You walk into a place and someone takes a Polaroid of you. You write down your name, your Instagram handle, and your hidden talent down on a card. Then you pick an envelope out of a drawer and inside it is a Polaroid of a stranger along with the same card you filled out, but with their information. Polaroid in hand, you head to an art table fully stocked with everything you could need—markers, pencils, crayons, scissors—and you start drawing the stranger. When you finish up, your art and the polaroid are displayed together on a wall amongst dozens of other portraits. Eventually, you will come back and see that someone else has drawn you and placed your potrtait in the gallery.
This was the basis of "Strangers Drawing Strangers," an interactive art installation held by Airbnb and Ivan Cash. The idea sprung from another project by Cash called "Selfless Portraits", in which he invites strangers from around the world to draw each other’s facebook profile pictures and exchange them online.
In the video you see art ranging from childish drawings in crayon (drawn by an actual toddler) to beautifully detailed illustrations by practiced artists. I love the ones that added extra flourishes to their portraits, little details that weren’t in the polaroid such as putting the person in a funny pose or adding in a prop (like the guy with the microphone). If you’ve ever been to a big film festival you know how hectic the schedule is, with non-stop screenings and events being held at the same time across many locations. The fact that the event took place at this year’s Sundance Film Festival gives a special connotation to the portraits because it adds the implication that a stranger paused what they were doing, possibly re-arranged their schedule a bit, just so they could take the time to draw you.
I found Leslie Stein a few months ago through a series she posted on VICE called "Leslie's Diary Comics." Like the name suggests, it's about personal stories from her life told in a distinctive visual style. The heart of it is Leslie's personality, which comes across strongly in every comic and turns the stories about mundane little anecdotes into something surreal. The way her comics flow even mimics the haziness of recalling memories, since her minimal line work does not include any separation of panels to guide you from one moment to the next. It reads just like a stream of consciousness, following the flow of her colorfully lonely introspective moments. You can see what I mean below or on Leslie's blog.
Who are these strange little party animals? They're Muxxi's saccharine circus of colorful creatures inviting you to come play. Her illustration in our 4th Coloring Book is one of those pages that takes you by surprise as you're flipping through the book, especially if you aren't expecting a coloring page to be made of mostly black (I wasn't).
I poked her with a few curiosities about her friends with funny faces and candy colors, so come read the interview and join the festivities.
"From this morning's train ride: Here's one long, continuous line drawing. It was hard to do when people sitting next to me were getting on and off at their stops."
That's a caption on one of SASHALYNILLO's drawings (shown above) that caught my attention. It was mind-blowing to find out that some of his sketches are drawn without lifting the pen from the paper until the picture is complete. An image of what appear to be train passengers that I would have rated as just 'pretty cool' seconds ago suddenly seemed extremely interesting and worth sharing right away. Here is another one-liner I felt similarly about.
I can imagine the zen-like process of trying this out, learning to go with the flow and not turn back to pick at details. It's a cool idea for doodlers to give a shot next time you're having artist's block. SASHALYNILLO is an artist based in the Bronx who thrives on sketching in moleskines. His pen sketches are simplistic and highly stylized at the same time, and usually based on images from daily life or political subjects. Here are some of my favorites from his doodles made on trains.
If you're addicted to tumbling as well as doodling, follow Doodlers Anonymous on Tumblr for even more daily inspiration. You might even see yourself on there!
A little bird told me about an upcoming exhibition in London featuring Fran Giffard's body of work that layers the wild over the domestic. After she filled up her personal moleskine journal with writing, Giffard did some repurposing and began to paint birds over all of its used pages with aquarelle, gouache, and graphite pencil. The result is a vivid safari adventure through an unexpectedly personal landscape.
While birdwatching, I caught sight of wedding dates, grocery lists, vacation plans, even diary entries. Weirdly intimate information about a stranger, which makes me feel like I’m flipping through something I know I shouldn’t be looking at. Sometimes the birds are painted alongside the text, carefully leaving the words unobscured. Other times, their plumage covers entire chunks of writing and I realize how nosy I am being trying to read someone else's journal. That's something you're not supposed to do, isn't it? Too bad, because I can't look away. See more »
I love this series of drawings because they're all about space - both literally in subject, and in design -- through the use of negative space.
These illustrated intergalactic adventures are both dense and airy. The intense and compact scribbled lines are broken up and interplay with the space left blank.
The drawings, depicting an astronaut killing time in space, are more surreal and witty than appear at first glance. Vacuuming the stars like dust, a paint bucket labeled "cosmos"—I can't help but smile at the playfulness. See more illustrations like these (and not like these--he draws plenty of stuff other than astronauts) in P3T3 B3's sketchbook. Even his name is futuristic, how fitting! See more »
The people of Portugal who have the chance to see this street artist's work while they go about their daily business are so lucky. Her name is Vanessa Teodoro, also known as Supervan, and she will paint on anything. Cars, bodies, furniture, gigantic sunglasses–Seriously anything.
My personal favorite is her project titled "Mi Querida Casa," in which she created a real life drawn house environment where the furniture looks like doodles. Once she gets going, Teodoro wastes no space on whichever unusual surface she chooses to draw on. Every inch of her work has something crammed into it, making it hard for me to decide where to look first when a ton of striking images are demanding my attention at once. There's so much movement in her murals that I keep finding some witty little details tucked away in the crowd of her art that I skipped over at first glance. It's the kind of art you can just sit back and stare at while you sip your drink. Continued »