Sunday, 21 January 2018

Artist Feature: Corrie Beth Hogg

A job we just never get round to is framing prints. As an illustration obsessive I tend to hoard them and then realise I need to go out and actually buy frames. The problem I have is it's just such a faff! They never quite fit my print properly and the ones I want are always unfeasibly expensive. It's a really brilliant way to get out of actually doing anything with my collection other than getting them out to admire like some massive scrap book.

So after finally getting on the bus to Ikea (in the rain no bloody less) I remembered a picture I had squirreled away for when we were buying our flat and looking for decorating ideas, of a brilliant paper vine snaking between a cluster of prints in bright simplistic frames. I knew then that picture was what I wanted to create, but I'd need to actually put some stuff on the walls first.And as I sit here next to a pile of frames and err..15 prints....what better way to procrastinate then share the brilliant work of Corrie Beth Hogg with you!

Corrie Beth is an Art and Craft Director who has worked with everyone from Martha Stewart Living to The New York Times to Elle Decor and it's not hard to see why! Her work is brilliantly warm and homey whilst being extremely fashionable. Seriously, name me a coffee shop in East London that doesn't currently have a spotty begonia shining away in a corner, or a massively out of control monstera taking up basically an entire table? 

Corrie Beth has also had the forethought to bring you along on her journey through crafting the more fashionable plants of the world right now by creating a blog with easy to follow DIY projects for each of her creations! You too can have a homey mini jungle! But without worrying about keeping it alive, and as someone with about 12 houseplants (including a very sad aloe vera plant..) I would like less things to worry about keeping alive.  So really I should be thanking her for not having to tend to a big snakey hanging philodendron when I can just make one..but I should probably put these prints up first..

You can see all of Corrie Beth's diys here but her instagram is the place for all her brilliant experiments 

Artist Feature: Minnie Small

Errrrrr happy new year readers! I'm a slow starter (evidently). When I start a new job, it takes me a couple of months to find my feet. When I start planning a drawing it takes a couple of goes to get it looking quite right, but once I'm there I'M READY. And whilst I had high hopes and a plan for posts in December they were ill-fated and badly planned for what turned out to be a frighteningly busy month. 

Unfortunately, I am often one of those people who waits for inspiration to hit them, not the greatest personality trait, I was not born to be a go getter when it comes to blogging but err in my usual way I got lucky.. in a somewhat surprising place. YouTube is my timesuck, I love a good vlog, and recently it came to my attention that a lot of illustrators enjoy vlogging the production of their latest pieces and their days in the studio. 

So recently I queued up my favourites and a lady named Minnie Small popped up in my suggested. In my usual faffing around the house I suddenly heard the words "Haunted House zine" and that was all I needed to know she would be my first blog in 2018. 

While she is brilliantly talented when it comes putting together these spooky little houses (of which made up her Inktober last year) they reeked of someone who also loves a good bit of reportage work. And you know who else loves reportage? ME THAT'S WHO. 

And wouldn't you just know it, Minnie's illustrations of her travels are just my favourite kind of sketchbook page. 

You can explore more of her work on her lovely website here but you should go to her YouTube, because in my opinion, that's where the magic is.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 31 - Natali Koromoto's Treehouse of Horror

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! You guys we did it! Cue your favourite 80s synth track (because the best horror is silly 80s horror) we’ve made it to Halloween! 31 creature features and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

For our final foray into the spook filled work of illustration I’m going back to the ever fantastic Natali Koromoto. Natali has done something that no one has ever managed to do. She has made me want to watch the Simpsons (yeah there’s your Halloween scare, I’m not big on the Simpsons…). 

As a -*nerd *- I LOVE references to films, music and tv programmes hidden away in the backgrounds of, well, each other. Recently I’ve loved listing off the movie references packed into Stranger Things (yes I’ve watched it all already, I can’t believe you haven’t yet). It’s like fan art, incredibly geeky fan art. And when fan art is done well it is just another level of “aaaah how did they come up with that?!!” and Natali ,every year, for the past four years has taken on The Simpsons (I give in) utterly brilliant and, sometimes a wee bit scary, Treehouse of Horror special episodes.

There are so many tiny details packed into every corner of these illustrations that I don’t even care that I haven’t seen the specific episode they are referencing. Tiny creatures peek out of corners of rooms, prints on household objects somehow throw back to something so vague but so on the money, scenes unfold not only around the character but outside through their bedroom windows!

Natalie has added her stylish girls to her cool and approachable style and thrown them head first into her favourite part of Halloween. The effect is a little bit spooky and just so much fun. Just like Halloween should be. Keep up with her ever awesome work here and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 30 - Angela Deane

Good evening loyal ghouls and gals we are nearly there! Thank you for sticking with me through this both dark and brilliant journey and it's not quite over yet.

I've been hanging on to my favourites to bring in Halloween properly, and truly, I can't think of anyone better to share as we head into All Hallows Eve than the ghosts of Angela Deane.

Angela has said that using her ghosts she is exploring human memory, in how strange and how fleeting it is, but also in the way that these photographs are someone's memory but to us they are just ghosts, figuratively and now literally. There is a belief that time can record itself into walls and battlefields and the ghosts we see there are simply time repeating itself. These altered photos seem stuck between a loving memory and a simple moment in time caught on film.

It would be easy for these altered found photographs to become morbid after Angela's treatment but her tenderness for the subject shines through. Her ghosts have families and go on outings to Disneyland. They may be stuck in that specific moment but Angela is going to make sure it's a good one.

This body of work is HUGE so I hope this little collection of spirits has peaked your interest enough to take a look through Angela's incredible body of work. She has even started giving witches the ghost treatment, so I've included one of those here, because honestly how could I not?👻

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 29 - Martin Wittfooth

Erggh good evening Halloween fans. I wish I could tell you to take that "erggh" as a spooky opening noise but that erghh is more because I feel like a zombie. I love Halloween y'all but I hit my peak at about 1am last night. So let's ease on in to this post shall we?

Martin Wittfooth is yet another brilliant talent to come out of Toronto. Seriously guys, what is in the water over there? Martin's pieces centre on creatures and the places they govern. Those places though seem to be what were once ours. These animals at first are strange and otherworldy. Goat's horns drip with blood while conquering their usual predators, dead animals sprout huge bouquets of flowers making their death into something beautiful, and monkeys ride huge flaming elephants through the streets of cities.

This work somehow goes through the fantastical and comes out as scary. However not scary in the way I have been sharing with you guys. Martin's work wants to push the message through to you that this once was the world of animals and the natural world and we should be careful about where we are heading into now. So there's your scare for the day. The scare that we are killing these magical beings. 

This got way too heavy for my hangover, but hey remember to compost those pumpkins and check out more of Martin's world with a warning on his website.

Happy Halloween - Day 28 - James Jean

It's finally the Saturday where you will be heading out as an over-sexualised mouse, a kid from Stranger Things, a political pun, a zombie or (as Jillian Temaki suggested ) a sexy boiled egg. But if you really want to head into a true Halloween filled world you have come to the right place.

This is the work of the ever incredible legend that is James Jean. You want a sci-fi world on another planet full of robot workers, giant weapons and enough travelers on monsters to give Star Wars a run for its money? You got it.

You want a psychedelic drug scape complete with dripping monsters and no way out? You got it.
You want a haunted Japanese school where spirits peek through windows and push through the walls possessing school girls? You got it.

Need I go on? I told you I was saving the best and my favourites until last and they don't come better and spookier than James Jean. If you've got a spare hour between costume building I suggest a click through his MONOLITHIC body of work. 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Happy Halloween - Day 27 - Tina Lugo

It's the final Friday of October so it's time for something suitably disturbing. I toyed with whether to share this artist with you for quite some time, not because this space needs to be kept particularly PG13 but the work of Tina Lugo is a little confronting to scroll through on a Friday afternoon, so I've deliberately chosen some of her work that doesn't have quite so much dismembered penis in.

Genitals aside Tina's work is still horrific in the best possible way. Featuring nightmarish bed fellows that resemble demons, severed limbs everywhere, faceless pretty girls, haunting titles and this is just the beginning! Tina pulls her influences heavily from Ero Guru Nansensu movement; a very particular kind of Japanese art that focuses on the erotic, meeting the grotesque, culminating in the bizarre (or nansensu ie nonsense).

That degree of nonsense feels important. Halloween definitely can be both sexy and scary (and sometimes that's the coolest costume going) but it's good to remember that it's all in good fun to stop it becoming overwhelmingly confronting. Tina plays with that line with impeccable skill. 

Once you're home safe tonight (and away from work place computers) perhaps chance a scroll through her website but maybe check under your bed and err under the covers first.