Portrait16

Anna is a writer and illustrator who joined us as an editorial intern after studying at Cambridge University and Falmouth university. She wrote for the site between January and March 2013.

87 articles
  1. Things-list

    This week Things finds it’s form shooting other things from the treetops of it’s Beano-reading youth, loves illustrated haikus about disappointing sex, finds fun in a girls’ mag and likes three lovely, very different, well-printed posters. Go on, have a gander.

  2. Sign-painters

    “I want to make signs that turn into art,” a seasoned sign painter says in Faythe Levine and Sam Macon’s new documentary. Elegant, hand-painted signs on walls and shops were once ubiquitous and the craft was studied. But though you can still see traces on old bricks around town, traditional signs are nowadays hard to come by.

  3. Woodcum-htec-list

    Woodcum’s Flickr stream is an unusual jumble of surreal nostalgia in drawings, collages and appropriated photos. But it’s the young Russian’s illustrations that took our fancy with their lovely line work, faded colours, and worn and grainy textures.

  4. Nieves

    Nieves, the champion zine and artists’ books publishers based in Zurich, have just released this covetable, limited edition package bringing together all 18 of their inky numbers from the past year.

  5. Marykatherine-list3

    Perhaps these only seem creepy because of the grey, grainy quality, and only seem voyeuristic when the edge of a window frame is caught in the corner of a long shot. But there’s no doubt medieval castles and topiary gardens mix the romantic and sinister like little else. And when up close they’re no more than crumbling dreamlands pruned for tourists, it’s always a bit disappointing. Still, they make great photos, as too do weirdly verdant seaside miniature golf courses. These photos are all by young architect (Mary) Katherine Spence, and were very sweetly taken on her mum’s Canon film camera dating from the year she was born.

  6. Anton-van-hertbruggen-list

    We’re over the moon to have discovered Anton Van Hertbruggen. Whether illustrating adventures with giraffes in tents or star gazing in suburbia, Anton uses space beautifully, has a delicate line and the loveliest palette of blues. At only 22 the illustrator from Antwerp’s style is impressively assured.

  7. Thing-list-9-march

    Out of the straw-stuffed Things box this week emerges the sweetest ceramic pet, two brother’s black and white graphic panel show, an epic feline adventure in wild lands, stop/go/do/don’t drawings and some recycled images. Let’s get stuck in, shall we?

  8. Sturmey-archer-list

    In 1902 Henry Sturmey, James Archer and Frank Bowden (founder of Raleigh bicycles) revolutionised cycling with the invention of the 3-speed gear hub. Billed as “The Gear That Makes Cycling Easy” it seemed to make any mountain surmountable. Sturmey-Archer produced gear hubs throughout the next century and garnered a loyal following of cycling connoisseurs in the process.

  9. Comics-workbook-list

    Comics Workbook is a Tumblr featuring cartoonists’ works-in-progress, brief bespoke comics, and comics reviews in comics form. There’s an incredible, inspiring range of work – honest and mucky, they feel fresh from the page they were inked on. It was set up by and curated by Frank Santoro who through this and his other work offers great comics guidance and platforms for budding and established cartoonists.

  10. Bruce-mackay-sml

    One of the best bits of a ship are the circular windows at or below the height of the waves. Cape Town-based illustrator and typographer Bruce Mackay has drawn a series of these portholes (or at least porthole-shaped scenes) in blue, green and red pen and ink. They show wild, patterned waves and a haul of flotsam and jetsam; there’s a boat bobbing on the head of a whale, Poseidon/Neptune, a skeleton with an arrow in his heart drifting down a bloody stream and twisted sea snakes. Of Starboard Portholes he says he was “trying to capture the churning that would happen if a massive serpent were to uncoil at open sea.”

  11. Wolves-list

    Valentina’s delicate and haunting new single Wolves gets a beautiful visual accompaniment in Richard Forbes-Hamilton’s video. From an eerie, hesitant beginning the track builds momentum to become almost anthemic. Through flickering blue and purple brushstrokes a young boy appears, his towering surroundings disintegrate and lights explode. Half-way through, echoing heartbeats kick in like pounding footsteps and the boy runs and runs, like the truant in the final scene of Truffaut’s 400 Blows.

  12. Sendak-brothers_book_sml

    My Brother’s Book, Maurice Sendak’s posthumously published last work, appears 50 years after Where the Wild Things Are. Through poetry and watercolours it tells a magical and wholly original story.

  13. Ny-city-water-farm-list

    These beautiful designs for a water farm in New York City come courtesy of brothers Massimiliano Ercolani and Emanuele Ercolani, who together make up DoCK Lab, a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Rome. Their inspiring project is based on the possibility of developing New York’s East River in a sustainable way – installing hydroelectric generators under water and promoting organic farming. Sadly, it’s unlikely to happen. But these spacious drawings of an urban utopia, with watery, rusty skies, grey metallic rivers and grids of floating, eco-saving lawns are wonderful in and of themselves.

  14. Democratic-lecture-list

    Despite a brash, rhetoric-driven style and shouty design to match, there’s lots of sound advice in Craig Oldham’s The Democratic Lecture. The book offers a range of thoughtful guidance to aspiring graphic designers – think about the presentation of your portfolio, heed the benefits of collaboration, tea-making is important, work out what you’re good at and learn to look.

  15. Kate-beaton-list

    Kate Beaton changed comics. Part history lesson, part lit crit, her Hark! A Vagrant strips cast a wry eye over the past to reveal the sillier thoughts of kings, queens and characters of the canon. Quite rightly adored by millions, they are among the wittiest and most charming comics to have appeared in ink in the last decade.
     
    Whether detailing the travails of courtly love-making, eavesdropping on two Brontës ogling hunks or mocking the over-appreciated subtexts of Macbeth, Kate Beaton makes things funny in a whole new way. In economical pen lines and a splash of wash she nails period costume, hand gestures and arched brows perfectly. Bestowing a comic irreverence on the dustiest of subjects, her flippant tone mixed with a real knowledge of the areas she gently satirises make Hark! A Vagrant comics an educational pleasure to visit, revisit and then direct everyone else to, too. 

  16. Things-2-march-

    Good week for the It’s Nice That post mat – Things got stuck into the beautiful game, made a glorious music cover, nabbed a superhero couple with flying colours, admired what the Latvians are building and looked at pop stars staring into sunsets. Let’s see how this played out…

  17. Well-proven-chair-list

    Furniture factories generate a huge amount of timber waste – usually 50-80 per cent during normal manufacture. What happens to all these chippings, sawdust and shavings? In one factory they’ve been transformed to create a wild, foamy chair seat.

  18. Utec-potable-water-generator-list

    Often billboards do no more than clog up the sky with uninspiring advertising. But in Lima, in the midst of the Peruvian desert, one has been made that does nothing less than create drinking water from thin air. There’s a dire lack of clean water in the region and rarely any rainfall. Atmospheric humidity, however, is at 98 per cent.

  19. Dylan-spencer-davidson-gang-boxers-list

    Last summer Dylan Spencer-Davidson created a gang. Based everywhere and nowhere, what connects its members are shared values and hand-made boxer shorts. The gang is free to join – membership and boxers are bought with ethics.

  20. Ze-jian-shen-list

    Zejian Shen’s comics are inky and bloody and consistently surprising. From the snogging couple pulled over for drink driving in the cosmos, to the murdering motorcycling cactus-haired skeleton, her comics go on speedy, surreal, jam-packed trips. And from two shipwrecked alcoholics spinning for the first sip to the insatiable bee buzzing randily from one flower to another, although you’re never sure where these comics will take you, you’re sure to be met with things you’ve not even contemplated imagining.

  21. Police-log-list

    Owen Cook mines the Carmel Pine Cone police log of Carmel, California and creates the most wonderful comics with the goods. The brief, unabridged transcripts produce excellent short stories. From mysterious beginnings they often end in mundane anti-climax: a fire was only smoke blown from a nearby chimney, and a smashed window was the result of a stray pine cone. Sometimes, though, they are left to hang without explanation, like the deserted easel in the parking lot, the inconclusive squirrel problem or the juvenile warned for sitting on plant life. Drawn and paced beautifully, let’s hope banal petty crime at Carmel-by-the-sea goes on forever so Owen’s comics can too.

  22. Kodachrome-list2

    “Kodachrome! They give us those nice bright colors, they give us the greens of summers, makes you think all the world’s a sunny day” sang Paul Simon in 1973. These incredible Kodachrome transparencies shot for the Office of War Information date from a few decades earlier. Taken on the home front in the thick of the Second World War, they’ve been adjusted by the Shorpy webmaster from originals held in the Library of Congress to give us those nice bright colours Paul Simon loved.

  23. Blind-maps-list

    Although Blind Maps is only a concept at this stage, it really is a remarkable one. The device, conceived by designers Andrew Spitz, Ruben van der Vleuten and Markus Schmeiduch during a 36 hour project at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, is a handheld interactive smart phone maps accessory made for the visually impaired. Using tactile-sensitive haptic technology, the interface has a perforated braille-like screen with pins which move to show navigation. Constantly receiving information and adapting, Blind Maps warns of changes to the user’s route, responds the user’s progress and gives options for bird’s eye or line view. Very impressive concept, let’s hope it becomes a reality.

  24. Thomas-matthews-list

    Ingmar Bergman produced some of the most powerful images in cinematic history – haunting, beautiful and stark. Illustrator Thomas Matthews has taken four Bergman titles from the fifties and sixties – Cries and Whispers, The Seventh Seal, Persona and Through A Glass Darkly – and created his own striking, A3 posters for them in graphite.

  25. Prieto-list2

    Folding the pages of centuries’ old illustrated books and periodicals to reveal fragments of the pictures while obscuring the words is bound to infuriate some bibliophiles. But what you lose in legibility, you gain in visual preservation. In her ongoing series Between Folds, Francisca Prieto transforms rare books into patterned origami structures. The pages are folded back to create tantalising windows into the past: glimpses into the streets of nineteenth century Paris, showcases of early twentieth century surgical appliances and etched and hand-coloured birds half-caged within the paper folds. Delicate revitalisations of dusty tomes.

  26. Jochen-list-new

    Jochen Gerner’s work is difficult to place, not least because a lot of it’s about displacement. Blacking out (and censuring?) old comics, covering pages with coloured patterns, turning sequential art into something abstract and taking well known images from the history of art, zoning in and reconfiguring them, Gerner is an illustrator and cartoonist dedicated to doing something different. Aa a member of OuBaPo (Ouvroir de bande dessinée potentielle) a group using formal constraints to push the boundaries of comics, he’s part of a movement seeing and creating comics in a new way.

  27. Things-22-02-list

    This week Things brings: a wonderful fanzine about professional wrestling, an impressive newspaper from students in Sweden, a zine full of great photographs to keep you young, a book full of great photographs to make you look again and a showcase of brilliant illustrators to look out for.

  28. Jamie-jones-list

    Jamie Jones sent us a lovely risograph print of a man so engrossed in his phone he steps off a roof. Won over, we searched his site to discover more but found it surprisingly taciturn. We were, however, met with some excellent illustration: flat, hand-drawn shapes confidently coloured and then softened a little with textures. Clever but simple, they’re bold in the best way.

  29. Olle-list

    When I stumbled across Olle Forsslöf’s print Blue Forest I couldn’t let it go. Turns out this picture of a tiny figure dwarfed by giant trees covered in diamond bark is part of a short series that includes a breakdown of the (Final Fantasy?) traveller’s garb, a red portal and a yellow pyramid. I asked Stokholm-based Olle about it and his reply was so lovely it deserves quoting in full:

  30. Bastien-list

    At first glance Jeremy Bastien’s drawings wouldn’t look out of place on a 19th Century copperplate. But this American cartoonist’s incredibly detailed, ornate inky comics and illustrations are drawn to scale using a tiny brush. Heavily influenced by Victorian children’s book illustration, his Kickstarter-sponsored graphic novel Cursed Pirate Girl, published a couple of years ago, was billed as a nautical Alice in Wonderland for our times. These recent comic convention sketches drawn on faded paper are pretty fine for off the cuff stuff. Catch him at London Super Comic Convention this weekend and you might be able to wangle your own.

  31. Pbf-comics-list

    Nicolas Gurewitch’s comic strip The Perry Bible Fellowship began in 2001 and, true to its name, rapidly inspired a devoted following. Then it stopped. But now, in trickles, it resurfaces and 2013 has brought some brilliant additions.

  32. Ryan-list

    Many studios produce little newspapers to show off projects they’re proud of. But Rob Ryan’s S.P.Q.R., Senatus Populusque Ryantown, Winter 2013 edition is different. One would expect something decorative from Rob Ryan’s hand, and there’s some lovely work in here, but it’s the way S.P.Q.R. reads like an intimate guided tour that’s so refreshing.

  33. Underground-list

    For over a century posters have been brightening up the dark walls of the Tube. Beautiful, striking and informative they’re the best public art to have come out of the tunnels. The London Transport Museum is celebrating the Tube’s 150th birthday with a fascinating exhibition of 150 posters dug out of its archive. When seen together, these posters not only tell the story of the Underground, they tell a story of London and graphic design, too.

  34. Things-15-02-list2

    This week Things celebrates street press comics makers, procrastinates with some excellent illustration, enjoys a squat book of briefs, cops a load of British style and looks at wishful wheat-pasting around the streets of Edinburgh.

  35. Pulp-list3

    Oldcastle Books has repackaged classics of the canon as racy pulp fiction. The garish colours, faux-tattered paper, dangling cigarettes and smouldering stares add up to an excellent imitation of the covers that sold popular, naughty novels of the 1950s and 60s.

  36. Guo-list-rosemary

    Jingyao Guo draws from the movies. Although the majority of the Brooklyn-based illustrator’s site is composed of bright paintings of smiling figures (and a moody Bowie), underneath there’s a small section dedicated to black and white portraits of famous girls from films – and Jingyao’s mum. These monochrome stills freeze Annie Hall, Lolita, Shosanna and Rosemary in delicate fading washes. We’d like Jingyao to draw all the girls from classic celluloid history like this, please.

  37. Lidbetter-list-2

    David Lidbetter has been transforming objects by turning them over to their side least seen. The London-based still life photographer has an ongoing series exploring the undersides of everyday things like stamps, seed trays, handwritten notes and archery targets.

  38. Hanawalt-list

    A lot happens in cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt’s mouths. Sporting sexy high fashion, lizards drape themselves over fast cars with suggestive, slithering tongues. On construction sites, busty canine workers let their floppy tongues hang out as they fumble with hoses and cavort on excavators. In the forest, pink hounds happily leap out of a huge Darth Vader/puppy’s verdant, gaping jaws. Meanwhile, Obama swallows love-struck, tongue-entwined Romney and Ryan whole.

  39. List

    For over 20 years the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel drew the cult comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For. Beautifully drawn, ambitiously plotted and wittily subversive, it garnered an extremely loyal (if relatively niche) fan base and was syndicated across the alternative press.

  40. Marra-list

    Benjamin Marra produces comic tales of nocturnal, urban action, intense emotion and extreme violence featuring bikini-clad girls with gun-holder suspenders, testosterone-pumped guys and bloodthirsty beasts. His characters’ anatomy is idiosyncratic, and their angular movements a tad awkward, but there’s an infectious energy to Marra’s drawings that’s near impossible to resist.