October Workshops at Little Paper Planes

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Our October workshops are up in the online shop! (and in shop as well) Go check it out, we’ve got some great stuff lined up for y’all!

Now Featuring Will Bryant

Will Bryant’s color-charged compositions throb with enthusiasm and kinetic imagery. An accomplished illustrator and designer, he’s also growing a body of personal work that’s loose, fun, and inviting.

Print 1, Worn Out But Grinning Through It

Print 1, Worn Out But Grinning Through It

Print 2, No One Cleans the Baseboards Anymore

Print 2, No One Cleans the Baseboards Anymore

MH: Can you talk about how you got into design and illustration? It sounds like it wasn’t always your path and that something sparked for you in college. 

WB: Illustration was not really on my radar until undergrad at Mississippi State. Honestly, I didn’t know what illustration or graphic design was until an intro class with Kate Bingaman-Burt (one of my best friends/mentor/hero). I had some “creative endeavors” in high school and was into things outside the average classmate, but what I ended up having a career doing is a total surprise. I attended Mississippi State because my parents did, and I grew up cheering for the Bulldogs—not very good reasons. I thought that I would major in business, but the fear of numerous math classes and the charm of a dilapidated art building turned me towards graphic design. The  program and community inspired me to pursue a lot of personal projects and take a few painting classes.

One of those projects was a deejay persona called The Hooded Deer. I wore costumes on stage at ridiculously themed dance parties that I organized. This was a very important creative outlet for me. Not only was it a way of making friends (art and social practice, if you will), but a critical outlet for conveying personality through stage installations, costumes, merch, and promo material.

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It was such a cool time! It started out as house parties for 30 and 60 people then turned into 150 people dancing in the best dive bar in Starkville, MS. Eventually it became a full on stage production with legit sound systems, lighting, and projections for 900+ people in an old theatre in Columbus, MS. One of the larger parties featured a 22 foot tall skeleton made out of LED tubes with a laser coming out of its mouth that my crew installed for a halloween show! Imagine Dan Deacon (Wham City) meets Richard Simmons meets Southern Hospitality.

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MH: How did you find your way as a freelancer? It’s such a jump to be developing your creative voice and simultaneously finding your footing running your own business.

WB: The short answer is through making a ton of work and cultivating relationships with amazing people. While in undergrad I started cranking out loads of projects outside my classes: making personal work, experimenting, and reaching out to bands I really admired to make posters for them. Early on I also contributed to a few art/design blogs that helped get my name out there as well.

After undergrad, my involvement in the Austin based studio collective Public School helped me figure out how to run a business. This group of guys is consists of entrepreneurs, photographers, designers, and artists that have worked with such a wide range of clients and started several businesses. The relationships, connections, and general knowledge of running a creative endeavor contributed to a lot of my early client work as well as figuring out how to do my taxes, invoice clients, make presentation decks, and all the other professional aspects you don’t always learn in school. All of this ultimately snowballed into a full-time career of doing what I love that has continually shifted over the past decade.

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MH: Who are the characters in your art and illustration? When a client approaches you, or when you sit down to work on a personal project, what are you pulling from inside yourself, you or specific vocabulary, as it were?

WB: I try pulling from a range of influences and experiences to convey a particular tone or energy with each piece—regardless if it’s for a client or personal. A lot of my client work is personal work as I’m intentionally forgetting where I draw the line between the two.

I find personal work, that I’m into/proud of, is much harder for me to generate. It’s easier for me to jam out some flowing pattern piece or linework study, but things that feel “new” or “interesting” don’t come so easy. The really good work just takes time in the studio and might come in spurts. When working with a client I find the process much easier and clearer—there are goals, objectives, and deadlines to dictate and motivate each decision. I like this process, but also like the freedom of making work for the gallery. Each year I feel like my mix of these two types of projects is getting to a more enjoyable balance.

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MH: Perhaps as a follow up — can you talk about humor in your work, and how it relates to themes of sports and office life (best combined in the blue ribbons for participation in a meeting that could have been an email). Do these themes emerge because they’re relatable or are they coming from something inside yourself?

WB: I rarely sit down and come up with an idea based on a problem. It happens! But not always. Most of my humorous pieces come from a personal experience and often sneak up on me while I least expect it (in the shower, during a run, or during a conversation at a bar).

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That meeting ribbon idea (“I survived another meeting that should have been an email”) came to me after leaving a meeting…it just felt like such a waste of everyone’s time to go over a printed PDF that I had already looked at in my inbox and literally had no questions about it. Why did we waste paper? Why did someone drive across town to do this? “Ok, great to see you, thanks for the coffee, ok bye! I’ll send you an email about this meeting that we could have just covered in a two minute email.” So dumb! But that ribbon is very relatable, regardless of profession or industry, people get it. That’s really the only thing I’ve made that has circulated in such a way.

Most of my other humorous pieces aren’t as relatable to a broader audience—typically more quirky or obscure or just not that funny!

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MH: After building a successful freelancing career, why did you decide to take time to do graduate studies in fine art, in a program that didn’t focus on design or illustration? Now that you’re a few years out from that period of study, what do you think you gleaned from it? 

WB: I really felt the need to challenge myself and push my work into new directions, and graduate school seemed like the best opportunity to do this. I also wanted to live outside of the south for the first time and was wanting to move to Portland, OR, to once again join forces with Kate Bingaman-Burt. She was head of my graduate committee and I was her TA. We shared studio spaces together, co-taught classes, and did workshops together. Such an incredible time!

As for the graduate program (MFA Studio Art Practice at Portland State University), it was ridiculously challenging for me to go into fine art academia after a few years of mostly making commercial illustration work. The first year was brutal. It was overwhelming and confusing—I’ve never been filled with so much self-doubt about every single decision in nearly every aspect of life. I was conceptually and aesthetically pushed, and stretched in a way that could only happen in grad school.

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The exposure to different corners of the art world, diving into performative and video art, pretty much everything that would be categorized as contemporary art, was so fresh. I really tried to push myself and make more conceptually driven work. The visiting artist lecture series allowed me to have studio visits with artists such as Brian Bress, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Wendy White, Anna Craycroft, and Olaf Burning.

These visits were influential on my practice, just being able to talk to established artists about making work in an academic art institution and what it’s like afterwards. Looking back on my MFA experience, I know for certain my work wouldn’t be where it is today. While I’m not showing in many galleries nor is my work more politically challenging after my grad studies, I think it has matured in a lot of ways. I am much more aware of my influences, and can approach projects, especially installations, with a different perspective that I had before. I also have a much easier time sorting personal work and client work, as my motivations and intentions are different for each. Was it worth the money? Yes. Have I paid it off yet? Nope. Ha!

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Raymie Iadevaia

raymie adevaia

“I’m looking for the gaudy. Thick, garish, and fierce. My gaudiness is about intensity, density, and the provocation to frazzle—a clowder of cats—their eyes sparkle in the night. A delusion of grandeur heavily weighted by its own encrusted mass. I paint things over again and again to get to this encrusted mass. An accretion of imagery—driving in Los Angeles can be a gaudy experience—a profusion of dabs—iridescent pavement—colorful strokes, smears, stains, washes, tangents, indentations building up a surface.

The main thing is to know how to set about it, to be able to concentrate your attention on a single detail, to forget yourself sufficiently to bring about the desired hallucination and so substitute the vision of a reality for the reality itself.1

The gaudy is a fragrant saturation. Devotion, desire, and detail are the dials that gauge the grandeur of the gaudy. Like a cat brushing its head on objects to scent and communicate with a space (bunting), I paint things over again and again with an obsession to get closer to the texture of the world. My paintings are a filmy membrane of translucence, not opaque as to block or impede sight, and not transparent, as to cloak or be an unerring wraith, unattainable to vision, but rather a glowing mesh that gleans new sights—To cast the glamour. Painting as an engine of endurance that frazzles the senses, pushes the body to the brink of exhaustion while holding it there locked in suspended animation. Frazzled with feeling. In short, exhausted, but craving more.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.2

1 Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against Nature (A Rebours), 1884 2 Mae West, On Sex, Health and ESP, 1975″

You can see more of Raymie’s work here and on instagram.

all text and imagery from raymieiadevaia.com

 

Kumi Yamashita

KumiYamashita

Kumi Yamashita (山下 工美 Yamashita Kumi) is a New York City–based Japanese artist. Yamashita is best known for her light and shadow sculptures constructed from everyday objects.

To see more of her work, click here.

Clare Owen

ClareOwens

Clare Owen is a freelance Illustrator and Designer currently based In Bristol, UK.

To see more of her work, click here.

Tracy Ma

TracyMa

” Tracy is a graphic designer. She can illustrate, design, lead teams, make zines, teach, animate, design for the web, produce events, and think creatively. She is great at collaborating and enjoys working with others … She studied graphic design in Canada and lives in Chinatown, New York. It reminds her of Hong Kong, where she immigrated from in 1996.”

You can see more of Tracy’s work here and on Instagram.

All text and images from tracyma.com/KXUeZ/KTYlZ/.

Now Featuring Lindsay Stripling

Lindsay Stripling makes paintings that speak to possibility. Accessible, figurative, and peopled with a diverse population of alter-egos, Stripling paints parallel spaces and stories in watercolor. Even her most off-putting tableaux also speak to our ability to experiment and reimagine.

Exclusive Print 1

Exclusive Print 1, Triptych

Exclusive Print 2

Exclusive Print 2, Cloud Blowers

Exclusive Print 3 , Ouroboros

Exclusive Print 3 , Ouroboros

MH: To get started, can you talk about the people and creatures we meet in your paintings? Who are they? And where are they?

LS: My paintings are filled with people and creatures I have met, who are maybe partly me and who are from my imagination. I am interested in creating a world in which anyone can insert themselves, so I use masks and intentionally use different body types and skin tones. I also intentionally mainly use women and androgynous creatures because I think providing a space for women, non-gender conforming, queer, trans and basically all people to exist where they are not continuously objectified and instead are able to be a part of something more interesting, have power and be powerful is important.

The world my creatures inhabit exists partly here and now and partly in my dreams, in a universe that doesn’t quite exist yet and doesn’t make logical sense. It’s one peel of an onion away, close enough to feel relevant but far enough to blur my vision.

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MH: What are the stories (literature, myths, your own narratives) that have influence you and the scenes that you paint?

LS: I have always been very interested in alternate realities, fairy tales, folk tales and stories from the future and how they can reveal and create discussion around our current situations. I am influenced by authors like Haruki Murakami, Helen Oyeyemi, Angela Carter and Walter Moers, but I am equally influenced by movies, TV, and music. I always come back to shows like The Fringe (or anything from JJ Abrams), Star Trek, ET, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Tremors… and I love B sic-fi movies from the ‘70s and ‘80s.

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MH: How do you think about narrative— do the stories/characters come to you before the images or vice versa?

LS: While narrative is super important for me is difficult for me to pinpoint where it begins— I usually start with an inkling of an idea or a scene, and begin painting, the painting typically begins to build upon itself. Usually what I thought it would be ends up being far from what it becomes. Often I try to create multiple scenes within one image, creating multiple entry points and even exit points.

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MH: How do you use whimsy and humor as tools in your work?

LS: I find whimsy and things people view as cute or pretty as places to trick people into having more interesting and subversive conversation. I love it when I have a pastel-colored painting that is filled with missing limbs and sea monsters. I strive to have my work have the same effect as old fairy tales; our initial idea of them is pop, full color Disney cartoons, and then when we look at the underlying narrative and its cultural history it becomes grotesque and has so much more to say. I like that. I find that both whimsy and humor are great ways to lure people in— they also help me to not take myself so seriously!

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MH: I see that you also teach art. I am always curious how teaching might influence the teacher’s own practice. Have you experienced that?

LS: Definitely. I teach adult education watercolor classes, and I struggled for years to figure out ways to make painting and drawing more approachable to people who have never painted or drawn. What I’ve discovered over the years is to firstly make it quick, none of us really have long attention spans anymore so I focus a lot on bite sized information and how to make it easily digestible. Secondly, nobody likes to leave a class they’ve paid $100 for feeling inept or frustrated, so I try to make being loose a tool. Often beginning watercolor students use way too much water, and that’s because controlling saturation levels is really difficult and also being patient and waiting for paint to dry is painful without practice. So I try to encourage students to use the messy, unpredictable quality of overly wet watercolor in their favor, and to understand how to gain certain effects while trying to control chaos— so students leave feeling empowered.

Most of my lesson plans emphasize imperfection and nuance and I think over the years it’s begun to show in my own paintings. If I stress less about depicting a perfect tree, which as an A type person I normally want to do, then I can focus more on the larger image.

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MH: What are you working on now, and what are you longing to work on, but for whatever reason (resources, time, courage, opportunity) haven’t gotten to yet??

LS: I am currently in a three month residency at Irving Street Projects in the Outer Sunset. I am doing a large, ten painting panorama of Ocean Beach, as well as making some mobiles and other interactive portions to the space. I am hoping to get to do more residencies. It’s nice to think larger and outside my comfort zone, I have been really wanting to do more murals recently too.

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Stephanie Deangelis

stephaniedeangelis

Stephanie Deangelis is an illustrator and graphic designer living in Los Angeles, CA.  To see more of her work, click here.

Willian Santiago

williansantiago

Willian Santiago is a Brazilian illustrator.

You can see more of his work here and here.

Harriet Lee Merrion

harrietlee

Harriet Lee Merrion is an illustrator based in Bristol, U.K.  Her washed palette and delicate line work are influenced by botanical engravings, surrealism and Japanese woodblock prints.  Represented by Heart Agency, Merrion has worked with various international magazines and publishers.

 

To see more of her work, click here.