Articles by Grace Danico

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Jefferson Cheng

Jefferson Cheng, design, illustration

Jefferson Cheng is a San Francisco based designer and illustrator with a clear, thoughtful, and playful aesthetic. He uses simple forms and limited colors to create striking images, and his latest zine, Houses, depicts just that in its images related to various domestic activities.

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Hannah Waldron

Hannah Waldron, art, design, London, Stockholm

Hannah Waldron is an artist and designer that shuffles her time between Stockholm and London. Her work is clean, bright, and filled with geometric forms juxtaposed against loose lines, and varied patterns and textures. The print above is just a taste of her work, and was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

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Erin Jang

erin jang, illustration, design

Erin Jang is a New York based designer and illustrator with an incredible body of work that pops with color and elegant simplicity. Under the moniker The Indigo Bunting (a small and vibrant bird), she most recently signed on as a partner with Paperless Post, where her cheerful stationery designs are available for every occasion. She also chronicles her love for food through her illustration project titled Food Sketches, where she creates abstract drawings of food eaten and shared with family and friends.

No matter what project she tackles, Erin’s bright and fun personality shines through her work. Be sure to visit her website and blog, and be sure to pick up a calendar (as seen above) and more from her shop.

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Paul Windle

Paul Windle Illustration

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. This is true for native Texan Paul Windle‘s illustrations. Now based in New York, Paul manages to create clever and often times hilarious illustrations. I thoroughly enjoy his portraits of mid ’70s baseball dudes, especially this one of New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson. This is the first from a series titled “Baseball Dudes Around the House,” where we get a glimpse into what Mr. Munson possibly does with his spare time.

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Rob Hodgson

Rob Hodgson Illustration

Rob Hodgson Illustration

Cultural anthropology fascinates me, so it’s no surprise that I would also be fascinated by the illustrations of Bristol based illustrator Rob Hodgson. His style is unique as he utilizes rough pencil line work and textures with earthy color palettes. These illustrations provide snapshots into an imaginary world of primitive peoples, and the collection of his work on his site further explores themes of botany, astronomy, and human behavior in a symbolic and exciting way. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this gent comes up with.

To keep up to date on Rob’s work, be sure to also visit his blog and follow him on Twitter. Also, pick up a few prints from his shop (save one for me).

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Sophie Alda

Sophie Alda
A friend turned me onto London based illustrator Sophie Alda’s work, and I immediately fell in love. The content of her work is so strange and exciting, especially when she juxtaposes architectural buildings with unusual figures. Her use of muted tints and shades of color are a nice touch, as well as the various abstract forms she creates. Definitely be on the lookout for this gal!

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Joohee Yoon

joohee yoon, illustration

Joohee Yoon is an talented print maker with a fun colorful aesthetic. I was first introduced to her work a while ago through a friend that happened to have an amazing promo she created. Since then, I’ve been following her work closely and am always impressed by her meticulous eye for details. The textures she creates through layering are beautiful, as are the various patterns in her work. This illustration for NPR’s 2013 calendar captures everything I love about her work.

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No Man’s Land by Blexbolex

No Man\'s Land, Blexbolex

Photos by Nobrow

It’s no secret that French illustrator Blexbolex has an affinity for hard-boiled detectives and crime drama. His latest work, No Man’s Land, continues in the narrative style of his previous books Dog Crime and Abecederia, and takes us on a wild journey through one man’s psyche in a quest to retrace the steps he took in taking his own life. At 140 pages, No Man’s Land is an epic graphic novel, chock full of beautiful energetic images. His style is incredibly visually arresting with its limited color overlays and heavy attention to the tiniest of details.

This is definitely a must-have book for any Blexbolex fan or illustration enthusiast, and is available via Nobrow.

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Lesley Barnes

lesley barnes illustration

I’ve been following the work of Glasgow based illustrator and animator Lesley Barnes for quite sometime now. Her illustrations continue to surprise and delight me in their bright colors, geometric shapes, and often magical and mythical subject matter. Her use of patterns and repetition is extraordinary, and is a true visual treat.

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Julianna Brion

julianna brion, illustration

Julianna Brion is a Baltimore, MD based illustrator with a wonderful eye for details and beauty. She creates memorable images, such as this book cover illustration for Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. I love the way she uses pencil in all of her work, which has a nice textural quality that I can’t get enough of.

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Ping Zhu

Ping Zhu, illustration

Photo: Nobrow Press

Ping Zhu is an illustrator from Los Angeles, now calling London her happy abode. Most recently, she released a beautiful Swan Lake concertina published by Nobrow Press, which features images of the performance and all the happenings behind the scenes as well.

The concertina is just one of the many wonderful projects Ping has worked on. Some of her other clients include the New York Times, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The New Yorker, and Jamie Magazine. Her playful and colorful style shines through in everything she creates, especially in her defined dry brushstrokes and mark making. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

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Quodlibet by Sebastian Gievery & Katja Spitzer

Quodlibet, No Brow, Katja Spitzer

Of the twenty-six letters in the English alphabet, the letter “Q” seems to be to be the quirkiest as it masquerades as a “K” sound, squiggly tail and all. To gain a better understanding and appreciation of all things “Q” related, Berlin based illustrator Katja Spitzer and writer Sebastian Gievert have teamed up to create Quodlibet – a carefully curated illustrated encyclopedia of Q-words inspired by French novelist Georges Perec, who made a book centered around letter “E”.


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Santtu Mustonen

Santtu Mustonen illustration

Santtu Mustonen is a Finnish illustrator currently based in New York. He creates sophisticated and colorful works using three-dimensional techniques. The results are quite stunning and captivating, as you can see from these illustrations created for Flow Festival last year. The marbled patterns in these works are vibrant and lovely, as are the rest of the pieces in his portfolio.

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Parko Polo

Parko Polo, Edward McGowan, Illustration

Parko Polo is the alter ego of Edinburgh based illustrator Edward McGowan. As Parko Polo, Edward pairs bright cheerful colors with bold geometric lines to create images of wonder and exploration. This illustration, titled “Age of Adventure,” depicts just that with a dapper gent in a top hat soaring over craggly mountain tops in his fancy hot air balloon.

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Sam Vanallemeersch

kolchoz sam vanallemeersch illustration

Sam Vanallemeersch is an Antwerp based illustrator with an impressive collection of graphic work featuring a puzzling amount of sharp and fluid shapes. This illustration, created for Pazuzu Illustration Agency, is done entirely with gouache. The colorful arrangement of the flat abstracted shapes creates subtle nuances that are pleasing to the eye.

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Mitch Blunt

Mitch Blunt illustration
Mitch Blunt is a UK based illustrator with an interesting straightforward style that pairs vibrant colors with flat textured shapes. His work is thoughtful in its execution and composition with compelling and often playful concepts. This image, titled “The Science of Love” created for Benhealth Magazine, cleverly shows an intricate (and quite possibly explosive) formula for love.

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Ted Parker

Ted Parker, Illustration

Ted Parker is an international man of mystery, whose work exhibits extreme joy in the most strange and comical of situations. This illustration, titled Jungle Coffee, was created to promote The Village Coffee and Music in Utrecht, Netherlands. Regardless of the subject matter, whether it be dogs smoking, lions dancing, or people and animals engaging in pure rowdiness together, one thing is for sure – Ted’s work is sure to put a big smile on your face.

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Hannah K. Lee

Hannah K. Lee, illustration

San Francisco based illustrator Hannah K. Lee offers some sage advice through beautiful hand-drawn type, taken from her zine Issues #1: Lessons of Adulthood. Not only does her portfolio boast wonderful lettering, but it also features an impressive collection of portraits done in a loose gestural style with bold line work and intricate mark making that’s hard to ignore.
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Jing Wei

Jing Wei Illustration

Jing Wei is a Brooklyn based illustrator with a simple and playful aesthetic that I can’t get enough of. She creates her illustrations through woodblock printing and has a meticulous hand and eye for details. This illustration, created for Lucky Peach Magazine, displays the many varieties of miso and their characteristics such as “miso pale” and “miso funky.” The concept for this piece is well thought out and nicely executed, as is the rest of Jing’s portfolio.

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Raymond Lemstra

Raymond Lemstra

Raymond Lemstra is a Dutch illustrator based in Amsterdam with a unique and playful aesthetic that thematically explores primitivism through character design and masks. He takes great care in every illustration he creates, which is evident in the assiduous details of his line work and compositions. Raymond plays with soft colors, geometric figures, and crosshatching techniques to create strikingly peculiar images that I can’t get enough of.

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Day-After-Day in NOD by Andy J. Miller

Andy J. Miller, NOD

2011 has proven to be quite the busy year for our friend Andy J. Miller. This year, he’s taken on a new and exciting personal project with a simple premise: create a new character, every weekday, for one year. The resulting project is Day-After-Day in NOD. As of today, 104 different characters with a variety of emotions and personalities have been created, each one of them representing an aspect of human nature we can all relate to.

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Vesa Sammalisto

Vesa Sammalisto

Vesa Sammalisto is a Finnish illustrator based in Berlin with a knack for fine details and playful compositions. A recent winner of the ADC Young Guns 9, Vesa’s work is chock full of cheery color and subtle textures that are extremely delightful to look at.

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Jon Han

Jon Han Illustration

Autumn is in full swing, and Brooklyn based illustrator Jon Han nicely illustrates the unfolding of my favorite season in this illustration for the New York Sun. Bringing together a melange of lively colors and textures in a unique painterly style, Jon’s work thoughtfully displays a community of people engaging in some of the activities ubiquitous with the season. Jon has a captivating ability to draw his viewers into his illustrations, making them feel like active participants rather than mere observers of scenes like this that transcend into everyday life.

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Thereza Rowe

Thereza Rowe is a London based illustrator and graphic designer with an eclectic style that pairs eye-catching colors and geometric shapes with an array of textures and patterns.  Her work has an endearing quality with images of woodland creatures such as foxes, deer, and birds playfully interacting with people in a imaginative magical realm.

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Radio

Made by Radio, Capetown

Made by Radio, Capetown

I’m a sucker for maps and all things travel related, so it’s no wonder that these postcards by Cape Town’s Radio are so appealing. Each postcard features a map of one of the nine provinces in South Africa, and is chock full of buildings, landmarks, animals, and agriculture representative of each region. Currently a work in progress, the completion of this postcard series will provide a most excellent pictorial view of the entire country.

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Matthew Hollister

Matthew Hollister

Numbers sure are powerful, and it’s evident in this print by Seattle based illustrator Matthew Hollister. This print, created for the Chicago Art Department’s Power in Numbers show, stacks magic, bad luck, and high times in a fresh and direct style. Matthew’s portfolio is chock full of editorial illustrations employing an array of grainy textures and straightforward imagery, reminiscent of vintage Czech matchbook labels and folk art. Read the rest of this entry »

Sac Magique

Sac Magique

Finland based artist and illustrator Sac Magique’s bold and direct style is comical and entertaining. He has a way with pairing bright and sometimes unusual color combinations with rich textures to create whimsical images of people and animals. Sac describes his style as “playful aggression, like a delicious custard pie in the face”. I couldn’t think of anything more fun and refreshing!

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Josh Cochran

Josh Cochran’s work continually blows my mind. His concepts are thoughtfully executed, as he constructs images with filled with intricate details and pleasing color palettes. This particular piece, created with Cactus Communication for Charter Media, is filled to the brim with all sorts of characters. Some of my favorites include the cake head, dignified bird man, and the dude mowing the sidewalk. Can you spot them? It’s all the fun of “Where’s Waldo” without having to find Waldo.

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Ana Albero

ana albero

Ana Albero has an incredible illustration style that I can’t get enough of. Working primarily in graphite and colored pencil, Ana creates vibrant textured images of fine ladies and gents from a distantly familiar era often intermingling in an unknown time setting. This particular illustration for the German publication LE MONDE Diplomatique perfectly displays this style, with a dapper man stepping into an eerie office setting where women are steadfastly working with strange stamps. Ana carefully weaves many details in this piece, and successfully does so throughout her portfolio of work, creating memorable and often times humorous images.

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Kevin Dart’s Looks that Kill

Looks that Kill is the latest installment in the Yuki 7 book series created by one of our contemporary illustration favorites, Kevin Dart. In this new adventure book written by story artist Elizabeth Ito, we get the opportunity to tag along with Yuki 7 and the Gadget Girls, her special task force of ladies, on one of their missions, immersing us in their thrilling world of seduction, espionage, and glamour. Accompanying the fantastic story are new and energetic illustrations by Kevin and 14 other talented artists, such as Meg Hunt and Matthew Lyons. This book is definitely one worth adding to your collection!

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Book Gems from the South of France

On a recent and most adventurous trip to the South of France, I had the pleasure of visiting the small village of Montolieu. Known as the “Village of Books,” Montolieu has a grand array of artisans that specialize in book binding and printing as well as antiquarian bookstores specializing in everything from vintage periodicals and antiquities to comics, art and kids books.

Today’s post will unearth some of my favorite finds from my trip, including books illustrated by J.P. Miller, Charley Harper, and Alain Gree.

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Cutting Edges: Contemporary Collage

Let’s face it. Some of us are image hoarders. With the wealth of images that can be found online and in print, it’s no wonder that collage is medium that many artists like to work in. The process of collecting images and carefully organizing them in a way to create and communicate fresh ideas is nothing new, yet there are many artists working in this medium today.

Cutting Edges, a hearty book published by Gestalten, successfully curates contemporary artists cutting and pasting their way out of vintage found imagery in order to produce innovative work. Featuring work by the likes of Jelle Martens, Anthony Zinonos, Eduardo Recife and more, the book is pure eye candy and totally worth adding to your own library.

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Anorak Magazine Interview

Anorak Magazine

Our latest addition to the Grain Edit interview series takes us to London, home to the Mum and Dad of Anorak Magazine – Cathy Olmedillas and Rob Lowe (aka Supermundane). Anorak Magazine is “The Happy Mag for Kids” that features imaginative stories, engaging games, and activities illustrated by talented illustrators such as Adrian Johnson, Marcus Walters, Sasha Barr, Clayton Junior, even Grain Edit’s own Liam Devowski. In this interview, Cathy and Rob discuss the origins of Anorak magazine and take us behind the scenes of making the publication. They also drop some BIG news that you don’t want to miss!

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Owen Gatley

Owen Gatley

Traveling is one of my favorite past times, and it’s always exciting for me to see illustrated maps like these created by UK based illustrator Owen Gatley. He’s created a handful of city maps for Ling magazine, Vueling Airlines’ inflight magazine, depicting some of their many destinations. Each map is colorful and thoughtfully composed with its collection of intricate and sometimes humorous imagery, capturing some of my favorite things about traveling, including food and drink, cultural landmarks, and activities. It makes me want to hop on a plane somewhere and discover these little treasures on my own.

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Ben Newman

Ben Newman

A while back, Grain Edit pal Sanjay Patel enthusiastically showed us a comic titled Ouroboros by British illustrator Ben Newman. In addition, he also showed us an awesome vinyl toy based on the comic. I was completely smitten with what I saw, and have had a major illustrator-crush on Ben’s work since then. His style is fresh and unique with its fun characters, bright colors, fuzzy textures and complex layering of shapes, and this piece from a developing print series “Masks” is no exception.

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Valero Doval

Valero Doval
Valero Doval is a Spanish artist that combines hand drawn elements with collage, often cleverly piecing together objects with similar themes, which is evident in this illustration for Elephant magazine. Combining a bird with a plane is a simple yet elegant concept, and Valero executes it in a stunning way.

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Jamie Cullen

Jamie Cullen

Jamie Cullen is a Brighton based illustrator with a flair for symmetrical compositions of mind bending proportions. Citing Pop Art and M.C. Escher as influences, Jamie’s work is vivid and elaborate in its multiple layers of color and pattern, as well as enigmatic imagery.

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Emmanuel Romeuf

Emmanuel Romeuf
Emmanuel Romeuf is a talented French designer and  illustrator with a knack for creating fun and whimsical illustrations. In the past, he’s designed shirts for Human Empire, and today we’re featuring a collection of communications he’s created for Gites de France. This collection is thoughtful in its execution from beginning to end, with its logo design and stationary to its travel brochures and postcards. With colorful details and playful images, these ephemeral items are definitely worth seeking.

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Timbuktu Magazine

Timbuktu Magazine, Olimpia Zagnoli

Timbuktu is the first iPad based magazine specifically designed for children. The magazine combines imagination and technology to engage youngsters in news and stories centered around interesting topics. With a bold and brave graphic style and clear and focused interaction design, Timbuktu is on the cutting edge of educating kids in a fun and informative way.

Art Director Olimpia Zagnoli, whose work we’ve featured previously on the site, chats with us today about her latest project, giving us insight to her new role as well as some juicy tidbits about the magazine.

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Maria Corte

maria corte

Maria Corte is a Spanish illustrator with a flair for bright colors, textural accents, and engaging compositions. This illustration, created for the project “100 Cities for Peace,” demonstrates her knack for communicating essential details in an interesting way. She has a diverse collection of work, ranging from editorial and children illustrations for print to vibrant paintings and moving images.

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Introducing Liz Meyer

Liz Meyer

As you may have noticed, a new name has been covering all things typography related on Grain Edit. The name’s Liz Meyer, and it should ring a bell. Liz is a talented designer and illustrator based in Brooklyn, one half of Script & Seal, and the newest addition to our Grain Edit crew.

There’s more to Liz than just her love for Thanksgiving, as evidenced by the photo above. To give you a better feel for our East Coast correspondent, we’ve conducted a little interview with her that you’re sure to enjoy! Without further a do, please welcome Liz…

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Christopher Gray

christopher gray

Christopher Gray is a modern day Renaissance man that works as a designer, illustrator, photographer, and writer. His personal poster work features amalgamated geometric shapes in sophisticated compositions and color schemes.  Christopher is setting the bar high on this project, and writes on his blog that he’s aiming to get 100 posters in the middle of [the] year all of which will be for sale. There’s no doubt that we will be seeing more exciting work from him in the future!

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Tad Carpenter Interview

tad carpenter

Our latest Grain Edit interview takes us to Kansas City, Missouri–the City of Fountains, headquarters to Hallmark Cards, and home to illustrator and designer Tad Carpenter. Tad’s has the clarity of a designer with the artfulness of an illustrator. His work is whimsical, fun, and smart as he uses a colorful lovable style to create a myriad of characters and illustrations. In this interview, Tad discusses some of his favorite aspects of his hometown, his influences and creative process, and provides a glimpse into his studio as well as something not many folks know about him.

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Dan Mountford

Dan Mountford

Brighton University Graphic Design student Dan Mountford has an incredible series of portraits titled The Worlds Inside of Us. Dan describes this series as “a visual journey through our minds by calm and tidy means which the reality of everyday life does not show.” He explores the use of double exposure in his photographs, successfully isolating parts of an image in camera with no help from our friend Photoshop. His images are captivating with their thoughtful execution and composition, and there’s no doubt that we will be seeing more exciting work from him in the future.

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The King’s 6th Finger by Jolby

jolby, illustration, usa

Portland based design and illustration duo Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols, better known as Jolby, have published a new children’s book titled The King’s 6th Finger. A collaborative effort between Jolby and Rachel Roellke, the book revolves around King Mortimer and his obsessive compulsion around the number five. Everything in his kingdom revolves around this cardinal number, until the day he grows a 6th finger. His world is then turned upside down, and he is left decide the fate of not only his finger, but his kingdom.

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Brecht Vandenbroucke

Brecht Vandenbroucke, illustration, Belgium

Brecht Vandenbroucke is a Belgian based artist and illustrator that I can’t get enough of. His narrative work is bright, bold, humorous, and torturous at times. This print, titled “Sounds to Learn…,” is incredibly captivating with its vibrant colors and images of a hurly burly gentleman nervously rocking out on guitar. Originally created for the Finnish comic art studio Kuti Kuti, this print is absolutely drool-worthy, much like Brecht’s other work.

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Trademark™ / Tim Lahan

Tim Lahan, illustration, USA

Trademark is the design studio of New York based artist Tim Lahan. With an eye for bright colors, junk food, and witty puns, Tim’s simple straightforward illustrations, letters, and logos are captivating, humorous, and sure to brighten your spirits. His work is versatile as he experiments in an array of formats including clay and moving images. Bottom line: for a fun time, count on Tim.

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New Work by Patrick Hruby

patrick hruby, illustration, usa
Los Angeles based illustrator Patrick Hruby has created a new series of work based on an unpublished short story titled “The Archipelago,” written by his boyfriend Seth Stewart. “The Archipelago” tells the story of a strange phenomenon called The Forgetting affecting the chain of islands that make up the archipelago. In order to prevent The Forgetting, each island tells a tale to preserve its artifacts, history, and memory. Patrick illustrates this story beautifully with his signature use of punchy colors and geometric forms, creating his interpretations of islands, its wayward inhabitants, and their belongings.

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Hvass & Hannibal

Hvass&Hannibal, contemporary, illustration

Hvass & Hannibal is a Copenhagen based multi-disciplinary arts and design studio founded by Nan Na Hvass and Sofie Hannibal. Their work is highly imaginative as it creates alternate environments featuring multitudes of patterns paired with geometric shapes, colorful forms and enchanting creatures. Not only does the dynamic duo create illustrations and graphics, but they also immerse themselves in a spectrum of mediums ranging from three-dimensional work ranging from interior and set design to intricate artworks made up of various materials such as painted wood.
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Onesidezero / Brett Wilkinson

Onesidezero, illustration, UK

I found the happiest illustrations of little monsters while thumbing through my latest issue of Virgin’s Roger magazine. Sure enough, these small creatures were created by none other than UK based illustrator Brett Wilkinson, better known by his pseudonym Onesidezero. Brett creates imaginative worlds by incorporating geometric patterns and forms, vibrant colors, and mythical creatures. This piece, titled “Busy Doing Nothing,” clearly depicts this world with its It’s clean shapes, complementary color palette, and fun patterns.

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Olimpia Zagnoli

Olimpia Zagnoli

Milan based illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli has a zest for creating fun and colorful illustrations that are thoughtful in their approach and execution. Inspired by illustrators from Spain and France, as well as Italian illustrator Bruno Munari, Olimpia creates a style all her own, melding modern simplicity with bursts of color and fanciful shapes and lines.

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Mike Lemanski

Mike Lemanski, contemporary, illustration, UK

I randomly found the work of UK based illustrator Mike Lemanski when installing his theme for my new Google Chrome OS. His body of work blew me away with its vibrant saturated colors, intricate compositions, and varied textures. This illustration, created for bi-yearly publication Underwood, is so fresh with its typewriter typing on a vinyl record surrounded by various stationary, pens, and other visual goodies to look at. I’m anxious to see more work from him!

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2010 Holiday Wish Lists

Grain Edit Holiday Gift Guide
Dear Holiday Spirit(s):

We’re approaching the end of 2010, a year filled with work, work…and did we mention, more work? Seeing as we’ve all been on our best behavior, please take a look at the wish list we’ve compiled with some of our favorite artists and friends. It’s much BIGGER than last year’s list and excited to share it with you. Please say you’ll bring some of these goodies our way!

Yours Truly,
Grain Edit + Friends

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Malota Projects

Malota, Mar Hernandez, Spain, illustration

Malota is the pseudonym of Spain based illustrator and designer Mar Hernandez. Mar’s work uses a lot of punchy colors, varied textures and gradients, as well as sharp geometric shapes, which is evident in this illustration of a cat in boots. I really love the way she depicts the cat’s fur and kooky tail. Its facial expression and whiskers are really fun too!

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Mike Perry Pop-up Shop / Studio Sale!

Mike Perry, Jim Datz, New York

Prepare yourselves: Grain Edit pal Mike Perry is transforming his Brooklyn studio into a pop-up shop and open gallery from November 27 through December 1. This year’s sale will be overflowing with amazing prints, zines, books, tee shirts, original drawings, and so much more from good folks like Jim Datz, Josh Cochran, Jim Stoten, Hugo & Marie, and others.

If you happen to be in the New York area around this time, this is one event you cannot miss!

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Hollie Chastain

Hollie Chastain, art, US

This fine fez wearing gentleman has a lot on his mind, and it’s evident in the trail of intricate patterns he’s leaving behind. Tennessee based artist Hollie Chastain nicely collages vintage paper with colorful painted elements in this piece entitled Afterthought. As the pondering man moves forward, his figure slowly fades into the background, nicely displaying lingering fleeting thoughts. A print of this piece as well as others by Hollie are available for purchase at Poster Cabaret.

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Aaron McLaughlin

Aaron McLaughlin

Nature in itself is pretty awe-inspiring, but it’s even more spectacular when paired with mystical graphics, as seen in the image above created by UK artist Aaron McLaughlin. With its grainy quality, this image seems to have come straight from a vintage copy of National Geographic. Though unnatural to the environment, the shapes seamlessly blend in with the landscape, forcing the viewer to question their origin and decide whether or not it’s real…and how I wish it were real.

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Julia Rothman Interview

julia rothman

Today’s Grain Edit interview series takes us to Brooklyn, New York, home to illustrator Julia Rothman. I remember first being introduced to Julia’s work through her repeat pattern tutorial on Design*Sponge. The process blew me away, and caused me to fall in love with the multitudes of energetic inventive patterns and fresh illustrations she creates.

In this interview, Julia discusses being a native New Yorker, the influence of Sweet Pickles books (YES!), and the process behind the creation of her latest book, The Exquisite Book. She also reveals something that most people don’t know about her…find out more after the jump!

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Greg Pizzoli: Illustration

greg pizzoli, illustration, philadelphia, usa
Take a look at that honkin’ apple! Philadelphia based illustrator Greg Pizzoli creates a fun whimsical environment in this illustration as he plays with the proportion of the massive textured fruit and the teeny tiny cars. There are so many neat colorful details to look at, such as the airplanes in the sky, buttons on the apple, and the varied shapes of buildings on the land.

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Stefan Glerum: Illustration

Stefan Glerum

Amsterdam based illustrator Stefan Glerum has a unique style that I can’t get enough of. He uses rich colors, textures, and geometric shapes to create this abstracted totemic like figure for the flyer of music event Dog Day Disco. His use of typography is also thoughtfully executed in its shape and simplicity.

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Sparrow v. Swallow / Phillip Fivel Nessen

Sparrow v. Swallow, Phillip Fivel Nessen, illustration

Check out the gams on that couch! Phillip Fivel Nessen, also known as Sparrow v. Swallow,  is a Brooklyn based illustrator with a flair for abstracted forms and thoughtful color palettes. Reminiscent of early work by Push Pin Studios and Milton Glaser, Phillip’s illustrations are conceptually thought provoking, smart, and often humorous.

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The Tree House Press: Illustration

tree house press

The Tree House Press is alias of UK based illustrator and designer Marc Aspinall. This illustration, aptly titled Love Letter, nicely blends rough textures and halftones with organic shapes and distinct line work to create a fun and endearing piece. Read the rest of this entry »

Patrick Hruby

patrick hruby

Windy days can be a drag, but imagine if they looked like this! Los Angeles based illustrator Patrick Hruby employs vibrant hues and interesting shapes to depict the blustery warm East wind. His use of geometric shapes is visually striking and provides a playful image to an invisible force of nature.

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Lisa Congdon: A Collection a Day Book

Lisa Congdon Collection a Day

San Francisco based artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon has always been fascinated with with collecting, arranging, and organizing her collections. On January 1, 2010, Lisa took it upon herself to photograph, draw, and occasionally paint these collections for the entire year, and thus, the Collection a Day 2010 project was born.

Documenting objects ranging from vintage books and matchbox labels to colorful bits and bobbles, each collection is well curated and carefully composed. Recently, Uppercase announced that these incredible collections will be made into a book, available Spring 2011.

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Wojciech Kolacz

otecki, illustration, sculpture, art, Poland

Poland based artist and illustrator, Wojciech Kolacz (aka Otecki), has an eclectic mix of work that ranges from colorfully patterned sculptures to colossal murals and vibrant illustrations. His sculptures, as seen above, are hidden amongst the urban environments we inhabit, adding a playful imaginative element to an often mundane world.

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Scott Albrecht

scott albrecht, art, design, wood, typography, brooklyn, new york

Brooklyn based artist and designer, Scott Albrecht, creates incredible work using my favorite material: wood.  Creating objects ranging from wooden sculptures to typography, Scott’s work is conceptually and visually striking.

This piece, titled Heart Hands, is featured in his solo show “SOMETHINGMISTAKENFORNOTHING” at San Francisco’s The Curiosity Shoppe. The show opened last weekend, and is up until the 26th of September. If you’re in or around the Bay Area, definitely check it out.

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enormouschampion Studio Visit


enormous champion

This past weekend, I had the privilege of visiting Jordan Provost and Jason Wong, the dynamite duo behind Brooklyn based stationery and gift line enormouschampion. Their incredible collection of letterpressed cards, screenprinted cloth, and wooden goods features images of animals, love, and nature, as well as bold type. In this studio visit, Jordan and Jason show us some of their favorite things and offer a couple of handy hints on organizing and collecting.

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New Work by Christopher David Ryan

christopher david ryan, book it, my little underground, illustration

Christopher David Ryan describes himself as a “a graphic artist, illustrator, daydreamer, pseudo-scientist, wanna-be astronaut and untrained intellectual.” Recently, he published the third installment to his As Overheard in the Back of My Mind series of books, which features a collection of thoughts and images from the depths of his psyche.  Chock full of peppy people and inspirational adages, this book is a great addition to your bookshelf.

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Vintage Posters by Donald Brun

Posters by Donald Brun, Donald Brun, Swiss design, posters, vintage graphics, 1950s, 1960s

Swiss designer, Donald Brun (1909-1999), has designed an incredible amount of posters, all of which showcase a recognizable style featuring bright punchy colors, varied textures and interesting forms. This poster, created in 1956 for the International Festival of Music in Lucerne, is no exception with it’s array of shapes coming together to form the colorful scroll of a cello.

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Jolby

contemporary, illustration, portland, jolby, josh kenyon, colby nichols

Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols are the dynamic duo behind Portland based illustration and design studio Jolby. Inspired by elements found in nature and the sea, the twosome collaborate on everything from original artwork, patterns, album covers, and t-shirts.

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New Prints by Jessica Hische!

jessica hische, daily drop cap, letters, letterpress, prints

Attention all type fans: Brooklyn based designer and Grain Edit favorite, Jessica Hische has some new prints for sale at her shop! Taken from the first six sets of the Daily Drop Cap project, these individual letterpress prints display the various lettering styles we’ve come to love.

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Josh Keyes

Josh Keyes, art, painting, Portland

Sprout (2005)

Remarkably eerie, yet beautiful painting by Portland based artist Josh Keyes. Keyes depicts a multi-faceted landscape where the creatures are left to adapt to new and often unsustainable environments.

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Iv Orlov

iv orlov, illustration, russia

Summer is here, and tis’ the season for road trips! This illustration, created by Russian illustrator Iv Orlov, depicts some folks out for an evening drive along a line of colorful trees. Entitled “Night Rio,” this piece uses combines cool blues and greens with bright corals and yellows for a nice tropical feeling. Orlov uses some great shapes throughout this piece, evident in the various cars and leaves of the trees.

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Blexbolex: Illustration

blexbolex, nobrow, dogcrime, illustration

French illustrator Blexbolex is killing it with the illustrations for his latest book Dog Crime, published by Nobrow Press . Inspired by whodunit films from the ’50s and ’60s, Dog Crime is about a man running for his life as he’s entangled in a heated conspiracy. Printed using three spot colors, Blexbolex’s illustrations are bright and punchy as they use an array of overlaid forms.

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Aurélie Guillerey: Illustration

Aurelie Guillerey, illustration, France, French Illustration

Summer is officially here, and what better way to spend it than a day at the beach!

This illustration, created by French illustrator Aurélie Guillerey, depicts just that with its cast of characters enjoying a day of fun in the sun. The composition is balanced as it focuses on kids making a pretty awesome sand fort while having other people enjoying outdoor activities in the background. The use of color is cheerful with the perfect amount of textures to highlight small details. Let’s go fly a kite!

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Rose Blake: Illustration

Rose Blake illustration, screenprint, London, UK, Beatles

London Based illustrator, Rose Blake, is one of my favorite illustrators at the moment. This print, entitled Annus Mirabalis, playfully illustrates the first stanza of the poem “Annus Mirabalis” (Latin for “Wonderful Year”) by Philip Larkin. Rose successfully sandwiches two ambiguous love making figures between the Chatterly ban and the Beatles’ first LP, creating a striking and awkwardly funny image. Her use of color is delightful with the poppy orange as a nice contrast to the dark plum and light blue tones.

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Clayton Junior: Illustration

London based illustrator, Clayton Junior, has a keen eye for precision as shown here in this image from the “A View From London” exhibition at the London Transportation Museum. Here, he depicts the hustle bustle of the city in a delightful way by cohesively weaving the intricate details of buildings and people with an eye-catching color palette. If I had my choice, I’d want to be one of the kids on the scooter instead of the commuter with the briefcase.

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Toby Thane Neighbors: Illustration

Toby Thane Neighbors, illustration, Texas, US, hepcat ink

Every line counts for Texas based illustrator and artist Toby Thane Neighbors. Created as part of the Story Motel group show at the Owl & Lion Gallery, this illustration successfully weaves warm tones and detailed lines to transport us to the old frontier. Neighbors has a nice way of cataloging objects in his works, and this piece is no exception with its bag of bullets, feather, and hungry badger at the heels of the pensive gamekeeper. Read the rest of this entry »

Obsessive Consumption by Kate Bingaman-Burt

kate bingaman-burt

Photo: Kate Bingaman-Burt

Did you buy something today? Do you remember things you’ve purchased within the last week, let alone within the last year?

For the past four years, Portland based illustrator and educator Kate Bingaman-Burt has documented all of her purchases with daily drawings. The end result of this documentation: a new book published by Princeton Architectural Press, entitled Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?

Started as a break from drawing credit card statements, Kate’s ink drawings are entertaining and intimate as they put a face on ordinary objects that we consume on daily basis and often don’t think twice about. From sunglasses and snacks to wedding bands and a dog, these objects tell a personal story we can all connect with as members of consumer culture.

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Dan Matutina: Design & Illustration

dan matutina, twisted fork, status and shapes, philippines, design,   illustration

Philippines based artist, Dan Matutina, has a keen eye for rich textures and geometric shapes in his works. Dan started a poster series inspired by his friends Facebook statuses called Status and Shapes. This piece, titled (Sheena Padilla) “LET’S MAKE BAKA, DON’T BE TAKOT,” translates to “Let’s fight, don’t be afraid.” The hot hues clearly communicate the heated adrenaline in a fight, and the shapes are positioned in a way that looks like two fighters boxing.

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Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow

As a kid, watching Sesame Street and 3-2-1 Contact was a daily ritual. Of course, there were particular animations from those shows that I could watch endlessly, such as three rocks squabbling about how cross a lake. With the advent of YouTube, these animations have resurfaced and offer a trip back to simpler times of wonder and discovery. But who made them?

Introducing Al Jarnow, the mastermind behind the short films embedded into our collective memory. Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow compiles a retrospective of Jarnow’s familiar animations from CTW along with his more obscure shorts. Jarnow experiments with geometric shapes, color, scale, and proportion in his films, creating everlasting works that communicate changes through time and space to both young and old.

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Sasha Barr Interview

Sasha Barr, Grain Edit, illustration, design, This is the New Year

The latest installment to the Grain Edit interview series takes us to Seattle, birthplace of grunge music and home to illustrator and designer, Sasha Barr. I was first introduced to Sasha’s work a few years ago when I stumbled upon his website, positively titled “This is the New Year.” His work often employs rough textures, intricately drawn patterns featuring elements from nature and little creatures, and cool color palettes.

In this interview, Sasha discusses how he made the trek from Tennessee to Seattle, his influences and creative process, how he landed an awesome gig working at Sub Pop Records, and also shares incredible views of his awesome home.

Let’s dive on in!

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Ingela P Arrhenius Illustration

Ingela P Arrhenius, illustration, Sweden

This illustration from Sweden based illustrator, Ingela P Arrhenius, is a real hoot! It features a earthy colored owl with a geometrically patterned body against the cool colored tree and background. The composition is neat and symmetrical and it makes me feel like hiding in a tree for the day. Who’s in?

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Aske/Sicksystems Design

sicksystems, graphic design, aske, russia

Typographics is where it’s at!

This illustration, designed for Computer Arts Projects, is by Moscow based artist Aske. Created for his personal art project titled Sicksystems, Aske playfully shows the various levels of typography…literally! He has a real knack for using interesting forms, bright colors, and celestial details in his work.

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Ty Wilkins Illustration

ty wilkins, illustratiaon, logo design

Kansas based illustrator and designer, Ty Wilkins, has a keen eye for illustrating animals in a neat and refreshing way. This fox, one of the first in a series of animals, uses minimal geometrical shapes and rich hand painted textures. As a nod to his typographic interests, each illustration incorporates an asterisk, which adds visual charm. I wish I had this little guy as a pet!

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Nate Williams Illustration

nate williams, n8w, illustration mundo, hola mi amiga, illustration

Buenos Aires based illustrator and artist, Nate Williams, is a force to be reckoned with! This illustration, entitled Lion and Molecules, uses an earthy palette reminiscent of A&W root beer; the chocolate brown layered over the orange and cream is a real treat! It’s choc full of organic shapes and patterns, including really lovely star bursts and variations in line texture and weights. Nate’s hand drawn type is also very fun and unique as it juxtaposes thick and thin, masculine and feminine.

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Nomono Illustration

Cristóbal Schmal, nomono, illustration, berlin

Berlin based illustrator and designer, Cristóbal Schmal, has an impressive collection of work under his moniker Nomono. This particular piece, created for INOPOLIS’s guided tour for the 90th anniversary of Bauhaus, celebrates Berlin as the modern city. The color palette is limited and the imagery is quite striking. I really love the rough textures and geometrical figures in this illustration, especially the red ray emanating from the foreseeing eye.

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APAK

APAK, illustration, wood panel, Portland

Portland based illustrators, Aaron Piland and Ayumi Kajikawa Piland, are the dynamic husband-wife duo behind APAK. This particular work, created for Tinlark’s 3rd Anniversary Show, nicely juxtaposes a geometric structure against the lush organic blue and green forms. Their work is very much a fantasy, with mythical creatures and animals coexisting in a dreamy imaginative world.

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Emily Forgot

emily forgot design, emily forgot illustration, emily forgot uk

London designer and illustrator Emily Alston, better known by her moniker Emily Forgot, takes us on quite the journey in this illustration for Design Week.

She features a cascade of chairs, lamps, and other household accessories layered upon each other to create a surreal environment. The colors in this piece play with light, with its soft tints of cyan and salmon juxtaposed against a dark chocolate background. The really sparse patterns hidden intermittently within the shapes are a real treat too!

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La Boca Design

la boca design, uk, west london, record covers

La Boca is a London based design firm specializing in transporting its viewers to places of the future by means of the past. This record sleeve, created for Arcadion, has a nice composition with the symmetry of the two magnetic looking objects on the edge of what seems like a portal into space. The warm gradient behind the bold text nicely juxtaposes the cool waves of the galactic landscape. This is where I’d like to be today.

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Celyn Brazier

celyn brazier, 1960s, 1970s, illustration

London based illustrator and animator, Celyn Brazier, sure has a way with color! Reminiscent of George Dunning’s psychedelic Yellow Submarine, this particular image depicts the sea and earth with its abundance of creatures, homes, and people. The composition is positioned so that everything feels connected. The images of floating jellyfish, zooming cyclists, and carefree birds also provide a nice natural rhythm within the imagined landscape.

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Tom Eckersley

Tom Eckersley, Graphic Design, Illustration, 1960s, 1980s

Pakistani International Airlines poster (1960)

English artist and designer, Tom Eckersley (1914-1997), created numerous posters from the 1940s to the 1980s. Eckersley’s work communicates strong messages by employing bold overlaid colors, simplified forms, and informative text.

This poster, created for Pakistan International Airlines, depicts a dapper looking gentleman in Swiss garb. His playful image is simple, clean, bright and colorful; a stark contrast from the dark turquoise background. The composition is pleasing to the eye; as the figure gazes at the distant aircraft, we too are gazing at his cheerful image. Let’s all go to Geneva!

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Johnny Kelly

johnny kelly the seed animation

Image from The Seed

London based animator and illustrator, Johnny Kelly, has an impressive body of work. This particular image, from his short animation The Seed, depicts the journey of an apple seed through its natural cycle of life. The Seed features stop motion and 2D animation, with faceted paper cut forms, vibrant colors, and a lot of attention to detail.

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S.britt Interview

S.britt interview illustration

The latest addition to our interview series takes us to the lush green mountainsides of Portland, OR, home to Powell’s Books, incredibly delicious food carts, and one of my favorite illustrators,  S.britt. I originally found his work in 2002, and it piqued my interest in the illustration we feature on Grain Edit today.

Inspired by artists such as Ed Emberley and Richard Scarry, S.britt’s work employs playful images, bright colors, and a sense of humor (aka FUN). In today’s interview, S.britt discusses some of his favorite things about Portland, his education, and reveals his interesting creative process. This is one interview you don’t want to miss!

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Pigeon Post: Valentines Series I

pigeon post valentines

Keith-yin Sun and Judi Chan of Pigeon Post have created a wonderful set of postcards celebrating timeless stories of undying love from around the globe. Inspired by myths and folklore, the set consists of six beautifully designed cards in the shape of a stamp, honoring the tradition of sending mail. This particular postcard depicts Hinemoa & Tutanekai from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Read the rest of this entry »

Remed Paintings

Remed painting

Feeling indecisive? Not sure what’s going on? Baffled?

This painting by French artist Remed, entitled Clair Confus (Clearly Confused), uses alternating patterns and bright punchy color to achieve a potentially unstable mind state. Remed’s eye popping collection of paintings employ interesting geometric patterns and forms often exploring inner workings of the mind and explorations of the body. Read the rest of this entry »

Jessica Hische Studio Visit

jessica hische studio visit

During a recent trip to New York, I had the pleasure of visiting the illustrious designer, Jessica Hische. In addition to creating wonderfully precise type, such as her Daily Drop Cap series, Jess carefully curates her incredible studio / home that I’m proud to feature on the site today. In today’s studio visit, she gives us advice on collecting furniture, and has a pretty awesome surprise at the end! Take a peep…

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Matthew Lyons Illustration

matthew lyons illustration

Space is the place, and I’m completely head over heels over UK illustrator Matthew Lyons!

This particular illustration, entitled Planet 4570 (1961), is a fake movie title that incorporates dramatic light and shadow, minimal brushstrokes, jewel-like crags, and strong type. His aesthetic is incredibly refined for his young age (21), and his work employs contemporary interpretations of the space age future, which feels new yet distantly familiar.

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The Future is Today: 2010 Calendars

2010 calendar seesaw press

2010 Calendar by SeeSaw Designs.

Having trouble remembering what day it is? Still stuck on 2009? Well friends, the future is today!

This particular calendar, designed by SeeSaw Designs, nicely juxtaposes organic forms and geometric shapes. The pairing of the corals with the varied blue hues is pretty dandy too.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite calendars of 2010 for all you procrastinators out there. Check it out!

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Esther Aarts Illustration

Esther Aarts illustration

It’s out with the old, in with the new. Goodbye 2009, hello 2010!

Netherlands based illustrator, Esther Aarts, created this holiday greeting card for van Ditzhuijzen accountants. Its charm lies in its personified objects, such as the gleeful teabags and toothy stapler, set against coarsely textured backgrounds. I really like the color scheme with its varied pink hues in stark contrast to the grainy black, and the hand drawn type is also an added plus…making way for a fresh new year.

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Jingle Bells illustrated by J.P. Miller

jingle bells, j.p. miller

Take a look at these adorable smiling faces filled with holiday cheer!

J.P. Miller’s illustrations for Kathleen N. Daly’s Jingle Bells (1964) are just so festive and inspirational! The story is a nice twist on the old holiday tune, and is about a sleigh full of animals that help Santa when he needs it the most. I love Miller’s use of color and texture to achieve different values, and his depiction of animals are always so whimsical. Did you notice they’re all smiling with sweaters on?

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2009 Holiday Wish Lists (UPDATED)

holiday list

Dear Santa, Hanukkah Harry, and Kwanzaa Ken:

Searching high and low across the vast realm of the interwebs, we’ve collectively compiled probably one of the hugest lists imaginable with some of our favorite artists! We’ve all been on our best behavior, assisting elderly ladies and gents across the street and working our fannies off. Please take a moment to give this list a good read, and say you’ll bring some of these things our way!

Sincerely,
Grain Edit & Friends

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Robert Samuel Hanson Illustration

robert samuel hanson

By land, sea, and air, this illustration takes us everywhere!

Created by illustrator Robert Samuel Hanson for Monocle magazine, this landscape playfully takes us to the scenic countryside to the bustling city. The piece is nicely laid out, with a very clean, matter-of-fact style.I really love all the details Robert’s included, from the tequila truck and Mayan temple, to the billboard advertising cerveza and masked news person…this is where I want to be today.

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Lotta Nieminen Illustration

lotta nieminen

I spy with my little eye—a dapper gentleman suffering from writer’s block!

Created for Markkinointi & Mainointa (Marketing & Advertising) magazine by Finnish illustrator Lotta Nieminen, this illustration has varied textures and layers that work so well together. The color palette is cool and complementary, and I really dig the different shapes that she uses to accentuate the man’s face and clothing…symmetry at its finest!

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Jonas Bergstrand Illustration

jonas bergstrand illustration

Mmm…deliciously patterned sweets!

Swedish illustrator Jonas Bergstrand has an awesome eye for patterns and keen sense for earthy color. These posters, originally created for Pippi Day—an anniversary celebration for Astrid Lindgren’s children’s hospital, nicely juxtapose thick and thin lines, and also has many interesting patterns and forms.

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Lubalin Now Exhibition at the Cooper Union

lubalin now, cooper union

I visited New York last week, just in time to attend the opening reception of the Lubalin Now exhibition at the Cooper Union.

The place was incredibly packed with ladies and gents in polychromatic garb, chatting about type with a nice drink in their hand. It was interesting to see the work of contemporary designers, such as Jessica Hische,  Brett Macfadden, Justin Thomas Kay, Deanne Cheuk, and HunterGatherer, juxtaposed against Lubalin’s original works.

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Sollinero Illustration

sollinero illustration

Ah! Nothing beats a spot of tea and the company of man’s best friend!

The composition of this print, created by Buenos Aires illustrator Sollinero, is nicely balanced and uses a relaxing color palette consisting of warm ochres and cool blue. I really love the patterns and details throughout the print, especially the little baubles that tie the rug, lamp, lounge chair, and gentleman’s pants together.

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Darling Clementine Design & Illustration

darling clementine illustration

Play that saxophone letter E!

Norway’s Darling Clementine designed this jazzy poster for Blårollinger, a concert series for children and adults in Oslo. I am in awe of all the little creatures and singing and playing instruments; they fit so well with the large type, which have also been personified to have fun! I also really dig the color scheme, with its warm and cool complements…very appropriate for the season and weather.

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Poketo + Kitsune Noir = SPACETIME!

poketo wall decals

YES! Our wall decals from the Poketo and Kitsune Noir collaboration, SPACETIME, finally arrived! This collaboration features four of our favorite illustrators: Mike Perry, Damien Correll, Cody Hudson, and Andy Miller. These gents each designed wall decals, shirts, and wallets.

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Meg Hunt Illustration

meg hunt

Step aside Partridge Family, there’s a new bus in town!

This four-color print, by the wonderful Phoenix based illustrator Meg Hunt, incorporates a few of my favorite things: animals, transportation, and lots of patterns! This mobile zoo accounts for a lot of animals, including a llama, zebra, long necked giraffe, and even a tiny little quail. I really love the juxtaposition of wood grain patterned bus against the intricately patterned road and buildings, and the color scheme makes me want some bubble gum. Fun!

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Terrible Yellow Eyes

terrible yellow eyes, alberto cerriteño

“With a Private Boat” by Alberto Cerriteño

Terrible Yellow Eyes is a collection of works inspired by Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Illustrator and animator Cory Godbey created the project to pay tribute to and celebrate Sendak’s story about a young boy sailing to the land of the Wild Things and conquering its inhabitants.

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Neither Fish Nor Fowl interview

jim datz neither fish nor fowl anna wolf photography

(Photo by Anna Wolf)

Let’s travel to the boogie down borough of Brooklyn, New York — home to the colossal rides and hot dogs at Coney Island, the beautiful Central Library, and one of my favorite illustrators Jim Datz.

For those who are in the know, Jim goes by the moniker Neither Fish Nor Fowl. His work is reminiscent of olden times, with images of sailors, explorers, keystone cops, and mustached men in bowler caps.

In this interview, he discusses his transition from architecture to illustration, dapper gents and hippies, his creative process, and reveals something that most folks don’t know about him.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

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Christopher Lee / The Beast is Back Illustration

christopher lee the beast is back

Los Angeles based illustrator, Christopher Lee, has an eye for designing kooky characters. This poster, originally created for Gallery 1988‘s group show “Crazy for Cult,” has a fun take on some characters from cult classic movies. The colors are reminiscent of my mom’s old tupperware (hooray for avocado green!), and the mixture of type is really pleasing to the eye. From Howard the Duck to Data from The Goonies, there are so many little intricacies within each character of this poster that it forces my hungry eye to want more!

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Vintage Esquire Covers: 1953-1961

vintage esquire june 1955

Over the highways and byways we go on the free and open road!

Esquire magazine’s June 1955 issue playfully depicts a typical aerial view of a freeway using toy cars and colored paper. It’s composition is simple and engaging, with its bright primary colors, windy roads, and cars on the move. I especially enjoy the smart and effortless integration of the magazine’s mascot, Esky (designed by E. Simms Campbell), into the area within the highway and in the highway itself. The tiny map of the Motor City is a nice touch too!

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Vintage German “Vero Construc” Booklets

Vero Construc, Germany, Graphic Design

Vero Construc toy construction kit -1975

Nuts, bolts, and sprockets! These are the makings of fine toys, as well as these awesome vintage booklets!

Created for the East German toy company Vero in 1975, these colorful booklets itemize all of the pieces included in the “Construc” construction kit and instructs children in building a stop light. The back cover reads, “Toys With System for the Creators of Tomorrow’s World.” How inspiring!

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Toru Fukuda Illustration

toru fukuda

C’mon ride the train & ride it! Toot! Toot!

This cheerful train track is created by Tokyo based illustrator and character designer, Toru Fukuda. He runs a delightful website titled Drawing Wonder, where he illustrates whimsical cartoons inspired from the 1960s and 1970s.

This particular illustration depicts unhitched trains, alternate tunnels, a nice water tower, even a free wheelin’ mustached conductor! Using multiple hand drawn layers, bright primary colors and thick lines, Toru successfully channels his inner Ed Emberley. Who’s up for a ride to Happyville?

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Little Friends of Printmaking interview

Little Friends of Printmaking

(Photo credit: C. Taylor)
The latest installment to the Grain Edit interviews takes us to Milwaukee, Wisconsin: home to big name breweries, delicious Gouda, and husband-wife design duo…The Little Friends of Printmaking!

Melissa and JW Buchanan are the brains behind the Little Friends, and they are best known for their often outrageously intricate prints that explore everything from the complexities of the mind, fun-loving animals, to leisure time activities.

In this interview, they discuss the perks about working with their significant other, the highs and lows of attending art school, and their creative process.

And now, let the fun commence!

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Odiléa Toscano: Graphic Design & Illustration

olidea toscano

Brazilian designer, Odiléa Toscano, illustrated delightful magazine covers and book jackets in the 1960s and 1970s. This particular illustration, created as the cover of Visão Magazine in 1962, omits a handful of energy as it uses bright complementary colors and geometric heavy forms and type. I really enjoy the intricate cutouts of the subject’s hair and the shapes he’s about to twist with his wrench!

(Via Design Diário)

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S.britt Illustration

s. britt

Ah, the joy and merriment of the carousel! This record cover by Portland based illustrator, S.britt, depicts all the fun adults can have riding on whirling whimsical animals.

Created for Canadian based bands The Low Tones and The Redstripes, this illustration juxtaposes cheery animals and people with the morbid title of “Spin Till You Die.” The assortment of colors remind me of my mom’s Tupperware from the ’70s, and the textures add a familiar worn-in touch. The pink and white of the carousel top are also like Mother’s Circus Animal cookies. Yum!

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David Klein: Vintage TWA Posters

David Klein

If only travel posters still looked this good!

American illustrator, David Klein (1918-2005), created numerous travel posters for Howard Hughes’ Trans World Airlines (TWA) in the 1950s and 1960s. His posters use eye-popping colors, iconic landmarks, and scenic images to advertise global travel.

The composition of this particular poster is fantastic, as Klein sets the St. Louis Gateway Arch against a festively patterned background, emphasizing its momentous size. The analogous colors of the type, airplane, and old courthouse are a warm treat too!

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Cecilie Ellefsen Illustration

Cecilie Ellefsen

Cecilie Ellefsen is a Norwegian illustrator and animator with a fine talent for creating intricate dioramas made of paper and plastic. Her work incorporates brightly colored cutouts of animals, forests, and mythical creatures. Her compositions pose a lot of depth, and they’re so fun to look at (especially when they’re lit!). Read the rest of this entry »

Edward McGowan Illustration

edward mcgowan

Illustration for Cottage Life Magazine

Edward McGowan is an Edinburgh based illustrator with a keen eye for bright colors and rough textures.

This particular illustration, created for Cottage Life Magazine, features a white house surrounded by tall cone shaped clusters of trees and various patches of green. The composition draws one’s eye to the tiny house and skinny path, which connects the earth to the sea. The textures within this piece are coarse, and the illustration itself is reminiscent of those found in my old Social Studies books from elementary school.

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Komboh Design & Illustration

komboh

Editorial Design for Issue One of Pendulum Magazine (2009)

Ah, the bustling city. This magazine cover by Canadian dynamic design duo, Komboh, has it all: high-rises, cars, trucks, and busy people. Juxtaposing the grime of the city is a thick, clean white coil, which adds a simple graphic element to the crowded urban streets. The design is straightforward, clean, unpretentious, and nice to look at.

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Always With Honor: Design & Illustration Part 2

Always With Honor

Illustrations for Good Magazine by Always With Honor

Let it be known! These are charted waters, literally!

Designed by Brooklyn based creative collective Always With Honor for GOOD Magazine’s June issue, this devastatingly entertaining info graphic depicts the “Largest Bankruptcies in History.” Its design is straightforward, simple, and fun as it uses bright colors and geometric shapes. Each boat appropriately corresponds with the data, with tiny sailboats depicting small money loss and huge cruise ships depicting major losses.

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Marcus Walters Illustration & Design

Marcus Walters

After feeling around, I’ve come to this conclusion: I can afford a relaxing day in the sun and enjoying more work by UK based illustrator Marcus Walters.

Created for Barclays Bank, this illustration is bright and cheerful amidst a neighborhood of homes for sale. The clever type contained within the cloud nicely complements the analogously colored homes. I especially enjoy the intricate details that lie within the trees and the decoration of the homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Supercinq Design & Illustration

Supercinq

One of my favorite past times is sewing, and seeing this poster by Paris based graphic design and illustration studio, Supercinq, makes my crafty little hands flutter with joy!

I love all of the playful shapes and objects within this poster, as well as the clustered mix of fancy hand drawn type. I especially like the color scheme of this piece. The black hand holding a white needle with red thread provides a nice contrast against the lightly textured aqua background.

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Pablo Lobo: Design & Illustration

Pablo Lobo

It’s a fact: adding the letter “D” at the end of the word “Designer” creates a “Designerd.” Should we be ashamed of this? I SAY NOT!

This clever little poster by Brazilian based graphic designer and illustrator, Pablo Lobo, is for the Designerd in all of us. Its monochromatic color scheme resonates true simplicity, and I like how the delicately fancy white typeface is set against a dark thought bubble.

Maybe the thickly mustached gentleman is contemplating the quirks of his next big project? Or perhaps how awesome it is that he’s designed the first pair of pantoes (pant-shoes)!

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Alphabet! Keychain Collection by Mike Davis

Mike Davis, Burlesque Design

What a way to hold your keys! These Alphabet! keychains by Mike Davis of Burlesque Design are not only fun, but functional too! Originally created as a poster design and gift for his niece, these little letters are now a series of vinyl zipper pull keychains for Kidrobot. Each tiny colorful package contains a surprise letter. Mmm…the letters “B” and “D” look so delicious!

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Kevin Dart interview

kevin dart

Original Soundtrack from Yuki 7 film, Roman Rendezvous

The latest addition to our Grain Edit interview series takes us to the sunny, pigeon littered streets of Los Angeles: home to Hollywood – movie capital of the world, and artist Kevin Dart. Heavily inspired by films and artwork from the ’60s, Kevin beautifully creates the dazzling, glamorous, exciting world of Yuki 7: a gorgeous feisty international globe-trotting spy.

In today’s interview, Kevin transports us to the year 30,000, discusses his adventurous background, and of course his inspiration for creating the Yuki 7 character. Before we get started, here are a few examples of Kevin’s work…

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Kevin Dart: The Yuki 7 Screen Gems Giveaway

Kevin Dart Yuki 7 Fleet Street Scandal

Adventure, mystery, intrigue! This irresistible giveaway package has it all!

To commemorate the July 3rd release of Seductive Espionage: The World of Yuki 7, we’ve teamed up with the wonderful Mister Kevin Dart in presenting The Yuki 7 Screen Gems Giveaway! This package is chock-full of behind-the-scenes goodies, sure to make your jaw drop!

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Grain’s Eye View: The Mountain Label / Chris Bettig Studio Visit

Christopher Bettig, The Mountain Label

Chris Bettig runs a studio out of his home in Los Angeles, CA called The Mountain Label. He has an impressive amount of work consisting of laser etched wood, collages, paintings, and lovely prints. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting with him. In today’s Grain’s Eye View, Chris gives us some handy advice on collecting and an interesting glimpse into the future.

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Natsko Seki: Illustration

Natsko Seki illustration

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Check out this lovely poster created by London based illustrator Natsko Seki!

In this piece, Seki combines hand drawn elements with intricate details of collage. I love that the bright primary colors are platforms for the bevy of performers, including busy cyclists and trumpet tooting trained seals. She really captures the magic and enthusiasm of the circus with the layered composition, all of which remind me of Boniface’s Holiday by Russian animator Fyodor Khitruk. Did you happen to see the bear on the bicycle?

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Christopher Bettig / The Mountain Label

Christopher Bettig

Ah, if only trees really looked like this!

Los Angeles based artist, Christopher Bettig, created this neatly abstracted tree for GRSF’s Tree Show V. I really enjoy the cool analogous colors paired with the varied stacked geometric shapes. This piece has a nice overall balance with its symmetrical design, and totally reminds me of the geometry found on the exterior of the Mary Blair designed “It’s a Small World” ride.

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Maija Louekari: Illustration & Design

Maija Louekari

What a scrumptious illustration by Finnish illustrator and designer, Maija Louekari! She has a sensational eye for bright punchy colors, geometric forms and patterns, as well as fine lines. Louekari won a design competition staged by the Univeristy of Art and Design Helsinki and the iconic textile and clothing designer Marimekko in 2003.

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Jeffrey Bowman: Illustration & Design

Jeffrey Bowman

Can’t see the wood for the trees – Poster for shop opening.

Today we would like to introduce you to UK based illustrator/designer, Jeffrey Bowman whose work has been influenced by everything from space exploration and the wonders of the universe to the intricacies of type face creation and pattern repetition.

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Grain’s Eye View: A Glimpse into Wayne Pate’s Studio

Wayne Pate

Wayne Pate runs a whimsical design studio in Brooklyn, NY called GoodShapeDesign. He has the best doodles, and also sells playful prints on his website. Today, we have the pleasure of getting the Grain’s Eye View on Wayne’s studio, including info on his favorite objects and some handy organizing advice.

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Till Wiedeck: Graphic Design

Till Wiedeck

German based designer, Till Wiedeck, really melts my heart with his fabulous collection of type. This particular typeface, titled “HM Melt,” was inspired by a simple letter “a” found in a mid-’70s edition of The World of Logotypes by Al Cooper. It’s terrifically impressive that he was able to create such a fresh typeface solely based around the shape of one letter. I really love his experimentation with geometry and the positioning of various drops, simulating that the type is really melting!

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Janine Rewell: Graphic Design & Illustration

Janine Rewell

Finnish designer and illustrator, Janine Rewell, has a wonderful way of fusing colorful detailed illustrations with clean, simple type. There are surprises in every corner of her work, this piece being no exception.

Created for the Helsinki in Berlin music festival in 2008, we see a lot of musical imagery, with guitars, flutes, and keyboards hiding throughout the illustration. I especially like that there are even tinier images playfully hiding within the text. It reminds me of playing “Hidden Picture” while reading old Highlights magazines at the Dentist’s office as a kid. I also enjoy Rewell’s use of wine bottle and martini glass buildings. Although densely clustered, her composition is right on, implying “”We’re gonna drink, listen to good tunes, and have fun!” Wahoo!

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Tim Gough interview

Tim Gough

(Photo credit: Adam Wallacavage)

The next addition to the Grain Edit interview series takes us to Philadelphia: City of Brotherly Love, home of founding father Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell, and double agent Tim Gough. A man of mystery, by day, Tim works as the Art Director for the Philadelphia Weekly. By night, he emerges from the cheese steak littered streets of Philly to do one thing: rid the world of dull illustrations.

Tim successfully melds images of spies and monstrous creatures with bursts of color, densely clustered patterns and rough textures, creating dynamically rich works. In this interview, he discusses his hometown and background, perplexing experiences after college, influences, and his creative process.

And now to reveal the enigma…

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Designer’s Bookshelf: Michelle McCormick

Designer and blogger, Michelle McCormick, has an incredible eye for collecting an array of bits and baubles. Her bookshelves house a wonderful assortment of books, colorful stamps, and tons of interesting objects, all of which are featured on her blog Inspiration Resource. Michelle has a great eye for intricate details, and her blog showcases various themed collections, posted daily as sources of inspiration.

Michelle happily shares all of these things with the readers of Grain Edit. Enjoy!

And now, over to you Michelle!

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Andy J. Miller: Design & Illustration

YES! I am really digging this fun and colorful design by Andy J. Miller of Koma Design. Created for Palmercash T-shirts, this design reminds me of one of my favorite animation shorts from Sesame Street featuring an out of this world pinball machine. Miller’s composition is dense, but it’s constantly keeping the eye moving. Every shape and figure melds and trickles it way into another someplace else, creating an overwhelmingly pleasing pattern.  His candy coated color scheme is pretty yummy too!

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Designer’s Bookshelf: Amy Cartwright

Amy Cartwright is a talented illustrator who designs and illustrates cards, books, and other products for clients including: Hallmark, 3M, Scholastic, and Proctor & Gamble. In her spare time she curates one of our favorite blogs, Stickers and Stuff. The blog showcases vintage kids books and wonderful examples of modern design. Here for grain edit readers Amy shares pictures of some of her favorite books and the stories behind some of her finds. Enjoy!

And now over to you Amy…

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Sanna Paananen: Illustration

Although it is raining, I’d love to join this golden man for a relaxing tranquil time at the beach. Finnish illustrator, Sanna Paananen, has a real knack for using rich saturated complementary colors and thoughtful line work. In this pleasingly orchestrated composition, we see a nice contrast between the golden sands of the beach and the blue details of the rain, umbrellas, and man’s speedo. Paananen plays with the positive and negative space, concentration, and shape of the rain drops, creating a rhythmically soothing effect to the piece. I especially like the simplistic details in the shell’s line work. Read the rest of this entry »

Bombo! (aka Maurizio Santucci) Illustration

Like people playing footsie, some trees just wanna play rootsie!

Such is the case in this fun, skillfully crafted illustration by Italian illustrator, Bombo! (aka Maurizio Santucci). Like a fine puzzle, all the pieces fit together nicely. The composition creates a realistic pop-up environment that I wish I could travel to, and I really enjoy the tangled roots and the nervous expression on the tree’s face. Read the rest of this entry »

Milkfed Press Studio Visit

Milkfed Press

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hanging out with Victoria of Milkfed Press, a letterpress and bindery studio based in Oakland. Her space is large and bright, filled with a wonderful collection of equipment and type, and was originally a grocery store where the owners used to stash cash within the walls.
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Human Empire

A simple, yet striking album cover designed by Human Empire. The head is constructed out of pure wood, and is reminiscent of the PBS logo from the early 1970s. The three dimensional strands of blocks on the side of the head look like stab wounds oozing with multicolored blood. If only our blood was that interesting!

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PUFF by William Wondriska

PUFF by William Wondriska. Published in 1960 by Pantheon Books Inc.

Wondriska creates an imaginary world where even the smallest things count by playfully juxtaposing the teeny character of PUFF against a backdrop of enormous red type, concetrated lines and textures, and monumental structures.

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Siggi Eggertsson

Talk about a new spin on the old family portrait!

Icelandic illustrator/designer, Siggi Eggertsson, successfully combines unusual geometric shapes and muted colors to create refined abstractions. He has an impressive collection of work, ranging from posters and type to mosaics made from his collection of 20,000 basketball cards from the 90s. See more on his website, www.vanillusaft.com.

Images via Product of God.

Andrew Holder: Art and Design

Andrew Holder

I really love this piece by California artist and graphic designer, Andrew Holder. The composition is fantastic and somewhat unexpected, creating an illusion of depth amidst seemingly flat geometric shapes. I especially enjoy his playfulness with color and texture. To see more of his work, visit his website andrewholder.net.

(Image via the Hibbleton Gallery).

Tim Gough Illustration & Design

Philadelphia based illustrator and designer, Tim Gough, has a real knack for eye popping color and  juxtaposing thin, densely clustered lines with stronger meatier ones, creating some rich textures.

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Rica Takada

rica takada japan

One person we adore at Grain Edit is Japanese illustrator Rica Takada. Beauty and whimsy meet simplicity in each of her works. She uses natural vibrant colors and textured shapes to create depth, and also meticulously plays with clean and often rhythmic lines. Some of her work includes designing decorative pieces for the home, illustrating CD covers featuring wide eyed dreamy mod gals, and publishing books including Un Coin de Soleil and Moi Saison Préférée. Find out more by visiting her site, www.weekendstroll.com.

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Eleanor Grosch interview

Eleanor Grosch, Pushmepullyou Design, illustration, interview

I first stumbled upon Eleanor’s work while out shoe shopping a few years ago. I found a menagerie of Keds slip-on shoes with the loveliest animal patterns ever-imaginable…doves, giraffes, camels, and even cows! It was love at first sight!

Since that shopping extravaganza, I came to learn that the wonderful Ms. Grosch was behind those whimsical designs. Her work incorporates carefully chosen color palettes with geometric shapes and attentive lines, much in the style of her hero, Charley Harper.

In addition to designing for Keds, Eleanor has also designed for Alien Workshop, Urban Outfitters, and Chronicle Books. Her work diversely appears on rock posters, skateboards, apparel, and various publications. This past April, Print Magazine honored Eleanor as one of their New Visual Artists of 2008.

Before we bite into the meat of this interview, I’ve gathered a few nibbles and goodies of Eleanor’s work from the past years:

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Klas Fahlen: Illustration and Design

klas Fahlen illustration

Swedish illustrator, Klas Fahlen, has such an eye for detail and beautiful energetic line work. Some of his illustrations remind me of the work of Olle Eksell and Stig Lindberg. Check out Klas’ portfolio here via Art Department.

Liam Devowski

Liam Devowski

Pretty, bummed, and sad? No way! San Francisco based designer and illustrator, Liam Devowski, is anything but that! His work is heavily influenced by bold ’70s type, and he successfully juxtaposes bright cheerful colors with lonesome emotional phrases. Liam also contributes to the pop art and design blog Viewers Like You, which features posts by Rad Mountain’s own Damien Correll.

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