The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

Hello friends! With Easter just around the corner, I thought it’d be fun to share some illustrations to get us in the bunny spirit. Although I will say, with my kiddos, bunnies are big *all* year round. They actually used to have bunnies in their last preschool, which was the cutest, and they’re now stuck on the idea of a bunny as their first pet (and yes, I think we may go for it this year!). But back to the illustration world, I am a big fan of Australian-based illustrator Clare Dunstan of Tog & Pini. It’s one of those times where you find yourself putting hearts next to half of the artist’s collection on Etsy. And scrolling deep into the artist’s Instagram. So let’s hop down to this peek into Tog & Pini, as I’m sure it’s going to capture many fans.  – Jen

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

Here’s a surprising fun fact about Clare. She didn’t even start drawing until she was 25! (How is that possible?!) She was always creative and as a child she sewed and made jewelry. Clare patterned her own teddy bears and made tiny doll’s house food out of clay. Then, on the professional side, she started out as a jeweler after studying gold and silver smithing. How did she jump from silver and gold to illustration? Clare shares, “After an unfortunate accident — setting the curtains above my work station alight — I turned to illustration as a safer pursuit for a dreamer!”

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

Just a little mermaid bunny for anyone else who lives with a child who loves anything related to mermaids.

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

So Clare turned to painting and drawing as her new passion, and it obviously suits her. Talk about an amazing late bloomer! She lives in Australia, so imagine the inspiration outside her window. And she works primarily in watercolor. “Being surrounded by such varied fauna has an obvious impact in my work,” shares Clare. She mostly draws on a little old antique desk that’s piled high with paints, pencils, papers, and photographers. “I’m a very messy worker!” she notes. Obviously, a lot of beauty comes out of that mess.

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

I love this illustration she did of meerkats. Clare lives in an outer suburb of Melbourne, Australia. “I have daily visiting native birds; a mob of pink Galahs, several sulphur-crested Cockatoos, and a pair of brightly coloured King Parrots,” she shares.

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

Here’s some bunny fabric in classic Easter colors, which you can find in her Etsy shop.

The World of Illustration: Tog and Pini

Clare is a true animal lover through and through. And she has pet rabbits (which surely inspired her sweet bunny illustrations.) She says, “We have two rescue dogs (who are hilarious), five guinea pigs and two rabbits that are a constant source of inspiration.”

And now I have some Easter baskets to plan. A big thanks to Clare Dunstan for sharing a peek into her work!

Photo Credits: Tog & Pini

Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Hello everyone! Boy, do I have some pretty calligraphy to share with you. It’s not often that I get that wish-I-could-plan-my-wedding-again feeling. But for sure, when I stumbled on the work of Miranda Griffiths of Miranda Writes — I wanted to jump right back into planning table cards and menus. Because geez, this is some beautiful lettering work. Let’s get straight to the good stuff, shall we? – Jen

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Here’s an awesome side note: When I reached out to Miranda, I found out her inspiration for starting calligraphy started right here! Yep, here’s what Miranda shared: “I started learning calligraphy after stumbling upon Oh So Beautiful Paper’s post featuring Primele Studio’s work.” How amazing is that! Great work inspiring more great work. That’s what it’s all about. And what a small world it is. That handmade paper she uses for these wedding place cards and menus —  so so pretty!

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

How did she jump from simply being inspired to creating calligraphy of her own? Miranda explains, “I then tried to replicate her writing style in my regular handwriting in college while taking tons of notes in class, not realizing that she wasn’t using a regular pen or marker — she was actually using calligraphy tools. From there I self-taught, mimicking styles I found on OSBP or Pinterest, and I’ve been lettering things ever since.”

(Also, can we pause for a moment on how I’d really love some gingerbread cobbler with vanilla ice cream — what a yummy menu!)

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Nothing beats a pretty calendar page, so I wanted to share Miranda’s take on this month (and hello, is anyone else shocked that it’s already March!). Why does Miranda love calligraphy? She shares, “I think the coolest part of calligraphy is that it’s handmade and 100% one of a kind, which brings a unique component to weddings and other events. My current favorite style is to write with a smaller pointed nib and create extremely thin-lined letters.”

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Miranda created these modern moving announcements and a return address stamp for when she and her husband moved into their first home. A custom calligraphy return address stamp is at the top of my list for when we have our very own home. It’s such a special way to put your stamp on any correspondence — and mark that this is your home.

Wedding Calligraphy Inspiration: Miranda Writes

Photo Credit: Spencer Studios Photography

A big thanks to Miranda for sharing her work! I wonder if her calligraphy is going to inspire the next new calligrapher — and the creative circle continues on. Amazing to think what can come out of some simple doodling.

See you back here soon!

All other images: Miranda Writes

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