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Archive for the ‘indie artist spotlights’ Category

Not too long ago, I was innocently browsing online when a jar of Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves spoke to me:

Don’t you love my beautiful lines and shading? Look at my luscious rosy watercolors, my checkered lid. Do I not stand out from the hundreds of food illustrations you see every day?

The jam was spreading it on thick, but it had a good point. There was something pure and serene about its singular beauty. Detailed and realistic, it had that charming handmade quality I always fall for.

“Bonne Maman” is by Boston-based artist, illustrator and graphic designer Kendyll Hillegas, whose work “focuses on capturing the emotional and narrative significance of food and everyday objects.” Using a combination of colored pencil, gouache, and ink, she creates a delectable world of ooey gooey cakes, cheery popsicles, tempting doughnuts, cupcakes, and reach-out-and-bite-me muffins, breads, and bagels.

She invites us to appreciate anew the pleasing design of a bottle of San Pellegrino or Heinz Ketchup, the rumpled comfort of a bag of King Arthur Unbleached Flour. A bowl of soup, a stack of pancakes, a double scoop ice cream cone — we all have emotional connections to these familiar foods and like to hear and share good stories about them.

 

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Emma modeling an Orla Kiely for Uniqlo floral t-shirt.

I can’t remember whether it was “La Petit Patisserie” or “The Flower Shop” that initially caught my eye, only that it was love at first sight and I wanted more.

I soon discovered that the artist behind these winsome and enchantingly feminine illustrations was none other than 20-something-year-old Emma Block of London, England.

Click to see the process behind “The Flower Shop”

Inspired by vintage clothing, 30’s jazz, 50’s illustrations, old photos, travel and people watching, Emma’s work is delightfully retro and thoroughly modern at the same time. Using paint, colored pencil, ink, cut-paper collage and Photoshop, she creates charming, spritely, a little bit quirky, always refreshing pictures in an inimitable style that has a distinctive handmade quality about it.

“La Petit Patisserie” is available as an archival print via Etsy.

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In a small corner of the second-hand bookshop she runs with her fiancé in Arad, Romania, Alina Bunaciu of hanaletters works her needle and felt magic to create her very own enchanted fairy tale world.

Inspired by her love of illustrated children’s books, vintage postcards, dolls, miniatures, and Korean pop culture, Alina has tapped into the very essence of “kawaii” cuteness with her sweet and whimsical doll characters and wee forest friends.

Nerdy Teddy

Ever since Cornelius first spotted Alina’s Nerdy Teddy a few months ago, we’ve been smitten with her handmade brooches and necklaces. We definitely have a thing for animals wearing glasses and adorable/slightly cheeky girls donning animal hats and mustaches.

Simple lines, bright colors, charming details, and a feeling of innocence define Alina’s creations. She named her business, “hanaletters,” after the Japanese word for flower. She designs, cuts and sews everything herself, and there’s a flower growing in a hidden place on each of her brooches. ✿

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Eek! There’s a mouse in the house!

They’ve invaded the Alphabet Soup kitchen. But we don’t mind one bit, because they’re all handmade by indie artists and want you to adopt them. Perfect stocking stuffers for the cheese heads on your gift list. Twelve, for the Twelve Days of Christmas; includes a couple of patterns/kits for you do-it-yourselfers (clickety click). Catch them before they run up the clock. :)

christmasmouse

Merino Wool Little Christmas Mouse by feltingdreams

micepattern

Mischievous Mice PDF email knitting pattern

beigemouse

Needle Felted Beige Mouse by HelenDream

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pilgrims

Pilgrim Dolls (John and Priscilla Alden) by Uneek Doll Designs

Of course I’m referring to the nine perky, uncommonly good-looking, crazy-talented women who’ve visited Alphabet Soup this past year to share their wares in our Indie Artist Spotlight series.

heart tree editIf, like me, you’ve already shifted into holiday gift-buying mode, you’re probably hungry for some good ideas. Supporting independent artists is always a win-win — your lucky friends and relatives receive unique heartmade-handmade gifts, and you’re helping to ensure that these ingenious, inventive people can continue to make the world a more beautiful place with their delightful creations.

Just to refresh your memory, I’m linking to all the Spotlight interviews and sharing two new items from each of their Etsy shops. Click on any image to be taken directly to the listing. Be quick about it, especially if you want to place a custom order. Enjoy!

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