I had no idea I’d written quite so many posts over the last seven months, so trying to choose five of my favourite was something like placing a small child in the toy section at the Argos warehouse and telling them they would only have five things, and they couldn’t even have a look through the catalogue before choosing. Still, you asked for it, so here they are, in all of their flowery, miniature pastel-coloured glory.
Javier Mayoral (November 28)
2013 has been the year of internet memes, and in a sea of cats, Victorian ladies in black and white with speech bubbles voicing variations on “you’re a knob” and GIFs of Beyoncé dancing on every other Tumblr, I took refuge in these painted beauties by Javier Mayoral. A chef by profession, Javier paints an average of five of these a day, in his spare time, just because he likes to. They’re hilarious, offbeat and completely absurd, and I think they’re bloody brilliant.
Rosa Rendl: Photography (October 4)
A project about domestic interiors isn’t often the sort of thing I’d expect to be bouncing up and down on my chair about in excitement, but when they’re captured by Rosa Rendl’s lens and dreamily abstracted to the point where they’re almost unrecognisable, I’m happy to let that rule slide, and bounce to my heart’s content. These shots are all romantic pastel shades, unexpected angles and anonymous objects, and they’re the product of a uniquely abstract perspective. Lovely jubbly.
Anna Kövecses: Ábécés Könyv
Anna Kövecses’ book was one of my favourite projects this year for a number of reasons. Not only was her holiday project sweetly sentimental, as she created this gorgeous book to teach a four year-old family member the Hungarian alphabet, but it was also beautifully designed and illustrated, and I managed to namecheck Munching Mike, Talking Tess and Letterland in the article I wrote about it. If you’ve not yet seen the spreads from Ábécés Könyv then now’s the time; they’re a real treat.
Alber Napoleon Wildner: Miniature Photography (September 24)
Frankly, I don’t know what’s not to love about Alber Napoleon Wildner; his name sounds like it’s been nabbed straight from a cartoon about a childsize superhero, he creates unbelievable diorama models at a scale of 1:100 and the scenes, from outside nightclubs, suburban streets and Hollywood film scripts, are as weird as they are fantastic.
Janusz Stanny (August 12)
Polish designer Janusz Stanny is something like the uncredited grandfather of children’s book design; hints of his charming work seem to crop up all over the place in contemporary illustration, and as he’s taught unnameable students at Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts it’s not difficult to understand why. I thought his birthday was all the reason we needed to get his work up on the site and marvel at his characters. Don’t they look nice? They do. I was right all along.
- Submit Saturdays: First impressions and Cover Pages
- A futuristic framework for the retrospective of pioneering “total design” advocate Ove Arup
- Cool off with this week's Best of the Web and who to follow on social media
- Elena Éper's spirited illustrations to make you smile and squirm
- Pencil Bandit and Grey London produce quirky branded stings for E4
- Tommy Cash subverts the tropes of rap videos with a fleshy celebration of the human body (NSFW)
- Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity
- Chris (Simpsons Artist)'s surreal but accurate illustrations of creative jobs
- Benedict Redgrove’s beautifully hypnotic film about how a tennis ball is created
- Ian Davis’ picturesque paintings of bureaucratic dystopia
- Photographer Adrienne Salinger’s series of teenage bedrooms from the 90s
- Is it ever OK to work for free?