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“Imagine!” by Raúl Colón

Raúl Colón’s latest wordless picture book, Imagine! has received glowing reviews:

Inspired by the author’s museum experiences, the story leaps off every page thanks to the textured artwork brimming with buoyant body movement and cast in muted colors and striking patterns.” —Kirkus

“Colón’s vibrant scenes make it clear that visiting works of art can breathe magic into the everyday and inspire further creativity afterward.” —Publishers Weekly

“The prosaic world of the city boy we meet…is transformed into a realm of wonder not by a quirk of quantum physics but by exposure to fine art.” The Wall Street Journal

“This fine book provides not only exposure to art, and an example of art, but also an example of a boy — a boy of color, a boy in America — with a passion for fine art. These are all things that our culture could well stand to see more of.” —The New York Times

Be sure to pick up a copy of this wonderful new book!

Raúl has been touring schools across the country with Imagine! Here he is with a group of students from the Detwiler Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

 

 

Guest Blogger: Jonathan Bartlett

Had a great time working with the team over at Blossom Brothers to bring their brand vision to life.

A perfect Pacific Northwest pairing, Blossom Brothers is the creation of three wine enthusiasts with a knack for changing things up. My task was to develop the visual and illustrative identity for these three brothers shaped around an adventurous, but refined brand package.

The biggest challenge with this project came with the tight deadline and need to update the company’s original packaging to more align with their vision.That being a subtle, retro/40s node in the artwork that presents the three brothers as personable and unique from each other. All without drawing faces. Body language, clothing, and color were crucial to getting this right.

How’d we get here? The original concept on the left, informing the language of my proposed ideas that bring more flair, energy, and emotion.

Some back and forth with the design team and we landed on the final characters.

Next came the fruit, painted separately making for easy use across all assets of the project.

 

Over all a rewarding project. Cheers to that!

—Jonathan

 

The Kama Sutra, illustrated by Victo Ngai – From The Folio Society’s Blog

This Folio Life: The challenge of illustrating The Kama Sutra

Back in 2014, when Folio art director Sheri Gee was chairing a panel discussion at the Society of Illustrators in New York, she asked the panellists: ‘If you could illustrate any book, what would it be?’

One of the guests, LA-based Hong Kong artist Victo Ngai replied: ‘The Kama Sutra.’

But Victo admits she ‘hadn’t the faintest idea’ what the Kama Sutra was really like when she said this.

Written 2,000 years ago, The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana is a seven-part compendium of instruction for wealthy citizens. An early Indian treatise on the science and art of sex and love, the guide concerns itself with the pursuit of happiness and how the enjoyment of life can best be achieved.

While the ‘various kinds of congress’ have long been a focus of Western attention, these are just one element of the holistic life that Vatsyayana outlined for his enlightened audience. For example, before seeking out the sensual pleasures, men and women should first be schooled in the 64 arts and sciences, which include tattooing, magic, the art of making flower carriages and, directly after breakfast, of teaching parrots to speak.

Victo says, ‘The main reason why I was eager to be on board was that the book seemed like a perfect excuse to play with designs and colours inspired by traditional Indian art, which I have developed a deep fascination with. I knew from the beginning that this project would be an ambitious endeavour.’

Instead of creating illustrations which are overtly sexual, Victo’s illustrations strike a balance between the tantalising and the elegant: ‘In short, how to draw them was a fine line to walk, and it took me several rounds to get it right.’

Our limited edition of The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana is presented in a sumptuous solander box, and comes with a commentary volume of three essays and a print signed by the artist. Only 750 copies are available.

“Lea Goes to School” illustrated by A. Richard Allen

A. Richard Allen recently worked with Publicis New York to create the illustrations for “Lea Goes to School.” This short animated film, from CoorDown, Italy’s national organization for people with Down syndrome, has been getting a lot of attention from websites like Adweek, The DrumShoot Online and Little Black Book.

The film tells the story of Lea, who because she has Down syndrome, is told she should attend special classes where she will meet special friends and prepare for a life with a special house and job, “safe and protected from the world.” But rather than special, Lea would like to live like any other kid and she voices the message: “include us from the start.”

According to CoorDown’s rep, Martina Fuga, “Many countries still limit the right of students with Down syndrome to be educated in regular classrooms, despite over 40 years of research that establish superior outcomes in regular settings compared to ‘special’ settings.” Schools and institutions are the main target of their campaign, which they hope will convince the right people that inclusion is always the best choice.

Visit http://www.includeusfromthestart.com to learn more about inclusive education.