medium /// drawing




“defiance is my favorite motivator”

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When I emailed Toronto based artist/designer Amanda Happé to ask if she’d do the podcast, she wrote me back and said “Oooh, sounds scary – so yes!”  You gotta love that. Amanda does work that speaks to the designer in me. Perfect lines, beautiful text, gorgeous palettes… sort of not surprising to learn that she’s a graphic designer by day. She has such a refreshing/smart way of looking at creativity so I was thrilled to finally talk to her. You can listen right up there under all of that GRATITUDE, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

The first thing we talked about was, of course, her text-based paintings that I love oh so much:

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Ah! I already loved them but then to find out that she doesn’t plan them on the computer first {kinda what you’d expect a graphic designer to do}, it’s all done with old school tools like pencils, erasers, and compasses! Love. Oh, speaking of love, I forgot to mention that the piece directly above, “YOU ARE LOVED”, was a custom piece that Amanda made for one of my Land of Nod collections. Love. Again.

Alright, next… yes, Amanda was the artist that I chose to paint the cover of my first book, Creative Block! And what I didn’t realize for the longest time, until I held the book in my hands and really looked at it, she hand painted the “Creative Block” letters!? Look:

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So good! What a steady hand she must have. That’s me at the opening of my show at the Bedford Gallery in late 2014. This is when I saw the original painting {that she later gave me as gift!?} for the first time. And yes, I cried a tiny bit. Oh, and I had to show visual proof of this… the Korean version of Creative Block:

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Ha! I’m going to send one to Amanda, and I’m going to give one away today too… leave a comment below and I’ll draw one name before the next podcast goes up. Good luck!

Now, these are the “doodles” she mentioned. Her marker drawings that she does just to stay loose and to keep making when the big ideas are simmering in the background. Yeah, except that now Chronicle has asked her to make a book with these!? Hello amazing surprise project!

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See, just goes to show that doing a little something every day really can get you somewhere! Ok, I also had to show you this too… so the building her studio is in was going to be sold and all 5 artists working there would be kicked out… so Amanda bought the building and now manages it. Um, ah-mazing! Here’s a little peek at “Three of Wands” {a tarot card reference}:

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This is going to be my first stop for a visit next time I’m in Toronto! And finally, I had to include Amanda’s bio photo… her amazing pink/yellow door in her old apartment:

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Let’s hope whoever lives there now kept it that way. Thank you so much to Amanda for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thank YOU for listening… there will be more art for your ear next weekend {and don’t forget to leave a comment if you want a chance at that Korean version of CB!}

Other links:

  1. Bruce Mau Design
  2. TAXI Advertising & Design
  3. Martha Rich
  4. “Home Movies” TV show




“who doesn’t like a dinosaur”

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These are drawings. DRAWINGS. Yep, layers and layers of graphite drawings, and who knows what else, all trapped perfectly in carefully poured resin. I finally get to ask LA based artist Brooks Salzwedel the how, what and why behind his ethereal work. Listen right up there under that dreamy forest, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First of all, a few of my favorites. These are DRAWINGS:

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Oh my goodness. Note the yellowed tape… we talk about that a little later in the episode. Ok, these are the belt buckles that started things for Brooks:

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So cool, and selling out constantly. Not surprising… it’s gorgeous art for your pants!

I loved this next part… it was infectious to hear how excited he was about this residency in Alaska. Clearly “nature boy” was in his element. I found a bunch of great images from this trip in his Instagram feed:

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Ah, so beautiful. The image directly above is of Denali and was taken at 1am! Oh Alaskan nights. And that middle image is the “sideset” sunset he was talking about. I asked if any of those “sidesets” have made it into his work, and indeed they have! Here are a couple of examples:

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Sigh. Dreamy, mysterious, so beautifully done. Ok, now it’s time to look for hidden treasure. In quite a few of his pieces, Brooks will add little details… some with personal meaning, and some just for fun {because who doesn’t like a dinosaur}:

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Ah! I love those so much! The color, the details, the fog… all of it!

Now, as usual, the speed round led to a very interesting little tidbit. Guess who owns three of Brooks’ pieces… yep, the handsome and talented Jon Hamm:

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“Yeah, I own three of them. Jealous?” Yes. Yes, I am Mr.Draper. And lastly, one of my favorite things about talking to these artists … getting a peek into their studios:

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Gorgeous. I can almost smell the graphite and resin from here. Thank you so much to Brooks for downloading Skype just for us, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and as always a HUGE thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. ArtCenter College of Design, LA
  2. Good Eye Gallery, LA
  3. Hammer Museum
  4. Doom Generation 

 





edda gimnes

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Gasp! This is the Fall/Winter collection of UK based designer Edda Gimnes. Quick marker drawings that popped magically out of her sketchbook and onto the runways of London in the form of shoes, dresses, bras… so creative, so hilarious, so fantastic! Speaking of fantastic, I think Edda’s on her way to a really interesting future:

[Edda Gimnes is] a BA Womenswear graduate at the London College of Fashion who has been featured in The New York Times as one of ten Fresh out of Fashion School designers to watch… [she has an] eclectic aesthetic that typically combines disparate elements, from pink knitting, with gold and light blue embroidery to bold prints with elements of embellishments.  [Edda] truly enjoys the process of design research and always on the lookout for unique objects, as well as illustrating with opposite hand and collage. 

Ah, collage. Yep, I knew I liked her  ps. I think she do some kind of collaboration with ceramicist Katharine Morling!

{Images via Vogue, illustrations via Edda’s site}





lisa congdon

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Ready to dive in? Me too! “The Joy of Swimming”, by Portland based artist/illustrator Lisa Congdon, hits shelves today! Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful hand-lettered quotes, and really interesting facts/stories about all things swimming. Lisa brings passion to everything she does, but this project is near and dear to her heart, because she’s been a swimmer since she was little … see:

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Aw, so cute! Congratulations Lisa… I’m so thrilled that you had a chance to totally jump into this project {see what I did there?}.  If you love swimming – or water, or beautiful artwork, or Lisa – pick up this lovely book. Oh, and Lisa is going on the road with this one so if you want to meet her/have your book signed, you can find her right here:

April 26, 7-9 pm California College of the Arts (San Francisco)
May 8, 2-4 pm 
Strand Books (NYC)
May 11, 7-9 pmPowerhouse Arena (Brooklyn, NY)
May 13, 9-10:30 am Creative Mornings (Minneapolis)
May 17, 7-9 pm – Broadway Books (Portland)
May 24 7-9 pmUniversity Bookstore (Seattle)





“organizing the fray”

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I am very excited about this. Vancouver based artist Sarah Gee Miller is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is so talented (and self-taught by the way), incredibly generous, one of the only people I truly feel comfortable talking to about my own work… and she bakes a mean blueberry muffin. Sarah and I cover everything in this interview – from a life-altering accident she was in at 15, to finding her way to an art career decades later. A lot of you have been asking me to make these episodes longer, so Sarah and I just kept talking and talking! I loved every minute of this conversation (but be warned, there are a few bleeped out swear words in there… shocking, I know.) You can listen right up there, under that perfect circular drawing, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, let’s get things started with the first of Sarah’s work that I ever saw… big, beautiful, perfectly-cut circles of paper:

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So gorgeous! Photos don’t do them justice. They’re really big, and really bright, so seeing them in person takes your breath away. Here are the two “city block” pieces she was talking about (there’s a bit of a glare because she had already mounted them/put plexiglass on them before taking the photos):

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Oh. I love them so much. And because I just can’t get enough of her circles, here are a few recent pieces in progress/moments before they were shipped off to shows:

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I love those studio shots… pre-mounting, just hanging out on her sunlit floor. Ok, now, moving on to the drawing machine! Yes, Sarah built her own revolving drawing machine, and luckily for me, she invited me over to try it out:

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So fun! I wish I could take credit for the drawings above, but alas, those ones were created with Sarah’s expert hand. I made a few that were ok… I was just happy to get out of there without being sick (that machine makes you dizzy!). I left there with the pieces I made AND that beautiful piece she gave me as a gift (that now sits above my fireplace beside “Rosie”, my pink doe by Rachel Denny)

Next, the pieces she’s been working on lately. These ones aren’t paper, but styrene (a type of plastic), that she cuts and then paints:

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So much work. So much careful work. We talked about how meticulous her pieces are, and the fact that she works on the floor… both of which sort of blow my mind considering the devastating accident she was in as a teenager. But, she tells me that being on her knees and working on the floor is much more comfortable than standing or sitting. Whatever works, Sarah, whatever works! I think her story is so inspiring. She’s overcome so much, and even though she suffers from chronic pain she is such a joyful person. See…

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Jumping over art and drinking champagne on the floor. That’s how you do it! And finally, in the speed round I asked her to clarify a myth about cats. I think she lied to me though. Note the proof I found on her Instagram feed:

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Ah-ha, I knew it! Cats do lie on your supplies/work! Busted. Oh well, they’re cute so we’ll leave that alone. Thanks so much to Sarah for taking an hour and a half (?!) out of her day to do this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other Links

  1. Jessica Bell
  2. Ben Skinner
  3. Zoe Pawlak
  4. Wayne White
  5. Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto

 





hope gangloff

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Books, wine, art, music, and fantastic clothes. Yep, I want to be friends with all of these women. This is the beautifully composed, colorful, pattern-filled work of New York based artist Hope Gangloff. Sigh… wouldn’t it be great to hang out in these paintings for the weekend? I want a red pedicure… and a fish blanket.

{via Fresh Paint Magazine}





sara landeta

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Beautifully drawn birds on the back of old drug boxes. LOVE. This series, titled “MEDICINE AS METAPHOR” is the work of Spanish artist Sara Landeta. Here is her description of this work:

The project includes a collection of 120 boxes of drugs that have been consumed by different patients to overcome their illnesses. All boxes are illustrated inside with a broad classification of birds from different families, being the only animal that although it gives it a meaning of freedom, because it is the only one able to connect with the earth and the sky, is also one of the main animals in captivity. This juxtaposition of the natural and the synthetic interprets the patient as a captive animal, and the bird as its metaphor.
Draw a collection of birds inside these boxes holding a single reflection ; l will learn to be birds in captivity, but they are wanting to fly, and that is what keeps them alive. 

Lovely. But sad.




lee boyd

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Yep, you guessed it, I’ve had these drawings bookmarked for ages, just waiting for Easter! They are all from a series, titled Manimal, by Ireland based artist Lee Boyd… granted, he draws all sorts of animal/humans, but these dramatic, romantic rabbits were calling my name.





“distant friends”

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Today I’m talking to Swedish artist/illustrator Camilla Engman. Eep! She is one of those people who I’ve got way up on an artsy pedestal… and so do a lot of you apparently! I’ve had several people send messages asking if I can get her to come on the podcast. Yes, yes I can! Listen on the little player right up there, or subscribe on iTunes

Let’s start with a few of my favorite paintings by Camilla:

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Ah, so good. Mysterious, narrative, and oh so beautifully painted. We talked a little bit about her strange characters… the bears and dogs etc… turns out they represent people {people that may or may not take on those animal-like characteristics}:

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Ahh, I love them so much. So sweet and innocent… but I have a feeling they’re probably not quite as sweet and innocent as one might think. Next, these are the amazing envelope collages, from her “Distant Friends” series that she and Ana Ventura started together. I cannot get over them. So simple. So smart. So “damn I wish I thought of that” :

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LOVE! We also talked about her studio. Sigh. I want to go to there:

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She’s in her own little house which is part of a larger arts community area, in Gothenburg Sweden, called Konstepidemin, which means “the epidemic of art”. There is a little blue restaurant, galleries, AND guest studios that you can apply for as part of their artist-in-residence program. Here’s a little peek:

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Yeah. Let’s ALL go there! Thank you so, so much to Camilla for talking to me, even though she was worried about her English… which I thought was perfect/much better than my Swedish; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and THANK YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Her online shop, Studio Morran
  2. Book that Camilla did with Uppercase
  3. Apply for a guest residency at “Konstepidemin”

 





alexandria coe

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I love it when you’re looking through an artist’s polished portfolio… and then you stumble onto their loose and lovely sketchbook! Yep, this is a peek into the sassy sketchbook pages belonging to London based artist/illustrator Alexandria Coe. Such simple, elegant, lovely lines.