365 Postcards for Ants

by Joanna on September 30, 2014


Confession: I am blown away by the detail of these teeny-tiny paintings by Lorraine Loots. Part of a project called 365 Projects for Ants, Loots committed to create a mini painting every single day for an entire year. She started on January 1, 2013, and is now in the second phase of the project. This time around, she’s focusing her pieces on her hometown of Cape Town. Be sure to follow along on Instagram to see more of her incredible project.

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{ Images via Instagram; found on The Design Ark }


Elizabeth Mayville

by Joanna on September 25, 2014


So often I feel like we get trapped in the assumption that art has to be fussy and formal and, well, pheasants with giant bowls of fruit. I think this is why these paintings by Elizabeth Mayville speak to me. They elevate the mundane and glorify the simplicity of everyday life. Because her technical level is so finely attuned, even the ordinary feels gorgeous and new. Elizabeth’s work is kind of amazing in that regard.

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{ Images via Elizabeth Mayville; found on The Jealous Curator }

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José Aroda

by Joanna on September 23, 2014


Sometimes it takes a lot to excite me (especially in terms of portraitures), but these pieces by Madrid-based illustrator and graphic designer José Aroda really get me going. Not only is his style bold and graphic, but his color choices are equally over the top. Then there’s the subject matter—from Andy Warhol to Debby Harry to Bette Davis, Aroda’s prints, totes, and plates feature hyper-stylized portraits of some pretty famous people. They feel a bit tongue in cheek at times, but all are totally recognizable and awesome.

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Grace Ciao’s Flower Dresses

by Anh-Minh on September 19, 2014

grace_ciao1With the various fashion weeks happening lately, it seems like a good time to post about the work of Singapore fashion illustrator Grace Ciao. As a kid, she would create frocks for her Barbie dolls from fabric scraps given to her by her grandmother. These days, she’s employing her talents to sketch dresses that incorporate flower petals. Gorgeous, right?

According to this BuzzFeed interview, it all started as an attempt to preserve the beauty of a withering rose. I love that she continues to share her inspirations and offers a peek of her process on her Instagram account.

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{ Images from Grace Ciao and her Instagram account }


Sketchbook of Carl Randall

by Anh-Minh on September 11, 2014

carlrandall1A couple of years ago, I was in London while the National Portrait Gallery was holding its annual BP Portrait Award exhibit. I picked up a postcard of Carl Randall‘s Mr. Kitazawa’s Noodle Bar as a little souvenir. The oil on canvas piece is one of a number of paintings that Randall created, based on sketches done during his time in Tokyo.

I have the postcard framed in my kitchen and enjoy looking at it every day. But only recently did I realize that Randall’s website not only features his portfolio of paintings, but also pages from his sketchbook—providing a cool behind-the-scenes peek at his work process.


My affinity for Japanese food is showing here—Sushi is another one of his paintings that I love.


And check out the progression of this piece! The rough drawing was done with pen on paper, while the later iteration was pencil on paper.


Here’s his Tokyo Subway and the initial sketches for the painting.

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{ All images via Carl Randall }