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

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

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

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Hello! This month I’ve personally felt a mound of emotional heaviness, so I was looking for this illustration installment to add some lightness. For me, flowers — and really anything botanical — are always a natural way of lifting my spirits. And I’m a huge fan of wildflowers — Maine wildflowers were, in fact, the makeup of my wedding bouquet. So when I stumbled on the work of illustrator/artist Katie Daisy through a search for botanical illustrations, I knew this was where I wanted to stay for a while. Her illustrated field guide book, How to Be a Wildflower, is now high on my wish list, and her work is something I’d also like to share with my 5-year-old daughter — another big fan of wildflowers. Let’s forage through the lovely botanical illustrations by Katie Daisy and her colorful uplifting quotes to capture some positive sunshine. Jen

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Here’s a peek into her New York Times bestselling book, How to Be a Wildflower, which includes activities to do that get you out amongst the trees and flowers:

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Katie Daisy must undoubtedly be inspired by her location, as she lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon — a place chock full of trails to hike and wildflowers to pick (or so I’ve seen in photos on my Instagram! Oregon is on my travel wishlist.)

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

I love the way Katie combines typography with illustration. It’s easy for quotes to go the “cheesy” route or feel overplayed, but her illustrations with words simply feel happy and modern. I could see hanging one of these prints in a kitchen or bathroom just as easily as art in my kiddos’ bedroom.

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Watercolor Illustration by Katie Daisy

What also struck me as I checked out Katie’s website and Etsy shop is the extensive body of work she’s created! This is a tiny glimpse of her illustrated art prints and there’s even a whole collection of gifts — from illustrated tote bags to pencil pouches. What would be on the top of your list? I can say at the moment, this art print with the trees and that meaningful proverb is what I’d like to hang up in my entry as a gentle reminder.

The World of Illustration: Botanical Illustrations by Katie Daisy

Thanks for following along this installment of the World of Illustration. Be back here again soon!

Photo Credits: Katie Daisy

The World of Illustration: Mari Andrew Illustration

Hello everyone! I think it’s safe to say everyone is feeling the need to find reasons to laugh and some lighthearted escapes. And that’s where illustration can really hit home. I’m beyond thrilled to share a peek into the work of a super talented illustrator, and a true artist crush of mine — Mari Andrew. It’s not everyday you look into someone’s Instagram feed and wish you could paper your walls with their work. But that’s the feeling I got when I first discovered Mari Andrew, an illustrator and writer living in Washington, D.C. Her illustrations are so personal, so real, and some are the literal laugh-out-loud variety. So I asked Mari to share some insight into her world as an illustrator, and as someone I wish I could meet for coffee and just chat (so this is the next best thing!). Here’s our Q&A and some of my all-time favorite illustrations of hers, but do check out her website and Instagram for even more! Jen

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Where do you like to work when you’re creating an illustration?

A: I work from the cutest little studio with the cutest little name — The Lemon Bowl. I used to work on a coffee table in my apartment, but that table is also where I eat, watch Netflix, email, and scroll through Instagram, so it didn’t feel like a very creative space. It changed my life to have a studio space where I could go and work, sort of like going to the gym. At the studio, I’m accountable to create and I feel much more disciplined and focused when I’m there. I sit at a long table and listen to podcasts and occasionally get up to stretch or dance a little.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Where do you like to go to be inspired?

A: Brazil! But also, I walk two hours a day (to work and back home) and that’s a very creative time for me when I’m processing life events. It’s also a great time to look around to get inspired by other people and the interesting things I see along my commute through several neighborhoods.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Do you have a favorite color or color palette?

A: I love fuchsia! I try to make as many Venn diagrams as I can to work in big splashes of pink. I really love the way black/white illustration looks, but I have too much fun with watercolor to stick to such a palette myself.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: What artist tools do you use for creating your illustrations-a-day?

A: I use the cheapest tools: A Sharpie pen and a travel watercolor set I got on Amazon for $19.99. I draw on nice watercolor paper though!

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: I love how some of your illustrations so perfectly depict dating life, and the myriad of experiences you can have as a single person dating. Have those illustrations been some of the pieces that have resonated most with people? Do you have a favorite ice cream for breakup blues?

A: YES, I always think I am totally alone in my dating fiascos and breakups, but as soon as I publish something very personal, a lot of people always resonate. They say it makes them feel less alone, which is lovely, but I do it selfishly because it makes ME feel less alone! The dating illustrations are definitely the most popular; I think it’s because we all assume we’re somewhat isolated in our experiences and it’s nice to know that it’s just hard for everyone, no matter who you are.

A breakup ice cream has to be SUPER indulgent or it doesn’t work. I’d go for Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked. The more chunks of baked goods mixed in, the better.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person? When do you create your best work?

A:  I have all my energy and create my best work in the morning. It’s a little stressful having that time of day be so productive in contrast to the rest: do I spend that energy on my art, on cleaning my apartment, exercise, or my 9-5 job? Art usually wins!

Mari Andrew Illustration

A big thank you to Mari Andrew for sharing her thoughts and work. Isn’t it amazing how art (that makes you think!) can be created simply with a sharpie and a cheap set of watercolors? I love that. See you back here soon!

Photos: Mari Andrew