Vasco Mourao: Sprawl

Released Tuesday, November 29, 2011



Sprawl, by Vasco Mourau.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Médecins Sans Frontières.

Vasco Mourao is a Portuguese illustrator and architect based in Barcelona, Spain. He splits his time working between these two disciplines. Being an architect can be all consuming, but these days, Vasco is trying to give more time and attention to his illustrations – finishing up a children’s book, looking for representation, and organizing exhibitions.



About the print:
This last year, I started to see my drawings as matter that I can mold, break, scatter, compress, twist, and so on. For this print in particular, I am exploring the effect of an explosion on matter.

This is a giclee print on Canson 200gsm acid-free paper with archival ink. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist.

PURCHASE $70!




What have you been up to since we last worked together?
I'm currently developing two online projects that are outside the realm of illustration. I've also managed to illustrate a book cover, start a new collaborative project called Ziga Ziga, and I launched a daily drawing blog just to keep me busy.

We love collaborations! Tell us about your Ziga Zaga project.
Ziga Ziga is a little experiment that started with my drawings. Basically, I took one of my biggest drawings and created a couple of "drawing exercices" that were similar to a paint-by-numbers game or a connect-the-dots drawing book, but which were based on my own universe.

The idea behind the project was based on my genuine belief that everyone can (and should!) draw. Just pick up a pen and do it - it's that easy! We all drew when we were kids, and I can't think of anyone who didn't have fun doing it. As Sir Ken Robinson said, "In second grade, everybody is an artist!". But, as we become adults, we tend to think that drawing is only for the "talented" ones. Ziga Ziga is my humble attempt to share my love for drawing with people that don't consider themselves to be artists, and to encourage them to spend a bit of time drawing and hopefully enjoying it!

Each Ziga Ziga exercise had a different theme. The first asked you to replicate the drawing, the second to complete it, and the last allowed you to do whatever you wished. I figured that if you got to the third exercise, you deserved to just go wild. To get people to take the challenge, I offered one of my sold out prints as a prize. The winner was chosen at random. You only had to send me a photo of the process or the final result to enter the competition.



Were you surprised by the results of the project?
More then surprised, actually, I was super excited! Some of the participants were really into it. I think that my main purpose was accomplished - they had fun! The collaboration also provided me with great feedback for my own work - it pushed me in new directions, and gave me new ways of understanding my artwork. To see a little girl draw rainbows and unicorns between my buildings was just priceless! I think that it's always good to not see your work as something sacred, and to get my drawing remixed like that (besides being sometimes hilarious), was very interesting. I will definitely do it again! Be on the lookout for next Ziga Ziga!

How has your work developed over the last year?
I'm getting more precise - I can now more easily draw what I have in my mind. But, I was getting too comfortable just working on bigger pieces that take more time and don't allow that much for experimentation, so I decided to draw a little A5 drawing every day and post it on my blog. It's like my own playground where I can try new things, and some new lines of work have emerged. Next up is to try to draw people!



What is inspiring you these days?
Looking at Philip Toledano's work, listening to a Monocle podcast, or reading The Creative Habit.

Why did you choose to pair your print with Médecins Sans Frontières?
I chose to pair my print with Médecins Sans Frontières because they save lives.

Laszlito Kovacs: Love Inspires

Released Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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Love Inspires, by Laszlito Kovacs.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the 826 National.

Laszlito Kovacs lives and works 1.699 km from home. His colorful and optimistic illustrations have been published in some of the leading newspapers and magazines in Spain, such as "el País", "El Mundo", and "Club Cultura". In the Netherlands, he has been published in Bright Magazine, WWF Panda Mag, Adobe CS5 Mag, and de Volkskrant. In addition to being an artist, Laszlito is a curator at poolga.com, and the chief editor at endtopic.com.

Laszlito draws like a monkey all day long. He finds his inspiration in movies, pigs, candyfloss, music, deers, whales, penguins, his friends and family, and all of the things that make this world sweet and better.

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About the print:
The idea behind Love Inspires is pretty simple. I believe that love is the "inspiration engine" for a better life. But even though this is a simple idea, sometimes we still really need to remind ourselves of it everyday. I simply love the idea of having a reminder hanging on my wall. The musician is the reincarnation of inspiration. Music often opens our minds and heart and prepares us to embrace inspiration.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof.

PURCHASE $30!


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What have you been up to since we last worked together?
I’ve been working on some really interesting projects. I recently teamed up with Winged Wheel in Japan, and designed five greeting cards for them. Working with Rumi Nagata and her lovely team has been one of the most inspiring experiences for me. I also was recently featured in a wonderful book called Illustrators Unlimited, alongside a bunch of wonderfully talented illustrators.

Words play a large part in your work. How do you choose your phrases, and how do they influence your art?
Phrases and words are like mantras for me, and the more I get attached to one, the more I discover. Because we live surrounded by information and receive input from all over the place everyday, I tend to get attached to one of my phrases for a while, in order to preserve myself amongst the mountains of information. I have the feeling that it is not me who finds and chooses the phrases, but the opposite.

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How has your work developed over the last year?
I'm experimenting with new techniques. But there are other things that remain exactly in the same place. The result of the fight between the preservation of style and experimentation is what we can call my actual work. But the end of my evolution as an artist is still far away...and I'm glad to be just at the beginning.

What is inspiring you these days?
Imperfection. Even today in this super, super industrialized world, it is bliss for me when I find an imperfection in a print, book, or product that keeps it human. I keep my eyes open for that kind of event. I’m not buying the idea of perfection that is being sold to us everywhere, especially in advertising.

Why did you choose to pair your print with 826 National?
I chose to pair my print with 826 National again, because I believe that while words might not change our world completely, words, phrases, and books can certainly open our hearts to a new world.

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Laszlito's previous edition: Vida Lenta.

Anna Emilia Laitinen: Morning Frost Meadow

Released Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Morning Frost Meadow, by Anna Emilia Laitinen.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Pablove Foundation.

Anna Emilia Laitinen is a Finnish illustrator and artist living in Tampere, Finland, in the midst of blue lakes, green pines and birch tree forests. She paints stories about the weather and landscapes, following the seasons while combining patterns from nature.



About the print:
Morning Frost Meadow is an image of an early morning when the sun is rising, causing everything to shimmer. The first cold night has painted everything in frost, the sun starts to tickle and wake the plants up for a new day. Morning Frost Meadow was originally a watercolor painting dreaming of exotic flowers and Northern green leaves.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof.

PURCHASE $30!



What has inspired you recently?
The weather always inspires me. Landscapes that I see while walking and bicycling - and the change that the Finnish four seasons cause to these landscapes - give me feelings and memories that I keep in my mind for coming paintings. The latest change in the autumn weather, when the trees start to look naked and one starts to feel excited about the idea of the impending first snow - this has also inspired me recently. I'm looking forward to feeling soft inside wrapped woolen clothes, a hot cup of green tea in hand while walking and watching the sky - either in search for the first snow or of the brightest stars.

Why did you choose to pair the Pablove Foundation with your print?
I chose to pair my print with the Pablove Foundation. We should all be able to walk in this Morning Frost Meadow and smell its sweet and fresh scents.



How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Art teaches us about our surroundings and ourselves. It connects us and it makes us happier. It also tells stories about the present, the past, and the future. An artwork can be a true treasure, a daily moment to enjoy and be comforted. At the same time, it can help us to understand and to question, to relax and get inspired, or to just have a small moment to accept what is happening.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Everyone can teach us something for sure, but today I would choose Tove Jansson. She surely enjoyed life, had her own world, and left this world a much better place with her images and stories.

Penelope Dullaghan: Reading Under Tree

Released Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Reading Under Tree, by Penelope Dullaghan.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Farm Sanctuary.

Penelope Dullaghan is an illustrator who started her freelance career after a five-year stint as an art director. Since then, she has worked with a wide variety of clients, including Oprah, Starbucks, and Target. Penelope has been recognized by Communication Arts, Communication Arts Typography, 3x3 Magazine, Society of Illustrators LA, and Print Magazine. She chronicles her artistic development on her website. She also heads up and contributes to a weekly creative outlet and participatory art exhibit: IllustrationFriday.com. She currently works and lives in North Carolina with her writer husband and two-year-old daughter.



About the print:
This piece, entitled Reading Under Tree, was originally commissioned by Shambala Publications for the cover of their autumn catalog. I was given a lot of creative freedom and wanted to do an image that evoked one of my favorite things: reading outdoors.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof.

PURCHASE $30!




What has inspired you recently?
Wide open spaces, bonfires, farmer's markets, art museums, sculpture gardens, felt beads, and lake-side trails.

Why did you choose to pair Farm Sanctuary with your print?
I became a vegetarian five years ago because I wanted to do my own small part to help put an end to factory farms and cruelty to animals. I chose Farm Sanctuary because they are doing big thing to bring awareness to this issue.



How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I've seen sculpture added to mundane street corners. Open land becomes grounds for gigantic, interactive art. Window-fronts being used to inspire people and not just sell something. People caring about how something looks as well as how it functions. I see artwork as being fundamental to an interesting world.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Georgia O'Keeffe. She did her own thing, her own way.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Jenny Kostecki-Shaw, Katherine Dunn, Andy Goldsworthy, and Ray Johnson.



Michelle Morin: Featherball

Released Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Featherball, by Michelle Morin.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Farm Sanctuary.

Michelle Morin is an illustrator and painter who lives and works on the North Shore of Massachusetts. She graduated with a BFA in painting and art history from Massachusetts College of Art. Her work combines elements of the natural world with intricate geometric patterns. When she is not painting, she is either planning her next move in her small but productive backyard garden, or stalking the elusive Sandhill Crane in the many protected marshlands of the north shore.



About the print:
Featherball is part of an ongoing series of nature collections where organic elements have amassed into new and abstract forms. The inspiration comes from the giant fern balls I saw perched up in the tree tops while hiking on the coast of Oregon.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof.

PURCHASE $30!




What has inspired you recently?
As simple as it may sound right now, I am mostly inspired by the transition from summer to autumn. I love witnessing four months worth of saturated green vegetation so quickly shift to a specific palette of burnt color, almost as if someone set fire to the season. I've also been really drawn to theBrown Pelican. They have such a beautiful form that is both elegant and prehistoric looking.

Why did you choose to pair Farm Sanctuary with your print?
I chose to pair Featherball with Farm Sanctuary because I have a deep respect for animals and believe they should not suffer. This organization has a unique solution for protecting these animals and for teaching the unfortunate consequences of factory farming.



How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I can't speak to this in any global sense, but I do believe in the ability for art to activate both curiosity and passion in an individual. These are two things I would consider as crucial ingredients for positive change.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Fred Tomaselli, because he is a self proclaimed "maximalist" who isn't afraid to cram his paintings with as much information and pattern as possible.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Jeremy Miranda.