medium /// illustration




olaf hajek

Gasp! “Antoinette // Flowerheads” is a mixed media series by Berlin based artist/illustrator Olaf Hajek. Now, I’ll admit that I’m a little late to the party … I believe he started this series in 2010, but when you find women covered in birds and flowers with mismatched eye color, you drop everything and share them immediately.





“humor, how-tos, and hindsight”

So, if you listen to my podcast, you know I’ve got a soft spot for funny art… combine that with hand-lettering, gouache, and some tacky cats and I’m all IN. I discovered the wonderfully kitschy work of Melbourne based artist Anna Hoyle last spring. Her paintings of book covers are hilarious and beautiful and I had to find out how and why she makes them. There also appeared to be a major detour in style and career around 2005 so I wanted to ask about that too, and I did. Listen right up there under that little hound with bad hair, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of my faves:

So much LOVE!

Now, here are her ink drawings from 2000-2005 that she was showing quite a lot. Gorgeous but so different than her work now:

She mentioned adding a bit of color when she started getting tired of black and white only, but it wasn’t enough for her. Enter her stacks of books painted in bright, beautiful gouache:

Oh, those little legs! And yes, this work finally allowed her to bring her sign painting skills into her fine art work. A few “sluggish frumps”, “Painting à la mode”, and of course, “Painting is for Pussies”.

Here are a few of her totally fictional, totally fabulous book covers … price tags and all:

 

Gah! I love everything, especially that last one! We talked a bit about why she loves books, but she sent me a follow-up email to explain it further, so I’ve included that here:

“I chose to paint books because they are gorgeous objects, but more importantly, they have this threatened and precarious quality in the digital age. I like to paint ‘how to’ and ‘why’ research kinda books because they are the very books that no one really turns to in the age of youtube/google … but, the whole point of my books are that they are about ridiculous, absurd subjects to research anyway.” 

Speaking of which…

Ha! Yes! Anna says she has plans for this jailed kale, so we’ll have to keep an eye on her shop!

During the Not-So-Speedy Speed Round™, I asked her if she was a “cat person” or a “dog person”… she answered “dog person”, but you can see why I wouldn’t be certain either way:

Kitschy cats and lots o’ hounds… her birds are fantastic too!

And finally, I asked if she could send me a few images from her childhood drawings, and what she dug up was hilarious! Turns out, Anna’s been “taking the piss” out of old advertisements, playing with funny text, and using bright colors longer than she realized:

“Beauty without the Beast” … HAHAHA! Sigh. Such a perfect way to wrap up this episode. Thank you so much to Anna for sharing her story {and seriously, how is she not already a full time illustrator!? Agencies, brands, etc… CALL. HER.} Thank you as always to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and BIG thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Anna’s Print Shop
  2. Maira Kalman
  3. “Middlesex” by Jeffery Eugenides
  4. Thea Astley, Australian writer




brian fitzgerald

“Bounce Bounce” … the accidental epic adventure of a super cute bug. This is the work of Irish artist / illustrator Brian Fitzgerald. I love his illustration style, but what I love even more is this email he sent me a few days ago:

… I’d like to share a little on the inner critic. In 2013 it was at its worst and I was about to give up on illustration having been one for forever. I spotted a Competition called the Silent Book Contest in Italy and decided to give illustrating one last go. I did however make some rules for myself before starting and stuck by them all the way. One of them was that Brian the child should write the story and Brian the adult wasn’t allowed to make any changes no matter what. I wrote the story that day and in the evening Brian the adult started to pick flaws in the story. Thanks to the rule, I never allowed Brian the adult to impose and I went ahead and won the Silent Book 2014 in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I guess my bully is Brian the adult and my creative is Brian the child. They get along thanks to the success and teamwork. Thanks for reading … Brian (the child)

I’m so glad that “Brian the adult” figured that out… and ended up on his very own epic adventure!

{And in case you’re wondering, “Can I buy this beautiful book!?” … yes, yes you can: buy it right here}





ilka mészely

Seriously, I cannot handle how much I love these. Geometric coats, pompom skirts and, obviously I’m going to need that red bear … thing. These cozy folks are from a series, titled “Stay Warm”, by Budapest based artist/illustrator Ilka Mészely. Her Instagram feed is full of them, and there are a few very affordable prints available in her shop … go get one!

{via Artistic Moods}





“a cat in paris”

If you are not experiencing this episode from Paris, brace yourself because you’re gonna wanna go! Artist, designer, author, shop owner, traveler, and mother (phewf) Cat Seto is my guest today. She owns the lovely shop & studio, Ferme à Papier, in San Francisco. However, as much as she loves the city by the bay, I am quite certain her heart belongs to Paris … and its pastries. You can listen to this episode right under that lovely little collection of all things Parisian, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, Instagram proof of a Cat in Paris:

Are you booking your flight? Yep, me too. (See, that was the photo on the balcony I mentioned… she looks very at home if you ask me!)

Next, a tiny peek at just a few of the gorgeous things (art prints, cards, planners etc) at her shop in San Francisco, Ferme à Papier:

Those shoes. I need this print maintenant!

So, along with everything else she does, Cat is also a mama… so how perfect was this collaboration?! Mom Inc., the inspiring, advice-filled book she co-authored with Meg Ilasco in 2012:

… and, the “Joie du Jour” line of loveliness that she also created with Chronicle Books, with of course, just a petite touch of Paris.

Well, clearly a petite touch wasn’t enough for Cat! Enter her new book (on shelves April 4, 2017 released by Harper Design), Impressions of Paris – An Artist’s Sketchbook:

Oh mon Dieu, so lovely. The book is broken up into four sections: color, pattern, perspective and rhythm … and it captures Paris beautifully. Well, not only does her book do that, so does her dreamy little shop & studio! Here’s a little look into Ferme à Papier’s HQ in San Francisco:

Ahhh… a bike in the window, navy walls, wood accents. Now, I wonder if she has any pastries in there? My money is on ‘YES’.

During the Not-So-Speedy Speed Round™ I asked Cat for her favorite dessert in Paris. She couldn’t name just one. Who’s surprised? Me either. Here are a few that she mentioned… illustrated!

Oui, oui, oui to all of that scrumptiousness! And, if those rainbow-hued macarons aren’t sweet enough for you, how ’bout this:

Aw, come on! The cutest!  Thanks so much to Cat for taking time out of her insanely busy life to do this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and big high-fives to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Ferme à Papier on Instagram
  2. ParisToSF on Instagram
  3. University of Michigan (Go Wolverines!) 
  4. National Stationery Show, New York
  5. Anthropologie
  6. Alt Summit
  7. Mom Inc. Book
  8. Sylvia Weinstock Cakes
  9. Kate Woodrow (book agent!) + her episode
  10. Lisa Congdon LIVE episode
  11. Japanese Paper Place
  12. Saving Faces 

 





dan-ah kim

Dan_ah_Kim

Underpants, tropical house plants, and a couple of tigers. Perfection. I don’t think I could choose a favorite from these mixed media pieces by Seoul-born, Brooklyn based artist Dan-ah Kim… BUT, if I had to pick, I’d go with “Fighting Stance” at the top of the post – because if you’re going to fight, you should always fight like a girl. #ShePersisted

{Some of these pieces are available in Dan-ah’s shop.}





yelena bryksenkova

yelena_bryksenkova

Ah, unicorns and flowery boots bookended by cats on fancy chairs {ps. I have that IKEA lamp in my living room … for real.} This is the charming, pattern-filled work of Russian born, New York based artist/illustrator Yelena Bryksenkova. I love how she describes her work:

“My small pen and acryla gouache paintings are inspired by my love of home and the comfort of everyday objects, as well as more magical, mysterious and melancholy themes.”

Sigh. Lovely. You can find more of her work on her site, and in her shop.

{found via Lisa Congdon on Pinterest}





sarah strickland

sarahstrickland

Ahhh… relaxing, gouachie goodness. This is the work of Australian artist, illustrator, and textile designer Sarah Strickland. Oh, so many lovely patterns, gorgeous botanicals, and bright pops of color living happily beside dreamy ice cream pastels. Sigh. Happy Monday.





esthera preda

estherapreda

She had me at birds on skateboards. Sigh. This is the surreal, sweet, weird work of Canadian artist/illustrator Esthera Preda. Watercolor, gouache, and ink mixed with a healthy dose of odd, and voila… stunning work! Where does she come up with her ideas? Perhaps this will shed a little light:

“As a child, [Esthera] was read Hans Christian Andersen and Brothers Grimm fairy tales every night by her mother who escaped the iron curtain. She lived across the hall from her grandmother who was prone to night terrors. Although, she had wonderful parents, one of her favorite pastimes was to pretend that she was an orphan so she could build, with her brothers and sister, multi-level cardboard houses in the summer and igloo villages in the winter. The world that her art exists in lies somewhere between those ephemeral seasons, night terrors and folk tales.”

Ephemeral seasons, night terrors and folk tales… a perfect description, indeed!





kazuaki horitomo

kazuakihoritomo

Cats with tats… I mean, come on! LOVE! Now, that final image features a phoenix, but seeing how 2017 is the “Year of the Rooster” I’m going to pretend it’s a rooster. Go with it. This is the beautiful, and funny, work of California based tattoo artist Kazuaki Horitomo. I love the cats with their final tats in place, but I have to say those “tattoos-in-progress” make me laugh out loud … alone at my computer. So good.

{via Hint Magazine}