Saturday, November 22, 2014

Alebrijes :: Art & Design for the Gift Market

"Alebrijes"— Design & Illustration © Kim Buchheit; licensing and/or purchasing options available.
We're winding down our last week of MATS with one of the most fun projects — lush zipper pouches! Inspired by my old collection of alebrijes — wood carved animal figures from Oaxaca, Mexico — I spent a few days sketching scores of foxes, owls, raccoons, armadillos, gazelles and other ungulates, while studying their lively patterns. I also made some background textures and geometric patterns, and repurposed a beautiful old public-domain map of Mexico, to create a rich background. For my final piece, I yielded to my own vision of animals and my personal color sensibilities rather than utilize the artform's traditional pure, bright pigments. However, I do hope I captured some of the spirit that Pedro Linares had in mind when he first dreamt of his phantasmagoric characters which began the alebrijes folk art movement.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Happy Wall Art :: for MATS

Happy Bike Bear
"Happy"—  Digital Collage Illustration © Kim Buchheit; licensing and/or purchasing options available.
Creating square wall art was our challenge for this week's MATS. I started off with a maltese in the basket and nobody on the bike seat, then a polar bear driving his salmon sidekick, and eventually this big brown fella and a happy fish along for the ride. (The idea for the wood texture came while I was admiring the grain in a beautiful serving platter that my sister gave me — I just photographed it at high-res and voila: bear fur! Inspiration is everywhere!) As winter is knocking on our door, bikes are being packed up and stored for the season… so here's one last hurrah for sunny weather. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Children Book Cover Design (for MATS)

Illustration © Kim Buchheit; licensing and/or purchasing options available.
This past week, I really enjoyed developing a cover design for one of Aesop's most well-known fables. This project was for week 3 of Lilla Rogers' amazing MATS course. It's wonderful to have her expert briefs each week and thoughtful reviews! It's also great to be with a group of talented artists from around the world — which pushes one to experiment and explore. I truly cannot recommended this course enough.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sew-Zani™ :: Surface Design

Surface design and illustration © Kim Buchheit; licensing and/or purchasing options available.
Week two of MATS challenged my classmates and me to create surface design for dishes inspired by Suzani textiles (Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries). In honor of the traditional craftsmans' technique, I created stylized bird motifs with an embroidery trompe l'oeil effect. The palette was taken straight from the spice rack: cumin, paprika, basil, curry and… a dash of hot pink just for fun!