Brave the Woods is a design and illustration studio based in Texas, comprised of duo Brad & Krystal Woodard. They create retro inspired illustrations with strong graphic design sensibilities. Some of their clients include Target, Old Navy, Honda, Urban Outfitters, Microsoft, and the History Channel.
Their styles vary per project, drawing inspiration from a range of sources and experiences. Though, looking across their portfolio, I can see the influence of UPA in their character design and a touch of Alexander Girard in their graphic design. The typography is also a key element of their work. Always in keeping with the overall piece, their type is playful and fun without compromising the clarity.
Brave the Woods also have a shop called Brave Outpost. It is jam-packed with goodies from Books to T-Shirts. With great prices too, it is definitely worth perusing.
Martin Brown, along with his partner in crime Terry Deary, are heroes to parents and children across the world. Their combined efforts on Horrible Histories has made reading and learning more fun and accessible to many. Their work, along with their publisher’s Scholastic, have spawn over 100 titles, animated and live-action TV series, video games, theatre and roadshows, a magazine, and a plethora of merchandising. Spanning two decades, Horrible Histories is nothing short of a phenomenon.
Martin Brown was born 1959 in Melbourne, Australia. After setting his mind on teaching he went to college to become an art teacher. However, he didn’t see it through, rather after a short couple of years working in television, Brown packed his bags and set off to see the world. Like many Aussies, he made his way to London, but unlike most he decided to stay. One can only assume it was the sun and pace of life that persuadedstar him. Alternatively, it could have been that fact that he started to get work in what he loved doing, drawing.
Brown worked his way up, starting from the odd illustration to greeting cards.
Side note, I went through a phase of collecting greeting cards. Buying one if I ever saw an illustration I liked. Martin Brown’s work being a perticular favourite of mine, I still have them stored away.
Building up a reputation, Brown soon started drawing for magazines and books. His career got the boost it needed when he landed the job of illustrating Peter Corey’s book, Coping With Parents. The book was published by Hippo Books, an imprint of Scholastic, beginning Brown’s fruitful relationship them. More recently, Martin Brown illustrated a re-issue of The Adventures of the New Cut Gang. Written by the esteemed Philip Pullman, of His Dark Materials fame.
I have waited and hoped for Martin Brown to claim a corner of the internet where he can put up some of his more personal work, amongst his commercial ones. Sadly that wait goes on. However, for now you can find his illustrations all over the Horrible Histories website. You can, of coarse, just go to your bookshelf and get down your copy of a Horrible Histories book, we all have (at least) one!
Rhode Island resident, Nicholas Kole, is an illustrator and character designer. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Kole graduated in 2009, and since has gone on to work with games companies, animation studios and comic publishers. Some of his clients include Riot Games, Electronic Arts, Disney Publishing, Hasbro, Puma and Dark Horse Comics.
We have a real mixed bag of styles and media from today’s feature, Ewa Ludwiczak. Born in Poland and currently living in Berlin, Ms Ludwiczak is a freelance illustrator specialising in tradition materials, in particular watercolours.
Ms Ludwiczak has illustrated various children’s books but has an obvious keenness towards fairy tales. Recently she has been showcasing a lot of portraiture and figures drawing on her Facebook page. The figures themselves sit still as a mouse, as she using watercolours to create loose and expressive imagery with splashes, drips, and small dabs of bold colours. They are beautiful and a delightful progression of her work.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan Elsa Chang moved to the United States when she was just a year old. She studied and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Ms Chang is primarily a concept artist and character designer, and has shared her talents with Dreamworks Animation, Paramount Animation, Sony Pictures Animation and Disney. She is currently working as a character designer at Nickelodeon Animation.
Elsa Chang has worked on both TV and feature animations as well as in 2012 she illustrated the Pixar Brave book for Disney Publishing. You can read an excellent interview with Ms Chang on the Character Design blog, where she discusses her process and inspirations. You can also find more of Elsa Chang’s illustrations on her website, blog, and tumblr.