The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

Hello everyone! Who else here loves collections? I’ve always loved collecting things and grouping like things together (the stylist in me).  I think it’s so cool when illustrations include collections, which is a common theme I’ve seen in modern illustration. That eye for collections is what caught my eye with modern illustrator Marta Abad Blay. Let’s dive in to see her illustrative hand at work. Jen

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

I know that animal illustrations tend to be equated with kids rooms. But the detail on these animals! This color palette! I’d happily hang this wild mix of animals on my living room wall.

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

Happy neon greens, bright flashes of pink, and illustrations of houseplants. What a quirky, cool illustration!

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

This collection of foodie items is just the kind of print to add that necessary fun touch of personality to a kitchen. Especially when you consider the kitchen is a space that’s filled with cold surfaces of tiles and countertops and practical storage. Wouldn’t this just brighten up a breakfast nook?

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

Who needs chalkboard paint when you can create a simple pretty mural with your child with plain old butcher paper. Marta shares that she’s fascinated by the way kids represent the world with their drawings. As an artist, she says she does not focus on “perfection but just in the most intuitive drawing, like kids do, without any pretense.”

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

The vivid colors make her illustrations feel happy and whimsical. And the color palette also feels decidedly modern. Marta finds inspiration in nature, like plants and animals. Including the jungle! Rather than working always in one spot, Marta draws anywhere she’s inspired.

The World of Illustration: Marta Abad Blay

And here’s the artist at work! Marta and her family have been living in Amsterdam for 12 years, but they’re soon moving to a little village in Spain.

I’m such a fan of her work! I love when Instagram brings you a new favorite artist to follow. I have my eye on this print for my daughter’s room. See you again soon, friends!

Photo Credits: Marta Abad Blay

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design

Hello everyone! Here we are in February seeking something lighter than the 5 layers of clothing we need here in Maine. My yoga instructor said something to me last week that stuck — how lightness comes with control. And no truer example of that than when you look at the art of calligraphy. To write a name, an invitation, any wording with such lightness that looks effortless; it’s a skill that requires the utmost control. Rachel Anne is an Atlanta-based calligrapher whose work captures that magical light hand in calligraphy. Her lettering looks so modern and airy. Let’s take a look! – Jen

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credit: Four Corners Photography

Rachel shares how she had not dreamed about working in the paper world. “I definitely wasn’t the girl who grew up loving paper or drawing letters, and I didn’t really care for writing that much either, so it’s kind of funny that I would end up where I am today!”

So how did she stumble on calligraphy? “In 2014 I was working as a wedding photographer which was something that I absolutely loved, though I felt like I needed a creative outlet that wasn’t a job and I didn’t have to please anyone with, I could just learn and create what brought me joy personally. I had been eyeing calligraphy for a while (and being in the wedding industry was always in awe of the pretty wedding stationery) and decided to take an online course because it was so pretty and everyone on Instagram made it look so easy,” adds Rachel.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credit: Four Corners Photography

The story doesn’t end there! At first, she didn’t click with calligraphy. “One week in I gave up because I thought it was just too hard!” says Rachel. “Over the next few months I completely put it out of my mind, but then as a New Year resolution decided to finally stick to it and actually make myself learn (mostly because I didn’t want to be a quitter). For some reason that time around it just clicked and I became obsessed with learning and practicing!” Persistence for the win!

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credit: Tulle & Grace Photography

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credit: Hannah Forsberg

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Rachel calls her style “modern, romantic and effortless while still having a polished feel.” And she adds, “I like to gather inspiration from lots of different sources and keep an ever growing style board of images that inspire and speak to me. These images can be anything from fabric textures and surface patterns to color schemes in flower arrangements.”

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Inspiration: Rachel Anne Design / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credit: Rachel Anne

Thanks for sharing your work Rachel Anne and for the inspiration to keep trying at something you really love to do!

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

Hello friends! I kicked off January with some big goals in mind, in true new year’s fashion. And then I promptly went searching for pretty illustrations related to stuff I’m saving for and making wishes on stars for — everything including a perfect knit winter sweater, a home of our own, and maybe even some travel thrown in to see friends in big cities. So it was rather kismet when I stumbled on the Instagram account of Sydney-based illustrator and artist Jia Guo. Her illustrations were just the inspiration I was looking for on these frosty January days. Jen

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

Saturated colors and whimsical style makes this painterly illustration of sweaters one I’d love to frame and hang in my bedroom. (And I choose the blue-and-white fair isle style sweater for real life.)

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

This illustration looks seemingly simple and effortless, which is when you know art really speaks to you. I love how the color palette is a happy mix of sunset shades.

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

Anyone else dreaming of a lake home? The pickup truck is my favorite detail in this illustration by Jia.

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

Jia includes many home illustrations in her portfolio, including this illustration of a farm on an autumn day. I’ve never been to Australia, but these colors do feel like New England fall to me.

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

I love this fashion illustration Jia created of women in the 1960s. That was a great decade in style! The jackets with big pockets. The simple flare. And she uses a similar color palette in the train illustration, above, which gives it that retro modern vibe.

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

A work in progress by Jia Guo, who calls herself a crazy cat lady (some of my favorite people go by the same label).

The World of Illustration: Jia Guo

Jia’s recent illustration of the day included cats as a fun welcome to the new year. For a peek into more of her work, you can check out Jia Guo Illustration. Anything big on your wishlist for the new year? Let me know and I’ll be sure to scout out some illustrations to match up! See you soon, friends!

Images: Jia Guo Illustration

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper

Hello everyone! And hello to 2017! Here we are already skating fast through January. For today’s dose of calligraphy inspiration we’re featuring the beautiful modern calligraphy of Kaylyn of Pirouette Paper. Her collection of lettering work shows how calligraphy instantly makes any event, party, wedding, or festive gathering feel special. I’m pretty partial to the Pirouette Paper handmade party signs, but feel free to share your favorite picks below!  – Jen

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Kristina Adams Photography

Photo: Kristina Adams Photography

I’ve always loved this idea of using calligraphy on kraft brown paper. It feels modern and not fussy. And in this case, the sign keeps the bubbly bar, with all the antique accents, from looking old-fashioned.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Mallory Dawn Photography

Photo: Mallory Dawn Photography

There’s definitely an organic style to Kaylyn’s work. I love her use of botanical elements, like leaves, with gold lettering  for sweet and modern wedding seating tags.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Savan Photography

Photo: Savan Photography

With Pirouette Paper, you’ll find invitation suites that mix  calligraphy with simple type for a beautiful effect.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Loren Weddings

Photo: Loren Weddings

Here’s the prettiest cocktail menu I ever did see. (I bet Andrew knows how to make all of these fun-sounding cocktails!)

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Mallory Dawn Photography

Photo: Mallory Dawn Photography

Letter work too pretty to store in a box (in my opinion). I’d frame a sentimental piece like this and hang in my bedroom.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Mallory Dawn Photography

Photo: Mallory Dawn Photography

This wedding menu features calligraphy letter work with an embellishment of gold foil. I love how the table features rustic wood chargers and skips the tablecloth to balance the golden accents for a more modern, less fussy-fancy table.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Mallory Dawn Photography

Photo: Mallory Dawn Photography

Kaylyn says her inspiration comes from her mood when she’s writing. “I love to let anything I’m feeling come through in my writing, whether it’s a more abstract and ethereal font (for those rainy days) or a more straight-forward, curly font if I’m feeling especially fun and youthful,” she says.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Savan Photography

Photo: Savan Photography

Kaylyn got into calligraphy after a photographer friend of hers asked her to attend a calligraphy class with her. After that fateful class, she decided that it’s what she wants to do. “From there I started building my business while I was finishing up school and working at Disneyland — lots of styled shoots, small commissions, etc.” says Kaylyn. But this past June, she said goodbye to Disney and jumped into full-time doing Pirouette Paper. “Most of the time it doesn’t even feel like work.”

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: The Hearts Haven

Photo: The Hearts Haven

Watercolors and calligraphy name tags mixed with rustic woods and fresh garland — this is one dreamy entrance to the celebration.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Natalie Schutt Photography

Photo: Natalie Schutt Photography

You can turn a vintage mirror into a standout program for the big day with hand-drawn calligraphy.

Calligraphy Inspiration: Pirouette Paper / Photo Credit: Kristina Adams Photography

Photo: Kristina Adams Photography

I hope this peek into the work of Pirouette Paper has been a pretty kickoff to 2017. Here’s wishing the new year is golden!

The World of Illustration: Salini Perera Illustration

Hello everyone! The countdown to Christmas is upon us. I was in the mood for finding some Christmas goodness in the illustration world, and I was also poking around the world of female illustrators. Something about Christmas and the female spirit hits home for me. I feel like my mom was the gatekeeper of Christmas for me when I was a child, and now as a mom myself, I love creating rituals and traditions (and crafting!) with my kids. When I started scouting around the world of female illustrators, I stumbled on the work of Salini Perera, a woman who draws in a mix of mediums and even has an illustrated Christmas book with the 12 Days of Christmas. Let’s go take a peek! Jen

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

I personally have a soft spot for any whimsical, illustrated depiction of the 12 Days of Christmas. A few years back, I bought a set of ornaments from the Land of Nod featuring the 12 Days of Christmas, and they’re still some of my favorite ornaments for the tree. I love Salini’s version of a partridge in a pear tree.

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

What a pitch-perfect color palette for these illustrated three french hens.

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

She’s inspired by folk art, vintage children’s books, and you do get a sense of nostalgia looking through some of her work — yet her illustrations still feel modern.

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

Here’s a whimsical, modern map of Canada, where Salini now calls home. I like her use of color for the map — it’s more spare so that all the details don’t get lost.

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

Besides how awesome this fun girl-on-a-horse illustration is, I think it’s totally awesome that Salini draws women with real bodies. Growing up, I honestly don’t think I saw an illustrated woman with hips.

The World of Illustration / Salini Perera Illustration

Here’s hoping your countdown to Christmas is filled with many good things. Thanks for following along this look into illustrator Salini Perera’s work!

Photo Credits: Salini Perera Illustration and Salini Perera on Instagram