1. 9

    Oct 2015

    Fashion Fridays ~ Carl Erickson (1891 – 1958)

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    Carl Oscar August Erickson was a prolific American advertising and fashion illustrator, born 1892 in Joliet, Illinoise. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago for two years. Whilst at art school people began calling him “Eric”. The nickname stuck and would later adopt it as his signature. At the start of his career he worked for advertising agencies such as Marshall Field, and Lord & Thomas (now FCB). In 1914 Erickson move to New York, and continued to illustrate for advertising.

    He made the transition into fashion drawing his first fashion illustration for the trade journal, the Dry Goods Economist. A short while later, in 1916, made his debut for Vogue magazine. He fell in love and married a fellow Vogue illustrator, Lee Creelman. The two moved to Paris in 1920, where Erickson began illustrating for the French edition of Vogue and drawing society portraits. The couple lived in France for two decades but were forced to return to American due to the invasion of Paris in the Second World War.

    By 1925, Erickson was a regular artist for Vogue magazine and a dominate figure in the fashion world. He developed a working relationship with French fashion designers Pierre Balmain and Cristóbal Balenciaga, as well as collaborating with artist René Bouët-Willaumez and René Bouché. Erickson continued to work until his death in 1958. After his death, he had the unique honor of two retrospectives of his work hosted by the Brooklyn Museum and Parsons School of Design. One in 1959 and the second in 1964.

    Throughout his career Erickson was focused and hard-working. Constantly practicing and making studies, taking his sketchbook wherever he went, from restaurants to theaters. For each published magazine piece, he would make a multitude of preliminary sketches. He would also always draw from life, and never drew without a model. He used many different types of media included charcoal, pencil, Chinese ink, watercolor, and gouache. He was referred to as “the Toulouse-Lautrec of America” and in 1982 was inducted to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.

    You can find a lot of Carl Erickson’s work around the web as well as some in some fashion books, such as 100 Years of Fashion. There is also a 128-page book, Fashion Drawings in Vogue: Carl Erickson, that was published in 1989. A good condition copy can sell for quite a bit, but you can still find pretty cheap second-hand ones on Amazon.

  2. 8

    Oct 2015

    Storytime Magazine

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    We were recently contacted by independent publisher’s Luma Works about their new self-funded magazine called Storytime. I could not possibly attempt to better the words hey used to describe the magazine, so here is what they had:

    Storytime features classic children’s tales, including fairy tales, poems, folk tales, fables and myths & legends, all written in a fun & accessible way. Our aim is to encourage kids to fall in love with stories and improving their literacy. What really helps to sets the magazine apart is the wonderful illustrations we specially commission. Every month we select talented illustrators from all over the world to create beautiful, vibrant and exciting illustrations to really bring these classic tales to life – there’s no other kids’ magazine out there that commissions so many illustrators on a regular basis.

    Over the past year we have commissioned illustrations from over 75 wonderful artists from across the globe, and with a readership of 20,000, that’s a great platform for their work. We have a database of over 550 illustrators which we regularly update. We’re always delighted to receive new submissions as well!

    We’re keen to support illustrators with Storytime, and we’d love it if the illustration community could get behind us and help spread the word about us too! We are now offering a special discount for illustrators who want to subscribe to Storytime – either to read with their kids, or simply to enjoy the gorgeous work from our brilliant artists each month. Just visit our website

    It is a splendid project with a fervent focus on quality illustration. The list of talent is incredible, which also happens to includes many previous Lounge features, such as Alex Wilson, Aurore Damant, and Gaia Bordicchia. Deffinitly one to pick up for your children (but really yourself).

  3. 7

    Oct 2015

    Neil Packer

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    Today the Illustration Cupboard open its doors for their latest exhibition, The Iliad illustrated by Neil Packer. So now seems like a very appropriate time to also spotlight the much-loved Neil Packer.

    Born 1961, in the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, England. At just 11 days old, he and his family moved to Trinidad. Due to his father’s occupation they would continue to migrate throughout Neil Packer’s youth. Living in Libya, Scotland, Wales until finally settling back in England. All the while, the books of Alice and Martin Provensen and Richard Scarry would happily occupy his time and imagination. They helped him form a vision of the world outside of his North Africa home. They would continue to be a considerable source of inspiration for Packer throughout his life.

    After university, Packer found work as a graphic designer for small London advertising agencies. In 1984 he decided to dedicate his career to illustration. The fresh freelancer approached a publisher with an idea for a children’s book based on an obscure Victorian music hall song. To his surprise, the publisher took it up and so his very first book, The Rest of the Day Is Your Own, was published. Such an experience would later emerge to be a rarity, as it would take 22 years before he would got a chance to illustrate his next children’s book.

    What did he do in between that time? Quite a lot really. Packer would illustrate for packaging and advertising as well as a bounty of books. Including versions of I Claudius and Claudius the God, The Name of the Rose, Catch 22, The Satyrica, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Labyrinths, most of which, for the illustrious Folio Society. In 2013 he finally had his second children’s book published, The Odyssey. Written by the award-winning Gillian Cross and published by Walker Books, it is a retelling of Homer’s epic story. Packer’s vivid colour illustrations and graphic silhouettes breath new life to the millennia-old story.

    Which brings us up to the present. The triumphant combination of author and artist of The Odyssey worked together again tirelessly to bring it a follow-up and companion. The Iliad, released earlier this month transforms the tale of Homer’s tragedy. It is easily some of Neil Packer’s best work and wholly deserves the fanfare of a dedicated exhibition.

    The Iliad illustrated by Neil Packer will be running from today until the 24t October 2015. You cn find all the details the Illustration Cupboard website.

  4. 6

    Oct 2015

    Yukai Du

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    Yukai Du is an illustrator and animator from Guangzhou, China. She completed a Degree in Design and Visual Communications at the eminent London art school, Central Saint Martins. She also stayed an extra year to complete a Master’s Degree in Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects. Graduating last year, Du picked up a couple of prestigious student awards, including the coveted D&AD New Blood Wood Pencil for her Digitized Me entry.

    Now working in London, Du has already accumulated an impressive résumé, with clients including Adobe, WIRED UK, TED-Ed, Computer Arts, and BBC. Her design and animation skills are being put to good use at creative studio, M-I-E. Where she has collaborated on music videos, advertisements and marketing campaigns.

    Du’s illustrations make good use of simplified and exaggerated shapes, to a point of abstraction. Accentuated by extreme camera angles. Another recurring element, and perhaps most noticeable, has to be her painstaking pattern work. Which Du cleverly avoids becoming a distraction by using a limited colour palette. Sometimes, just three or four colours. All of which amalgamate to create some very surreal and compelling illustrations.

    You can find more of Yukai Du’s illustrations on her website, and her animations on her Vimeo.

  5. 6

    Oct 2015

    Giveaway ~ 21 Draw


    To celebrate the launch of the new 21 Draw Illustrator’s Guidebook kickstarter campaign, the fabulous fellows at 21 Draw have given us two copies of the original 21 Draw book to give away! Due to the book’s success, it in limited supply, so make sure you do not miss out.

    To enter, simply head to either our Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page and look out for the relevant post regarding this competition. The competition will end midnight (GMT) on the 25th October 2015.

    To find out more about the book, you can read our 21 Draw review. The new 21 Draw Illustrator’s Guidebook will be packed with more art and tutorials from top industry illustrators, so make sure you head over to Kickstarter and show your support for the project.

    Good Luck!

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