Tag Archives: collage

Barbara Dziadosz

Came across these joyous images by German born illustrator Barbara Dziadosz. Barbara’s work is instantly recognizable with her gangly characters in their everyday adventures in a bubblegum pink and pineapple coloured world. Read more…

Valero Doval

Currently based in Spain, Valero Doval is a freelance collage artist who works in a creative mix of editorial commissions, installations and his own personal work. His collages predominately consist of vintage imagery juxtaposed with modern illustration bringing wit and narrative to his pictures.

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Emma Block

emma birdThis young artist is big in publishing, fashion and other media circles, you will understand why once you look at her work. Random House Canada, Bloomsbury, Harper Collins, TeNeues, Hardie Grant, Blue Apple Books, UNIQLO, and Orla Kiel are just some of the clients Emma Block has been commissioned by.

I have got to say looking through her portfolio I like her own personal project work inspired by old films, books, hobbies and day to day life. I can definitely learn something from Block’s techniques since I work primarily with the same medias, paper craft, ink and watercolour. The way she uses cut out silhouettes of paper combined with watercolours adds another dimension and different focus points to her illustrations.

Emma block secret gardenemma block mothers daygrace kelly ebparis ebEmma Block Cinderella

emma block flowersemma block dogs

The Frog Prince

The frog prince1

The Frog Prince fable demonstrates how people tend to judge too quickly on what they see – ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ derives from such teachings. Compared to some of the other Grimms teachings this particular saying crops up in everyday situations or rather it should. Unfortunately some people analyse too quickly on what they see which can result in inaccurate perceptions about situations or people. I know I do it and I don’t even realise I’m doing it..it’s like a reflex!

The Frog Prince fable taken on by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm became the first story in their collection. In most versions of this tale the frog prince’s spell is broken by the kiss of the princess/heroine of the story. In the Brothers Grimm version, there is no lovers kiss but a wall slap! Rather comically The Frog Prince asks the princess if he can sleep on her other pillow sharing the bed with her. She doesn’t want him to get the wrong idea and responds by throwing him at the bedroom wall which breaks the spell revealing his original identity, a human prince.

I have deliberately kept the gold ball out of this design (another small part of the Grimm story) because I would like it to be printed in gold foiling if I eventually get it turned into a card. It will be at the top of the fountain. It was an interesting experiment using several different medias to create this illustration. Got me really thinking about what medias can work together well visually and which ones don’t work so well. Notice the heart lily pads? I had fun making those.

You can find a bigger scale of this design in my portfolio by clicking on Fable Designs

Snippets of Inspiration

Fables/Fairy Tales/ Enchanting Stories

These playful yet serious and meaningful tales have been regurgitated into many forms, a lot of which people fail to recognize where they come from. Like with everything, often only the more well known stories stay with us yet there are so many that have been forgotten or missed. From a visual perspective what attracts me to fables are the illustrations, traditional and modern. How these narratives are pictured in a few images and the style of the illustrations themselves is what captures my interest. 

My designs are based on various fables that I feel I can recreate and simplify to relate to current society – as don’t forget when a lot of these stories were first published a very different audience was being read to.  So far I have been focusing on the Brothers Grimm fables just because there is such a huge array tales by them, some very famous one’s and some very unknown. 

When I initially start thinking about design ideas I usually do an inspiration board or mood board to help focus my ideas and really get something on paper as I am the type who gets distracted easily. I particularly find my love for other people’s work gets in the way of me starting my own sketches! Mood boards are super fun and easy way to start the foundation of a design, they project where your coming from at the beginning of a concept, and they help support you at the final stages, I often come back to them when I need to refocus. I like looking at other people’s mood boards as well, they make interesting wall art.

I usually do mood boards on a pin board, finding images and collating them until I have enough. This time I used photoshop, I'm a newbie with it for sure and I want to be able to use it more skillfully, this took a lot longer than usual to do, but was worth it!

I usually do mood boards on a pin board, finding images and collating them until I have enough. This time I used photoshop, I’m a newbie with it for sure and I want to be able to use it more skillfully, this took a lot longer than usual to do, but was worth it!


I used a couple of images from some artists and crafts people, the toad watercolour is by an artist called Daniel Mackie, you can find his blog here: http://danielmackie.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/the-frog/. I often look at his use of colour to help me think about how I want to do colour splashes in my designs and he also gets me thinking about perspective. Very fond of the Girl with the Frog umbrella print  http://www.thedmcollection.com/product/girl-with-the-frog-umbrella-card

I used the Letter E from this talented artisan who posts her work at http://thesumofallcrafts.blogspot.co.uk/.

In the bottom left corner, the black cat illustration is by Rudyard Kipling for his Just so Stories – one of the many books I grew up with and still treasure.

The central image with the glowing house is by Kay Nielsen – his interpretation of the Brothers Grimm fable Hansel and Gretel. I adore Nielsen’s illustrations! I will definitely do posts that primarily focus on his works as they are so enchanting.