Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ex Libris: A Book Plate

This fall I am taking a class called Illustration as Design as Illustration with Melanie Marder Parks at The School of Visual Arts, where you explore ways to incorporate hand-drawn illustration and lettering into graphic design. Our first assignment was to design a book plate for yourself or as a gift for someone, and here is what I came up with. It is for my husband (who is a professional bookworm), featuring Sam, the beautiful black lab he grew up with.

I drew the illustration and lettering on a bristol board with a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen. After scanning it and cleaning it up in Photoshop, I printed it on Crane Lettra cardstock.

This assignment made me a huge fan of bookplates. Who knew personalized miniature art adorning the inside cover of your favorite book could make you so happy? I think all booklovers should have one! Here is a great blog for bookplate inspirations.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brush Pen Portraits

Had fun drawing manager portraits with my Copic Multiliner brush pen at work last month. I have always loved seeing companies use hand drawn illustrations for their staff portraits (some of my favorites include House Industries and Soap Creative)—it instantly generates visual interest and invites the audience to look at them longer. I also think people tend to appear more approachable as hand-drawn portraits than straight photos.
Jens Lischka

Mariam Vieyra

Mark Angel

Wati Seladin

Daniel Heckmann

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lyonel Feininger at the Whitney

It’s a cloudy and humid Friday—my day off! After a morning ballet class and lunch, I took myself out on a trip to the Whitney to see the Lyonel Feininger exhibit, since my illustration teacher told me it was a must-see. It’s always nice to be able to see a comprehensive collection of a single artist in one show—the experience feels more intimate and full of depth.

Feininger was a German-American painter and cartoonist who lived through both World Wars. I loved the turn-of-the-century town scenes that seemed to be a recurrent subject in his work—these cute houses and churches with pointy roofs take me straight back to my favorite European storybooks I read as a kid. The quality of his lines and his color choices create this whimsical yet haunting effect.

It was not too crowded, so I was able to do some thumbnail sketches. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the Wee Willie Winkies World comic strip, which is more than a century old. It was the same image that have appeared in my dreams many times: the little girl with a big rimmed hat with a ribbon overlooking the town from a hill. I am sure the concept has been reproduced countlessly, but still, it was one strange déjàvu.

While I was there I also checked out the Real/Surreal exhibit, which was also fun. The highlight for me was George Tooker’s The Subway, which I remembered from my Pop and Surrealism class last summer. In the past year, inspired by my teachers and fellow artists, I slowly started to catch up on my art history by trying to go to galleries and museums more often, and I have to say, I am really enjoying it. Each trip is full of discovery, and it’s as if a whole new world has opened up to me.