If you couldn’t already tell, we totally adore the fantastical paintings of Ms. Emily Martin. The Black Apple artist illustrates whimsical portraits of young’uns and couples that feature vintage-tinged color pallets with woodland animal-accents, carnival-undertones and musical themes woven throughout each canvas. Her art also takes on a romantic vibe with darling depictions of love, heartbreak and innocence, which you can sample below, and spy on her collection over at Etsy.
Under the handle, Pretty Little Thieves, this LA-based artist creates a myriad of mini-canvas portraits, ink illustrations and colorful drawings portraying somber looking boys and girls. Tinted in vibrant colors ranging from pastels to primaries, each portrait is simple in concept—with saccharine facial features scribed onto each illustration—yet become complex, mesmerizing works of art through the artist’s use of color and pattern. Geometric and linear forms adorn the subjects’ cheeks and hair, with some paintings featuring simple dashes, while others take on a sea of lines that curve and swirl into lush black-and-white illustrations that pop with bits of color. Enjoy some of the lovely paintings Pretty Little Thieves whips up below.
John Malta is a magical, NYC-based artist with an affinity for The Beets and an exemplary use of color. He has an impressive list of exhibitions and clients under his belt, with work that has been featured in a slew of publications, as well as on band posters, all the while earning an MFA in the arts. Check out his killer illustrated interview with Doodlers Anonymous, and more of his mind-bending work below.
Under the moniker Sweet Bestiary, this London-stationed artist has created a collection of whimsical, nature-evoking creatures, alongside stripe-adorned retro sculptures. With clay in tow, each petite piece is hand-sculpted, air dried and dolled-up with acrylic paint—lending every bust, brooch and finger puppet a pop of personality with the hand-drawn swirly designs, vintage doll-reminiscent facial features and woodland creature characteristics that adorn most of her work. And while her collections of rabbit, deer and fox ear-donning art bring about a magical feel, her series of retro swimmers and pairs from the ‘40’s and ‘50’s are equally as jaw-dropping, with her characters boasting petaled swimming caps, old school digs and mustaches, respectively. Check out more of Sweet Bestiary’s clay darlings below.
Chances are you’ve already spied the amazing art Zack Nipper has churned out over the years, but do you know who he is? As the graphic artist over at Saddle Creek, he has fashioned many a lauded album cover and design—with his Bright Eyes collaborations garnering him lots of recognition. His original work comes in many mediums, with illustrations, needlework, appliques, cut-paper collages and sculptures topping the list. And while Nipper’s pieces might appear simple in design, they are anything but, with lots of hard work put into each hand-made work of art.
Collaborating with Conor Oberst, the magical concept, design and artwork created for Cassadaga—which features black and white optical illusions and secret messages—earned the Omaha-stationed artist a Grammy award. Zack transformed Conor’s musical themes of spiritualism, mysticism and the occult into visual art via three pyramids amidst a celestial drop, while for the record’s whimsical design, he drew inspiration from vintage ouija boards, and created starry-backed drawings for hidden, multilingual phrases.
Turning to textile art, Nipper fashioned patchwork sculptures of imaginary beasts, which he photographed in grayscale for the cover of There Is No Beginning To The Story, and then took to the embroidery needle a few years later for the brownstone-embossed covers of the Lua single and I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning.
For the latest Bright Eyes album, The People’s Key, Zack went “old-school,” reverting back to the cut-paper collage designs he created for earlier Bright Eyes albums, like that of Every Day And Ever Night. Piecing together hand-cut yellow, orange, red and black paper flames one-by-one onto an art board using a surgical scalpel and glue, the album-making process took an astounding amount of time, but payed off in the end, with the “wall of fire” concept that Conor wanted intact. And although this is rumored to be the last Bright Eyes record, we can only hope Zack will continue to create amazing cover art for the singer-songwriter’s future endeavors. Check out the collection of wonderful album covers Mr. Nipper has designed below.
Dolling up My Little Pony figurines with pop-culture makeovers, artist Mari Kasurinen transforms an old fave into an innovative collection of art, with ponies channeling the likes of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ziggy Stardust, Andy Warhol, Edward Scissorhands and more. Unite childhood nostalgia and pop-culture with this killer art compilation below!
Best known under the moniker for her other-worldly band, Bat For Lashes, Natasha Khan not only has an electrifying music career — complete with mystifying, danceable tunes, an angelic voice, eccentric stage outfits and magical make-up — but she dabbles in the realm of visual arts, as well. With a soft-spot for shadow-puppetry, the adorbs Brit has created quirky, fairy-tale-esque scenes (like the piece above), and gorgeous illustrations that pop with bits of vibrant color. And while not much of her visual art is available right now, with just a few pieces published on her website, hopefully Ms. Khan’s art endeavors will explode just like her music. Check out some of the songstress’s art here and here.