Gaku Nakagawa was born in the temple Zuisenji, Kyoto in 1966. He studied Buddhist art at university and worked as a copywriter after graduation. He is also a monk of the Jyodousyu sect. Since 1996 he has worked as an illustrator, producing images that are described as informal yet truly sophisticated, if similar to some 1950's illustration. His work appears in Monocle's animated 50 Things to Improve the Way You Live (Flash interface), at the Welsh Assembly website: Your Assembly (6mb pdf), and elsewhere like the outside of Heartwood Cafe. He also illustrated a children's book, Ice Cream Once a Year. You can get some of his illustrations in a zip file.
Experience the art of Jerry Pinkney [Artists webpage], a master of the American picturebook whose unforgettable visual narratives reflect deeply felt personal and cultural themes, bearing witness to the African-American experience, the wonders of classic literature, and the wisdom in well-loved folk tales. A belief in the ability of images to speak about and to humanity is at this legendary artist’s core. His artworks celebrating life’s small but extraordinary moments and significant historical events reflect the power of visual storytelling in our lives, “becoming the voice that others may not have had.” His commissioned work, and illustrations are an incredible body of work, but also don't miss his independent creations either. [more inside]
Tired of waiting for that Arrested Development movie? Make your own with these Arrested Development paper dolls (courtesy of Kyle Hilton).
An examination of the cover design for the published works of J.G. Ballard, spanning five decades. [more inside]
Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
Iconographie ouvrages anciens is a collection of historic animal illustrations that date as far back as the 16th Century, courtesy of the library at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon. [more inside]
Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin had an eye for bold lines, vivid colors and hypnotic patterns but he also comfortable working in shades of gray, and he wasn't above making a buck. His early work illustrating fairy tales led naturally to his later engagement in the theater as a costume and set designer. [more inside]
A collection of covers from different editions of Crash. Includes some commentary by JG Ballard.
Are you a designer? Artist? Musician? Web designer? Writer? Freelancer whatever? Then you need to know: Should I Work For Free?
If you were trying to decide which online cartoon creation myth you wanted to read today, Nick Edwards's First and Last Project should do the trick. (via) [more inside]
Nothing is Forgotten, a lovely little wordless comic about loss, fear, kindness, and memory.
Animalarium is full of wonderful images and videos, contemporary and vintage, The Insects' Christmas is especially charming. Animals as an endless source of creative inspiration. An exploration of the finest in art, illustration, crafts and design from around the world featuring animals, both real and fantastic [slightly nsfw].
Artists Vera Brosgol (previously) and Emily Carroll (also previously) have made a project out "Interpreting photos of outfits into drawings of outfits." [more inside]
Pulp Fiction is an exhibition of (mostly) Australian pulp novel and magazine covers from the University of Otago Special Collections Library. (NSFW)
David Milano, who ran an art project for a children's choir in the weeks before Halloween, exposes kids to the world of Lovecraft. We've seen students in higher education do this, why not elementary school kids?
In September, Jon Schindehette [previously] and Lars Grant-West [wiki] issued a challenge to students at the Rhode Island School of Design: "Create a creature based upon a non-humanoid critter from H.P. Lovecraft's literature. The creature should have a fully resolved form, convey motion where appropriate, and be believable. Creature can be shown as either 3/4 view or 'turn-arounds'." Here are the entries and here are the judges' comments. [more inside]
Nearly three decades ago, folklorist Alvin Schwartz published Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the first of three horror anthologies that would go on to become the single most challenged book series of the 1990s. But most of the backlash was against not the stories themselves (which were fairly tame), but rather the illustrations of artist Stephen Gammell. His bizarre, grotesque, nightmarish black-and-white inkscapes suffused every page with an eerie, unsettling menace. Sadly, the series has since been re-issued with new illustrations by Brett Helquist, of A Series of Unfortunate Events fame. Luckily for fans of Gammell's dark vision, copies of the old artwork abound online, including in these three image galleries: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. Interested in revisiting the stories themselves? Then don't miss the virtual re-enactments of YouTube user MoonRaven09, or the dramatic readings of fellow YouTuber daMeatHook.
From the venerable MONSTER BRAINS (previously, previously, previously) comes the lost children's classic GODZILLA LIKES TO ROAR
Old anatomical illustrations that provide a unique perspective on the evolution of medical knowledge in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868) [more inside]
You like cats. You like Marvel characters. You like Marvel characters as cats.
Flickr user katinthecupboard has scanned and posted nearly 2000 vintage illustrations, largely from children's books. Luckily they have been organized into collections and sets, and extensively tagged. There's so much in there that I hesitate to point out any individual images I especially like, but here's a few starters: A foppish Mercury, freezing child Jesus in modern city, children playing with sunbeam, boy with a bone-whistle, dancing fairies, bathing silhouettes and sailing ship and merman riding a sea creature.
On Tor.com, Mefi'sown Patrick Garcon (smoke) is writing lively essays on Victorian fantasy illustration, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Orientalism. [via mefi projects]
Fantastic Zoology - A graphical interpretation of J.L. Borges "Book of Imaginary Beings" [more inside]
Ampersand Food Groups by Dan Beckemeyer.
The Age of Uncertainty is my new favorite blog. It's by a gentleman bookseller who works in a warehouse in Sussex processing lorryfuls of used books. He shares the most interesting things he finds, commenting with wit and sensitivity. He also writes entertainingly about his everyday life. Let me point you towards his series of extracts from a diary that came to his warehouse, detailing the life of Derek, an employee of the government who converted to Mormonism. It was a fairly normal life, but the excerpts are fascinating. Here are the entries in order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. He also posts beautiful images he finds, such as Victorian color plates: 1 and 2. Still, it is the remains of ordinary lives washing up on his shores that most enthralls me, such as this tear-inducing post about a family photo album which was sent to his used books warehouse.
They Draw and Cook: The art world intersects with the food community at They Draw & Cook, a clever blog started earlier this year by sibling design and illustration team Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell (together they run Studio SSS). Each day, They Draw & Cook features a new recipe illustration by a practicing artist, illustrator, or designer. The recipes vary in both style and content and are submitted from all over the world.
Twaggies, turn your tweets into pics. Take random weird tweets and turn them into even weirder visuals. Twaggies, a website by Kiersten Essenpreis, features illustrations by the extraordinary @K_Essenpreis. (Essen is the German verb for “to eat” and preis means “praise.” So you better leave some nice comments for her or she’ll twag you most unfavorably.) The other half of the team is David Isreal, @resila, who can’t draw a stick figure much less a twaggie, but does all the other stuff for the blog and hit on the idea for it in the first place. Three additional twaggers have contributed in the past – @yaelbt, @mmbemer and @hsugene.
Weirdly wonderful illustrations from 70s Japanese children's books by Gōjin Ishihara, including much nightmare fuel from the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters
"Since the beginning of time, there has been struggle. The epic clash of being against being. Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Triceratops. Giant Squid vs. the Sperm Whale. The Circle vs. the Square. The struggle is forever. It makes the world turn around... This is a chronicling of some of the greatest confrontations in FILM HISTORY. The greatest moments of melee. These are the GREAT SHOWDOWNS. [more inside]
The ancient Hebrew Conception of the Universe. Mayan Interdimensional Star Map. A scale model of the orbits of the planets in our solar system. More by Michael Paukner (via).
Paleontologists discover the skull of a massive predatory whale (Leviathan melvillei) in Peru. Discovery News presents this finding with the best of all possible illustrations. (via)
Information is beautiful : 30 examples of creative infography
Artist Henning Lederer has adapted Fritz Kahn's illustration "Man As Industrial Palace" [previously] as an interactive installation. [via SciencePunk]
A gallery of scanned German children's books from the 18th and 19th centuries. Sounds dry, but the plates are high-resolution and gorgeous. Fans of old-school engraving, illustration, and Bibliodyssey-esque curiosities will not be disappointed. Highly extensive and bandwidth-intensive.
Ben Heine is a Belgian painter, illustrator, portraitist, caricaturist and photographer. His recent project, Pencil vs. Camera, is an amalgam of illustration and photography, creating something similar in a single image showing two different actions. His Flickr Photostream.
Every single Calvin and Hobbes strip ever made, ever, all in a slick AJAX interface with instant full-text dialog search. Highlights: Stupendous Man - Spaceman Spiff - Tracer Bullet - The Thinking Cap - The Transmogrifier (and the Transmogrifier Gun) - The Duplicator (and the Ethicator) - The Wagon - Calvinball - The Get Rid of Slimy Girls Club - Procrastination - Camping - Valentine's Day - Leaf Collecting - The Haircut - Rosalyn - Summertime - Wordless (search for "No text" to find others) - Smock Smock Smock - Not to mention all those snowmen. [more inside]
Chris Ware was commissioned by Fortune to illustrate their May cover. His "hilarious, beautiful, meticulous" submission, which included "Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Mexican factory workers, and a few potshots at business execs and money-grubbing politicians," was rejected. Hi-res Flickr version here. Previously (1, 2)
Eighteenth century obstetric engravings by Jan van Rymsdyk Dutch illustrator van Rymsdyk (also spelled van Riemsdyk) was working in England when he made 31 engravings for William Hunter's The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus. Recent research suggests Hunter and his fellow pioneer of obstetrics William Smellie may have been responsible for the murders of some 40 pregnant women in order to gain corpses for their anatomical research.
You're breakfast. From Parra of Rockwell. NSFW, unless your work consists of gorgeous hand-drawn typography and voluptuous bird women cavorting together.