With times being so hard for illustrators right now, I’m always impressed and encouraged to see fellow commercial artists come with with new ideas to keep themselves busy and keep revenue flowing. Like illustrator friends here in BC, Doug Jones and Fiona Richards, who started a smart little side business called Cartolina, selling stationery featuring “centuries old block prints and antique cartouches, combined with twentieth century lead type, contemporary colours and our own original illustrations.”
And it’s not just paper cards; they also have an accompanying iPhone app which is really quite delightful and brings a whole new spin on doing e-cards:
This app is all about sending brief but beautiful emails and texts using one of our customizable Cartograms. Choose from a selection of beautiful designs, customize your message and pretty up someone’s inbox! Includes an integrated calendar which sends you automatic reminders.
I attempted getting into the stationery business years ago, and it was harsh. It’s hard work to carve out a spot for yourself in an industry dominated by two or three giant aggressive companies, so I’m glad to see Fiona and Doug making a go of it and being successful.
Drawn! is number one. Second place is Today’s Inspiration, by Leif Peng, who is also one of Drawn’s contributors. The list goes on to cite many of our colleagues with whom we have been trading links for several years. Digger’s list is a nice, easily bookmarkable resource for enthusiasts, professionals, and art directors.
Will Schofield shares another slew of fantastic Japanese illustrations from books he’s collected. The above is a children’s book cover by Seiichi Horiuchi from 1972.
Susumu Eguchi Illustration, Poster for a children’s science exhibition in the Tobu department store, 69-70
Book spreads, artist unknown, ca. 1964
(please leave a comment if you know who this is)
Haruyo Kawashima, illus. for Kansatsu ehon kindabukku, vol. 6, no. 7, 1933 (detail)
See the rest at Will’s blog.
Today King Features launches Oh, Brother! a new comic strip by my friends Bob Weber Jr. (Slylock Fox) and Jay Stephens (The Secret Saturdays, Tutenstein, Oddville). Bob and Jay have a true love for and a history of making great kids comics, and Oh, Brother! is no exception. The strip follows a rich tradition of mischievous cartoon kids, and its clean designs and pure silliness make it the perfect heir to John Stanley’s Little Lulu.
Oh, Brother! is also the first syndicated newspaper comic strip to be given the full webcomics treatment of being delivered free online on its own clutter-free site, as opposed to being trapped in the ugliness, lack of RSS, and near uselessness of sites like Comics.com, GoComics or King’s own Daily Ink.
Sarah Biermann, Torsten Strer, Felix Meyer, and Pascal Monaco crammed thirty-five of their favourite movies into this slick 2-minute piece of motion graphics. The animation makes this a refreshing change of pace from the countless “minimalist movie poster” designs littering the Internet these days.
Can you name all thirty-five movies?
There’s too much news lately about disasters – it’s time to celebrate perseverance and the ability to be fruitful and multiply! These eight (yes: seven plus one!) letterpress prints feature art about gathering, joining together, and swarms! Also: teaming up – each of the prints in the newest set from the Cloudy Collection was designed by an amazing artist duo! Teeming Up! includes art by Aesthetic Apparatus, Always With Honor, Eight Hour Day, Ghostshrimp + Pendleton Ward, The Little Friends of Printmaking, Lab Partners, Sonnenzimmer, and Becky & Frank. .
Eight prints for $35? You’re welcome.
Scampd is a new blog/showcase devoted to celebrating contemporary advertising illustration. From the site:
For a time, we silently bore witness as advertising award shows and design annuals killed off their once glorious illustration categories. But enough is enough, and we have decided to do something about it.
Illustrators, art directors, and agencies are invited to submit their work to be featured.
I have admired the work of Jochen Gerner for a while now. His style is pure cartooning — taking the complex, and abstracting it into something simple. This minimalist, geometric approach to drawing is not limited to just the design of characters and objects, but also to the layout of the illustrations themselves. The illustrations become diagrams, allowing the viewer to take in a lot of information at a glance.
Looking through his sketchbooks reveals the mind of an artist constantly honing his illustrative shorthand, and his own cartooning vocabulary.
His experiments in abstraction and subtraction is no more evident than in a series of modified IKEA catalogue pages:
When I visited the Owlkids booth at TCAF this year, I was pleased to see that their publishing imprint had released a fun book of drawing activities for kids called ARTastic!: 200+ Art Smart Activities. It’s a colouring book with puzzles, challenges, and creativity-sparking activities all drawn in Gerner’s simple, chunky, kid-friendly lines.
It’s quite similar to Japanese artist Taro Gomi’s equally awesome and art-smart Scribbles, Doodles, and Squiggles drawing books for kids — books that encourage creativity and thinking by requiring one to colour outside the lines.
This is so great. Project Thirty-Three is a blog/gallery from Seattle’s Jive Time Records showcasing vintage record jackets boasting simple, modernist designs. There’s a resurgence of this clean, abstract aesthetic these days, mostly in the form of pastiche or faux vintage paperback parodies and movie posters. But there’s nothing quite like the real deal, especially because it so reminds us that this look was de rigueur for jazz and classical music. These designs were once on actual store shelves and not just student designer’s blogs.
On the opposite side of the visual spectrum, Jive Time also curates Groove is in the Art, a similar blog devoted to anything-but-minimal pop art and psychedelic album jackets like these: