I made this quasi-editorial piece just for myself- in Asheville NC, there is currently a major tourist industry based on river tubing/boating on the French Broad River. Unfortunately- as most locals know- the river is very dirty, constantly suffering from run-off, and often infested with e. coli. So come on all you visitors & join the fun…just don’t let any river water splash into your micro-brews!
Ever since I took an intro to computer arts class three years ago, and fell in love with the adobe suite, I have been working (pretty much) completely digitally. I love the ease of editing, the ability to start & finish something quickly, and the endless modifications and style changes you can do digitally in minutes. It’s amazing! But…this month’s MATS assignment is to do a wooden wall hanging, and even though I could have mocked up a template digitally, I decided to crack open the dried-out acrylics & get my hands dirty.
Here’s my first little attempt, a river otter (which I believe to be my spirit animal), and a shot of my fancy tinfoil palette.
The prompt for the mini this month is “scenic plates”. Though we’ve been assured that the large assignment next week isn’t actually going to be a plate, I couldn’t help but work up one of my sketches into vector art. There’s a children’s book called “Happy Winter” that I love, and that, plus the recent snow, was my inspiration for this winter-y plate!
An added project this month in MATS Bootcamp was to create a visual manifesto relating to “Make Art that Sells”. Though I just started the program, and I didn’t love my first project, I feel like part of the idea for enrolling was to push myself creatively and try to work on my process. I chose to make a typographical poster, even though it’s out of my wheelhouse, and I feel pleased with what I got done. I also feel like it appropriately reflects my feelings when I am trying to get a project done (particularly in bootcamp)…sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe & keep working, but I ultimately love it!
I haven’t had as much time to work on Lilla’s project this month as I would have liked. The January assignment is to use our brooch doodles & create a journal cover. My graphic work right now tends to be simple, clean & bright(ish). This is what I have come up with so far, I was trying to work in the theme of gross animals…not that fish are gross, per se, but there are many giant bug/roach brooches from the Edwardian Era & dead fish seem like something that might also seem out of place on a gentlewoman’s blouse.
- Lois Lenski (1893-1974): Lenski’s illustration style is solid yet sweet, incorporating heavy line and large blocks of color while still maintaining a simplicity and ease. While early on she illustrated other people’s work, she was eventually able to move into writing and illustrating her own books. She was successful in being able to show the beauty in daily things, and her books encourage children to appreciate the smaller & more basic things in life.
2. Arthur Rackham (1867-1939): In the opposite direction from Lenski’s solid portrayal of everyday life, Rackham’s work is lush and fantastical. He illustrated almost exclusively work that incorporated magical elements. His version of Alice in Wonderland is one of the most well-known, after the classic illustration set from John Tenniel. Rackham’s work is detailed and heavily textured & has depth that pulls the viewer into the scene.
3. Quentin Blake (b. 1932): Blake is a prolific artist and writer, whose body of work so far (either as author, illustrator, or both) includes 323 books. He is probably most well-known for being the illustrator of 18 of Roald Dahl’s books. His illustration style is impressive in its combination of loose, emotional line and washed out watercolor, but a perfect capturing of expression nonetheless. Blake’s art proves that a “childlike” quality can be as beautiful as tighter and less expressive work.
4. Tove Jansson (1914-2001): Jansson was a beloved Finnish artist and writer who is most well-known for her books and comic series set in fantastical “Moominland”. Her art has a classic comic style (heavy line, simple characters) but she also utilized design elements that make it very visually appealing. She constructed a world for her characters that was both magical and very real; she incorporated both darkness and light into her work for children in a way that drew in, and continues to draw in, people of all ages.
5. Maurice Sendak (1928-2012): Few lists of children’s book illustrators are complete without a mention of Maurice Sendak. One of his most defining qualities as an author and artist was that he was unafraid to push the envelope. His work for children never panders, but it maintains a curiosity that relates to a child’s view of the world. As an artist, he always stayed true to his style and it makes his work very recognizable and comforting.