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Illustration

Play a Game of Pandemic-Themed Lotería and Draw Soap, a Zoom Call, and Takeout

April 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Rafael Gonzales Jr.

In Pandemic Lotería, drawing “La Cabrona” actually might be key to winning the game. San Antonio-based artist Rafael Gonzales Jr. has been sharing his COVID-19-themed cards on Instagram that are based on the Mexican card game Lotería, which functions similarly to bingo. The deck features the realities of quarantined life, from a stockpile of toilet paper to continual Zoom calls to a lone bottle of hand sanitizer. Each now ubiquitous image is paired with a humorous name like “La Quaran15” for a barrel of butter and “La Starbucks” underneath a home coffee maker. The artist’s light-hearted work is available as prints and t-shirts through his online shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Illustration Science

Geometric Insects Navigate Sparse Flora in Pastel Illustrations by Hoàng Hoàng

April 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Hoàng Hoàng

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, graphic designer and illustrator Hoàng Hoàng merges science and art into a series of illustrations that mimic both insects in their natural habitats and those pinned in display cases for preservation. The Insect World Collection is comprised of varicolored stripes, semicircles, and other angular shapes that form multi-hued wings and rotund bodies. Set on pastel backgrounds, each arthropod features both Vietnamese and English translations of the insects’ common and scientific names. Head to Instagram and Behance to check out more of Hoàng’s geometric illustrations.

 

 



Illustration

Witty ‘Coronavirus Tourism’ Posters Advertise the Thrilling Adventures of Staying Home

April 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jennifer Baer

Global travel may have stopped almost entirely, but the “Coronavirus Tourism Bureau” is ramping up its latest campaign. The creator of this fictional entity, California-based graphic designer Jennifer Baer, illustrated a set of coronavirus-themed posters promoting the most luxurious of staycation activities in an effort to support social distancing practices. Bask in the warm waters of your own bathtub, get out of the sun by shading yourself with a houseplant, and ride the waves of your couch cushions. Snag one Baer’s posters from Society 6, follow her on Instagram, and support her topical work on Patreon. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art Food Illustration

Japanese Chef Has Filled Notebooks with Delectable Illustrations of All of His Meals for 32 Years

March 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images ©  Kushino Terrace, shared with permission

Some meals leave an impression—you might remember the cherry pie your grandma always made or a multi-course dinner consisting of toast and caviar, a mound of shaved truffle topping pasta, and wagyu tartare. Rather than solely rely on his memory to envision the fare he’s enjoyed, though, Japanese chef Itsuo Kobayashi has been painting and describing in detail the dishes he’s eaten for the past 32 years in a series of notebooks and standalone works.

While an interesting look at Kobayashi’s nourishment, the detailed projects are also a growing collection of outsider art. N. Kushino, who runs Kushino Terrace gallery in Fukuyama, Japan, and represents Kobayashi, tells Colossal that the artist begins by writing detailed passages of what he eats before going back to create his appetizing illustrations.

What stands out is that all of these drawings feature an overhead perspective so that all of the ingredients of the food Kobayashi depicts can be seen. Furthermore, in the blank spaces in his compositions, the artist writes the names and prices of, and his opinions about the food and the ingredients he portrays. He adds positive descriptive words about his subjects, such as “delicious,” so that he may provoke good memories when he later looks at the drawings.

For many years, Kobayashi cooked at a soba restaurant and provided meals for schools until he was diagnosed with alcoholic neuritis, a debilitating condition that reduced his mobility. Now, the artist mostly works from home, ordering take-out often and continuing to detail his meals at length. Since he started the creative project at age 18, Kobayashi has produced more than 1,000 illustrations. “For him, painting and living have the same meaning. The disease (makes it) more and more difficult to walk, but he does not stop painting,” Kushino says. Most recently, Kobayashi has begun shaping pop-ups in his works featuring bowls of tempura seafood and piles of noodles.

Shared at the Outsider Art Fair in New York earlier this year, Kobayashi’s pieces sold for up to $3,000. To see a project in the same vein, check out James Deeds Jr.’s Ectlectric Pencil. (via ArtNet)

 

 



Art Illustration

Black Trash Bags Take Control of Animal and Human Life in ‘Garb-age’ by Murmure

March 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Garbage whale” (2019), black stone and pencil on paper, 70 x 100 centimeters. All images © Murmure

French duo Paul Ressencourt and Simon Roche, or Murmure, highlight the nefarious nature of a commonplace object in their latest project that explores the human impact on the environment. The monochromatic pieces illustrate the ubiquity of the black trash bag as it composes a whale, masks the heads of an embracing couple, and floats in a large group through the air like a flock of birds. Each bag shines in the light, accentuating its plastic materiality.

Murmure told Juxtapoz that the black-and-white pieces are designed to be straightforward, a strategy that emphasizes the single red tie meant to signify a narrative thread. “The main idea was to play with the colors of a regular black garbage bag as much as possible. Not only for dramatic appeal, but also for the depth of shades and, somehow, the elegance of its texture and reaction to light. That’s why we use graphite pencil, to achieve this texture,” the pair said.

Ranging from drawings on paper to larger murals, the works are part of a broader project called Garb-age, a nod to the idea of a new era, that directly speaks to the growing climate crisis. The duo says the purpose is to show the power street art specifically has to impact the ways people think. “To us, Garb-age is a meaningful project that allows us to raise awareness of important environmental issues,” they said. Each piece is “a powerful image reflecting the choices everyone faces daily, between our knowledge of the issues at stake and what we can do about them but don’t. We would love it if visitors could pass this first impression and understand there’s hope behind every picture created.”

Murmure had an exhibition scheduled at Galerie LJ in Paris this month, although it has closed due to worries about the spread of coronavirus. However, the gallery has shot a virtual tour that’s available on Instagram, where you can also find more of the duo’s climate-aware pieces.

“The lovers” (2020), black stone on paper, 60 x 80 centimeters

“Garbage whale” (2019), Vladivostok

“Garbage tail” (2020), black stone and colored pencil, 210 x 135 centimeters

“Duffel Battle” (2020), Paris

“Garbage Ocean 03,” black stone and acrylic on paper, 60 x 80 centimeters

“Soaring”

 

 



History Illustration

Artists Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak by Flooding Social Media with a Japanese Yokai Said to Ward Off Epidemics

March 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

A Japanese legend dating back to the 1800s has been resurfacing across social media recently because of its tie to staving off epidemics. A three-legged mermaid or merman with long hair and beak, the Amabie falls within the tradition of the yōkai—which is a supernatural monster or spirit in Japanese culture— and is said to have appeared from the waters near Kumamoto. The mythical tale states that the scale-covered creature emerged from the sea to tell prophecies about the upcoming harvests and potential destruction from disease. In the case of an epidemic, the legend states that people are supposed to draw the Amabie and share it with everyone who is ill. In response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Twitter and Instagram are full of illustrations, pencil drawings, and wool sculptures of the mysterious figure. (via Spoon & Tamago)

by illustrator Satake Shunske

phone backgrounds by tettetextile

by artist, painter, and designer Abe Seiji

by manga artist Keiichi Tanaka

 

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A post shared by Sonoko Takiguchi (@nokonokofelt) on

 

 



Illustration

Vibrant New Scottish Currency Illustrated with Influential Women and Abundant Wildlife

March 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

During the last four years, the Royal Bank of Scotland launched a democratic project to capture what one collaborator termed “the more ordinary aspects of Scottish identity including otters, midges, mackerel and tweed.” The result is Fabric of Nature, a series of recently released banknotes that feature illustrated wildlife and portraits of some of Scotland’s most influential women. This week, the third installment of the project was released, presenting a new £20 note featuring a pair of bushy-tailed red squirrels.

Author and poet Nan Shepherd is featured on the £5, scientist Mary Somerville is on the £10, and tearoom businesswoman and artist patron Kate Cranston is profiled on the £20. When held up to a UV light, each polymer bill reveals a glowing image of the wildlife, in addition to an English version of Gaelic poetry from Sorley Maclean, Norman MacCaig, and Mark Alexander Boyd that’s visible in daylight. The quotes are scribed by calligrapher Susie Leiper.

A Scottish design studio, Nile, spearheaded the project, with assistance from O Street, Timorous Beasties, Graven, and Stuco. “From the typography to the featured animals, to the bespoke textile backgrounds, every element of every note has a meaning connected with the people of Scotland. The notes are a cultural capture of what is important, and heart felt for us Scots,” a statement from Nile says.

The Scottish redesign is part of a larger movement worldwide to create currency that better captures diversity. In the United States, however, the treasury stalled on releasing a $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman in 2019, saying the updated design would be released instead in 2026.

For a more in-depth look at the collaborative design process for Fabric of Nature, check out the videos Nile’s site. (via It’s Nice That)

Scientist Mary Somerville is on the £10

Tearoom businesswoman and artist patron Kate Cranston

Author and poet Nan Shepherd on the £5

 

 

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