. You can see more of Zupa’s vintage-inspired and humorous works, ranging from prints to paintings and sculptures, on Instagram.

 

 



Animation Illustration

Eyes Roll and Tongues Unfurl in Quirky Hand-Animated Illustrations by Ed Merlin Murray

July 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

 

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Using simple materials like paper and ink washes, artist Ed Merlin Murray creates lively illustrations that animate with the pull of a tab. The expressiveness of the human face is Murray’s frequent subject, with blinking eyes and slithering tongues coming to life in bright colors. In addition to these hand-activated animations, the Scotland-based artist pursues a wide variety of illustration and animation projects. This spring, Murray crowdfunded a “book of drawings based on the eternal mystery of human consciousness, via a set of arcane sciences, esotericism, and the mystical” on Kickstarter, and also offers designs on Society6. You can see more of Murray’s moving images, paired with quirky captions, on Instagram.

 

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Art Illustration

Drawings by WanJin Gim Capture the Nuanced Energy of Seemingly Simple Gestures

June 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Potter’s Hand No. 1” (2019)

WanJin Gim (previously) continues to amaze with his detailed drawings that show the nuanced colors and textures of bare skin. Most often working on kraft paper, Gim uses cross hatching—a technique most commonly associated with ink drawings or prints—with an array of colors to capture hands, arms, feet, and the occasional cat. Though simple in subject, Gim’s drawings pulsate with the gestural energy that informs the postures of each carefully rendered limb. You can see more of the Seoul-based artist’s work on Instagram, and find prints of his drawings on Gim’s online store.

“2 Cycles” (2018)

“Phenomenon No.2”, detail (2018)

L: “A Man Standing Up” (2018), R: detail

“A Pure Hand” (2018)

“Potter’s Hand No. 2” (2019)

“A Patient Cat” (2018)

“A Patient Cat”, detail

L: “Said and Done” (2018), R: detail

“Resting in Daylight” (2018)

 

 



Illustration

Find Yourself in the Pages of the New Search-And-Find Book ‘Where Are You?’ Illustrated by Marija Tiurina

June 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Where Are You?” is a new customized search-and-find book illustrated by Marija Tiurina (previously). The children’s book combines elements from “I Spy,” Where’s Waldo?,” and video game avatars to create personalized pages that invite readers to search for themselves across six different universes. Adults can choose from one of 12 avatars that best match their child, which will be printed into a book with the child’s name on the cover. Kids can then hunt through Tiurina’s crowded scenes to find alternative versions of their themselves as chefs, archaeologists, paranormal investigators, and more. You can customize your own book on Wonderbly, where the book has currently sold over 160,000 copies worldwide. Take a look at Tiurina’s personal artwork and behind-the-scenes shots on Instagram.