Amy van Luijk is one of those illustrators that just makes you smile. Her designs are nostalgic and evoke a certain whimsical charm to them. The color palettes, shapes, 2D style and subject matter, all reductive yet come together in a way that is warms the heart. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and picking up new colored paper everywhere she goes, Amy’s process includes a lot of cutting and pasting followed by hand drawn detail work. A pattern designer first, Amy has a breadth of experience under her belt including working for Meri Meri, which for any stationery junkies, is pretty much the holy grail of handmade cards and party favors. Below are some of my favorite designs, both from personal and commissioned pieces. Find Amy’s work on stationery, ceramics, canvas bags, book illustrations and more. Personally I think a few of these would make lovely wallpapers for children’s rooms especially the illustrated maps which you could customize for family heritage and interests. Possibilities are endless and the good news is, she is open to commissions and her patterns are licensable! Check out her entire portfolio here.
I often daydream of Ireland, romanticizing of the raw beautiful landscapes, cold damp weather and effortlessly country chic aesthetic. There’s just something so beautifully wild about it. Not to mention the Irish accent that makes me weak in the knees! – but that’s a topic for another day. 😉
Superfolk is inspired by Ireland and all of its romanic glory. Located on the West Coast of the Island, Design Duo Gearoid Muldowney and Jo Anne Butler are dedicated to creating simple, beautiful, material-led designs and homewares.
Tony Peralta was born in the United States to Dominican immigrant parents and raised in New York City’s Washington Heights. A fashion accessories designer by trade Peralta was driven by political and social climates in his personal work. Specifically the cultural tensions experienced by those living in immigrant American communities. After a group art show ten years ago, The Peralta Project was born to showcase his original artwork printed on clothing. It was a genius way to make his work affordable and attainable to his audience. However, as bold and impactful as the message was, it wasn’t for everyone so Peralta pushed himself creatively to simplify.
“One day I was looking art that I didn’t sell and I was like, you know what, I don’t really want to have this shit hanging in my house. Even though I was making a political statement, it wasn’t making me feel good.” – Tony Peralta Continue reading Rolos & Icons
If you’ve checked out my instagram feed you know I’m a big fan of animals. Dogs especially… My dog, extra especially. Dog portraiture on the other hand… not my favorite. That’s why when I stumbled across Woof Models I was pleasantly surprised. After a deeper look, I was seriously impressed at not only the modern and fresh feel of the portraits but also founder and designer, Sum Leung’s ability to completely capture the character of each pooch. One of my favorite things about dogs is how they can each encompass such unique and individual personalities. One look at Sum’s portraits and you know exactly who each dog is!
Each design is completely custom. Fill out a short questionnaire and Sum will take it from there. The best part is that 10% of each portrait sale goes to support an animal rescue charity. So get ordering. I want to see more of these lovely portraits out in the world!
I have always been a huge fan of mixed media. I love the juxtaposition of the materials and how each naturally plays off one another in surprising and interesting ways. Willyum Beck’s collages are striking examples of this. Not only are they a mix of physical materials they are a mix of cultural ideas that have an inherent and beautiful tension to them. These works are delivering an interesting take on the American Dream, flipping it on its head so that we question the meaning of the common imagery we are seeing; imagery we usually take for granted and don’t think about too much about. This exploration of meaning is what makes these pieces really sing. Check out a sampling of Willyum’s collages below. And if you’re interesting in purchasing, you’re in luck. Just jump over to his Etsy store. But hurry up, these are one-of-a kind!
Willyum is a cultural explorer who has a knack for finding and exasperating culture at its core. As an Art Director based in Portland, Oregon these collages are only one part of Willyum’s talent. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, IG and of course check out his site. Keeping us on our toes, Willyum’s always one step ahead and definitely a worth keeping an eye on.
I’ve been seeing a trend lately in textiles that I’m love, love, loving. Designers are utilizing photography to create beautiful abstract textiles that are used for everything from dresses to totes, to clutches and scarves. Ink & Tailor is a master of this intersection between visuals, textiles and design, and in their case it’s in the world of oversized, beautifully-handcrafted scarves.
Each scarf is born from a photograph, taken by the founders themselves. Some are wide open natural landscapes, some are industrial scenes and some are macro objects but all are beautiful and take on a completely new life when coiled around your body. It’s the ultimate transformative piece. The fabric is a blend of cotton and silk and has a wonderful delicate strength that each image seems to defuse within. And with the entire collection being made in the USA, what’s not to fall in love with?
Like I’m seeing with a lot of new small batch creative collections lately, brand voice and imagery are extremely strong and Ink & Tailor is no exception. Their logo is simple, modern and the concept behind it is lovely. Ink & Tailor is a collaboration between Maya von Geldern and K’era Morgan. Two lifelong friends who met in Art School over 20 years ago, August 28th 1993. Living in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, CA their logo is inspired by a postage stamp and that’s no coincidence. Deeply rooted in the Ink & Tailor philosophy is the respect for travel, new ideas, the convergence of cultures and, of course, the effect it has on our souls. Each scarf is accompanied with custom tag detailing where the image originated; a nice connection, rooting scarf and image in a deeper purpose.
They’re new on the block so show them some love and follow them on Instagram for everything from a new way to tie your scarf to daily reminders that beauty is all around us. And make sure to check out their e-commerce site. To welcome fall they’re offering 20% off for the rest of September with code SEPT20, so shop till you drop. Gift giving season is just around the corner. That’s if you have enough self control to buy one for someone else and not yourself!
Check out images below from their inaugural collection along with the photographs that inspired the textile design.
I met John Bell a few months back and was pleased to know that he was the artist behind a favorite piece of mine hanging on a best friend’s wall. Bell is what I’d call an art satoralist. His style is contemporary and mixed but never straying from poking at and exploring the values of the modern culture and society in which we all call home. How excuses for actions not only at the personal level but also at the cultural and government level are in abundant yet, accountability is low. He tackles modern cultural memes and surprisingly his work, though brash, has a softness about it captured in the truth it depicts on canvas, whatever that canvas might be.
Bell has worked in all kinds of mediums and has explored all kinds of cultural happenings from environmentalism to celebrity culture. Like it or not his work is bright, bold and his headlines can’t help but make you smile. Personally, I’m a lover of mixed media pieces, where layers and layers come together to form something special, yet unique from all the individual pieces brought together to make it whole. John is a master of the mixed media piece, personally describing his style as a, postmodern mashup, which I think hits the nail right on the head.
One of Bell’s explorations that I find incredibly interesting is his dinner series, the third of which was aptly called , “The Next Supper”. Held at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Bell explored the connection between viewer, art and expression blurring all the traditional line and rules by asking his guests to join in, which in turn became the subjects as museum goers could watch the entire dinner unfold in the main gallery. As dinner was being served the guest could add to the canvas, the tablecloth, which was already started by Bell with provoking imagery and words. They were encouraged to use anything they had access to on the table. The result was an inspiring and surprising mix as civilized adults turned primal using food, candles, burnt corkscrews and wine to create. This is just one example of how Bell really pushes the envelope using culturally hot movements, this time the family style dinner, to explore something new. Take a peak below at some shots from that night as well as a few favorite pieces of mine.
To check out the rest of John Bell’s work jump over to his site.
I first came across MEEP! in my Instagram feed, while actually MEEP!’s illustrations. I’m a huge illustration fan and when I see things for kids that are both sophisticated and beautifully produced I take notice. With further research I found out that the illustrations are in fact for an interactive children’s book and the inspiration behind the book will make you want to buy it on the spot.
Andy Geppert, MEEP!’s author, illustrator and creator, found himself consoling his six year old daughter one day after school because she was being teased for being small and her friend for having red hair. The fact that this was happening so early in his daughter’s life made him sad, got him thinking and the rest is history. So, beside’s being aesthetically beautifully, MEEP! has a purpose and was born from a pure place, to celebrate the differences in each of us and promote sharing. MEEP is about individuality and being proud and confident to be, well, you.
Andy worked in Advertising as an Art Director for ten years before changing to focus solely on producing beautiful digital illustrations that speak to our inner child. His first book Little Big Tree, was a joint winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Crichton Award 2010 and his digital illustrations are displayed in boutiques and galleries. Which means you can also purchase prints. Fabulous.
Lucky for us because Andy has generously agreed to make MEEP! free for STH readers for two weeks from this post date. So hurry up and download the app here!
He also has created a handful of beautifully designed printable activity sheets (displayed below) that are available for free download here. And if you’re in the market for some affordable prints for your child’s room, check those out here.
I love a good statement necklace, so you can imagine my delight when I came across this rope necklace collection, Neon Zinn. It’s almost an injustice to just call them necklaces; they are far more than that. Part architectural, part sculptural, these necklaces are works of art in their own right. The collection, hand crafted by Artist/Designer Seth Damm, is inspired by the unique and particular in all of us; each necklace acting as a communication vessel with our creative potential. And with that I say, all abroad!
Starting with plain 100% organic cotton rope, each section is hand dyed in small batches. Using different techniques of twisting and braiding the rope is then fastened together with twine, thread and ribbon helping to anchor each piece.
The use of color and material is just outstanding. Structural because of the way the rope is bound together yet wearable because of the material, cotton rope. Add some beautifully placed color to this juxtaposition and we’ve got a winner. I’m obsessed.
I’ve picked a few of my favorites below along with an image to show scale. They androgyny of them is just another check on my list of loves. These pieces truly are wearable art.
To check out more of Seth’s work jump over to his site.