Illustration

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Illustration

Surreal Characters Vacation at a Fantastic Resort in a 1,500-Piece Puzzle by Marija Tiurina

November 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Marija Tiurina

Marija Tiurina is known for her chaotic, fictionalized worlds that offer a brief escape from reality, so it’s fitting that London-based artist (previously) turned one of her larger watercolor renderings into a daunting 1,500-piece puzzle. Brimming with surreal splendor, the vibrant illustration envisions a holiday resort for families and their imaginary friends. Adults, kids, and a seemingly endless array of fantastical characters pack into the vacation venue to relax poolside, play video games, fish, and ice skate around a rink.

The dreamy design is currently available from Heye Puzzle, and you can shop originals and prints of other bizarre scenarios on Tiurina’s site. Keep up with her future works on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art History Illustration Photography

A New Book Flies Through the Vast World of Birds from Art and Design to History and Ornithology

November 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Ernst Haeckel, Trochilidae – Kolibris, from Kunstformen der Natur, 1904. Chromolithograph, 36 × 26 cm / 14 × 10 ¼ in. Picture credit: Kunstformen der Natur

Bird: Exploring the Winged World is an extensive celebration of feathered creatures across thousands of years of art, science, and popular culture. Published by Phaidon, the stunning, 352-page volume compiles works from hundreds of artists, illustrators, photographers, and designers—including Lorna Simpson (previously), Nick Cave (previously), Ernst Haeckel (previously), and Florentijn Hofman (previously)—who choose ostriches, flamingos, and other avians as their central motifs. Each spread connects two distinct works from different periods, pairing anatomical renderings with James Audubon’s illustrations and striking contemporary portraits with vintage advertisements.

In addition to hundreds of images, the forthcoming tome features an introduction by Katrina van Grouw and information about urban birding experiences and taxonomies. Copies are available from Bookshop on November 10.

 

Allen & Ginter, Birds of the Tropics, 1889. Chromolithograph, 7.3 × 8.3 cm / 2 7/8 × 3 ¼ in, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Picture credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Jefferson R.Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick

Elizabeth Butterworth, Lear’s Macaw, 2005. Gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, 25 × 34 cm / 9 ¼ × 13 3/8 in, Private collection. Picture credit: © Elizabeth Butterworth

Florentijn Hofman, Rubber Duck, 2013. PVC, H. 16.5 m / 21 ft, temporary installation, Hong Kong. Picture credit: All Rights Reserved, courtesy Studio Florentijn Hofman

Matt Stuart, Trafalgar Square, 2004. Photograph, dimensions variable. Picture credit: © Matt Stuart

John James Audubon (engraved by Robert Havell), American Flamingo, from The Birds of America, double elephant folio edition, 1838. Hand-coloured etching and aquatint, 97 × 65 cm / 38 ¼ × 25 5/8 in. Picture credit: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC: Gift of Mrs. Walter B. James

Oiva Toikka, Birds by Toikka, 1972–present. Mouth-blown glass, dimensions variable, Iittala collection. Picture credit: All rights reserved by Fiskars Finland Oy Ab/Photographer Timo Junttila, Designer Oiva Toikka

Andy Holden and Peter Holden, Natural Selection, 2018. Mixed media, Temporary installation at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, UK. Picture credit: Andy Holden/Photograph by Alison Bettles

 

 



Illustration

'A Library of Misremembered Books' Is a Witty, Illustrated Compendium of Mistaken Titles

November 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Chronicle Books, shared with permission

Marina Luz’s A Library of Misremembered Books is an ode to all of our favorite titles that we can’t quite recall: there’s the ’80’s high-school classic “Popular Girls Who Shoplift,” the one with the “Cat Possibly Named Henry,” and the strangely philosophical sci-fi fantasy “Lady Becomes Immortal Because of Aliens.”

Published by Chronicle, the illustrated book compiles Luz’s witty, satirical takes on the task of entering a shop, finding a lucky salesperson, and describing that novel you read a few years ago about a time-traveling family that had a purple cover… or was it pink? Categorized by genre—which includes the strange mishmash “Umm…” category with titles like “Colonial Presidents Recipes”—Luz’s compendium spans subject matter and a range of cover design trends from ethereal, pulp fiction with bold fonts to streamlined compositions with clean type and solid backdrops.

A Library of Misremembered Books is available from Bookshop, and you also might enjoy the Fukui Prefectural Library’s habit of chronicling mistaken titles. (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 



Illustration

Wild Animals Occupy Suburban Nights in Nicholas Moegly's Mysterious Illustrations

November 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“An Escape Plan.” All images © Nicholas Moegly, shared with permission

In Nicholas Moegly’s shadow-laden illustrations, wild animals descend on backyards and unoccupied streets illuminated by artificial lights. The Cincinnati-based artist largely focuses on the quiet, mundane landscapes of Midwestern suburbia, although each of his works features surreal details that shroud the scenes in mystery: a lamp with no apparent electricity source lies haphazardly on the sidewalk, an empty car veers off a driveway with headlights still shining, and deer nibble on grass strangely close to a small tent.

Nostalgic and born out of urban isolation, the ongoing series contrasts the natural and manufactured and familiar and unknown, themes inspired by the ongoing pandemic. “My career used to primarily consist of creating gig/tour posters for larger bands, but in early 2020 when concerts were all canceled, so was all of my work. With nothing else to do, I began taking nightly walks around my town and the inspiration for my current work was found,” the artist shares.

Prints of the illustrated series are currently sold out, so keep an eye on Moegly’s Instagram for news about the limited-edition work he’ll be releasing in his shop later this month.

 

“A Shiny Object”

“An Ocean Between”

“A Passing View”

“A Momentary Silence”

Detail of “A Shiny Object”

Detail of “An Ocean Between”

“710 Ashbury”

“A Hidden Stillness”

 

 



Illustration

An Illustrated Children's Book Is a Sensitive Retelling of a Timber Elephant's Role in WWII

November 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Flying Eye Books, shared with permission

Meet Bandoola, an Asian timber elephant the British Army enlisted in WWII. Purchased as a calf, the lumbering creature was shipped to a teak plantation where he was forced to drag and push logs across the landscape to construct bridges and other structures. Bandoola’s life, while fictionalized by London-based illustrator and author William Grill in his forthcoming children’s book, is based on the true story of Elephant Bill, a soldier who worked with the animals in forestry camps during the war.

In Grill’s illustrated retelling published by Flying Eye Books, Bandoola encounters veteran James Howard Williams, and the two forge an unusual friendship when they’re tasked with leading refugees and 70 elephants from Burma to India. The tale explores themes of animal cruelty and care and conservation, using textured drawings in pastel tones as a soothing complement to the story’s otherwise harsh realities. In a conversation with It’s Nice That, Grill explains that he achieved softer lines by tilting his pencil on its side, and similar to a lithograph, he drew individually colored layers for each scene before putting them together. “My drawing style is somewhat naive and simple. I try to tread a line between observation and impressionism,” he says. “I would say my visual language is observational but has some underlying character and emotion to it. Hopefully, it comes across as warm and not cold.”

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue is available for pre-order on Bookshop, where you can also find Grill’s previous books The Wolves of Currumpaw and Earth Verse with similarly colorful drawings and nature-based themes. Head to the illustrator’s Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at his process.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Mystery and Fantasy Veil Black-and-White Illustrations by Artist David Álvarez

November 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Pinoccio.” All images © David Álvarez, shared with permission

Continually fascinated by the potential of the human figure, Mexico-based artist David Álvarez (previously) illustrates richly textured scenes with a dose of fantasy and surrealism: a bird’s perch transfixes a character who’s sprouted a branch nose, a man writhes on the ground as he grows from a gnarled stump, and a Cheshire cat lifts a blanket to unveil a moon hidden beneath. Underlying many of his works is “the expressive force and the gesture of the human body,” Álvarez tells Colossal, themes that are rendered through highlights and dense markings in graphite that add intrigue and mystery to the monochromatic depictions.

The illustrations shown here are a mix of personal projects and commissions, and “Cage” is slated for the cover of Álvarez’s forthcoming book about overcoming prejudices and stereotypes called Bird Woman. You can follow his black-and-white works on Instagram, and shop sketches, prints, and originals.

 

“Monkeys”

“Metamorpho”

“Agony”

Left: “Cage.” Right: “The Collector”

“Awareness”

“Cheshire”

“Mice”

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins