The Illustrator: Blanca Gómez

Blanca is Madrid-based illustrator and graphic designer who attracts a broad range of commissions internationally.  The umbrella of Cosas Mínimas (meaning literally, 'tiny things') covers her work across editorial, interior design, stationery, books and advertising, as well as beloved personal projects.

She was happy to answer 10 Questions for Folk & Tales which give an insight into her inspirations and process.  

I love the work she produced above for Offerrådgivningen, a Danish national charity that helps all sorts of crime victims.  It's the perfect example of how Blanca's minimal style conveys a sense of emotion in it's simplicity.

Watch her drawing in action, below!

Find Blanca on Instagram, Flickr, in her Etsy shop: blancucha, and at cosasminimas.com.

All images belong to Blanca Gómez.

The Illustrator: Jill Calder

In her own words, Jill is an illustrator, calligrapher, painter and occasional lecturer with a love of drawing, narrative, colour, ink, typography, deadlines and sketchbooks. Based in the Fife area of bonny Scotland, she manages to delight an ever-growing  international cluster of clients (and fans!)

Between all of this, she generously opened up about her inspirations and process in 10 Questions with Folk & Tales.

New Yorker Mass Mutual "mini takeover" by Jill Calder

New Yorker Mass Mutual "mini takeover" by Jill Calder

The brilliance of Jill's art has, quite rightly, been much documented and blogged about up till now.  Speaking from an individual perspective, what draws me into her illustration is the narrative element underpinning it.  Jill clearly enjoys observing people, and stores up interactions that pique her interest to retell later through her commissions and personal projects.  Indeed, by her own admission, she thinks in pictures, which is clear to see.

I find that each illustration communicates her acute understanding of the everyday realities she portrays.  Using this, Jill is able to elevate these situations through her whimsical and colourful filter in a way that is both confronting and engaging.

"Wine Thug," The Guardian by Jill Calder

"Wine Thug," The Guardian by Jill Calder

by Jill Calder

by Jill Calder

Last but not least, I always enjoy seeing Jill's take on Scotland.  Her depictions of cultural instances are always colourful, always fun, and always representative of their true spirit- like this one is! 

by Jill Calder

by Jill Calder


Find Jill on Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, on her blog and at jillcalder.com.

All images belong to Jill Calder.

The Illustrator: Verónica Grech

Verónica is a freelance professional illustrator, living and working in the northwest coast of Spain, who enjoys creating strange, fun characters, poetic portraits, as well as colourful urban scenes and landscapes.

Learn more about her in 10 Questions with Folk & Tales.

"Can the right house make you happy?" - NY Observer, by Verónica Grech

"Can the right house make you happy?" - NY Observer, by Verónica Grech

Part of what pleases me most about Verónica's work is her composition of bright geometric shapes, vivid hues and her playful use of perspective.  With it's clean and precise aesthetic her editorial art, in particular, achieves the goal of asking a question of the reader.  By distilling ideas in a simple but skilled way, her illustrations compliment persuasive editorial text in a way that speaks clearly.

"My Friend Asked Me To Be Her Egg Donor" - NY Observer, by Verónica Grech

"My Friend Asked Me To Be Her Egg Donor" - NY Observer, by Verónica Grech

Editorial about midwives without supervision - Midwifes magazine UK, by Verónica Grech

Editorial about midwives without supervision - Midwifes magazine UK, by Verónica Grech

"The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty" - NY Observe, by Verónica Grech

"The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty" - NY Observe, by Verónica Grech

Despite her final art being digital, it is interesting to learn that Verónica's process, in the first instance, involves sketching and exploring ideas using the more traditional mediums of pen and watercolour.  Inspired as they often are by nostalgic photography,  her illustrations  posess an emotional quality which encourages a deeper connection with the story in her work.

Editorial about Love, Discovery and Exploration by Verónica Grech

Editorial about Love, Discovery and Exploration by Verónica Grech

Find Verónica on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, on her blog and at veronicagrech.com

All images belong to Verónica Grech.

The Illustrator: Robert Sae-Heng

Robert (a.k.a. Mr Rubbertoes) is a freelance illustrator based in London with Mexican and Thai origin who works across commercial, editorial, book, and mural illustration.

Get to know him a little better by reading his 10 Questions with Folk & Tales!

In response to London's TFL tube strike.  Seeking alternative arrangements to work... by Robert Sae-Heng

In response to London's TFL tube strike.  Seeking alternative arrangements to work... by Robert Sae-Heng

Inspired by his upbringing, Robert's art is a melting-pot of cultural influences with intriguing charcters to be found on every corner, or behind every tree, in his illustrations.  He has a penchant for incorporating snippets from his life stories into his commisions for clients - a personal quirk which adds to the discovery element in his work.

Mural for Chill Frozen Yoghurt by Robert Sae-Heng

Mural for Chill Frozen Yoghurt by Robert Sae-Heng

I was particularly interested to discover the story behind Robert's (sometimes sneaky) inclusion of unicorns in his work.  The spark was initially ignited after a visit to Stirling Castle, Scotland where a series of tapestries from 1495-1505 caught his eye.  Depicting a group of noblemen and hunters in pursuit of a unicorn, this imagery stuck with him and continues to inform his art.  It's always interesting to see one fine art medium informing another, in this case, tapestry and illustration; it highlights the importance of reinterpreting historical stories that might otherwise be forgotten.

'Samuel Swin' is off on an adventure by Rober Sae-Heng

'Samuel Swin' is off on an adventure by Rober Sae-Heng

Looking forward, I'm excited  to see how Robert's latest children's book character, 'Samuel Swim' develops over his adventures...

'Samuel Swim' and his accomplice, Norman the narwhal by Robert Sae-Heng

'Samuel Swim' and his accomplice, Norman the narwhal by Robert Sae-Heng

Find Robert on InstagramTwitterFacebook, in his shop and at robertsae-heng.co.uk

All images belong to Robert Sae-Heng.

The Illustrator: Chassam

Chassam is Korean illustrator with a passion for scenery, and ambition to continue working across book illustration,  advertising and other illustrated ventures...

She jotted down some answers to 10 Questions with Folk & Tales!

by Chassam

by Chassam

Chassam's work is a kind of pictorial memoir of the daily moments she wants to remember.  Drawing on her experiences, she taps into the situations to which we can all relate, presenting them in a fun, colourful, and sometimes sentimental way. 

I am particularly charmed by the cartoonish expressions and exploits of her protagonists. Through her contrasting use of colour and grey outline, Chassam effectively splits the focus between the story happening in the foreground, and  the ever-important scenery of the surroundings.  A bright future lies on the horizon  for Chassam, and her leading characters!

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

by Chassam

Find Chassam and her work on Instagram, Twitter, and on her blog.

All images belong to Chassam.



The Illustrator: Simone Massoni

Simone is a Florence-based Italian artist whose visual design and arts work can be found in books, magazies, advertising commercials and shows across the US and Europe.

Inbetween working on his creations, he took some time to answer 10 Questions for Folk & Tales.

by Simone Massoni

by Simone Massoni

It's a real treat getting an insight into Simone's visual universe through his illustrations. Intrigued by the intersection of hand drawn graphic design and illustrative styles, his work is full of contrast, and sharp forms with an underlying dose of humour, and cheekiness!

Pattern by Simone Massoni

Pattern by Simone Massoni

I was delighted to discover that Simone's extensive  illustration catalogue includes work on a favourite book - Gulliver's Travels.  In his vibrant style, he captures the essence, scale and personality of the story with his signature- an aesthetically strong colour palette. 

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Gulliver's Travels by Simone Massoni

Also of interest are the short videos Simone publishes via his blog, which show the fascinating path to his finished sketches.  They are well worth a watch!

By Simone Massoni: A 15 minute drawing condensed in a short video. A pin-up / magician caught while she's practicing, from the sketch stage to the final black and white watercolored artwork.  Music: "move, move, move" from Nacho Libre soundtrack.

Find Simone and his work on Instagram, Behance, Tumblr and at sketchthisout.com.

All images belong to Simone Massoni.

The Illustrator: Manon de Jong

Manon is a freelance illustrator, living and working in Amsterdam. She draws with pen and ink, and plays around with beautiful paper, creating prints and combining this in her work.

She was happy to tell Folk & Tales about her process and influences in 10 Questions.

To the lighthouse by Manon de Jong

To the lighthouse by Manon de Jong

Inherent in Manon's work is a sense of adventure and curiosty.  Whether travelling, sightseeing, reading, climbing trees, or looking at the stars, her ragdoll-esque characters  stand out due to her use of clean lines and bold, colourful pattern.

The same spirit is reflected in the beautiful illustrations Manon created for Boet en de rode knop (Boet and the red button) written by Marije Koopmans.  Using her mixed technique of collage and black lines, her illustrations portray three secret dream-trips Boet makes in his helicopter with the magic red button.  I adore Manon's minimal palette of white, greys and pastels combined with the bright pops of red, as well as the resulting texture of her mixed media method.  As ever, I look forward to more of Manon's spirited characters!

Find Manon and her work on Instagram, Pinterest, and at manondejong.nl.

The Illustrator: Schinako Moriyama

Schinako is a Japanese illustrator based in Fukushima who creates adorable editorial illustrations for print and online.

She shared her loves with Folk & Tales in 10 Questions.

Picking Blueberries by Schinako Moriyama

Picking Blueberries by Schinako Moriyama

Stumbling across Schinako's work was such a joy.  Her illustrations pop with colour and undeniably portray the pleasure she takes in her daily life among flowers and rabbits.

Writing Rabbits by Schinako Moriyama

Writing Rabbits by Schinako Moriyama

Using her chosen medium of acrylic, Schinako captures life and movement in a simple way that communicates an appreciation of nature.  The happiness exuded by her characters is infectious and I, among many others, am patiently waiting for her illustrated book which is surely on its way!

Find Schinako and her work on Instagram and on her site.

All images belong to Schinako Moriyama.

The Illustrator: Elizabeth Mayville

Elizabeth is an American artist whose work reflects an interest in the idea of "home," and all the seemingly small bits of life that bring us comfort and a sense of stability. 

She took some time out, from painting, to answer 10 Questions for Folk & Tales.

Top knot by Elizabeth Mayville

Top knot by Elizabeth Mayville

I lust over Elizabeth's expressive art for its ability to instill a sense of calm.  Her portraits, often of family,  use colour blocking and light in a way that is both bold and soothing.  

Margaret by Elizabeth Mayville

Margaret by Elizabeth Mayville

Mother's Day by Elizabeth Mayville

Mother's Day by Elizabeth Mayville

Mother's Day by Elizabeth Mayville

Mother's Day by Elizabeth Mayville

In terms of mediums, Elizabeth favours gouache and oil paint to add texture and intrigue to her subjects. This choice, coupled with her considered colour palette, renders her work beautiful and engaging.  I really love how she uses light pink in her landscapes; it's a refreshing and unusual choice which works for me!

Soccer Match by Elizabeth Mayville

Soccer Match by Elizabeth Mayville

Find Elizabeth and her work on her blog, in her Etsy shop and at elizabethmayville.com.

All images belong to Elizabeth Mayville.

The Illustrator: Barbara Dziadosz

Barbara is a Polish-born, Hamburg-based freelance illustrator who specialises in printmaking and character design.  

She talked about her inspirations and work ethos in  10 Questions with Folk & Tales. 

Spring attire by Barbara Dziadosz

Spring attire by Barbara Dziadosz

Most noticeably, all of Barbara's characters have personality in abundance.  In their bold, bright, and slightly surreal glory, the people in her work capture the attention of whoever is looking.  This is, in no small part, down to her distinctively dreamy colour palettes.

Guided by the theme that takes her fancy at any given moment, her whimsy often leads to small series' like the one below that referenced  'Women in Aviation.'  I especially admire how instantly recognisable her work is by its familiar, and assured use of shape, and colour.  There is always more to look forward to, where Barbara's characters are concerned!

Find Barbara and her work on Instagram, at barbaradziadosz.tumblr.com and at her shop.

All images belong to Barbara Dziadosz.

The Illustrator: Peter Wieben

Peter is a Cairo-based American artist whose work tells stories from around the world.

In 10 Questions with Folk & Tales, he opened up about the intent and inspiration behind some of his art.

Ladies in Dom Church by Peter Wieben

Ladies in Dom Church by Peter Wieben

One of the things I appreciate most about Peter's work is its ability to confront and evoke thought, through its simplicity.  By combining pencil and gouache, he utilises a bright colour palette in such a way that brings his subjects to life making them leap right out of the page.

Peter is conscious of his surroundings and his art strongly communicates his understanding of the stories happening around him.  I particularly admire his use of detail in the illustrations for his recent book project about Gujarat, India that recounts a journey into the world of machines.

Man sleeps next to his machine by Peter Wieben

Man sleeps next to his machine by Peter Wieben

Alang Shipyard- Gujarat, India by Peter Wieben

Alang Shipyard- Gujarat, India by Peter Wieben

Find Peter and his work on Instagram and at peterwieben.com.

All images belong to Peter Wieben

The Illustrator: Nina Cosford

Nina is a Hastings/London- based illustrator who works across editorial, advertising, reportage, typography, education and children's book illustration.  

She was kind enough to answer 10 Questions for Folk & Tales!

'Beateñ': a collaborative project by Nina Cosford and Ali Graham

'Beateñ': a collaborative project by Nina Cosford and Ali Graham

Nina's work is striking in its communicative value; her distinct style captures a gesture effortlessly enhancing the story behind her art.  The combination of her balanced compositions, distinctive white space, and playful use of colour tone renders her illustrations instantly recognisable and memorable, in equal measure.

As part of a stunning Life Portraits series, she has depicted the lives of Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf really bringing their stories to life.  The next lucky lady to have her life illustrated and chronicled by Nina is none other than Coco Chanel.  An early glance at Coco's Life Portrait via Instagram hints at the works promise;  hotly anticipating the book in all its colourful glory.

Life Portraits: Coco Chanel by Nina Cosford

Life Portraits: Coco Chanel by Nina Cosford

Nina also publishes short 'illustrated adventures' via YouTube which offer a fascinating insight into her process!

Find Nina and her work on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and at ninacosford.com.

All images belong to Nina Cosford