Eye on Art / 20

Hi friends!

How are you? How are things? I think we can both agree: it has been far too long since I last posted here. This semester has been a whirlwind of good things, but I’m grateful to be home, however briefly, for my spring break. Since Brown schedules the vacation so late, I’m keeping it quiet: a few days to plan out remaining assignments and applications, the chance to see friends who are home for Easter, and a day trip into New York to see Hamilton (!!!) for the weekend.

I’ll also be using this week to catch up on reading and blogging – my pile of library books and folder of post drafts seem to grow by the day! I’ve had this edition of Eye on Art in the works for a month now, so I’m delighted that I’m finally able to share it. These three artists work nothing short of magic with their chosen materials, be it paper, colored pencil, or paint, and seeing their portfolios has me itching to return to the studio. As I browse art class possibilities, let me ask: are there any artists you’ve been crushing on as of late?

Lorraine NamTo kick things off, I think it’s hard to look at the work of paper artist Lorraine Nam and not smile. While her well-picked color palettes are worthy of note alone, I can’t get over her deftness with scissors and paper, through which she creates entire worlds. I suppose it’s a testament to her eye for small details – the mini trailer! the bookshelf! the tattoos! – that I can look at her pieces and find something new to admire every time.

I first came across Lorraine’s art when it graced the cover of Country Living (see it here), but I continue to follow it through her Instagram; it’s such a colorful highlight of my feed, and I love the small glimpses into her artistic process. Her recent project for International Women’s Day ranks as my current favorite, but let’s be honest: if I could see any of these in person, I’d be a happy camper. {website}

Natalie FossCall it a habit: I love to take note of the artists whose work appears in the pages of a magazine. I do it with Country Living, but I also do it with Entertainment Weekly, where I fell in love with a piece from Norwegian illustrator Natalie Foss. It took only a brief look at her portfolio before I was calling myself a full-fledged fan. How could I not? Her work is outer-worldly, captivating, and, most impressively, drawn entirely in colored pencil.

There’s no doubt that her portraits, with their soulful expressions, are amazing, but what I’m drawn to most is actually the star-dusted hands, shown above. As my studio class has proven to me this semester, hands can be harder to draw than they look, but Natalie makes it look effortless. That in mind, can I have a print of my own? {website}

Anna HoyleFinally, if you like art that makes you chuckle, look no further than Anna Hoyle’s portfolio of paintings. Based in Melbourne, Anna showcases a punchy sense of humor and a bright use of color in her series, aptly titled “Books.” Though they remind me of a retro age, the paintings are a response to the intersections between books and modern media. As she says, “A lot of the books I paint are the kind of ridiculous or absurd things that you might want to look up on the internet. They are kind of follies.”

If you weren’t already in love, Anna isn’t limited to book paintings, as she also boasts a wide collection of ink drawings and other illustrations. Nevertheless, my heart remains with her silly, satirical illustrations. I want them to line my (admittedly, imaginary) home library walls. {website}

Have a wonderful start to your week!


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!