Baltimore Magazine Fall Spot Illustrations

Fall is here! A couple months back we were commissioned by Baltimore Magazine to create some spot illustrations for their September issue. The project was to create five spot illustrations to accompany articles about outdoor, fall destinations you should visit. We had so much fun creating them, and Baltimore Magazine is an amazing client. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An artist in the UK created an installation called The Cornershop, in an abandoned, well, corner shop. It displayed all the products you would typically find at a gas station…but every product is made completely out of felt. Yes, you heard that correctly. Everything  you see on the shelves of this store are made of felt. Pretty darn amazing.

Are there any felt products that you would like to own? You can purchase them here!

Via Anorak Magazine Blog

 

The Cornershop: Felt Installation

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The ongoing decorating debate in our home/studio is about taxidermy. Honestly, I hate it. Yes, it looks cool, but the idea that something dead is hanging on my wall really grosses me out. Brad really likes taxidermy, and especially now that we are Texans he feels it would compliment the studio. When I found these faux taxidermy sculptures by Dolan Geiman (featured in Friday Likes), I knew we had found a compromise.

These sculptures are made of hand-cut salvaged metal. The strips of metal are then placed together to create these intricate fur-like designs, and then affixed to wood mounts. It is the perfect mix of artwork and nature (and no dead animals). He does an amazing job making them look realistic to while using colorful metals. The quote that Geiman uses on his site is a perfect description of these faux taxidermy ““I like to think | (right now, please!) |of a cybernetic forest | filled with pines and electronics | where deer stroll peacefully | past computers | as if they were flowers | with spinning blossoms.” – Excerpt from  “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” by Richard Brautigan”

Faux Taxidermy by Dolan Geiman

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Abner Wooden Tool Box

 

Salty Sayings from Cynical Tongues

Sofa Side Table

Chocolate Legos

Deglon Meeting Knife Set

Wooden Hand-Painted Pencils

 

Friday Likes

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Ping Pong has been on my mind lately (if you couldn’t tell). And because I have been posting thing related to it, I am stumbling over all kinds of cool ping pong related companies and blogs. Yesterday I discovered Uberpong. They let you customize your own ping pong paddles by simply uploading your artwork or photos online. If you aren’t feeling that creative, they also have a slew of designer paddles created by featured artists that you can choose from.

Want to be the coolest guy or gal at your office’s ping pong table? Make your own here!

Uberpong Custom Ping Pong Paddles

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As you all know, I am strong believer in self-initiated projects. So when I find good ones, I can’t help but share them with you. And this Wheeled collection by illustrator Aron Vellekoop León is just amazing.

For a project that started as simply an exercise of playing around with different colors and shapes, it really turned out to be a neat series. Once he realized some started looking like abstract vehicles, he just kept going. Not only do I love that they turned out awesome, but I also love how he made it into such a large series. And what a great collection it turned out to be! Keep any eye out for more posts on this Aron’s work in the future.

Don’t forget to check out his shop too!

Wheels Collection

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After posting this retro ping ponging dude last week, we have had a lot of people asking if we could make it into a t-shirt. Well, we did! For all you ping pong players out there, this is the shirt for you. For only $22 you can pre-order your own on Cotton Bureau! But you only have a limited time to order, so make sure to do so within the next 2 weeks!

Growing up, my little brother and I played ping pong in our basement every day. He has been bugging me about making a ping pong-themed shirt, so I finally did. The design has a fun, retro vibe to it, with a dark green and cream ink, screen printed on a gold shirt. The shirts are American Apparel with a girl and guy cut available.

Go order yours today! Order here.

 

 

Sir Ping Pong Tee For Sale!

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As Krystal and I are in full on children’s book mode, we couldn’t help but take a break to admire and share these amazing book covers by Rifle Paper Co. founder and lead artist, Anna Bond. We don’t have a ton of time between packaging and shipping out books and swag to our backers for Tatay’s Gift, to share a detailed post today, so please just take a few more minutes to enjoy the beautiful covers on these classic stories.

These are a new line of classic books put out by Penguin Books. You can purchase them here! Enjoy!

Rifle Kid’s Classics

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Dolan Geiman Faux Taxidermy

Hooray Today Greeting Cards

Wood Desk Organizer 

Signage Drawers

Vintage Crams World Globe

Arboretum Mugs

 

Friday Likes

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We found this product designer while perusing This Is Colossal the other day. Marcel Dunger‘s jewelry has such a unique style with its mixed media construction.  He “fixes” broken pieces of wood by filling them with a colored bioresin, and then cutting the shapes with a machine. The resin reaches its full color potential in the sunlight.  The individual pieces are then used to create beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry like necklaces, rings and earrings. The end result is really cool, unique jewelry that make you feels like you are wearing a piece of art (because you are).

Marcel Dunger Jewelry

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It is no secret how much we love the work of Lydia Nichols. Without even realizing it, we feature or share her work all the time. But, we never took the chance interview her on the blog! So for all of you wondering why she loves drawing cute little critters all the time, or how she landed on her unique illustration style, it is all here.

Lydia is the definition of a Designostrataur. She has both a design and illustration background that she marries together perfectly in her work. Her work has garnered a lot of attention and clients like Chronicle Books, Hasbro/Playskool and Bloomberg Business Week. And just recently, she has started selling her new line of greeting cards in her shop called Doodle Dandy. Lydia explains them as, “…little mail-able art pieces which means they can be both decorative and functional—a win-win!”. You should pick up a few here!

Now for some words of wisdom from Lydia:

Q: You have been a huge inspiration to us for so long. Your ability to draw incredibly cute and fun characters out of such simple shapes is something you have mastered. What is it about drawing characters that makes you love drawing them so much?

A: That is so very kind of you to say since you’ve been an inspiration to me as well! My two favorite things about anthropomorphizing and drawing cute critters is 1. the challenge of breaking complex figures into simpler shapes (with whimsical linework, of course) and 2. infusing those shapes with personality so that they have a life to them. It’s like solving a happy puzzle of shape and line and the end result is a little illustrated friend! (I wish life was sort of like Mary Poppins where animated illustrations populated the world along with us and that’s how I feel when Illustrating!)

Q: Stylistically, your work is very unique. How did you land on your personal style? What practices or influences helped you arrive to the quality of work you produce today?

A: It took years of experimenting with my own work as well as learning to understand and accept the difference between work I like to look at (inspiration) and work I like to make. In college I would look to extraordinary artists and draftsmen like Sterling Hundley or Gary Kelley and think, I want to do that. Eventually I realized that I just want to admire them! For one thing, I can’t be them and for another, they already exist! So I took time to figure out what, exactly, I found most interesting and fun about illustration without the pressure of creating “perfect” finished illustrations. It turns out that large swathes of color and shape get me really excited as does the added detail of linework and pattern. I let folk art, printmaking, mid-century design, vintage packaging, etc. inspire me, but I also just let myself be myself and stopped sweating about how trendy or cool it was. I use to worry that drawing cute things would pigeonhole me, especially as a female, when I also wanted to branch out into editorial. Once I stopped worrying, my work became better and more unique!

Q: Tell us about your new line of Doodle Dandy greeting cards! We are all so excited to you started making these. (insert your own shameless plug here:)

A: For a while now, I’ve wanted to produce some real, tangible goods (beyond prints) and cards just seemed like the perfect object! They’re little mail-able art pieces which means they can be both decorative and functional—a win-win! Also, I just adore mail so this is another way for me to express that. :)

Q:  You do something more artists need to be better at, self-promotion. How has generating your own side-projects enhanced your work? Do you have any advice for artists who want to get better at self-promotion?

A: Haha, I certainly try, but it’s tough to manage client work and self promotion work. Any moment I find myself in a lull or in between jobs, I try to take advantage of that time by working of self-initiated projects. It lets me experiment and try new things (visually and process wise) as well as pursue ideas that I’ve had on the back burner. All those random doodles are given new life when I’m able to finish them up and use them for self-promotion. This process, in turn, allows me and my work to grow which means (hopefully) my client-driven work improves too. My advice is pretty much that—take advantage of any nugget of free time that pops up and, of course, actively harness the power of the interwebs. I try not to get too distracted by the internet, but setting aside a small chunk of time each week to see what my peers are up to and to post my own work really helps with exposure and staying relevant!

Q: Many designers/illustrators are torn between the idea of going on to complete an MFA or not. How has your MFA experience benefited your career?

A: This is tough question that I think is ultimately a really personal decision! Do I think one needs an MFA? No. But for some people, like myself, it’s an awesome experience! Two years of time to play within a tiny, thriving community of other illustrators/designers was so super rad. It was more about the process and experience than the degree I wound up with, though an MFA definitely helps with pursuits like teaching. Between my new and lovely group of friends/illustrator/designers and all those self-initiated projects, I walked away feeling like a more well-rounded artist.

Follow Lydia on tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Dribbble.

 

Interview with Lydia Nichols

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