Scott Balmer: The Mystical Forest

Released Tuesday, December 22, 2009

mystical forest
The Mystical Forest, by Scott Balmer.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to The Kids In Need Foundation.

Scott Balmer is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Scotland. At a young age, Scott - much like any other creative - could be found drawing anything and everything from strange beasts to fantastic inventions that he imagined would change the world. Most kids wanted to be firemen or nurses; Scott on the other hand wanted to be an inventor producing drawings of super fast cars with guns and flying wing add-on things. These plans were scuppered when he realized that he would actually have to make the inventions. So he settled on going down the art and design path instead, and has never looked back.

After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone school of art and design, Scott’s work has appeared in various forms for clients such as The Guardian, The New York Times, Umbro and The Science Council, to name a few.

About the print:
The Mystical Forest is a weird and wonderful piece where I turned pieces of landscape elements into mythical beasts that roam around a mystical forest.

This is a three-color screenprint on 285gsm ivory Fabriano Rosafina paper.

PURCHASE $45!


mystical forest

What has inspired you recently?
I would have to say that right at this very moment, this year's 'Hey You Guys' poster by Israel Sanchez is just so awe inspiring. Nice shapes, great use of composition, fantastic use of color and above all, it's fun. The Ghostbusters poster theme is just great, though I really like last year's poster as well, with the goonies.

Why did you choose to pair Kids In Need with your print?
The main reason that I chose The Kids In Need Foundation is that regardless of what background a child comes from, the KINF provides them with the supplies they need for a decent education. I think that there are a lot of bright individuals out there who could have had a better quality of life if they were given the opportunity to go further in their education. Help and support early on can really strengthen the chance of moving up in the education sphere.

mystical forest

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I can’t comment offhand about this, but I see art as a universal language. It brings a mixture of people together - to fight for what they believe in and to break down any barriers, regardless of age, race, or anything really.

mystical forest

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
This is a hard one - it is a toss up between Paul Rand and Saul Bass - they could pass on some amazing advice and I would love to learn about their experiences in the field. Both produced work so visually striking, while also maintaining a timeless quality. I admire Paul Rand's playfulness within his designs. It is a shame that quite a few of his logos have been retired. In most cases, the Rand original is more unique compared to what has taken its place. The Yale logo revamp is a good example of this.

I would also have loved to work with Jim Henson. He had a way of taking inanimate objects made out of fleece and transforming them into real, believable characters that were easily identifiable and unique. He had a magical gift for creating great characters and storytelling, which I think the world has lost somewhat after his death.

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
I usually end up looking at work produced at a time where graphic designers were more hands on, to be honest. I do look at new up-and-coming artists, illustrators, and designers, but I always seem to gravitate back to the old greats.

mystical forest

mystical forest

Karolin Schnoor: Forest Lady

Released Tuesday, December 15, 2009

forest lady img
Forest Lady, by Karolin Schnoor.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Transportation Alternatives.

Karolin Schnoor is an illustrator and designer living in London. She was born in Berlin but moved to London to do a foundation degree. One year turned into five and she still calls London home. Karolin works from a tiny flat that she shares with her boyfriend, a sound designer - so all of her work is created in the midst of a growing mound of cables and pens. After graduating with a degree in illustration, Karolin has worked on a range of projects with clients including Nokia, Time Out, Amelias Magazine, The Worn Journal, INQ Mobile, and YCN.

About the print:
I have been drawing a lot of trees lately, and I liked the idea of using them in a composition as abstract objects. I also like to play with the idea of scale, so that the girl in the drawing turns into a kind of superhuman earth lady who is holding the bear, which should actually be much bigger than her. Since winter is approaching, I wanted to use a cooler colour-palette. All of these things together made a nice-set up for the illustration.

Forest Lady is a digital print on 230gsm Tecco Matt Poster Paper.

PURCHASE $30!



forest lady img

What has inspired you recently?
I have been stuck at my desk for a few months, so I don't get out much! The idea of having some time and sitting down to draw, away from my computer screen, is probably what keeps me going. I am quite lucky - from my desk I look out onto a garden where a lot of fox-verses-pigeon or cat-verses-squirrel interaction takes place, which can be quite exciting - in a friendly, non-confrontational kind of way, of course.

Why did you choose to pair Transportation Alternatives with your print?
I come from Germany, where cycling is a mode of transportation that a large percentage of the population uses to get around. In Germany, providing a safe environment in which to cycle is taken very seriously. Moving to London was strange, because I found it too dangerous to cycle - cars don't leave room for you, there are almost no cycling paths, and the pollution is so bad that most couriers, for instance, wear masks. It's frustrating to see one person after another driving a six-person car with all of the passenger seats left empty. It makes perfect sense to encourage walking and cycling in big cities and urban areas, so I want to support that movement. I think that Transportation Alternatives has a really good program that sets out practical solutions which aren't impossible to implement, but that will make a big difference in New York. Hopefully something similar will happen in London, soon!

forest lady img

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
That is hard to say - design and art are more often than not at the forefront of my mind when I look at or analyze things, but I shouldn't assume that to be true of everyone. I like when artistic intervention can reach out to a broad audience, even if that happens on an unconscious level. I do think that the reason people feel more comfortable or even happy in certain places has a lot to do with colour, arrangement and design, so that can be called transformative.

Where I grew up in Germany, there is a park called Sanssouci. The gardens were created by landscape designers who made sure that wherever you stood, you had an attractive vista to admire. The park does not look unnatural, but as you walk through it, it really lightens your mood. I think this is achieved partly through the park's careful layout. I like the idea of having a park that was designed to be enjoyed by the public, which you can just walk in to. There is no pressure to understand the process or the meaning of the park's design, but it affects how you feel, and that is a good way to bring design to an audience. I don't know if that answers your question entirely, but I hope so!

forest lady img

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Well, if it were possible for Utagawa Kuniyoshi and Milton Glaser to set up a little tutoring studio together, I would be first in line! I was only recently introduced to the work of Kuniyoshi through an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, and I fell in love with it. His patterns, colours and compositions are so intricate, yet feel natural. Throughout his impressive body of work, Kuniyoshi retains a sense of lightness, personality and wit, which feels very contemporary (for someone who worked in the 19th century, anyway!) His work manages to be beautiful and interesting, which is a desirable combination for any illustrator to achieve.

Milton Glaser would be my other chosen mentor, not only because I really love his work, but because his work feels like it comes from a person you would enjoy meeting and spending some time with. That is another quality I look for in good work. Sometimes I see work that is accomplished and perfect, but the fact that I would have no interest in the artist behind it, makes it incomplete somehow, for me. I think really great work makes you want to get inside the mind of the maker and find out how they think and live.

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
That is a difficult question. I go through phases of obsessive fandom! At the moment I am really into Jason Munn's screenprinted posters, the illustrations of Micah Lidberg, and Ursine Brawl's wood sculptures.

forest lady img

Antje Drescher: Untitled

Released Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Untitled, by Antje Drescher.

Antje Drescher was born in Rostock (East Germany) in 1972 and studied illustration at the College of Figurative Arts in Hamburg, where she still lives. Over the past ten years she has worked as a freelance illustrator for German magazines, newspapers and children's books.

About the print:
The print is about the very moment you realize what will happen next. Inspired by a walk through a wildlife park, the advantage of linocut technique lies within the contrast it creates between the white spaces of snow and the darkness of the tree trunks. It intensifies and focuses on the tension-filled situation between the animals.

This print is a linocut on watermarked 185gsm acid-free, deckle edged watercolor paper, printed with water-based inks.

PURCHASE $40!





What has inspired you recently?
Walks through a local wildlife park, and all the animals, in particular the owls. Frottage drawings of fruit nets and other everyday items. Vintage souvenir picture leporellos of then popular holiday destinations in odd colors.

Why did you choose to pair Doctors Without Borders with your print?
Doctors and nurses volunteer with Doctors without Borders to provide urgent medical care to victims of war and disaster, regardless of race, religion, or politics. I consider support for this work important.



If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Karl Blossfeldt, who chose the plant as the subject of his photographic work. He revealed graphic details by reducing the plants to geometric forms, structures and grey tones, to standardized types which can also be found in architecture, fashion, dance etc. To look at the world in this manner of heightened awareness opens new perspectives for our perception.

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
At the moment some of my favorite artists are: Edward Gorey, Lisbeth Zwerger, Stasys Eidrigevicius, Anke Feuchtenberger, Tomi Ungerer, Christina Gransow, Lorenzo Mattotti, Eva Muggenthaler, Benoit Guillaume, Julia Pott, Martin Tom Dieck, Nina Pagalies, Michael Sowa, Kveta Pacovska, Aubrey Beardsley, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, David Hockney, Lyonel Feininger, Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, Paul Klee, Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brancusi, Hans Arp, Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Marcel Breuer, Fischli/Weiss, Jean Painlevé, Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut, Karel Zeman, Gob Squad, Mary Wigman, Daniil Charms, Simone de Beauvoir, Arno Schmidt, Silvia Plath, Ernst Jandl, Elfriede Jelinek, Rainer Maria Rilke, Adalbert Stifter, Schubert, Brahms, Fred Frith, Robert Fripp, Sinn Sisamouth, and Ros Sereysothea...

Lisa Golightly: King of the Mountain

Released Tuesday, December 1, 2009


King of the Mountain, by Lisa Golightly.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Victory Junction.

Lisa Golightly is a painter living in Portland, OR, with her husband, two kids, and one crazy dog. She received her BFA from the University of Arizona and works under the name Kiki & Polly.

About the print:
Most of my work features children. My focus in college was photography, and that still hugely influences my work. Watching my kids grow up in the light of how I recall my own childhood experiences is fascinating to me. I’m constantly drawn to this intersection: how I see them experiencing the world and its influence on the snapshots of my own memories.

With King of the Mountain I tried to capture that sense of triumph and those moments in childhood when you were able to fully throw yourself into a moment of imagination.

King of the Mountain is printed with archival pigment ink on 350gsm museum etching paper by Hahnemuhle. It was originally a painting on canvas.

PURCHASE $40!





What has inspired you recently?
It's funny because I just started working on a project where I am creating work from someone else's perspective, and that has been really freeing. It is definitely influencing my own work.

Why did you choose to pair Victory Junction with your print?
The subject of most of my work is children, so it was important to me that the charity benefit kids. My painting is a bit about finding victory and joy in little things, and children do that better than anyone. Victory Junction provides kids with serious health problems that same sort of joy in the everyday that can be hard to find when you are sick.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I don't think anyone can say 'no' to question of whether or not art changes the world; at least I hope not! Some of the bigger ways that are more obvious: I feel it - music can change my mood, an image or film can inspire me. But I also see it transforming the world in little ways as well. My kids are so proud of their creations and it gives them confidence in themselves, which changes our immediate world. Hopefully that will impact the world around them in a positive way.



If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
That is a really hard question! The honest answer is I don't know. My dad is a painter and some of my biggest heroes are musicians, film makers, etc., so I'll need to think on that for a few more months!

Who are some artists that other people should know about?
I recently saw the work of Ian Davis, someone I knew in college. His work is amazing. The process of how someone's art evolves over the years is always really fascinating to me.