Art, process and design blog of an aspiring industrial designer.

Posts tagged ‘illustration’

Rob Ryan’s Beautiful Paper Art

“We’re all the same people we were when we were children.  We’re just bigger and we pretend that we’re not.”

I’ve always been a big fan of this etsy artist, and by now he’s done some fairly high-profile stuff, but he still keeps his sweetness, and honesty and vulnerability in all of his work.

robryan,feb182013

IMAGES: here // here // here // here

robryan1,feb182013
This video for the Etsy Handmade Portrait series is just uplifting.

“A big part of my work is about seeing and appreciating the beauty in the everyday, to make people see how beautiful the world is and how beautiful their lives are.”

“My work is about being alive and its about being being human and about being a person.  And then of course this this other thing, and its Love.  Its a funny thing, there’s something about art that Love is almost a taboo subject – its almost to obvious to make work about. And to me its the most natural thing.  The need to love, to be loved, and the connections and the relationships.”

For more info, check out this article on the Etsy blog, or check out Rob’s etsy page.

Marion Deuchars on Design Matters

Today, here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a snow day. The most glorious of all days of the year, on the rare occasion that it happens. It lets you skip school/work, without having a makeup already planned! So usually it just ends in more time to do work, and more time to browse the internet, finally make a flickr account, get a sibling to bake for you, AND complete some much needed art projects.

Anyway, Marion Deuchars! About a month back Marion Deuchars was on the podcast Design Matters, and I finally got to listening to it. She talks about her work as an illustrator, how she creates nostalgic r’s, contemplative a’s, peaceful p’s and childlike q’s. She also talks about what its like to illustrate with a character in mind, for example when she wrote around George Clooney’s body for the cover of GQ, or when she she collaborated on Tilda Swanson’s children’s clothing line.

Listen to it here.

Also, her two boys pipe in at the end of the show, and were SO CUTE, and I have to say, more than a bit poignant.

Here are some of the great quotes from the show:

“…there’s an age where a child draws without inhibition. We can all recognize that kind of drawing, because we’ve all done it.  And then, around the age of 10 or 11, and its mainly in a Western culture, we try  to attain a kind of realism, and its whilst we are obtaining that realism, is where things can go horribly wrong.  So for the one’s who obtain a realism that they’re happy with, for example if they manage to obtain some kind of porportion within the drawing or they try to draw something that resembles it, and they’re quite happy they continue, …. but for the majority of people, its too much, and basically they decide from that point that they are not very good at drawing and that their drawings are bad, and they stop drawing, and not only do they stop drawing, but they generally never draw again.  And can even develop a fear of drawing, which is actually quite common.  And I always say, how can we develop a fear of something that’s so amazing and that gave us so much personal expression as children. And suddenly we decide we’re no good at it and we stop.”

“I think handwriting, hand lettering, is fascinating because it offers you an insight into personality.  I think when you look at the lettering that’s been drawn you try to imagine who drew it, who wrote it, and that’s quite different to a font…”

” ‘My children’s drawings surprise me all the time.  They break the rules, they inspire, they make me laugh, they shock. I don’t want that to change for as long as possible.’ ”

marionduchars,feb82013
She also has 3 books out, all on Amazon.  When I have money again, I’m definitely buying “Let’s Make Some Great Art”! : Let’s Make Some Great ArtLet’s Make Some Great Fingerprint ArtLet’s Make Some Great Placemat Art

marionduchars2,feb82013

IMAGES: here // here // here

Art: Illustration Work

No! I have not been replaced by a super dork who reads comic books! I like comic books! And DAMN STRAIGHT I like me some comic book art.  In case you are late to all of the parties, comic book reading and sterio-type nerding (e.g.: liking Star Wars, doing math/science, playing video games, reading comic books (/watching comic book movies), playing role-playing games) is cool again! PROOF: 1) there is a very successful tv show, ‘Big Bang Theory‘, that proves it. 2) There are whole treasury lists on the etsy boards, and pinterest boards devoted to ‘nerd’ paraphernalia.  So, question: Why are these liberal-arts majors fake-embarassed to like these things? Friends, you are into things that are ‘SO HOT RIGHT NOW’. :) Tots embrace it!

I am embracing it, with this post! Also though, this artwork is just incredible. With my post about Darwyn Cooke, I’m sure you all know already that I like me some illustration work and comic book artists, but such amazing stuff has been coming up on pinterest and I could not, not post it! Anyway, enjoy! :)


1. Kevin Tong, Mogwai. here.
2. Doe Eyed, Mogwai. here.
3. Vintage Christmas Card found here.


4.  Eric Church poster. here.
5. Duelists, screenprint on silk by James Jean. here.
6. Blitzen Trapper by James Flames. here.

Art: Maira Kalman. And Meritocracy.

Maira Kalman is really cool, and really really honest.

Here is some of her work. She is also earnest, I thought of another word.


She is a writer and illustrator.

This is my favorite series she did. It was a ‘column’ she did for the New York Times online.

I watched this video

and she made me think of meritocracy, which is this thing that totally exists right now. In me and I think in our society. Meritocracy is the belief that everything you get is what you deserve. You work really hard, you get really good rewards. Your success is in direct relation with the amount of work you put in. (NOTE: I did not say ‘the amount you want it.’ Not the same thing.) And I hate that I think I mostly totally believe that.

But this idea is kind of this tragic thing, because of course, there are so many unknown factors. There are so many things which we cannot account for. Luck or fate or destiny or chance exists. It is a thing. Fatigue, health, nepotism, time and place exist. Even if you work really, really hard, meritocracy is not totally true. You could fail and still put in more effort that the person who wins. And I think it is this tragic belief, because we still are so hard on ourselves. When we fail, even when we deserve to succeed, I know that often I think to myself, that I just didn’t work hard enough. That I need to work harder next time. I think you and I and everyone must sometimes take a moment to realize that sometimes, maybe we actually did deserve it and did work hard enough.

Acknowledge that; take a moment to feel that and believe that. And maybe use the factor of luck or randomness. Maybe put ourselves in some situations where we give ourselves more chances and more opportunities. Use that push from meritocracy to make us work harder, but also realize reality, relax the chastise. Relax it.

Try to be a bit kinder. But that doesn’t mean work less. Keep pushing.

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