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July 2, 2015

Layers of Doodles

The sketchbook of Stuart Adams is a wild ride. He draws in layers, which makes each page take a while to soak in while my eyes constantly find new visual details hidden underneath the doodled characters. Some of his backgrounds are unexpected textures, photographs, or a chaotic melange of colors which gives a certain depth to otherwise silly-looking doodles. My favorite thing Adams does is use white space to draw characters within the background, and then doodle more characters over those in black. The end product is crowded, messy, and full of spontaneous spirit. I see where Adams was coming from when he said, “The best way to describe my artwork is that it is like taking a mystery tour bus where Disney Land fuses into a Heironymous Bosch painting.”

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June 19, 2015

Letting Go, Step by Step

"How a graphic artist discovers to free his creativity and have fun" is the alternate title for journal d’une décomplexion graphique, a record of an ongoing journey in letting go of artistic insecurities. A detailed, hand-written note on the blog explains, "I love my job, but I don’t love my work. Few are the projects which I feel proud of and would like to put in a book." Crushed by deadlines from time-consuming jobs, over years this artist began to feel their sense of creativity shriveling. When do I have fun in all this? Stuck behind a computer all day with no chance to mess around and then coming home too tired to do anything, there was a growing fixation on the idea of taking a pen or pencil to paper.

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June 15, 2015

A Monochrome Moleskine

I am captivated by Vahid’s marvelous monochrome moleskine. It was no surprise for me to read that his illustration experience includes some projects in animation and cartooning, because the artist’s passion for it bleeds through into his sketchbook. My first impression of several drawings was that they seemed like paused frames in the middle of a movement. The boldness and simplicity of his illustrations, along with a story they seem to be suggesting, evoke ancient black-figure paintings with a modern spin. It’s a cool combination of sharp angles and soft curves creating fascinating figures that prove you don’t need color to breathe life into a sketch.

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June 12, 2015

Doodleshopped

Staring down at a blank sheet of paper can be intimidating to someone suffering from artist's block. Might I suggest taking a page out of Leanne Aranador's book? She rips, cuts, and pastes snippets from magazines into her sketchbook to create a starting point for her doodles, and what happens next is where it gets interesting. Her talented hands use the power of doodles to transform bland advertisements that look like every other page into a singular work of art and poetry. Aranador’s process seems chaotically therapeutic in its irreverence of polished print ads, and pleasantly similar to our own Doodlebomb! project. Try it sometime!

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June 9, 2015

Funny Doodles That Never Fall Flat

Simple black and white doodles with a twist... or should I say a fold? HuskMitNavn is an artist from Copenhagen who draws in three dimensions. His black and white characters have a comical and nostalgic style, reminiscent of those old-timey cartoons we all used to watch. What takes them to next the level is the way the artist folds, rolls, and tears the paper in many different directions to create a scene. The simplicity of these doodles infuses them with a playful energy that takes me back to the days in my childhood when I could amuse myself by making toys from nothing but paper and a pencil—dolls, planes, telescopes, whatever I happened to accidentally sculpt a sheet into! It’s a good source of inspiration for doodlers who want to start thinking outside of the box.

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June 5, 2015

Coloring Book Interview Series, #16: Annette Fernando

If you love oldschool film noir, I've got an artist you should meet. Annette Fernando's page left an impression on me when I first saw it, and continues to have a similar impact every time I flip through our coloring book. Her style is dark, dramatic, romantic—all the best elements of old Hollywood glamour. Read my interview with Annette to learn some cool stuff about the artist, such as how she taught herself to draw by copying comic books and recreating film stills!

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June 2, 2015

Japan and Mexico

I recently discovered the art of Monica Barengo when I came across some illustrations she did for the Australian Womankind magazine. These are drawings from two separate series on Mexico and Japan. The Mexican series revolves around bees and flowers, the Japanese one around cats and food. The drawings pull specific imagery from two very different cultures in mature and elegant forms, with whimsically surreal elements. The Japanese series made me so hungry, I’ll leave you to enjoy the thin lines and muted, earthy colors on your own.

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