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November 2, 2015

Sketchy Fairytale Illustrations

black and white fairytale sketch

Like following a white rabbit, Kat Philbin’s drawings are leading me on a fairytale adventure. The story is not one that is read, but felt. No words are needed to keep me interested in the journey of a luminescent protagonist, glowing with innocence in contrast against the shadowy forest enveloping her. What she comes across in the forest could be ominous or gentle, but always something magical. Careful shading with fine lines holds the art together, creating the artist’s signature style of delicate children’s illustrations imbued with a foreboding tone.

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October 28, 2015

Eerie Pen and Pencil Portraits

My thoughts are haunted by these monochrome sketches ever since I first came across them. I can’t get the images of malformed humans with oversized and tangled anatomy out of my mind. This seemingly endless portrait series is drawn with childlike abandon by Daniel Williams. Despite the simplistic, smudgy style, each rough line is drawn with purpose. There are so many of these odd little people that I can’t help admiring the artist’s ability to dream up countless characters with their own story to tell. If I had seen one of these human oddities on their own, I don’t think it would have fascinated me as much as seeing the consistency between every single one of Williams’ huge portfolio of drawings. It’s a mysterious effect that leaves me simultaneously impressed and uneasy.

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October 21, 2015

Sketches From the Dark Side of the Moon

Moon is a French illustrator and graphic designer whose drawings devise a mysterious mythology of their own. Spectral girls in preternatural environments carry an elegant darkness with them, like characters in a grim fairy tale. The artist’s ink and pencil lines vary between sharp and wispy in a dramatic style, sometimes complimented by subtle watercolors. It’s an an incredible illustration style that draws elegiac scenes with poetic undertones while sticking to visual basics. You can see more of these melancholy mysteries if you check out Moon’s instagram.

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September 15, 2015

Monochrome Minimalism

Korean artist Daehyun Kim, AKA Moonassi, has mastered the art of elegance in simplicity. His drawings made with pen, marker, and ink are an exploration of his own identity over the years. He says, “There is no specific background or theory about the drawing. Each drawing is created based on my daily thoughts and feelings.” A simple explanation to match his simple art style." The concept of each drawing is something personal to the artist, because only he is aware of what state he was in when he created each piece. We could never know what it’s truly about. Even so, the series does not alienate the rest of us. It’s easier to become immersed and connect with what you’re seeing when you accept that you don’t need to search it for meaning.

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September 11, 2015

Getting Sketchy Over Black and White Portraits

fashion model doodle

I’m enamored with Teo Codina’s spunky embellishments to photographic portraits of women. Her sketchy patterns stick to roughly drawn lines and shapes scattering over plain white backgrounds like artistic confetti. Well-chosen blocks of color over the model’s faces bring to life clipped images that were monotone before Codina’s sketchy patterns worked their inky magic. It’s a fun contrast between the stoic photographs, airbrushed to perfection, and Codina’s light-hearted doodle style running amok over them. To see more of her graphic designs and illustrations, follow @artistica on instagram!

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September 8, 2015

Unsettling Black And White Dreamscapes

There are two types of reactions to seeing the grotesque: turning away or moving in closer. I am the second type, which is why I’ve spent so much time staring at Nicole Sofia’s illustrations. Bold and delicate shading coexist skillfully in this Argentinian artist’s warped dreamscapes. Versatile lines create a sense of gesture and motion overflowing with a raw sensuality that unsettles you with its fleshy, malformed anatomy. Manifestations of bodily insecurities, perhaps. If you follow Sofia’s linework closely you can appreciate what unusual paths the pencil took to create her own version of human(ish) forms in darkly oneiric settings.

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July 14, 2015

Doodle With Your Dog

Memories from my childhood are a bit hazy for me, but I have a very vivid one of my mom scolding me when I was eight years old for drawing on my wall. I remember feeling very offended that she was being angry at me instead of noticing how well I had drawn that scene. This moment came to mind when I found Rafael Mantesso's instagram. I know a ton of people whose instagrams consist mostly of pictures of their pet, but Mantesso has taken it to a new level. Living in an empty apartment full of blank white walls and only Jimmy Choo (his pet bull terrier, not the designer) for company, this doodle addict couldn't control his itch to scribble all over them.

Wherever Jimmy decided to lay down for the afternoon, his owner would follow with black markers and draw amazing scenes around his dog. His doodles themselves are simplistic, but the ideas are clever and humorous in a genius way. So witty that Mantesso's doodles caught the eye of Sandra Choi, creative director of the Jimmy Choo brand. Charmed by Jimmy Choo the bull terrier and his doodle adventures, she approached Mantesso directly for a collaboration! My inner eight year old is wishing I could have told my mom about this when she said drawing on walls will only get me in trouble.

If you love Rafael and Jimmy's work, you can pre-order their upcoming book: A Dog Named Jimmy!

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