In November, I contacted a bunch of my favorite artists to see if they'd like to be included in an anthology zine I was putting together. I'd been wanting to do some kind of project about memory for a while but felt it was such a vague and broad theme that instead of just approaching it on my own, it would be interesting to see how other people would interpret it.
Part diary, part sketchbook, mostly obsessive personal project: this 40-page zine is a journey into my head through drawings and jokes and memories and confessions, among other things. I guess this was a way to visually organize my thoughts. My round, nostalgic, silly, sad, aggressive, anxious, nonlinear, black & white thoughts.
It's basically a conversation I'm having with myself but you're welcome to listen in. Read More
I can be picky with fine art. I love illustration and design so I've always been drawn to graphic aesthetics and went through the obligatory Pop Art fangirl stage in high school (the summer I was fifteen, I read as many books about Andy Warhol I could get my hands on and loved one line in his ghost-written autobiography so much I made it my e-mail address: philosophy_runs_out) but the sugary Pop Art eventually left me with a headache so I've since settled into appreciating graphic novels, picture book illustrations, book designs, etc. I didn't need to have a catchy term for the genre of art I preferred! I'm not an artist, after all. I'm a designer! Read More
I haven't posted anything on this blog since March, which might as well be a hundred years in internet time. Thought a fun kick-in-the-pants for myself to get into it again would be by combining two of my favorite things: Halloween and boob drawings. Had some dorky fun on my Halloween illustration series last year and wanted to do something in a similar vein this time around but couldn't think of a new theme for a while... Until my brother visited New York last week and got food poisoning for half his visit. I stayed at home on a Sunday while he recuperated and started drawing a pin-up lady who eventually became a witch. Then I drew another. Then another. Then I took a break and ate some dumplings and THEN I decided to make my drawings into a little seasonal series. So, from now until Halloween, I'll be posting a new pin-up witch every day. Welcome to A Week of Witches! Read More
I watched the documentary Beautiful Losers last night, a film about "street artists" (ranging from filmmaker Harmony Korine to illustrator Shepard Fairey) and was pretty inspired by the artists onscreen. Being a designer, I find myself in a weird limbo between art and business and though I went to art school, am unsure whether to really call myself an artist. Luckily, I could relate to a few people in the film so maybe this designer vs. artist dilemma of mine isn't that significant. One artist from the movie whose work I've really admired for a while is Steve Powers. Read More
As most of you may know, I spent my summer working as an intern at Penguin Group. On one of my last days there, my art director told me that if I was interested in getting into the book design industry, a good project to work on would be designing multiple covers for a book, using different styles, focusing on different themes, and aiming them at different demographics. So here I am, three months later with what I consider my biggest self-initiated project to date: nine unique book cover designs for one book! Read More
Today's featured artist is kind of an unusual one compared to the other illustrators I've blogged about. For one, he's a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, and physician. Read More
I love Halloween and I thought a fun way to celebrate it this year is to create a little theme project for myself. This is my first Halloween out of school and I'm not totally sure what I'll be doing or dressing up as, so I thought I'd test out some costumes illustration-style. For the next twelve days, I will be illustrating myself as a different Halloween monster each day. Be sure to check out my blog every day from now until Halloween for a daily Siobhan Monster! Read More
I went to the MoMA the other day before leaving New York and came upon an exhibition on the Brothers Quay, whom I had never heard of before. They are American twin brothers who studied illustration in the '60s at Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts!) and are known for their stop-motion films. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they were a huge influence for Tim Burton (in fact, going through their exhibition, I assumed this was the case). Read More
I think one of the most important qualities that designers must have in their work is the ability to maintain a balance between "the natural" and "the calculated" in a composition. What makes the great designers so great is that they are able to achieve this balance while making it essentially invisible to the viewer. Nothing should stand out as awkward or forced placement — just perfect design. Examples of such types of design and illustration, including Elaan Ventura Bourn's pieces above, are: Read More
It's been a little over a month since I began my internship at Penguin. I think I've been putting off updating a blog post about it because I'm still in a state of semi-disbelief that I'm even here! Every day I get to wake up and go to my Penguin office and work with amazing professionals who are experts in book design and illustration. This is real life and this has been the most amazing summer of my life. Read More
I've really missed Philadelphia since I finished my semester at University of the Arts back in December so I knew I wanted to visit at some point this summer since I'm just a two-hour bus ride away. When Pamela from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia told me that on Saturday, Stefan Sagmeister would be visiting his show that's currently up at the ICA, I thought this was the perfect excuse to take a day trip to Philly! Read More
It's a funny thing when your dreams come true. I'm constantly looking ahead and thinking about where I'll be months from now, so it's a very strange position to be in when you end up exactly where you've always wanted to be. In my case, that's New York City. Read More
Jonny Wan is an illustrator/designer who has one of the most recognizable styles I've ever seen. He's represented by these guys (you know you're something when you've got an agent) and has that special ability to combine unique shapes and colours into designs that form a stylish and detailed whole. Okay, that's me trying to describe is work intelligently because right now my mouth is just agape in wonder. Who knew I'd be so crazy about illustrations of a series of guns? There's definitely a theme to the illustrations I find myself gushing over, and I'm realizing it's when repeated patterns are used in designs that could have otherwise been so simple. Jonny Wan? More like Jonny Wow! Yeah, that sounds much less intelligent.
I've always dreamt about moving to NYC. Lately I've been fueling this fantasy-that-may-one-day-become-reality by looking into housing and apartments for sale in Brooklyn. How much does this place cost? What is it close to? Where is it on Google Maps? What does it look like in Street View? What's in this neighborhood? The whole Brooklyn community, especially the design community, is what makes it all so much more appealing. It seems like every second designer I follow or am really into is from Brooklyn so I figured why not do a roundup of all these wonderful people and designs (like the lettering by Erik Marinovich, seen above) who seem to be inspired by Brooklyn, and who then, in turn, inspire me! Read More
Isn't it great when you stumble upon an artist or designer or musician or whatnot whose exceptional talent doesn't make you feel bad about your own works but rather inspires you? Too often I find amazing designers online and just end up feeling jealous of them, bookmark their websites, then angrily swoon at their works later on (if you want a visual of what "angry swooning" looks like, picture me, furrowed-browed, arms crossed, pouty face, with hearts coming out of my head as I admire amazing designers' work. A notebook may be in front of me with lots of scratched-out sketches.) Read More
In between sunburns and drinks, my friend Marc and I went to see Terrence Malick's 'Tree of Life' yesterday. It was one of the most overwhelming movies I have ever seen and probably now one of my favorites. I was warned by Marc before seeing it that I shouldn't expect a real narrative or plot necessarily. I'd also remembered reading in Roger Ebert's review in which he claimed it was the closest movie he could use to compare to '2001: A Space Odyssey', which seemed alright in my books but was kind of confusing because wasn't this movie about a family in 1950s suburbia? Nope. So much more. Read More
I work at a bookstore roughly twenty hours a week. The New Releases section faces the front counter, the Cuisine & Art is tucked away in the back of store, and in between, there's everything from True Crime to Gardening. I love that I get to surround myself with all of these texts almost everyday. These are books I will never have the time to read entirely, but I'm allowed glimpses into their subject matter and content through their covers designs: the clever suggestions as to what each pages may hold through whatever photography, illustration, or typography is used on its front. This is my version of heaven. Read More