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Feature Friday: Lauren Lee

Happy Feature Friday!

laurenlee_profile_2016Today we’re featuring the whimsical works of Lauren Lee, an illustrator who works in advertising by day but creates amazing illustrations every free chance she gets! We are in love with the characters and scenes she creates in her work – honestly we’re crossing our fingers a coffee shop gets her to design their cups, because we’d be there ASAP! Keep reading to hear more about her creative journey and see her fun coffee cup and sketchbook illustrations.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-12-45-47-am: I’m a twenty-two year old designer working in the crazy world of advertising. I use illustration as a way of release. Outside of design, I love animation films, re-reading Harry Potter, and binging title sequences.

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Feature Friday: Artist Estela Cuadro

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!
Estela_Cuadro6Our feature this week is artist Estela Cuadro. Estela wanted to give you an inside look into her entire creative process, so we are doing something a little different…a guest post! Read all about Estela from the artist herself.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“I’m Estela Cuadro, from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’ll tell here some info about me.

When I start my day in my studio, I want to listen to some music. It is generally not always the same.  I like to use some incense.  When I begin a new artwork I used to use an special cardboard that allows the pigments and water too react in a special way; giving textures, shapes, deformations and then letting my imagination act freely.  The music always transpose me and my sensory part which takes me to an inside world – introspective.  It nourishes my imagination, it motivates me.  It constantly leads me to paint many of my paintings and I feel pleasure in that.  I feel like I never want to stop doing this. It´s part of my life.

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I use lots of techniques, like pencil, small coal and oil. Especially when I was young.  Nowadays I like to use more than one technique at the same time, and make different results.  I use India ink with salt, and I let them act freely on the support.  I use other things to generate texture, and I use oil painting, pencils and pens to realize details. If I had to pick a style for my art,  it would be quite difficult. Perhaps I associate my work with surreal art.  My characters and their environment have nothing to do with reality.

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The distorted reality is part of my inspiration, my contacts and my experiences. My artwork is based on the unconscious – all associated with my dreams, relationships & with life itself. I don´t try to tell stories in my artworks. My work isn’t the realization of an illustration for a story, book or magazine ( with a text behind the artwork). There are always ideas or suggestions (of a story) but it’s not a literal sort of story. I take fun in other people’s freedom in interpretation. I feel that it is important is to feel total freedom without restriction and without much precise meaning. I like to leave the interpretation of each piece to each  person, you can get carried away like I do in every piece of art.  I think each work has something special, they are part of my “games”, my pleasures.

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Each work is part of a sensory and emotional expression, for sure. I often think that the power of paint lets me express myself of many things that are somewhere in my head. For example, relevant situations, dreams, experiences and thoughts that I keep (in my mind),  I need to express them in some way, and doing it on a canvas is a perfect idea for me!

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When I talk about a “game” in relation to my work as an artist, I mean that’s the way that I have fun with the characters, animals and plants when my playfulness arise. You’re letting it flow! So you have to let go of the restrictions and really play with everything that is created, generating a new and unique artwork. My inspiration comes from music, books, a good wine, plants, dancing while I´m painting and my small garden.

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The narrative of an artwork is not something important for me. I want to do art without thinking, without restrictions, like art is for me. I think that the style is generated, created as one grows as an artist. Plus experience and techniques, the papers, the canvas help form and then you feel comfortable (in that space).

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I listen to many styles of music, I need that every day (to have a musical change).  This change produces in me an energy and mobility different in my body.  I like pianist’s music, jazz, rock, hip hop or ambiance. My musical panorama is very board. I try to constantly meet new artists and new bands that are emerging. I like to investigate the soundtracks of movies and series. Besides music, I love my studio, it is full of colors, pins, my favorite library and plants.  I think the place (to create) is an important point when you are creating. I consider my atelier to be full of colors and visual incentives that help open your mind.  I have a lot of travel objects, artist books and books from friends. Music for me is like my battery to start each day, but I love where I work. And another important point is that it has an incredible luminosity, overlooking a terrace where I  have a small cottage and plants that I care much (for).

 
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I would say that the (core) passion about art, is to feel free, to have your mind open to all the things new that can appear.  Every crisis is a new starting point and always the beginning of something new and not something that ends.

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My top list of people who constantly inspire me and the reasons behind it.
Jean-Michel Basquiat:  Because of his expressiveness, his loose strokes & his liberty.
Egon Schiele: His obsession for expression, postures & sexuality. His work tries to capture the sensuality of women and men.
Paul Klee:  I love the choice for his color palettes, his compositions & his details.
Amy Cutler:  Because I like her imagination, how she tells a story and her incredible levels of details. She creates strong characteristics via clothes, human expressions, hairstyles, animals and landscapes.
Pablo Picasso:  I admire his versatility. It’s amazing how much work he was able to create during his life. I consider him as a genius. I love watching his videos and seeing how his imagination puts his art is in constant transformation – like seen in this VIDEO http://www.picasso.fr/es/picasso_pagina_index.php
Frida Kahlo:  Because I admire her strong personality, her passion, her ideology and her deep love for Diego Rivera. All her art works were about her life and her physical & mental pain. She was a fighter, yet a very sensitive one who created a lot of wonderful art full of color.”

Feature Friday: Illustrator Holly Sharpe

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

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Today we’re excited to feature illustrator Holly Sharpe! She has an amazing collection of work that spans from illustrations simply done with pencil, to those done digitally. We love how different her pieces look, but that you can still tell they are made by her. Her aesthetic really stands out and has caught the attention of companies like Marks & Spencer, Marie Claire, and Chloé; all whom she has worked with. Her illustrations are so vibrant and detailed, yet the brush strokes and drips make them free-spirited. With this unique take on illustrating it is no wonder that Holly is getting calls from some big names. We’re sure there is only more to come in her future and can’t wait for you to hear more about her!

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How did your art career start?

holly: It is definitely not something that happened overnight. In some ways it has been a work in progress most of my life. I went to art college and after graduating from there I went on to do freelance work as a textile designer and then secured a full time position. Meanwhile I was trying to keep up my own drawings and illustrations on the side. This was all great experience and I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do now if I didn’t take those steps to break away and do my own work full time.

Sorry, that was a long-winded way of saying, my art career started by 1. Getting a 1st class honours degree and then 2. Working very hard and getting lots of experience!

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Describe the style of your work?

holly:  I would say my work is delicate but powerful. Usually it has attention to lines and detail and when I’m not sticking with monochrome, lots of bright colours. I don’t know how to describe my style as such, but a lot of people tell me that I have a very distinct style and that it is “different”.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What is the greatest lesson you learned while pursuing your passion?

holly:  Tough one, I’ve learned a lot along the way. I would probably say, to believe in yourself, stand strong with that belief and don’t let people take advantage of you and your work. I am a pretty positive person and I hate to be cynical, but unfortunately there are a lot of people/companies out there that will prey on an artist’s ‘desperate’ need for work and take advantage. So remember to value your work and what you do, even when some people don’t.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What can others do to bring their work to the next level or gain clients?

holly:  Keep trying, keep pushing your work to get better, try new things, and don’t stay in your comfort zone. Try and have a clear focus on what it is you do and what it is you want to do/achieve. Who are your dream clients? Try to offer something unique but focused. It is better to master one thing, and for that thing to be crystal clear, than to try and offer a million different styles and have no clear direction. Clients need to know what they are getting.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Who are some of your favorite artists, musicians, creatives etc.?

holly: Ah, so many… a few of my favourite artists are – Stina Persson, Lucian Freud, Egon Schiele, Conrad Roset, Kelly Beeman, Alexandra Levasseur, and Paula Bonet. As for music – this changes a lot, and I am always on the lookout for new musicians, but generally I love electronica-type music with nice female vocals. I love The Knife, Grimes, Kavinsky, Phantogram, Poliça… Oh and Arcade Fire is always a band I go back to. Right now I love working to, or doing yoga to Dr. Toast, his music is incredible.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: How have you overcome obstacles and discouragements in your career?

holly: When I think back, I have realized that I’ve developed a pretty good knack for forgetting about the things that didn’t work, or didn’t go ahead. It is important to have something of a mourning period for the biggies that can be a bit heartbreaking, but you cannot dwell on them. I just try and move on and work towards a new aim. I focus on the things that did work, which is always a boost and outweighs the obstacles and discouragements.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24:  Name one of your careers greatest highs?

holly: Doing a cosmetics collaboration with Marks & Spencer earlier this year!

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What career/artistic goal are you working towards next?

holly:  Ah, so many, my head is a bit all over the place at the moment. But I think my main goals are to have worked published in a book (or publish my own book…?!) and also to get more exhibitions across the globe.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What inspires you to create?

holly:  Everything. I’m sure a lot of artists say this, but sometimes the inspiration to create, is more of a need, an urge, almost an unexplainable desire to create something beautiful.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: Tell us a little bit about who you are.

holly: I am an artist/ illustrator from Scotland. I love to travel, meet new people, and do yoga. I have brown hair, green eyes and a stupid laugh.

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Keep up with what Holly is doing next and make sure to follow her on social media for more!
Twitter: @hollysharpe

 

Feature Friday: A Thing Created Illustration

BY TARA & CAILIN BURKE

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

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Today we are featuring Erisha from A Thing Created Illustration. We love her work because it is filled with charm, simplicity and glamour all at the same time! We also think it is great that she found a creative outlet that combines all of her inspirations. It reminds us that even though we all have limitations for what we can take on at one time, we do have the ability to create. So, follow in Erisha’s footsteps and create a world where you can tackle it all. For example, if you love fashion, baking and graphic design, use your imagination to develop something that culminates all of these interests. If Erisha found a way, so can you! Read on for a great interview as well as all the ways you can keep up with A Thing Created Illustration.

cropped-whiteheaderScreen Shot 2014-07-24 at 01.34.24: What draws you to illustration?

PeoniesToting2— For me, it’s a way of celebrating beauty, and the best creative outlet in the world! I’m so inspired by so many creative industries – decorating, cooking, design, fashion – and I’ve always loved, arts, culture, beautiful cities – illustration lets me be a part of all these creative worlds with just a paintbrush and pencil!

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