One of my 2021 resolutions is to “draw more.” It’s been an interesting exercise trying to get back into the habit of my alleged favorite thing to do. I’ll stall and look at my phone and my favorite scrolling-for-escapism lately is in-progress sketchbook posts. No surprise, I LOVE the work of artist/illustrator Chris Gambrell; his are the dream sketches one aspires to, prolific, loose, effortless planes of color rendering the most gorgeous portraits. Recently chosen by Vogue to be one of seven artists to draw their favorite couture looks from Vogue’s runway archive, Chris Gambrell’s work bridges finished and unfinished, combining shape and texture to create images that emerge, as if in relief, from the paper. This is the interview to read for those of us who need a push to keep going, be less precious with sketching, and very specific advice on how to get unstuck.
Do you have a favorite picture book? I have a few, and it’s so delicious when my kids choose one at bedtime that is both visually beautiful and a delight to read. My recommendation: Matthew Forsythe’s Pokko and The Drum. With a background in animation, graphic novels, and painterly illustration, Matthew Forsythe created a children’s book that I want to hold right up to my nose to see all the brush strokes and layers. The story is simple enough for very young kids to follow but has funny, subversive moments that appeal to my son and set it apart from the sea of moralistic picture books.
Our Interview is your kick-start to creation this year: we discuss Forsythe’s career as a working Illustrator, and he gives you permission to stop networking (yes, please).
Delightful is the word that keeps coming back to me as I think about introducing my interview with illustrator Raven Jones. Whimsical is a bit too sweet, and charming comes close, but after our emails back and forth and immersing myself in her work, delightful just feels right. Raven’s illustrations of hygiene-hyping tigers and Bugs, ensconced in Hermes, feel effortless and effervescent; she brings the same detail and attention to her bespoke portraits as her hand-illustrated mailers. (Can you imagine opening the mailbox and seeing this?!)
I haven’t written anything in almost two years. My young kids and demanding design day job have consumed my creator energy, but following Raven’s work gave me that old sparkle of interest and inspiration again. During these months in quarantine, every day feels a little lackluster and stale, so seeking a shake-up, I reached out to Raven and get her take on career pivots, sustaining momentum and her old school illustration inspiration. Just like her sketches, she’s such a breath of fresh air, so enjoy!
Stina Persson’s illustrations are the ultimate eye candy! Her portraits, fashion illustration, and moody florals are rendered in lush swaths of saturated ink and watercolor. Treat yourself and scroll through her delicious Instagram feed for the short timelapse videos of her process… jealous yet? You’ve probably seen Stina’s work for iconic brands like Veuve Clicquot, Louis Vuitton, and Vogue Nippon but her style remains unmistakably her own. As someone who struggles to find a consistent illustration style I’m satisfied with, I’m always in awe of artists like Stina Persson whose work is its own signature. I’m thrilled to share Stina’s thoughts on her style, technique, and what it means to stay authentic to her craft.
Are you ever mindlessly scrolling your Insta feed and suddenly a post makes you do the digital equivalent of a double-take, the fast scroll back- wait, what was that amazingness?? That’s what happened to me when I added illustrator Molly Egan’s Instagram account to my feed and time after time circled back to like, heart eye and ogle the back history. I love Molly’s bold use of color, unexpected cut-outs and layering and graphic shapes, but most of all I love how ebullient and seemingly effortless her illustrations are. @Mollytheillustrator makes me smile, think “I wish I did that,” and feel newly inspired, and after reading her unpretentious, glowy interview, I think you will too.