Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meg Hunt

Arrrgh! What makes some people so gifted and talented? I feel like I'm a pretty good artist but people like Meg Hunt almost make me despair, she's so wonderful!

Meg has been featured almost everywhere. Meg Hunt's dome work for BeerAdvocate, Fantagraphics Books, K Records, Utne, the Washington Post, and Nickelodeon, among others. Her muted, limited color palette and print style make her work unique and delicious. Enjoy! And keep an eye on her.

Meg's site
Meg's blog
Meg's flickr
Meg's journal
Interview at Design Inspiration

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A few artists I've noticed...

Javier Gonzalez Burgos - Illustrations Artworks. Surreal and serene illustrations.

Meg Hunt - Ooo-la-la! Delish! Her site, her blog.

Yara Kono - Her flickr, her blog. I love this stuff!

André Gribble - Ya callate André (blog) - Brilliant design and illustration.

Betsy Walton - Her site, her flickr. More fine art than illustration, with a dreamy imagination.


Here's a few things of various topics you may want to check out...

Giant Golden Book of Biology - Illustrations by Charles Harper - a triumph of design and illustration!

Creating the cover of a novel. Irish illustrator PJ Lynch shows a step-by-step of how he goes through the process of creating a book cover.

Bear Tools I and Bear Tools II has Kevin Cornell of Bearskin Rug giving us his tools of illustration - guides on pencils, erasers, and inking implements.

Illustrophile, a blog "for lovers of illustration and commercial art" that started last August. It features mostly artists and designers that are currently working.

By the way - if you enjoyed the illustrations by Charley Harper (above), then check out more of his work here and here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Alina Chau - Ice Cream Monster

Alina Chau is well known among us congregating illustrators on the web. She contributes to a few illustration groups online and she comments on almost everyone's entries. But what makes her stand out from most of us is her sketchwork - with a few blotches of watercolor and some choice, flowing lines, she captures the essence of beauty of everything she sees or imagines. She's an animator and I'm looking forward to great things from her, but for now I can admire her sensitive and lovely sketches and her beautiful books. Explore her work and be inspired.

Alina Chau's Blog
Alina's Portfolio Site
An Interview with Alina

Monday, May 19, 2008

Flora Chang - Happy Doodle Land

Flora Chang is a graphic designer for work but her illustrations foretell a bright future - a future I look forward to seeing. Her retro-cute block-print style is so delicious and inspirational.

I asked her what her inspirations are and she answered: I admire many artists. To name a few: Mary Blair, Jim Flora, Richard Scarry, J.P. Miller, Tim Biskup. My favorite Japanese artists include: Shinzi Katoh, Piu Sudo, and Sakura Momoko (creator of Japanese cartoon "Chibi Maruko-Chan"). - I can certainly see all of these influences in her art, but her own personal flair shines through.

Flora is from Taipei, Taiwan and now resides in Kansas City. Besides being an amazing artist she is also a wonderful musician!

Enjoy the delightful art of Flora Chang!

Happy Doodle Land
Flora's flickr

Monday, May 12, 2008

Allison Sommers

Allison Sommers is a visual artist working and living in Charlottesville, Virginia. And she's spectacular! I love her visions, colors, details. She works mostly in my favorite medium, gouache (an opaque watercolor). She paints most of work while looking through a magnifying glass, commanding exacting detail in her pieces. Her subjects are a blend of nightmare and festive fantasy, a Bosch-like world of meat and turtles. A true inspiration. Enjoy!

Allison Sommers
Allison's flickr
Allison on Drawn!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Never Been

Here's a tasty bit of illustration inspiration... Stuart Kolakovic presents a nice long strip of drawings that you need to click and drag to see all of it. Every bit of this scene is a treat for the eyes and will certainly make you want to do your own!

Never Been
Stuart's site
Never Been, hanging on a wall

Friday, May 2, 2008

Chun Eun Sil

Korean illustrator Chun Eun Sil is amazing! This is my kind of illustration inspiration. The flow, the composition, the colors... there's grace and love in every image she touches. Check her out!

Her Site (Korean)
Her Flickr

via Drawn!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lou Romano

I mentioned this guy before, buried in another post, but I wanted to highlight him here. Lou Romano is a brilliant colorist and has worked as illustrator and designer on various projects including The Powerpuff Girls and The Iron Giant. He soon got a little job at some place called Pixar (Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Cars). He's also done some voice work there, including the lead character Linguini in Ratatouille.

Anyway, I got a bit of mail from The New Yorker asking that I subscribe (I did) that included a fold-out of covers. There was a beautiful one of a just-married couple in a taxi with a rainy night-time New York backdrop that grabbed me like... like... something that grabs... real hard. I thought, "heh, looks like Lou Romano's stuff, but better!" D'oh! I looked it up and it was indeed a Lou Romano, reminding me of just how much I love this guy's work. He has a mastering of color that kills me! Look, I'm dead!

Lou Romano's blog
Lou Romano (official site)
Lou Romano (IMDb)
Lou Romano (Wikipedia)
The Trouble With Lou Oh, really?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mid-20th Century Matchbox Labels

A lot of incredible matchbox labels from the 50s and 60s, mostly from Eastern Europe, on Flickr courtesy of Mariad (who has some other nice photo sets as well). Enjoy!

Matchbox Labels

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sam Weber

There's a calm, frozen quality to Sam Weber's art, like a pond of ice, but just underneath that ice is a scene of intriguing terror. Sam finds beauty in blood and vacant stares. His work is a muted wash of monochrome colors with slashes of detailed branches or hair running through like Japanese brush strokes. A bit disturbing but you can't tear your eyes away.

Sam Weber is married to the fabulous artist, Jillian Tamaki.

Sam Paints - Sam Weber's site
Sam Weber at Lines and Colors
Sam Weber at Illustration Mundo
Sam Weber at Drawn

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Joy Ang

Joy Ang is a very young illustrator, still exploring her style, but producing such wonderful work that one can easily predict a great future. Her color, form, and composition are tight, unique, delightful, and just feels right. Keep an eye on her.

Joy Ang's website
Joy Ang's prints

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gustaf Tenggren

Gustaf Adolf Tenggren (1896 - 1970) was a Swedish illustrator known for his Arthur Rackham-influenced fairy-tale style. Tenggren was a chief illustrator for Disney in the late 1930s, his greatest work being designing the old-world style for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and developing the dwarfs personalities. He also worked significantly on Bambi and Pinocchio. He then illustrated many children's books including several Little Golden Books like The Poky Little Puppy and Tawny Scrawny Lion. Sadly, Gustaf destroyed much of his early work and too little survives to this day.

Gustaf Tenggren (Wikipedia)
Some beautiful childrens' illustrations
Classical childrens' illustration (ASIFA)
Cute childrens' illustration (ASIFA)
More Tenggren illustration (ASIFA)
Illustrations for advertisements
The Talented Herr Tenggren (Tinselman)
Bio with illustrations

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Color - Psychology and Trends

In your artwork you use color. But color should never be considered incidental. Color carries personal, cultural and instinctual meaning. Color also comes in and goes out of style on an almost yearly basis. As a fine artist you consider color on an emotional level - hues and tones, complimentary, contrasting, clashing, bright or muted - all generating an emotional response. As an illustrator, you consider your target audience - primaries, pastels, gem colors, saturated hues, soft or high-contrast - what appeals most to who will buy the product. Illustrators will often keep up with color trends, especially when they design high-impact sales products like packaging and magazine covers. But for any kind of artist, understanding color and its psychology and trends can improve your work and actually increase your creativity.

The meaning of color can be defined fairly well - for most of western culture... for instance, while white is associated with pureness in western culture, it symbolizes death in most Asian cultures where wedding dresses are often red, a lucky color. But instinctual responses to color can be fairly universal - such as, dye any food or drink a true blue (not deep indigo like blueberries) and it immediately becomes unappetizing. Blue is absent from fast food places - the most appetizing colors, red and yellow, are dominant.

So here's your project: Explore the links below (I highly recommend using COLOURlovers). Observe colors of products, magazine racks, clothing. Think about the personalities of people and the colors they choose for their environments and clothing. Then, do some art. Start with a very small palette - 2 or 3 colors - that you feel effect each other and the subject matter in some way. Slowly expand your palette for other art. Notice how you are thinking about color. You'll find a deeper love of color that will expand your world in wonderful ways.

COLOURlovers - all things color.
COLOURlovers blog of trends
In The Mod - download color palettes derived from artists' paintings.
Color symbolism and psychology (Wikipedia)
Color Marketing Group - color trend researchers.
Complete Color Harmony Workbook (Amazon)
Color Index (Amazon)

image from COLOURlovers

Monday, February 18, 2008

Franklin Booth

Illustrator Franklin Booth (1874 - 1948) Franklin Booth's amazing and unusual pen-and-ink drawing style came to him as a boy in Indiana, from hours of copying illustrations he loved from magazines - illustrations he thought were pen-and-ink but were actually engravings and woodcuts. His ethereal and careful work lent itself well to works of poetry.

On the Lines and Color blog
A nice gallery
Gallery of small images
3 more nice images
Google Image Search
Wikipedia entry

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

N.C. Wyeth

Illustrator N.C. Wyeth (1882 – 1945) Wyeth's illustrations were perhaps best loved by boys who would make a world of adventure in their backyards. His best known illustrations were for Treasure Island (1911), but he also illustrated Kidnapped (1913), Robin Hood (1917), The Last of the Mohicans (1919), Robinson Crusoe (1920), Rip Van Winkle (1921), and did work for prominent periodicals including Century, Harper's Monthly, Ladies' Home Journal, McClure's, and Outing. His children were raised wild, focusing more on discovery than academics. All his children became artists and scientists - Andrew, his oldest, went on to fame as a fine artist, his most famous painting being Christina's World (1948). N. C. Wyeth was the star pupil of Howard Pyle and became one of America's greatest illustrators. His paintings often reflected the wild west, with portrayals sensitive to the humanity of the Native American. Wyeth died too soon, in a car with his young nephew, stalled on the railroad tracks near his home.

Nice collection
Wyeth at Animation Archive
Robinson Crusoe
Google Image Search
Wikipedia entry

Monday, February 11, 2008

Arthur Rackham

Illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867 – 1939) was a prolific illustrator of children's and adult's books, from Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, to Midsummer's Night Dream and Edgar Allen Poe. His work has influenced countless illustrators and artist, including Guillermo Del Toro and his Pan's Labyrinth. Enjoy!

Over 200 plates (graphic-heavy gallery)
Wikipedia entry
More Rackham pictures

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jeff Soto

Jeff Soto is one of my favorite artists on the lowbrow art scene. His art seems to me as graphic-heavy dreams, a dimension of logo-like gods invading into our own. And he's a real cool guy. It always amazes me how approachable these artists are. While highbrow artists of other genres can get wrapped up in their intellectual vanity, these "lowbrow" artists (and their kin, like graff artists, animators, comic book artists, etc.) really love the work of other artists and encourage aspiring artists. Anyway, check out Jeff Soto's website and then check out his blog (where he hangs with some of my other favorite artists like Mark Ryden and Gary Baseman).

Audrey Kawasaki

Super awesome artist, Audrey Kawasaki, has a really nice livejournal blog. Her art - with its graceful lines, soft lighting, and natural textures - is inspiring enough but she also blogs about things that inspire her. A must for your bookmarks. Also, check out her portfolio.

She recently scanned some background art for the anime movie Tekkon Kinkreet. The art is stunning! I own the movie and I think it's one of the best movies I've seen.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Disney Backgrounds

A really nice blog of some fine Disney backgrounds by Rob Richards (who plays organ at El Capitan). Explore by cartoon from the lables linked on the left. My favorites are Sleeping Beauty (seen here) and Alice in Wonderland (much of which is strongly Mary Blair influenced). I hope he gets some more Peter Pan backgrounds!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Old Children's Books

Another flickrset... some really incredible scans of illustrations from old children's books. A must-see!

Classic Posters

A flickrset of "Classic Posters"... I don't know about "classic" but these are certainly inspirational! Check 'em out!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Progress of Steel

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive website is always a treasure trove of preserved animation, cartooning, and illustration. Check out their recent find - a book of illustrations to accompany a John Sutherland's industrial film, Rhapsody of Steel (1959). The book is illustrated by legendary stylists Eyvind Earle (Sleeping Beauty, Pigs is Pigs) and Maurice Noble (Duck Dodgers, How The Grinch Stole Christmas) and is incredible in its textures and colors. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

1937 Cartooning Book

Some guy named Gerald uploaded a scanned 1937 cartooning book to flickr. Points On Cartooning is a fun look at drawing "funny pictures" in the golden age. Enjoy!

Oh! And when you're done with that, check this one out too!

Toon Style

Some linky goodness to inspire you:

Dan Krall is an animation designer with a tasty retro look. He's worked on Chowder, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack and more.

Lou Romano is a brilliant colorist and has worked on a lot of the same stuff as Dan until he got a little job at some place called Pixar. He's also done some voice work there, including Linguini in Ratatouille. Check out the amazing color he whipped out in a series of doodles he did in a day.

And on another note, but deliciously retro, Japanese artist Koji Tomoto (Cozy Tomato).

Charging For Your Artwork

An illustrator (or graphic artist, writer, fine artist, etc.) is an under-appreciated worker. An illustrator is a skilled worker, but often clients do not understand what "skilled" means. Here's a little story that might help:
Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.

"It's you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist."

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

"It's perfect!" she gushed. "You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?"

"Five thousand dollars," the artist replied.

"B-b-but, what?" the woman sputtered. "How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!"

To which Picasso responded, "Madame, it took me my entire life."
If she wanted an itemized bill, it could look something like this:

Drawing and materials: $1
Experience and knowledge: $4,999

The lesson here is one must not undersell their talent. Not only is it unfair to the artist, it's unfair to the whole industry you represent.