Friday, 23 December 2011

Season's Greetings!

We'd like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2012! 

We hope that 2012 brings more exciting things a long the way and thank you for supporting Little Constructs, without your support none of this could've happened. 

We are also planning to do a next zine but more info will be up soon. To support our creatives you can buy the first issue here

Happy holidays and see you all next year. 

Erica & Jo 

Illustrators Pick: Julie Verhoeven

I remember when I was at college studying art foundation I was flicking through Gas book and there I saw Julie Verhoeven's work. Her work pretty much made me decide to study illustration! 

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Illustrators Pick: Lee May Foster of Bonbi Forest

Pretty, pretty artwork. Totally heart Bonbi Forest who also goes by the name of Lee May Foster. She has a beautiful shop full of screen printed apparel, lovely artwork and handmade jewelry.

Society 6
Facebook Fan page


Illustrators Pick: Randy Ortiz

I could never really express who Randy Ortiz is and what his work is like better than he can himself. So here is his bio, lovingly borrowed, in his own words. 
"Randy Ortiz began life as a burrowing freshwater larva. At this stage, he was toothless, with rudimentary eyes, and fed on microorganisms. He transformed into an adult through metamorphosis similar to most amphibians. It involved a radical rearrangement of internal organs, development of eyes and transformation from a mud-dwelling filter feeder into an efficient swimming parasite and sexual tyrannosaur. Randy is a self-taught artist and he illustrates and designs his art by attaching his mouth to a goatfish, secreting an anticoagulant into the host, and drawing with the blood and melted tissue that spills from the gelatinous orifice. Randy draws influence from the dead shells of insect vessels ravaged by parasitic cordyceps, careful not to inhale the deadly strings of ascospores created by the flask-shaped perithecia."


Friday, 9 December 2011

Illustrators Pick: Mia Christopher

Mia Christopher's illustrations are so playful and full of life. So colourful, minimal and fun. It's always such a pleasure to look at Mia's work.

The flatness of the paintings and the plain background really brings out the characters of the people and animals. I love how everything is carefully stacked on top of one another; perfectly balanced like a circus act. Fantastic composition isn't it?

Such an inspiration.



Thursday, 8 December 2011

Illustrators Pick: Ben Clarkson

The hunt, Ink on paper, 2011
Civilization, watercolor on paper, 2011
The old gods return, Ink on paper, 2011
Brian was now useless, Ink on paper, 2011
Kill them all Danny! Watercolor on paper, 2011

Ben Clarkson is an artist and illustrator who currently resides in Winnipeg Manitoba. His work is often absurd and surreal. His illustrations have appeared across Canada in publications such as The Literary review of Canada and the Globe and Mail.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Illustration 101: Handling Rejection

It's not easy dealing with a project or a commission that's fallen through. Or if you've submitted to an open brief and you didn't get it. Especially when it all sounds so positive and then you get a call or an email saying you're not the right person for it or worse, when you don't hear back from them.

Sometimes you have to get on with it, see it as an positive experience and learn from it. There are always other projects so don't let it get you down.

Jo: There's been a few times when I've had people asking me whether I'd be up for a project and naturally I've said yes. Sometimes I never hear back from them. And I've not chased them up either because I know that perhaps I wasn't the right illustrator for them. Things like this I never take it personally, if you can't handle criticism or rejection then I'm afraid you're in the wrong profession! Seriously. You can't always please everyone. So as long as you enjoy what you're doing that's all that matters. If they've given you feedback then that's great. Take on board on what they've said and just continue to produce amazing work.

My view; chin up and move on!

Erica: Sometimes being an illustrator is a lot like dating, in highschool, it leaves you feeling insecure and upset from time to time. You may have interest in joining a show or a collaboration and get pumped on the idea of doing something exciting, and then be turned down or, as Jo stated, ignored. The rejection and sometimes the humiliation that follows is less than desirable to say the least, but you have to remember that there will always be another opportunity, another show, another project. There are tons of illustrators out there competing for the same jobs and projects, this massive pool of talent gives art directors and buyers the ability to be highly selective in whom they chose to work with. Their choices are based on a variety of things such as style, execution, materials, commercial appeal, etc and obviously not everyone's work is going to fit the bill for a lot of projects. It's not a slight against you, or your talent or abilities, it just means your "look" might not fit into their vision, or maybe someone else executed an idea in a slightly different way that may appeal to their audience more. You can't take it personal, if you do, you are more than likely going to fail. Most of us didn't get A's on every assignment, or always get picked first in physical education, or get that job at the Burger Hut when we were 14, but these setbacks didn't slow us down or break out spirit. We moved on and grew from them. Take every rejection as an opportunity to perfect what you already have going for you, as an invitation to take on a different project, and as a lesson in where your illustrations fit (eg. editorial, cutesy, political, fashion, textiles, etc.).
I ignore most of my rejections because typically something else always works out down the line, and often it's even better than what I rejected for. Have faith in yourself and your ability. Have a competitive spirit but don't let failure consume you. You chose illustration because you love it, so don't let something that is inevitable weaken your determination or blindside you.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Featured Artist: Jardley Jean-Louis

1. Hello there! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm Jardley. I pretty much draw everyday which is something I don't think I ever thought I'd say (doodles didn't count for me). I would like to get back to making things with my hands though as well as tacking on stop-motion animation as a skill. I've watched more tv shows than I realized and I swear I've been telling people I'm learning the guitar and harmonica for about three years now so I need to actually get moving on that...

2. What are you currently working on right now?
At the moment I'm setting up my shop with SupaDupa to sell prints of my illustrations, I'm also brainstorming and drawing pieces for the next issues of Peculiar Bliss and Society6 respectively.

3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Idk I've not actually thought of a clear view of where I'll be at 30-31. I'm sure I'll be more wrinkly. I hope I'm a different person than I am today. More me, and happier. I don't mind not really knowing what creative endeavors I'll have done by then because I'm sure I'd have changed my mind so many times and pursued/succeeded in different interests of mine. I do know I hope I'm either working on some stop-motion and live action films or have some under my belt.

4. What drew you to illustration?
Er, I don't know. I've been drawing since I could think. I do know that when I was considering a major for college apps I wasn't sure if I should go for Fine Art or Illustration and was under the impression that you get more freedom in Illustration. I don't even really consider what I do illustration but just that I'm an artist and I like drawing and creating a scene. There's a need there that I hope never goes away.

5. Would you mind sharing a little about your creative process with us?
Creative process, okay: Well I rarely write my ideas down, nor do I ever sketch out an idea, they're all usually in my mind. The first draft is usually the final draft. So sometimes I have a ton of ideas that will make their way as a piece soon swirling in my head. If I don't have an idea of what I'm doing either I will stare into space (yep)  I picture the setting, the point of view, and how I want each person's position to be, then I look for references on Flickr or google images but mostly Flickr like crazy. Once I've got the jist of what I'm looking for I search for a podcast, listen to my Pandora playlists, or have Buffy playing in the background while I'm drawing. First pencil, than watercolor or diluted acrylic or anything that helps. I rely on an old advice a teacher had told me which basically was "use anything that will give you the desired affect you're looking for". Now, the coloring of the piece is the part where I've got nothing planned out nor look for reference. The color for a person's specific shirt or whatever just comes to me just from looking at that particular object on the paper. And the piece is done.

6. Where are you located?
Right now I live in Queens, NY.

See more of Jardley here: 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Illustrators Pick: Luke Best

Luke Best is an illustrator currently living in London and is represented by Heart Agency. He is also one talented dude. I like the quirkiness and the handmade quality of his illustrations, the way he puts together the collages to create these atmospheric landscapes and sceneries. 


Illustrators Pick: McBess

French illustrator/Director McBess, whose real name is Matthieu Bessudo, currently lives in London. His super stylized drawings look both effortless and exact. His sense of wit and humor is infused in everything that he does as well as his love of music. He also does extremely limited print runs on tees, which is pretty cool.
Check out some amazing links to his work, including his band, The Dead Pirates. 

McBess paints the Berlin wall: 

Friday, 25 November 2011

Illustrators Pick: Miguel Mansur

Miguel Mansur is an illustrator in Philadelphia, PA. His work is often graphically charged creating sharp and lucid experience. Also, as you can see above, he redesigned covers for Albert Camus books. How is this guy not simply amazing?

See more of Miguel here:

Featured Artist Issue 1: Catherine Pape

What couldn’t you live without?
Music to listen to, nice people to dance and go for walks with.

How do you create your images?
Usually they begin with pencil, and then any combination of ink, watercolours, coloured pencils and computer.

Do you have a studio?
I have a bedroom. It's a nice bedroom though. I use the illustration studios at my university as well.

Do you have a shop? (Please include link information)
Not yet!

What’s your typical working day?
It's different all the time. Often I work at uni during the day, and at my desk at home in the evening. But a lot of the time, depending on the project, I go outside and draw from life in interesting places.

Twitter or Facebook? (Please include link information)
twitter: @catherinedraws
my portfolio and blog are at

Are you a tea or coffee person?
Tea, all the way!

Do you prefer traditional or digital work?
I like it when traditional and digital work can combine to create something amazing, but nothing beats going to a gallery and seeing painstakingly handcrafted artwork in real life.

Where do you get inspiration from?
Nature, the wilderness, textile patterns, early morning mist, motorways, psychedelia, in-between places, the night sky.

What do you do when creative block strikes?
I play the piano - using a different kind of creativity helps.

Why did you become an illustrator?
I'm still a student, but I always wanted to be an artist. I couldn't really imagine anything I'd rather do than draw and paint, creating images for a living.

What projects are you currently working on that we should keep
our eyes peeled for?
I'm working on a book – it's based on a song from my band – it's called Flora.

If you could have any pet,what would it be?
A pug and a kitten.

What would you like to do more of in the future?
More painting – branching out from watercolours into other media. Waking up earlier. Swimming in the sea.

You are walking along the road and stub your toe on something,
it turns out to be a magic lantern with a genie inside. He grants you one wish.
What is it?
So hard to decide! Either a flying bike, the ability to sing like a whale, or an instant camera that never runs out of film. 

See more of Catherine here: