April 2, 2007
Russian illustrator and journaler Irina Troitskaya says she was:
…born and raised in Izhevsk, Russia - city of dead ends, sad electronic music and Finno-Ugric cultural roots.
I had to look that last reference up in Wikipedia, and it refers to Russian people living near Finland. I think. However she got her sense of style is fine with us. Her quirky and sweet, yet dark, images remind me of fairy tales, the Brothers Grimm and the shapes of tree branches on a windy day. And also a walk through any big city.
She is an illustrator by day, artist by night, and kindly shares her illustrated journals with the world. There’s a lot to choose from and I promise to post more.
More at irtroit.ksan.ru
Photos at www.flickr.com
March 30, 2007
Portuguese artist LBeto - yeah, you read that right - is having fun with his Journals. This reminds me of funny photographs of half-folded US dollars with other people’s heads over presidents faces. Clever.
See more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lbeto/
March 28, 2007
I am in love with these books. Juan Rayos illustrates and collages in his journals and kindly shares them with the world on his flickr site. I contacted Juan, and though he doesn’t speak much English, nor do I speak any Spanish, through the magic of an online translation website I was able to ask a few questions about his work:
How long have you been keeping journals?
I began about four years ago. I spent a few months in Rome thanks to a scholarship and there I discovered a “taccuino” [ED: notebook] that captivated me. Previously I had had other notebooks, but the beauty of this one, and the moment that I was living, impelled me to dedicate more time to journaling.
How often do you write in your journals?
It depends, sometimes I write and work in them daily and other times longer periods pass without opening them…
Have youstudied books on journaling?
I especially remember an exhibition of Peter Beard that I saw many years ago in New York. That made an impression to me deeply: the photographies, its newspapers and books, the assembly of the exhibition, he himself… everything was an incredible excess. In general always I have liked the books that gather documentation, sketches and personal notes of painters, writers or architects, often this material is so interesting or more than the final work.
What is your technique collaging images beneath your writing?
Simply to trim and to collage. Some times the painting, the writing or some texture serve to integrate the image trimmed with the notebook or the rest of elements.
What is your inspiration?
Art, religion, news, fashion, history… I like to mix different images and languages. I don’t draw, but rather dedicate myself to collecting, to selecting and to reinterpreting. I trim newspaper photos or magazines, I color above clumsily, I rewrite text fragments that I want to remember…
Thanks Juan, for the beautiful books and telling us a little bit about your inspiration. Checl out more of Juans books below.
More at Juans Flickr Site
Also visit www.juanrayos.com
February 22, 2007
Yesterday I posted images from Anahata Katkin’s beautiful journals. She used the collage elements in her journals as a launching pad to create unique paper goods for her stationery company PaPaYa. Together with her mother, she designs goods with a worldly and contemporary touch, cards and prints which are beautiful and inspiring. Her artistic hand is evident in all of her work, the cards are more than pretty pictures. Anahata explains,
In the beginning I began using primarily artwork that I had compiled within my years of art journaling. I adapted the pages for print at first and began to incorporate design more and more into the artwork. Over time my visual style has evolved as much as I have. Today I still use my visual journals as a key to inform the designs within the PaPaYa! collection and to discover new ideas and inspirations that I want to express.
February 13, 2007
Have you read the Jimmy Corrigan books by Chris Ware: “Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth”? Inside are printed paper models of his home and other models from the book. I didn’t even think to cut up the book, but California animator Niem Tran did and posted pictures of the models on his website. You can find more models in “The Acme Novelty Library”.
Visit www.niemworks.com for more
January 24, 2007
This is the beautiful work of artist Betsy Walton, who loves to:
draw, paint, sew, and make prints in my studio in Portland, Oregon. I am available for illustration and fine art projects and I love to get email.
Her website is brandy-new, only a month old, so go give her a visit. Betsy has work available at Cafe Royal and she promises shopping direct from her site soon. Notice how she achieves a strong color palette even with muted tones. The colors are rich yet soft and not washed out. I admire folks who have such good color sense.
Visit Betsy Walton at www.morningcraft.com
January 17, 2007
Rag & Bone Bindery attended the Foundry Artists Sale (Pawtucket, Rhode Island) this past holiday season and as part of our participation in the show, we worked the cash registers on the last day. There we met the lovely Annie LaVigne, who created one of our favorite *mystery* art pieces here at our house.
I purchased one of her framed illustrations at the previous Foundry show, back in 2005. I fell in love with her juvenile illustrative style and gave the piece to Ilira for the Holidays. However, although we could read the initials written on the frame, Annie’s booth at the show was listed under her company name “Harriet & Mickey”, so we just didn’t know who the artist was - my fault for not grabbing a business card. The piece became this “mystery artwork”, we just didn’t know who the artist was, but loved the image.
I finally met Annie a year later at the most recent Foundry sale working the cash registers. She says she’s starting a blog soon. Here is more of her work, which is very affordable, whimsical and reminiscent of faerie tales and Dr. Seuss and little kid dreams.
Annie LaVigne is a Boston-based artist and founder of Harriet and Mickey, Ink., an illustration studio dedicated to storytelling through animation, paintings, drawings and prints. Annie received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland in 1995, which she has since combined with her interest in art to make several short, animated films.
Most recently Annie has focused on illustration as a story-telling medium. Her works are filled with quirky, imaginative characters living out small dramas. She also teaches animation at Rhode Island School of Design.
Visit Annie LaVigne’s website
January 15, 2007
This is the journaling work of Kelly Kilmer, who believes that art should be accessible to everyone and that everyone is an artist. I agree and find that I create because I have to, whether art, design or craft. In 1999 I wrote a book about visual journaling and was able to peek inside the private journals of some amazing artists. I don’t have the same talent as journalers such as Kelly, my own books don’t look like these - different, but not as colorful - but I love the art of journaling. I especially like Kelly’s playful touch and use of collage and color, which is very expressive.
Kelly lives and works in Southern California and you can attend her journaling and book classes at independent retail stores across California. The 2007 schedule is not listed yet, visit her site to keep posted for a class near you.
Visit Kelly Kilmer online
December 8, 2006
The third and final interview from this years Brickbottom open studio event [November 18 & 19th, Somerville, Massachusetts] with artist, illustrator and calligrapher Pier Gustafson.
Hello Pier. First let me say you have a very distinctive style, an illustrative quality which reminds me of turn of the century advertising. You also have a unique personal style which reveals itself in the music you listen to (wind-up victrola) and even your studio space which is a cacophony of work, a floor to ceiling exploded-diagram of your “modus vivendi”. Your loft includes 1930’s typewriters, pen collections, old atlases and world globes together with your pen and ink illustrations, artistamps and calligraphy. You’ve always reminded me of Robert Crumb a little. Overall, I’d say there is a “Pier-ness” which is soft spoken in person but which permeates your work and your space and your style. A victorian age, monochromatic, illustrative style and attitude. When did this expression find you and when did you realize you were an artist with such a unique style? Hmmm…probably in college first. I seem to be less original as I get older, however.
Please describe some of the illustrative work you have done for clients in the past? Some of your favorites? A favorite is the pool-wedding invitation for friends of mine. They let me do everything without much restraint, so it turned out pretty good, I think.
What would a dream project be? Dream projects happen as soon as the client signs off on a job, then I oftern re-do it the way it SHOULD have been done.
When creating a poster or invitation or detailed illustrative work for a client, where do you begin? How involved are you in the design process? I’d like to think I am part of the process from the beginning. It starts with the ball in the client’s court. They give me the “materials” and I get to work. We volley back and forth a bit, then eventually I start taking over.
When you created logo ideas for Rag & Bone (nearly ten years ago) you provided us with dozens of variations - each quite unique - which is much more than what typically receives from most graphic design firms. Are you generally this prolific? Is this just part of the process? Usually, yes. If the client is more specific at the outset I may just simply complete their vision. If they give me only the bare essentials I usually give them many ideas from which to choose.
Please tell us about artists or movements that inspire you. Saul Steinberg. I wish I could see like he did. All artists and their work, or even things that are not “artistic” (technical diagrams, for example) are inspiring to me.
Please tell us about your artistamps - when did you start creating these? In College in the dullest class I took, I wrote letters and drew faux stamps on the envelope which commemorated things in my life. Only more recently (10 years or so) I began to take it up again.
As a full time working artist, what advice can you give to artists just starting out, especially how artists formulate their own individual style. DO NOT live where you do your artwork. Have a day job of some sort. Do work that makes YOU smile.
Thanks a bunch Pier!
You can we find Pier’s work online at www.piergustafson.com
November 13, 2006
[This is a non-bookbinding/papermaking/paper arts post but I think we’re going to have more tangentially related entries on the Rag & Blog as we test our wings here.]
Tiny Showcase offers affordable art from a varied group of artists by offering limited-edition digital prints of their work. Artists create in different mediums - paint, digital, illustration, etc. - and their work is reproduced in limited quantities in a small size format, some postcard size, some larger.
Each piece is “around the same price as a CD, book or record…” and a percentage of each sale goes to the artists charity of choice.
I don’t want to make it seem like Tiny Showcase is just an opportunity to find cheap art. It’s more of an idea, than a marketplace: provide a resource to connect artists and designers with folks who can appreciate their work within the confines of a specific format - small, limited-edition reprints. Like etsy, only one-size-fits-all.
They sell out fast, so you need to be quick. I’m watching their site feed through my Bloglines account, but I’ve been too late for their last two offerings which sold out immediately.
Visit Tiny Showcase