Eye on Art / 19


Eye on ArtHappy Tuesday! How is your week coming along? For fellow students, how is your school year so far? On my end, after this month of midterms, production schedules, and the continued transition into college, I’m looking forward to the break Thanksgiving will provide. Brown is starting to feel like a home away from home, but I’ll admit: I’ve been counting down the days until I can see my friends in person and have my favorite Turkey Day dishes (homemade cranberry sauce, anyone?).

This morning, I still have a few readings to attend to, news to catch up on, and a Secret Santa present to plan (!!), but I first wanted to share another edition of Eye on Art. I keep a running list of people I’d like to feature in this series — some of which I add after seeing only one piece of theirs — but the three below are artists I’ve long admired. Whether it’s in the form of books, illustrations, or portraits, they make me want to create all day long! What art have you been crushing on as of late?

Jennifer GriffithsTo start, it’s not often that I see book covers treated as works of art outside of the bookish community. It’s a shame, because I’ve found many a gem in the portfolios of cover designers and art directors. One of my most recent favorites is the work of Penguin Random House designer Jennifer Griffiths, a small sample of which is shown above. Though the genres of the books she designs differ, they are consistent in their display of a strong understanding of type, image, and the ways in which they can intertwine.

I’d say I’d like to have copies of all of the books she designed for my shelves, but to do that would leave the covers unseen. I’ll settle instead for admiring from afar — particularly the cover and interior design of The Dead Husband Project. Isn’t it stunning? (Psst: If you want more thoughts on all things cover design, I suggest The Casual Optimist. The archives are a fun afternoon read!). {website}

Oana BefortI hate to use the term “hygge,” for I fear it’s wrongly being overused, but I can’t think of a better word to describe the artwork of Romanian illustrator Oana Befort. Clearly adept in her use of gouache, watercolor, and a number of other mediums, Befort captures, for me at least, coziness and nostalgia, not to mention the simplistic beauty of the outdoors.

With such a distinct illustrative design, it’s easy to see why Befort is in such high demand as a freelancer; in addition to her editorial and client work, she also has an Etsy shop where her prints are available for purchase. I myself want to buy a few of her pieces for my dorm room gallery wall — I happen to think the bunny or the deer paintings would provide much-needed warmth in the second semester. {website}

Rikki NiehausFinally, I’m never one to turn down a trip to IKEA — even if it’s only through paintings! As the humorous title suggests, the Swedish Landscapes series by artist Rikki Niehaus showcases the interior of the furniture superstore. It’s among her most acclaimed work, and for good reason: it’s a creative commentary on classic portraits and the all-encompassing quality of IKEA stores.

Niehaus’ portfolio, however, is not limited to showcasing suited men in patterned chairs. Her other paintings, which range from a smiling ballerina to a stony-faced and sitting duo, all illustrate her expertise in portraiture; as she writes, Niehaus uses the style to “confront and engage the viewer directly.” If I haven’t made this clear already, choosing a favorite would be a near impossible task — I like them all. {website}

Have the most wonderful Tuesday!


Eye on Art / 18

Hi friends!

Eye on ArtHappy Friday! What’s up for your weekend? After weeks of cool and rainy weather, it seems that New England will finally be getting the heat wave June calls for, all of which is to say a healthy serving of ice cream and a good book are both in order. In between my time on the porch, novel in hand, I’ll be hopping from grad party to grad party with friends and watching the Tony Awards with my sister – theater kids we are, we’ll be rooting for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 all night long.

In the meantime, I thought we’d ease into the weekend with a new edition of Eye on Art – it’s been a few months since I last shared some of my favorite portfolios! There’s nothing that links today’s three artists together, beyond their clear level of talent: one excels as a fine artist, another produces illustrations, and the last has a knack for photography and type. Are there any artists you’ve admired lately?

Gabriella SanchezFirst up is Gabriella Sanchez, an artist based in LA. Her name or work may ring a bell, for not only is she a talented freelance illustrator, she has also been an in-house designer for Ban.do in years past {I frequently use these stylish stickers, some of which she illustrated}. Her popularity has been sudden, but it’s no surprise: with a love of bold colors, an unabashed confidence in her work, and a progressive perspective to boot, Gabriella has garnered a wide audience of fans, myself included.

Her commercial work is no doubt impressive, but I’m partial to her abstract art, pieces that jump off gallery walls with their vivid palettes and eclectic natures. I’m bummed I’m not close enough to see her pieces in person, so for now, I’ll settle for a pin or patch to decorate my bag. Her artwork is the coolest, even in the smallest of doses. {website}

Adams CarvalhoIf the artwork of Adams Carvalho also looks familiar, it’s understandable: the Brazilian artist’s stunning illustration work graced the cover of Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s hard not to when it has the intricate linework, skillful use of color, and brilliant composition Adams is known for. 

A further look at his portfolio, and it’s clear: Adams has clearly defined his style, bringing about a consistency and, furthermore, intrigue to his work. I could have chosen any five pieces of his to feature, but I believe the ones showcased above, including my favorite in teal, highlight the sense of teenage rebellion and summertime solitude so characteristic of his work. Needless to say, I’m a fan. {website}

Christine ChoeFinally, I couldn’t wait to feature Christine Choe, an artist whose portfolio I’ve been crushing on for months. I first came across one of her pieces on Pinterest – social media keeps my typography heart happy – but it took only a few minutes of browsing her website before I fell in love with her hand lettering pieces and stellar photographs.

While her portfolio is plentiful, my favorite project of hers is actually still in the works: a daily lettering project that chronicles the dates of the year. Christine has employed a number of styles – and media! – throughout the months, but the ultimate cheeriness of her work has remained consistent. To ensure her lettering gems reach your feed, you can join me in following her Instagram @datesoftheyear. What a delight. {website}

Have a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend!


Eye on Art / 17

Hi friends!

Eye on ArtHappy Wednesday! This week is zipping right along, but with the end of the first semester a mere two weeks away, I’m not surprised. Things are busy, but I’m having a blast; if my friends who have since graduated are correct, senior year only gets better from here! Before I work on my homework assignments and obsess over This is Us {did you catch last night’s episode?}, I’d thought I pop in with a new post. I last wrote an Eye on Art in September – a wait far too long for my liking – and so, I wanted to share an edition to highlight the work of three talented artists: one who specializes in screen-printing, another in illustration, and the last in photography. Have you been crushing on any artwork as of late? How are things on your end?

boyoun-kimFirst on my list is Boyoun Kim, an illustrator based in New York whose portfolio extends across numerous publications, including The New Yorker and The Washington Post. Boyoun uses the process of screen-printing to produce such vibrant pieces as the ones above, which may explain why I was so taken with her portfolio; her bright and colorful palette is hard to ignore!

Naturally, her skill set is suited well to landscape prints, be it a snowy ski village dotted with pink and brown houses or the pyramids in Egypt, the sky a brilliant blue against the saturated sand. My personal favorite, however, is her city skyline, complete with a person flying overhead with a balloon. Needless to say, her eye for color and pattern is unmatched. {website}

nina-cosfordNina Cosford’s work too evokes a sense of playfulness, a thread that runs throughout her lengthy portfolio of prints, paintings, and patterns. With a penchant for charming characters and architecture, she’s known for her distinct style of illustration and sense of humor {her social media feeds are not only appealing to the eye, they make me laugh too!}.

Nina is perhaps best known for her collaboration with HBO for the television show Girls, where she illustrated a number of quotes and characters from the program, but I myself am partial to her contributions to the Life Portraits book series {it’s the Jane Austen fan in me}, even if I’ve yet to grab an example from the library. I’ll have to change that soon, for her newest book My Name is Girl, both written and illustrated by her, sounds right up my alley. {website}

amy-friendFinally, one glance at Amy Friend’s work, and I was in love. And how could I not? At once ethereal and honest, dark and light, her portfolio of photographs and paintings is captivating online – I can only imagine their power in person! As she herself has said, art is a means for her to explore “the relationship between what is visible and non-visible.”

Amy has a number of collections, all of which I’d be happy to buy a piece from, but after reading through the inspiration behind the Dare Alla Luce pieces, I’ve mulled over the photographs for days; in them, she’s uses pinpricks of light to reinvent a number of vintage photographs. If you ask me, there’s nothing better than art like this that makes you think. {website}

Have a lovely day!