This week CLAW CLAW features fine artist, illustrator and designer John MacConnell!
This week’s Artist John MacConnell is living and loving life in NYC. He’s working full-time while also finding time to create a constant stream of beautifully mastered, no matter the medium, portraits of lean athletic men. His love of classical styles of working, mixed with his eye for design makes his work fresh. In its context his artwork is both just as much a nicely rendered figure study, as well as personally and socially relevant to John. It was great having him over at CLAW CLAW headquarters to catch up – read on to enjoy our interview.
- Shanon Weltman
On this last day of Mercury Retrograde (until June) we present UK born Illustrator and Professor, Rebecca Bradley. She’s currently living in Baltimore with her Artist husband Sam, teaching Illustration full-time at MICA, while raising two kids and still find time in the studio. You can see her loves of everything rainbow and Americana iconography unquestionably influence her colorful illustrations. Her style is somewhere between a more sophisticated folk art and vintage inspired — it’s fabulous. We had a great time catching up with Rebecca via Skype, seeing her beautifully organized wall of watercolor dyes and other fun materials art nerds would drool over. Click here to read the interview.
- Shanon Weltman
Zach Osif is currently in the midst of earning his MFA at NYU, hopefully we will see his retrospective at the Guggenheim one day. His huge paintings feel like they belong in that room in the Met with the enormous Chuck Close, Alex Katz, and Andy Warhol paintings. He is part of the new wave of photorealist painters that showcase more subtly weird imagery than previous generations — like a less random James Rosenquist. Zach’s style is very streamline, which is obvious in his art and all the minimalist architecture and landscapes he posts on his Tumblr OSIFLANDIA. I met up with Zach this week in his NYU studio (that has an UH-mazing view) to discuss his ideas and aesthetics. Click here to read the interview.
- Shanon Weltman
Happy Valentine’s Day readers, we hope you fall in love with this week’s artist like we did. The artwork of Brooklyn Illustrator Dadu Shin is quiet and powerful, like the quote by Teddy Roosevelt “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” His color palette tends to be subdued and earthy with a few intentional bold choices that evoke a retro feeling. He perfectly blends geometric shapes with a pencil line quality that looks like it was drawn by a pleasant summer breeze. There always seems to be a hidden storyline or concept occurring in Dadu’s drawings, even in his fashion illustrations on idontlikeclothes.tumblr.com. Keep reading to see what Ray Jones had to ask this RISD graduate.
- Shanon Weltman
This week’s Artist, Christi Johnson, is the personification of where the beauty of life’s chaos and structure meet. She has a tamed wildness (more like a knight’s horse or uncut gem, than say, a child on a leash) to her that she channels into her art and designs. In it’s simplest explanation, her artwork is aesthetic mathematics — sacred geometry. Along with a metaphysical message, the basic shapes, materials, vintage color palettes and rawness to her designs are just really hip looking. Read my interview with one of my favorite L.A. Designers.
Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year! On this first day of the year of the yang wood Horse we bring you San Francisco-based Illustrator and Lead Artist at JuiceBox Games, Kim Herbst. She has an impressive growing list of clients, which includes Scholastic Books, as well as many gallery shows. Her video game inspired illustrations breathe 3D life into the tiny 8-bit characters you played as a kid, re-imagining what the worlds actually would have looked like IRL. Although her medium is digital, she is a master painter. Her compositions, lighting, and color choices put her in that cream always rises to the top category of illustrators. We were lucky to go to MICA with Kim and also have her in our group show “Tooth & Claw” back in October. Eat your Nian Gao New Years cake and enjoy our interview with Kim Herbst.
- Shanon Weltman
This week’s Artist Interview features Illustrator Clay Rodery! Check out the interview here.
It’s becoming increasingly popular for illustrations to go the way of animated GIFs. Although this week’s artist, Texas native Clay Rodery, fits the bill, his art is more cinematic than animated. He would have probably been really successful in the golden age of painted movie posters. The stark contrast of light and shadows, hand in hand with his narrative compositions feel more like an actual movie still than illustration. His illustration series of zombie-fied GOP 2012 candidates was featured on Juxtapoz.com. Keep reading to see what life lessons Clay shares with Ray Jones. - Shanon Weltman
Michael Marsicano is an illustrator with a strong New York accent and equally strong sense of color. He uses color like a seasoned chef uses ingredients — always purposeful to emphasize the flavor of the dish being served, even garnishes have an important role. His portraits are dead-on in likeness, as are the anatomy of his illustrated animals and hands (which all artists know are difficult to master.) It’s no surprise his list of clients is so long, including local publications from all over the US, and of course the big names like NY Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and even Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Read Ray Jones’ interview with Michael to get to know this SVA grad school alumni.
Happy New Year! We’re excited to kick off 2014 with Andrea Kalfas, an extraordinary Illustrator living in Baltimore. She stuck around Charm City after earning her BFA in Illustration from MICA, but now she teaches classes there that students beg to get into. Her illustration technique is reminiscent of a pre-digital age; Mary Blair and M. Sasek (who she mentions) come to mind. Her often futuristic and pop culture influenced subject matter is the main clue she’s a contemporary artist. The only way I can sufficiently sum up her flawless dry brushing is to quote Lil Wayne “shit, get on my level, you can’t get on my level, you would need a space shuttle or a ladder that’s forever.”
Read the entire interview here.
For CLAW CLAW’s last Artist Interview of 2013, we took a departure from paper, pixels, and canvas to spotlight the beautiful dyed fabrics of Natalie Fragola, a textile designer currently based out of Brooklyn. She’s jokingly described her colorful dye jobs as a rainbow that threw up, and while for some pieces this delightfully rings true, there’s a much more sophisticated nature to her work. Her pieces are earthy and abstract, and sometimes you feel like you’re looking at a little sliver of the universe, like stellar Nebulae or the ying yang-esque meeting place of the sea and sand. Read on to learn about the brain and hands behind OBRA OBSCURA.
Read the full interview HERE