Posts tagged Illustration
Podcast Interview: Illustrator Tom Froese (by Alicia Puig)

Get to know illustrator Tom Froese in this fantastic interview with Alicia Puig!

Tom Froese is an award-winning illustrator, teacher, and speaker. He loves making images that make people happy. In his work, you will experience a flurry of joyful colors, spontaneous textures, and quirky shapes. Freelancing since 2013, Tom has worked for brands and businesses all over the world. Esteemed clients include Yahoo!, Airbnb, GQ France, and Abrams Publishing. He is currently taking on highly creative projects of all kinds, including maps, murals, picture books, packaging, editorial, and advertising. Tom graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design with a B.Des (honors) in 2009.

Contemporary Vanitas and Memento Mori Art by Michele Melcher

Michele Melcher is an artist living in Carversville, a historic area of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, receiving a BFA in Illustration in 1997. For the past 15 years, she has worked as a freelance illustrator specializing in advertising, editorial, and portraiture. All the while she has participated in gallery shows working in several different mediums including watercolor, pen and ink, graphite and most recently, oil.

Her latest paintings pay homage to the decadence of 18th and 19th-century portrait masters as well as her interest in vanitas and memento mori art. 


The series,“Dead Masters”, pays homage to my interest in 18th and 19th century portraiture as well as vanitas and memento mori art. My background in illustration includes a lot of editorial work, a large percentage of that being portraiture. Much of that is straight to the point, representational digital portraiture and at times, dry. While transitioning mediums and teaching myself oils I was delighted by the pure decadence with which some of the aforementioned painters represented their subjects. I love the larger-than-life hairstyles, lavish clothing and opulent accessories. In regard to vanitas and memento mori art: it’s fascinating to learn about the images and symbolism of these two sometimes misunderstood genres as well as the pure scientific aspect of studying and drawing the workings of the human skeleton.


Instagram @michelemelcherillustration

Facebook @michelemelcherillustration

Twitter @michelemelcherillustration

Start Late, Live Your Dreams | Podcast Episode with Lisa Congdon

Join us for a super inspiring episode featuring one of our favorite artists and role models, Lisa Congdon.

If you are worried about whether it's too late for you to be an artist and pursue your dream, listen to this interview immediately!

This episode covers:

  • Lisa's journey and breakthroughs

  • Starting later in life

  • Overcoming imposter syndrome and fear

  • Finding your artistic voice

  • Managing your time and increasing productivity while making time for fun + more

Fine artist, illustrator and author Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful paintings and hand lettering. She works for clients around the world including MoMA, REI, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, and Random House Publishing, among many others. She is the author of seven books, including the starving-artist-myth-smashing Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist, and illustrated books The Joy of Swimming, Fortune Favors the Brave, Whatever You Are, Be a Good One, Twenty Ways to Draw a Tulip and A Collection a Day. Her latest book, A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives, was released by Chronicle Books in October 2017. She was named one of 40 Women Over 40 to Watch in 2015 and she is featured in the 2017 book, 200 Women Who Will Change the Way you See the World. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Learn more at

Rebecka Skog

Born in Sweden, Stockholm in 1986.

She likes to travel, discover other cultures and fixation by all the colors found in culinary dishes, in music, and in any artistic discipline.

Rebecka has exhibited in different European cities, (London, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna) and publications in magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.

She is currently living between the Canary Islands and Copenhagen working on different projects.

Exploring the Worlds of Humanity and Culture: Interview with M.K Komins

By Sarah Mills

For the past decade, artist and illustrator M.K Komins has been passionately committed to the pursuit of creative excellence. Based out of Philadelphia, she draws inspiration from the politically vibrant, collective consciousness of its artistic community. Her work uses a combination of hyper-stylized, dreamy realism and boldly saturated colors to explore the worlds of humanity and culture.

Former creative director for avenue u design in baltimore, maryland, she now works as creative coordinator for elysium marketing group. With a vast and diverse range of skills, her professional experience spans from music poster commissions to large-scale creative collaborations with companies like lord & taylor and the special olympics.

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Were you always interested in art?

Without question. As a kid, I used to sit dangerously close to our TV and try to draw cartoon characters as perfectly as I could before they left the screen. In first grade, I got in trouble for "tracing" a picture of Jafar from Aladdin and handing it in as an original drawing. When my art teacher refused to believe my cries of innocence I had my first creative epiphany. I realized if I could make adults think I was so good at drawing I must be lying about it, I could probably have a career as an artist. I also learned you can't always trust the judgment of adults, and sometimes knowing your truth is all you have when the grown-up world is against you-- both lessons that have guided me into my development as an artist and a woman.

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In your bio, you talk about the influence your creative community has on your work. Can you tell us more about that, specifically how they influence you?

Besides going to Parsons, moving back home to Philadelphia a year ago was the best decision I've ever made for my career. This city has the warmest, collaborative and artistically supportive community of working creatives I've ever experienced. It sounds trite, but "the City Of Brotherly Love" is a perfectly befitting nickname for Philly, and it's nowhere more evident than in our art scene. There are countless artist-run galleries and collectives here, tons of spaces dedicated to showcasing local work, our Mural Arts program is globally unprecedented and to put it simply, I'm in love with this town. When I was working and living in New York, I felt very small and was consumed by the constant anxiety to be winning at something and everything all the time. There's no room to be still finding yourself, or a work in progress even though everyone is all of those things all the time. The pressure to act like you're doing way better professionally and financially than you really are was highly oppressive. Maintaining an impossibly high social currency can be poison to your self-worth, which equated to a sort of creative death for me. I will always love and appreciate my time and education in New York because I cut my teeth on some deeply important creative rights of passages there. If you want to learn how to take a self-esteem beating, face rejection, be broke as hell and still have the desire to drag your ass to the studio the next day and keep making work, move to New York and become an artist.

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Besides your art community, where do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration can be such a tricky thing to quantify for me, because I feel like the source of it is always evolving and I'm taking it in on a constant, often subconscious basis. Truthfully, I'm inspired the most by pop culture and my daily interactions with other people. Whether it's passionate political conversations with my family or waxing poetic about the philosophical merit of competition-based reality TV with my friends, my work is simply telling stories of humanity. I think the reason why I gravitate to portraiture and figurative work is that I genuinely admire human beings. We're so complicated and messy and difficult. We destroy what we love all of the time but we still have an innate sense of humanity that propels us forward to try and connect with other people and create art. I majored in illustration in school and what I learned the most is that being an Illustrator means you have to make art that is "subtly obvious". That concept carries over into my fine art as well and once I stopped obsessing over what kind of artist I was meant to be, I gave myself room to just make what made me happy. I've learned that inspiration really finds you when you give yourself room to grow as an artist. This past year I've come to just embrace my conflicting desires to be both bottom-scrapingly lowbrow and sophisticated high art.

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You have an extremely bold color palette, what drew you to such bold and saturated colors?

I'd love to have a profound answer to this question, but the truth is I just like them. I think when we are children, everyone draws and we aren't afraid to use the brightest colors in the crayon box and make bold, vibrant messes. Most people stop making things as they become adults and the ones that do often refine their tastes and palettes. To a large degree, I think I just never did that. I've never fully let go of my sense of whimsy or creative adventure and I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that the driving desire to make art has saved my life through some very low bottoms. The work I make as an adult and the process with which I make it isn't precious. I'm interested in beauty, but I don't have a much of a desire to make light, subtle things, so I think the subject matter and style sort of inform the harshness and vibrancy of my color palette. There's so much delicate, detailed, feminine work in the art world right now and while I absolutely see it's value, I just don't want to be another artist painting soft, pretty women.

What does your studio practice look like?

It's pretty exploratory. Lately, I've been developing a style of working that combines digital painting and traditional art mediums where I paint in programs like ProCreate or Photoshop, print on large scale canvas or giclee and then manipulate the printed pigments with destructive chemicals like acetone or bleach. The ink reacts sort of like watercolors and can be wiped away or redistributed on the image. Then I go back into it with oils, acrylics, colored pencils, and other mediums to add in detail. Fusing digital and analog methods of image making is a quest I am deeply passionate about right now and, I think, a pursuit whose time has come in the fine art world.

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What has been your favorite moment in your artistic career so far?

Hm, that's a toughy. There are a few projects in the works that I can't publicly announce yet that have got me pretty freaking excited, but I'm about to travel to London for 10 days in October to show my Florida, USA series during The Anti Art Fair with Creative Debuts. I have work in 2 shows in LA later this fall and winter as well so I think just being able to travel and bring my work to a wider audience has been super rewarding. I'm tremendously grateful to be in this position.


What are some goals you are working towards in your career?

Too many to count. My original career goal was to be a concept artist for someone like Pixar and to illustrate children's books. The latter is something I'm actively working towards and the former is something I would love to do eventually. Personally, I don't know if I'll ever stop wanting to explore, grow, and get better as an artist. I hope I never get complacent in my quest for creative evolution. I love spending countless hours on a piece and feeling like I've done a good job, only to immediately see new work by another artist and think "Oh sh*t, that's way better!" That feeling used to crush and derail my process. But once I accepted that being an artist means staying constantly open to new ideas and self-improvement, I learned that I needed to frankly, get over myself by thinking I would ever be the best. I had a class at Parsons taught by this great illustrator Mike Perry who was tired of hearing a bunch of 20-year-old, privileged kids in an overpriced New York City art school complain about how unfair the art world is telling me something I'll never forget. He said that your career is just an escalator; there would always be someone behind you and there would always be someone in front of you. Stop trying to be the person in front of you. Just stay on the damn thing and you'll get where you want to go.

Ping Hatta

Piamrak Hattakitkosol, or “Ping Hatta” in short, was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to New York City at the age of eighteen. She is a New York-based fashion illustrator, lingerie designer, maker, and live portrait artist working in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Her work is a visual diary of her life, capturing moments and bringing out the best character in people with a sense of humor. She is recognized by her bold, graffiti-inspired style of quirky, playful characters with pointy eyeliners and a touch of fashion world’s personalities. She also specializes in on-site live portrait sketching for corporate and private clients. She works across a variety of different media, including markers, print, acrylic, embroidery, and textiles.

Bright, bold – and sometimes, funny – is how Ping Hatta perceives fashion. Her recent works celebrate the excitement (and the unexpected) that the fashion industry brought into the world. The series also pays homage to the world’s renowned fashion designers: Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Junya Watanabe, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. Hatta also brings together her favorite elements – exaggerated silhouettes, quirky confidence, street-art-inspired girl characters, and the indispensable razor-sharp eyeliners.

She has been featured in publications such as American Illustration and her works have garnered international attention including Anna Sui, Del Pozo, Dolce Gabbana, Marc Jacobs Instagrams. Her works have been exhibited in a few galleries in Bangkok, Thailand.

Apart from art and lingerie design, she is a singer, voice-over artist, tap dance instructor, and recently started an online greeting card shop – Ping Hatta. Studio. She also co-founded LOOP Fairtrade, a non-profit organization that empowers Ecuadorian artisans through crafts and design. When she is not doing all of the above, she volunteers as a contributor for Thai Artists in New York (TANY), enjoys watching cat videos, reading about psychology, and she has a deep (caffeinated) love for specialty coffee.

Chrysta Kay

Chrysta Kay is an emerging artist based in the Pacific Northwest, who has been growing and developing her creativity since childhood. Many members of Chrysta's family were skilled artists that encouraged her to express herself through painting, drawing, and sculpting. Her love of art only grew stronger as the years went on. After graduating college, Chrysta was accepted into a private art program in 2014. Chrysta gracefully declined the invitation and chose to carve her own creative path and build a career from scratch. Since then, Chrysta has had the ability to quit her day job and live solely from her art. Her work has been featured in several regional and national publications such as The Inlander and Energy Magazine. Additionally, Chrysta has had the pleasure of exhibiting her pieces locally as well as internationally. In the future, she hopes to exhibit and travel to more foreign countries, collaborate with other artists, and experiment with new mediums.


My work is heavily influenced by nature and how humans interact and connect with the natural world. Through the illustrations I create, I hope to convey the idea that we are all woven from the same fabric. The trees, plants, animals, humans – we are one entity and must treat one another with love and respect.

After years of experimenting with different mediums and developing a personal style, I have found a wonderful balance between traditional and digital illustration. First I begin by creating a drawing using materials such as graphite or ink. Then I scan the illustration into my computer. Using Photoshop, I color the piece to my liking. For me this gives the artwork a crisp finish, but maintains the rawness of a traditional medium.

Shayna Silverman - "The Grand Sketch"

Shayna Silverman is currently based in Amsterdam, but she hails from New York.  She got her artistic start by drawing on the kitchen floor with crayons, but today her preferred mediums are watercolors and pen and ink on cold press paper.  She is inspired by sunny destinations, the craziness of city life, and all subjects equine or canine.  She attended New York University, from which she received a Bachelor of Arts in French with a minor in Economics.  For the past nine years, she worked as a strategy consultant in New York and Paris, but she recently decided to take a break from consulting to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an illustrator.    


I think a lot of artists got their start by doodling with crayons as a kid! Did you have the jumbo box with 120 colors? I loved that. How did you continue to develop your drawing and painting skills growing up? Did you take classes independently or are you more self-taught? Were you still dedicating a fair amount of time to making art even during your early career in strategy consulting?

We had everything at home growing up!  Crayons, markers, colored pencils, pastels, the Sculpey polymer clay you bake in the oven, and more.  My mom was an artist who did decorative painting with acrylics – first on furniture and later on textiles – so our house was always filled with art supplies.  Ironically, I never painted that much when I was little and now I wish that I had let my mom teach me.

My preferred technique was drawing and I had a huge set of Prismacolor colored pencils.  Many years later when I was a management consultant, one of my clients was the company who owns the Prismacolor brand and I got the chance to shop in the company store.  It was a dream come true!

Aside from one watercolor painting class that I took at The New York Studio School when I was a consultant, I am pretty much self-taught, though.  While I was a consultant, I would sneak in time to do travel sketches on vacation (or okay, maybe the occasional doodle in the margins of my work notebooks), but otherwise my creativity was limited to the confines of PowerPoint!  

Tell us a bit about the transition to illustrating. What was the turning point that made you decide to go after your lifelong dream full-time? 

I have always loved art, but I guess that I always felt a little bit of pressure to follow a more traditional career path.  When I graduated from college I had student loans and I wanted to stay in New York (but it’s expensive!), so consulting seemed like a responsible choice.  The further I progressed on the consulting career track, the riskier it seemed to leave.

That all changed when I transferred to the Paris office of my consulting firm.  One of my lifelong dreams was to work abroad. However, once in France, I was working even more grueling hours than I had in the US and I didn’t even have enough time to visit Paris!  Although, I must admit that I was still able to eat my fair share of croissants. Then my boyfriend found a job in Amsterdam and while I was researching my visa options in the Netherlands, I discovered the Dutch American Friendship Treaty visa for American entrepreneurs and I realized that I might have a shot at obtaining it as a freelance artist.  I said to myself that it was now or never!

Where did the name 'The Grand Sketch" come from? Did you consider using your name? 

I did consider using my name, but I decided that I wanted to have a little flexibility with branding until I decided on the style I wanted to use.  I chose the name “The Grand Sketch” because I wanted the name to immediately convey the product being sold. I also liked the juxtaposition of the word “grand”, which suggests an elaborate, impressive work, with the word “sketch”, which implies a rough or unfinished product.  One of my goals in my painting is to have an economy of line that expresses the same emotion as an elaborate painting but without all of the fuss. Finally and most importantly, though, the domain name and instagram handle were available!

Describe a few of your sources of inspiration and how or why they influence your work.

I have always found the craziness of city life endlessly inspirational, if not exhausting!  In New York there are so many eccentric characters everywhere, and so much energy! Amsterdam is wonderful in different ways – the beautiful canals and quiet streets, the take no prisoner cyclists, and the moody weather.  I also love painting horses and dogs. It is a real pleasure to capture their movement and expressions.

What is your process like to create a work from start to finish? Feel free to talk about materials here too. How long does one piece usually take and do you work on more than one at a time? 

I tend to start out by taking a lot of reference photos of the subject that I want to paint.  Then I move to a pencil sketch (with lots of erasing)! When I am checking proportions, I tend to take a photo of the drawing and crop it to the same size as the reference photo and then flip back and forth between the two.  This allows me to spot errors in the proportions. Once I think that I have finished the drawing, I always leave it alone for a day and come back to it to make final corrections before I start to paint. It’s like that dress that you wanted to buy in a store – it’s always easier to have perspective on what you truly need when you look at things with a fresh eye!

For the painting, I often do landscapes on cold press watercolor paper, and more detailed paintings or portraits on hot press paper.  When I am painting horses or dogs, I first do an underpainting of ultramarine blue and van dyke brown to set the values. Then I layer color on top.

While portraits tend to take eight or more hours, I find that lately I have been spending more time on detailed city scapes that require a little bit more ruler work.

I prefer to work on multiple pieces at a time and switch between them to prevent myself from getting bored, but when I have a commission, that takes priority.

Are you working on any upcoming projects, collaborations or exhibitions? 

I am currently preparing for an exhibition at the coworking space The Thinking Hut in Amsterdam.  The theme of the exhibition is Holland and I am painting everything from the canals of Amsterdam to modern – and humorous – takes on the cultural trademarks of Holland (Delft pottery, cows, stroopwafel).  I also have a few commissions in the works, which are all dog portraits.

What are your goals in the coming year? 5 years? 

In the next five years, I would like to eventually find representation with the right gallery, as well as with an illustration agency.  It would be great to do illustrations for luxury brands or editorial work. I would also like to write and illustrate a children’s book, but I think that is more on the five-year horizon.

For more of Shayna's work, you can visit her website or follow her on Instagram here.

Idiosyncrasies of the Human Race: Interview with Kayla Buium

I am a young artist from Toronto who uses my character the “Nuknuk” to parody the idiosyncrasies of the human race. I have exhibited my work in Toronto, Montreal and Berlin and work as a freelance illustrator in my free time. I am intrigued by the mundane everyday activities that I participate in. From taking the subway to sitting in the laundry mat, I think it’s these everyday activities that make up a lifetime. I try to dig deeper into these moments to try to understand myself and my society at its essence. That is the main goal in my work, and I try to be inconsistent in it in order to get a full scope of the world I live in. 

There is one piece that I worked on recently that has really resonated with me. It is called “TTC” and it highlights our fear of interacting with one another on public transportation. 

I never realized how isolated we are in the city until I visited Bermuda and took a trip on their public buses. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that I was on a bus because it felt more like the car pools my parents organized everyday on my way to gymnastics class. Everyone was talking, laughing, connecting with one another and I assumed it was just a small community, until they invited us into their conversations. It wasn’t weird to talk to strangers. It wasn’t uncomfortable like it is in Toronto on the public subways. In Toronto, anyone who tries to talk to you is declared crazy. And in Bermuda, if you ignored someone you were crazy. In fact, it wasn’t even just Bermuda, it was Costa Rica, it was Fiji. In fact, in Fiji the bus driver would blast party music and the entire bus would be dancing. Why do these developing nations connect in ways that our nation can never do? 

I don’t think we have the potential to change and I don’t necessarily think that that’s a bad thing. We come from different cultures, like how in France they kiss each other on the cheek when they say hello. I’ve tried to bring the friendliness back into the TTC in Toronto. I did a public installation in the subway a few years ago in order to inspire conversation in the subway, and it worked but not anything long term. I’ve tried approaching people and sometimes it results in a nice conversation but it always feels unnatural and quite exhausting. I try to be friendly to the odd normal person who strikes conversations with me on the subway. But even me, a self-aware art student who obsesses with this issue thinks it’s weird. 

I think that transportation has a different purpose in cities. I think it allows us time to be silent and self-reflect in a world where we are always preoccupied by our phones. Suddenly there’s no Wi-Fi or cell service and we are forced to be present. It allows us time to read books. It allows us time to listen to music and watch the world around us. It allows us a thirty-minute nap on the way to work. I really enjoy this transportation time because it allows me to be myself without the interruptions of anyone else.


We love the exploration of "mundane" moments in your work. When did you first gain an interest in observing human behavior and translating it into your art? 

I’ve always loved people watching. Whether it was admiring ultra - alternative people walking around downtown Toronto or trying to guess some stranger’s life story on the subway, I’ve always had a fascination. I don’t remember the exact moment when everything shifted and this fascination translated into my art, but it must have happened when I moved to Berlin. In Berlin, I didn’t have a phone, I don’t speak German and I didn’t have a friend within a few hundred Kilometres. I remember just being really observant to escape my own loneliness. I’d go to bars and draw people who I didn’t have the courage to talk to. The first drawing that was founded on this idea is my piece entitled “Brainwashed”, which takes place in a laundromat. For some reason, I found it so fascinating just sitting and watching the people in there, especially because there were so many colorful faces in my neighborhood. People reading, chain-smoking, talking on the phone. I thought it was very telling of someone’s character how they chose to spend that time. It was the mannerisms of the strangers in the room that orchestrated my time there and I thought it was fascinating how much of impact strangers can have on us.


Tell us what you hope to communicate through your paintings? 

Each of my works communicates an idea of its own. Whether the source is my pessimism toward being able to save the environment, or my observing the antisocial nature of subway passengers. If there was an overarching idea that tied all of my works together, it would be the notion that these works create a sort of autobiography of my life through a series of moments. It tells the story of a young artist in the 20th century who loves and dreams, or mourns the loss of her innocence.

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What inspires the imagery and style in which you paint? Tell us how you come up with each piece. 

I’m inspired by so much. Hieronymus Bosch and the whole surrealism movement… Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte… I love the storytelling and imagery of Dr. Seuss. I love street art. I love tattoo culture. Polly Nor is incredible… the list goes on. 

I take these artists and movements and learn from their approach to making art but the content is always unique to me and my experiences. Something I learned from Dali, after reading his memoir, is the notion that I can take certain metaphors I use to explain how I feel and create work from it. For instance, I work at a burger joint and I’m legitimately eating too many burgers - I feel like I’m “slow” and “blobish” because of my overindulgence and lack of self-control. What if I really was a blob, what would that look like? How would I exist in the world? How do I communicate that feeling without saying? It can be quite challenging. 


Describe a typical day in the studio. 

My days in the studio usually begin with me cleaning up from the night before. I usually stay up really late painting and collapse into bed when I can't go on anymore...which results in paint-stained bed sheets and frayed brushes. Come morning I’ll usually go feed my parrot, Schnitzel, and bring her into the studio where she loves to steal my brushes and rip out all the hairs. It’s really nice having her around because I have someone to bounce ideas off of and talk to. She’ll talk back sometimes but usually says something totally unrelated. I never really go to the studio without anything to do. I’m really good at always having an idea of something to make, and I won’t leave until it's done. I go on painting frenzies that can go on for a few days. I’m probably at my happiest when I’m in that state of mind. 

What is the most exciting moment in your art career so far? 

Probably my solo show in Montréal. I thought having a show like that would be a long way down the road for me, but I was invited to exhibit there. I guess being in a room filled with art I had made over the course of 10 months and having people come here just to see my work was truly inspiring. For a moment there I told myself “maybe this whole art thing could really work out.” 

Do you feel art can help us be more present? Share your thoughts on creativity, disconnecting and being mindful in our world. 

I think art can help us be more present but you have to want it. Art in our internet-addicted, consumerist culture is viewed and forgotten very quickly, and I think that if you get caught up in letting that happen it's going to be hard to really tap into that art, be moved by it, gain something from it... I myself am guilty of this habit of scrolling through Instagram and giving an artist 3 seconds to wow me before I keep scrolling. I don't think you can really commit to a compelling inner dialogue in that time.


What are you currently working on and what should we be on the lookout for? 

I find myself mostly experimenting these days. Playing around with gouache and ink. Making comics and faces. I’m trying to push myself to see what I’m capable of. I’m running an art therapy class and organizing an all-girl art show over the next few weeks. Really just focusing on exploring my creative potential and putting myself out into the world.

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is a UK-based visual artist and illustrator, inspired by nature, landscapes and the human body.

After graduating with a degree in Art History & Visual Studies (2.1) from the University of Manchester in 2015, she applied her knowledge of the significance of art in contemporary society to a career as a freelance artist. 

Sarah uses gouache, acrylic and collage to create original artworks, ranging from A6 - A2 in size. 

Most recently, during a stay at a residency in Iceland, Sarah began to explore abstract and figurative compositions, concentrating on simplifying landscapes and figures to mirror the simplicity and slow pace of life in Iceland. She´s also experimented with merging representations of the human body with chaotic and free-flowing patterns and shapes, to illustrate the state of the body as a constant in times of motion and change. 

Haein Jeong

Haein Jeong is a self-taught creative based in Seoul, South Korea. 

Haein is inspired by a vivid depiction of otherwise everyday objects or situations. Above all, ‘death’ is a core topic for her imagination and she focuses on projects with this theme. Haein’s work seeks to depict ‘the meaning of life and death’, based on her view that perhaps she should willingly accept death when she faces it, while also seizing the day, as we never know what tomorrow will be like. She often uses paradoxical methods on her drawings; for example, she reflects on death with bright colors and entertaining expressions and reflects on the pleasure of life with unfazed characters, thus reflecting the light and dark of life. 

Haein has developed a career as a freelance illustrator and currently works with a variety of clients, including Snapchat. In addition to her current style of digital painting, she also plans to expand into using other mediums to express the world of her imagination.

Malika Favre

Malika Favre is a French artist based in London.

Her bold, minimal style – often described as Pop Art meets OpArt – is a striking lesson in the use of positive/negative space and colour.

Her unmistakable style has established her as one of the UK’s most sought after graphic artists. Malika’s clients include The New Yorker, Vogue, BAFTA, Sephora and Penguin Books, amongst many others.

Follow @malikafavre on twitter and instagram.

December 2017 Issue Cover and Pre-Orders!

Contents of Create! Magazine December 2017 /Miami Edition 

*Ships November 30 - December 3, 2017*

On The Cover

Kristen Liu-Wong


Curtis Anthony Bozif
Jessica Brilli
Kristen Liu-Wong
Mwanel Pierre-Louis
Evan Summer
Christina A. West
John Wind & Dina Wind

Art Miami Fair Highlight Exhibitors


Artist Highlights

Lala Abaddon
Amanda Manitach

Artists selected by guest curator Sarah Potter

Fei Alexeli
Sierra Barber
Jodi Bee
Zofia Bogusz
Jeremy Burks
Jessica Cannon
Patricia Castillo-Bellido
Jennifer Clay
Miriam Colman
Bernadette Despujols
Jen Dwyer
Sienna Freeman
Jamie Baldwin Gaviola
Gemma Gené
Nicole Gordon
Crummy Gummy
Michael Hambouz
Synaesthetics Illustration
Andrew Indelicato
Alison Kudlow
Mariu Lacayo
Elisabeth Ladwig
Grace Lang
Monika Malewska
Lorena García Mateu
Jennifer McGregor
Evgenia Medvedeva
Vedran Misic
Karen Navarro
Lisa Ostapinski
Jee Won Park
Andrew Poneros
Rebecca Reeves
Nick Robles
Bryan Schnelle
Max Seckel
Marna Shopoff
Heather Sundquist
Meggan Trobaugh
Zoe Williams

Interview: Allison Bamcat

Allison Bamcat is a contemporary illustrator from Los Angeles, CA. After completing a seven-year run as a product designer for a major brand, she works full-time as an artist in her new home of Santa Monica. Her candy-coated paintings celebrate the juicy colors found in nature through her surreal landscapes, featuring fruit, botanicals, exotic birds, and melting rock formations. Her background in product design collides with her paintings, resulting in a bouncing array of repeat prints and patterns for apparel and accessories.


What aspects of your own life inspire your art? 

My art is very closely tied to my emotional state. I notice that in times I've been overwhelmed or depressed, I use darker colors in my paintings, where lately I've been using warmer, happier tones like oranges and coral pinks. I gravitate toward the colors in flowers and plants, as well as the symbolism they carry, like how friendly big, rubbery banana leaves appear versus the sharp eyelash-spikes of a venus flytrap. I use different types of plants and animals in my work as supporting characters to build a collection of feelings this way. 


When did you decide that you wanted to stop working for a major company and start creating art for yourself?

Honestly, it took my husband changing direction in his career for me to get on board with changing mine. Working in corporate culture for so long, I became really stubborn and stayed at my job probably longer than I should have. I spent so much time putting out fires and making revisions that my art suffered. So the offer of a different career opportunity where I could focus solely on my art and design work was a welcome change. It's amazing how many of the walls I built up working in corporate have just crumbled, and I'm finding it's much easier to get started when I don't carry so much baggage.

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When did your interest in patterns and textiles start? Has the idea of putting your imagery on textiles driven your work in any particular way? 

I was mentored early in my career in the footwear industry to create legible print and pattern files for factory use. I'll admit it was a learning curve that was difficult for me to grip on to, and it took several years to become proficient at getting projects to come back as I imagined them in my head. One day, design leadership created a new team specifically for creating illustrations and graphics for product, and I was placed on it. It was a boat load of illustration work that hit me suddenly, and I learned a lot about streamlining my processes. Learning to maintain the integrity of my artwork with limitations around detail, color, and the small surface area of a sneaker made me a more considerate designer. 

Through trend research I began looking up to the detail work of major design houses including Gucci and smaller, more eclectic brands like Gorman and Mara Hoffman, determined to create design work at the same caliber of sophistication but for mass-market. Some days I was only given the opportunity to create a polka dot print, so I aspired to make a new, fresh polka dot that didn't exist in the market yet. Looking at every brief as a challenge to create art fueled me to continue on tough days when my designs were dropped repeatedly from collections. Knowing that I produced and presented real art at every chance made creating prints for myself a natural evolution of what I was already doing. So I began painting silly things like vegetables and french fries, turning them into prints that I'd sew into my own little bags and pouches. The idea of using prints and patterns to help people express their tastes in a functional way throughout their day always drove me to want to make new, fun prints and patterns. 


What draws you to the vibrant color palette you use? 

Color has always been a form of expression for me, through my paintings, my wardrobe, and even my hair color over the years. It's no surprise to anyone that as a kid, I was obsessed with the candy-colored designs from Lisa Frank, as well as Barbie and Rainbow Brite. Why only use half of the crayons in the box when you can use them all? These days, I strive to create a mood through the use of color, especially through the clash of heavily-rendered objects on top of flat planes of white or solid colors. While I've learned some restraint in which colors I use, it's only because I've done a better job of creating color studies before I create my larger works. Without some kind of pre-determined guide, I'd probably use every color I own at once! 

The limited, contemporary color palettes we used in footwear design have continued to influence me as well. Learning color heirarchy in product design definitely inspired me into using odd or sometimes "ugly" colors in my works to draw the eye toward the more vibrant colors I tend to choose. I'm still learning a balance, but looking at runway fashion still inspires me to try new color combinations in my work. 


What does your creative process look like? 

My current creative process is a bit broken. Creating art in such a fast-paced industry for so long, I got into a bad habit of creating only one sketch toward one concept and using that to create finished artwork. Now that I work for myself, I've been more lenient about how many times I can sketch out a certain idea before I take it anywhere else. Sometimes, I even sketch for fun! 

But, generally, I'll dream up an idea and toss it around in my head for days or weeks before I feel ready to put pencil to paper. I resolve a lot of the general vibe in my head, and then I resolve the composition on paper using eraseable colored pencils on heavyweight sketch paper. I'll tighten this sketch up three or four times by blowing it up, printing it out, and sketching on top of the printout, using lots and lots of reference photos. From the sketch, I create a digital color mockup and fool around with color only just enough to get a point across. After blowing up the sketch to size and transferring it to wood or paper, I pull out only the tubes of paint I think I'll need and stick strictly with the specific spectrum of color I chose in my mockup. From there, I build up darker to lighter layers using dry-brushed acryla gouache, a super-matte, polymer-based, vibrant paint made by Holbein. I typically leave my pieces unvarnished to preserve the velvety paint finish. Luckily, the polymer content of the paint helps to protect the piece without varnish.

Hope Gangloff 

Hope Gangloff (born in Amityville, New York) is an American painter living and working in New York City.[1] She studied Art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Gangloff has exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo shows at the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Michigan; the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield; and galleries both in the US and Europe. She has also exhibited in a number of group shows at institutions such as the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City; the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, and Schunk at PinkPop Festival in The Netherlands.