I’m a full-time artist who can’t quite sit still (and that is why, of course, I also always paint while standing). Travel ignited a fire in me a long time ago, and I do not plan on putting it out. Wanderlust fuels my artwork. When I was a little kid, I began to draw and paint, so obsessively that my parents signed me up for a preparatory art school for children (which was tedious, by the way – things are always less fun when they’re mandatory!). In college, however, I pursued a more “practical” route and obtained a business degree – but art always consumed a larger space in my head. I worked in the corporate world of marketing for a few years before quitting in 2008 to paint full time – and haven’t looked back since! I now create art in my studio in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood. It is hard for me to last a season without taking a trip – I’m a bit obsessed with discovering new cities, experiencing different countries, and finding fresh hiking trails. My home, Chicago, is also a great muse. So, naturally, my paintings became DESTINATIONS IN COLOR – their subject matter comes from photos I take and sketches I do while out exploring. Figurative themes and even animals make their way into my work, too – they are also a reflection of things I see and do. In my paintings, I mix geometrical elements with distinguishable buildings, landscapes, people, or creatures. My pieces are known for their non-realistic “signature skies” – that is where I get creative with patterns. My inspiration comes from things I see and photograph (of course!), various forms of art, street graffiti and textures. I infuse bright color and high contrast into my pieces, which makes them breathe with energy. I started out by specializing in oil, then switched to acrylics (fewer fumes!) and now also layer occasional mixed media – such as collage, pens and markers, screen printing – into my pieces. My originals are created on canvas or wooden panels. The style of my art appears to fall under Contemporary Expressionism – although I prefer to focus more on my creative process and less on my style terminology; the latter can be defined by art scholars, while I paint. I am lucky to have exhibited internationally in galleries and fine art fairs. My paintings have been acquired by a broad group of collectors, ranging from corporate executives to college students. I hope that, by viewing my work, you take a relaxing journey without leaving your home! If you own an Anastasia Mak original, you own the one-of-a-kind physical result of many hours of thinking, planning, sketching, and layering of brush strokes that went into that piece. Enjoy it!
I am a Boston-born printmaker and recent BFA graduate from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. New to Chicago, I am currently working and creating fauna and flora prints in Pilsen. My most recent project is my Road Trip Series. It is a print portfolio comprised of twenty-one 9x12” portraits of different birds and flowers that I observed during a cross-country road trip this past fall. While I was on this trip, I would stop every so often and take note of the different animal and plant life I saw from state to state. When I got back to the studio, I created this series which I view as a field guide, a documentation, and a reflection of my road trip. Most of my work is completed in the relief or silkscreen printmaking technique. My inspiration for my other work comes from the floral and animal species of William Shakespeare’s histories, comedies, and tragedies as well as the scientific documentation and illustrations of natural history. I am interested in Shakespeare’s metaphorical uses of the plants and animals in his stories, as they become symbolic representations of loss, greed, conquest, love and gluttony among other human emotions and traits. The second large component to my work is the research of actual behaviors and physical characteristics of the species I choose to depict by studying a variety of scientific illustrations. In my art practice, I create works that combine both natural science and Shakespearean stories.
Hiroshi Ariyama - Our City, Our Neighborhood Screen Prints. Although Chicago is not the biggest, most trendsetting or fashionable city, those who live here, or have lived here, carry a certain pride and love for this great city. Yes, our winter is long and cold as Siberia. Our summer is sometimes as hot as the ovens that pump out those famous deep dish pizzas. And you can’t forget the streets full of pot holes which make us all stunt drivers...the list goes on. Somehow we embrace it all. After living here for more than three decades, I too have a soft spot for this city. I hope you can see it in my artwork.
Oh hey, it's me! Your friend Betty Turbo. My life as a Maker of Things began in a family of very artistic grizzly bears in the snowy wilds of Alaska. I earned a BFA in photography from RIT, and then moved to Nashville to get down and dirty with the type spirits of the universe at Hatch Show Print. After letterpress heaven and a stint as a professional cake decorator, I now focus full-time on art shenanigans from my headquarters in Oregon. All those adventures have been blended up into the milkshake of radness you now recognize as the world of Betty Turbo. Known best for hand lettering, portraits, and food imagery, my personal campaign for joy and tasty things is spread through original art, greeting cards, plush sculptures, home décor items, and clothing featuring my illustrations.
Cape Horn Illustration
Behind Cape Horn Illustration is Phil Thompson. His origin story: Grew up around Philadelphia, came to ten years ago Chicago to study international relations, then found this city to be the ultimate place to indulge a love of art and architecture, history, and other curiosities. He works from a home/studio along the Ravenswood corridor on Hermitage Avenue. In his art, he celebrates and draws attention to Chicago’s beautiful residential architecture. All of the work begins by hand, with pen and ink on heavyweight drawing paper. In most of his work, he aims for a classic, etched look that calls back to styles of early illustrators and engravers.
Classic black-and-white darkroom prints from photographer Carl Vogtmann
Citizen Shay is Steve Shay, a self identified citizen of the World. Steve has no formal training but is trained as a graphic designer with a focus on information design. He believes that information can become art, tell a story, and create emotion. This belief led Steve to start experimenting with his own mixed-media “art” in 2005. Today, he is constantly experimenting with various techniques, creating small pieces of work using various media such as paint, pen, paper, gels, photography, wood, and epherema. It’s all an attempt to create pieces that tell short stories while being visually stimulating.
Dan Grzeca - Ground Up Press
Dan Grzeca is a Chicago-born illustrator and printmaker (b. 1968). He has been screenprinting since the mid-nineties, contributing to the nascent and then burgeoning roster of Chicago Poster makers by creating a visual documentation of the Free and Improvised music being made by Ken Vandermark, The Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet,and Caffeine among others. He has gone on to make work for big, famous bands, but still gets the most satisfaction out of making work that ties into music produced by talented friends. His idiosyncratic style is achieved using pencil and scratchboard drawing techniques which are then transferred to screens for multi-layered printing. Dan spends a lot of time thinking about the screenprinting process in both a painterly and stripped down way, attempting to achieve aesthetic freedom by limiting choices in the composition process. Success to him is measured by visual boldness, stark imagery, subtle color layers, and ink-stained clothing.
Dark Island City
I turned my fascination with buildings and how they are constructed into a 10-year career in architecture, working my way up in the biz. The only problem was that the love of the craft started to escape me. It makes sense, then, that I would start mucking around in Photoshop with delightful old pieces of cartography and images of iconic buildings. I ended up creating my own art form by taking pieces of the past and marrying them with modern architectural marvels. A street scene with the unmistakable Flatiron building looks right at home on top of an old map of the gridded streets of Lower Manhattan, turns out. Passion: renewed.
Darren Alejos - violintide
Let your geek flag fly. One day I read a comic book. One day I started playing video games. One day I discovered dinosaurs and whales. Stay perky.
Art & Design by Karyn Denton
Stephen Fowler loved his day job as a graphic designer, but always sought the chance to create fun, colorful, light-hearted illustrative artwork on his own. What began as after-work, home-studio creations inspired by the city, food and drink, and furry creatures of varying shapes and sizes and sold at his local farmer’s market, evolved into a full-time career as an artist. Stephen likes rustic and vintage styles, characterizing his work as simple yet eclectic, bold and graphic.
Our goal is to edition print-based work that represents a collaboration between the artist and a team of skilled printers. Printmaking is strongly rooted in Drawing, which increases in relevance as its definition expands. Process should extend new possibilities to preserve or transform the autographic mark of the artist’s hand. The techniques we use–lithography, relief, etching and screenprinting–create opportunities to work traditionally or experimentally, and give artists tools to re-contextualize existing themes in their studio practice. The creation of multiples allows more viewers to experience and own original art. Print-partners Gabe Hoare and Liz Born formed Hoofprint in 2012. Our Studio is located in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood (in the southwest corner of Pilsen) in a re-purposed funeral parlor. Gabe Hoare works primarily in sculptural installation and assemblage, transforming print-based works into interactive environments. He creates ritual objects that are both sacred and silly, affirming belief whilst simultaneously poking fun. After receiving his BFA from the University of Florida, Gabe went on to assist artists at Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and Tandem Press, including Eddie Martinez, Sam Gilliam, and Suzanne Caporael. His work has been featured at venues including the Milk Factory and Co-prosperity Sphere. Liz Born is a Chicago-based artist. Working primarily in relief and lithography, she illustrates the communion between animals and human-animals. Liz has taught relief, screenprinting, and intaglio at Spudnik Press, The Hyde Park Art Center, and Marwen. Her work has been featured at venues including Heaven Gallery, Woman-Made, and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum.
It'll Glow On You Illustrations
Carolyn Kassnoff was born and raised in Rochester, NY. She received her BFA from the School of Art & Design at Alfred University (New York State), where she studied photography and neon bending. She moved to Chicago in the summer of 2009, and now illustrates portraits, children's books, and DJs with CHIRP Radio.
Jillian Walther Photography
My name is Jillian Walther. I have been taking pictures for a long time, with whatever camera was available. I took pictures of whomever was around me, whatever they were doing. I have lots of photo albums. About 5 years ago, I went back to school and ended up taking a photography class, as part of the degree requirement. I, not expecting to enjoy it nor to actually do well, realized this is it. Whatever it is, photography clicks in my brain -- from thought to process to action to editing, it works, and I have fallen in love. Ever since then, I have not put my camera down. Photography has become oxygen. There are stories all around us. Beautiful, intricate stories and signs of life. In the majestic landscapes and great architectural feats, but also in the small towns we've grown up in or driven through, the dusty and dirty roads, the crumbling facades and fading paint and brand new graffiti. I think there is beauty all around us, even the streets we live on and the signs we've walked by a thousand times. For me, photography is a way to share those stories, to share the beauty and craziness and days-gone-by I see in the world around me.
Josh Moulton Fine Art Gallery
Josh Moulton, the son of celebrated illustrator Conrad Moulton, is a professional artist/painter in Chicago. His work is collected internationally and his paintings adorn many corporate office spaces around the country. Josh has been painting full-time as his career in Chicago for 15 years. His work was represented by galleries in Santa Fe, NM, Chicago and Winnetka before he decided to open his own gallery in 2011. The Josh Moulton Fine Art Gallery in Lincoln Park serves as his space for creating new paintings and a gallery to display and sell his work. Josh chooses not to limit himself when it comes to subjects for his paintings. He draws on life experiences and his travels when he chooses what to paint. His work is very realistic while at the same time showcasing his brushwork and hand upon closer inspection. The gallery at all times has around 40 original paintings for sale, many framed giclee prints of the paintings and 5-6 original paintings in the works. Josh is always available for commissioned work and is extremely easy to work with. His family, wife Ariana and two daughters, Jackson and Carter, are the loves of his life and encourage him every day.
Harnessing the power of AWESOME, kudu-lah brings you monster-like characters that are inspired by folks often seen traveling through the subways of NYC. All 16 kudu-lah critters are named and have their own story. Here at kudu-lah, each individual piece of artwork is lovingly handmade with our unique photo transfer process. Whether the critters are attacking a ship or hanging out at a subway stop, kudu-lah art is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. I bet you'll even see someone you know in our collection!
I create happy art because it’s what comes naturally. It’s how I come to understand the world and how the world may come to understand me. If my art puts a smile on your face, together we're creating a happier planet.
I am a self-taught artist painting and designing from my home studio in Houston, Texas. Inspired by all things feminine, my watercolors are whimsical and just a bit tongue-in-cheek. If you love pastel rainbows, iridescent glitter, cats and dessert, you've landed at the right place. If you also love your art with a side of feminism, let's be friends!
My work is done digitally by combining original illustrations, vintage photos, textures and patterns and turning it into something new. I then create a full color print and apply it to a stained birch wood block. Each piece is built by hand and signed on the back.
Mandy creates digital black and white photography collages which are sublimated onto canvas fabric. She is a self-taught digital artist and uses her own photographic images as a base before manipulating them into an abstract, layered design. Her pieces focus on the well-known landmarks of the city and the architectural aspects within. The process of sublimation turns the inks from a liquid directly into a gas when they are heat pressed onto the canvas, where the ink essentially becomes a part of the fabric and allows the texture of the canvas to remain untouched. Mandy has exhibited her work in art festivals, small galleries and coffee shops throughout Chicago and the suburbs and continues to look for new locations for her next piece. She has expanded to landmarks across the Midwest and recently took trips to Boston, New York, Washington DC and Nashville to take photographs for future designs. She also enjoys working with personal photos to create a one of a kind design that makes for an unforgettable gift. Mandy graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Computer Engineering in 2003. After moving to a new condo the West Loop in 2008, Mandy was faced with the task of decorating a large blank wall in her living room. Her husband and she decided that they wanted artwork that represented Chicago and their new neighborhood but was not the standard, big box store version of the Chicago Theater sign. Mandy ventured out to take pictures of landmarks around the West Loop and upon realizing that many of her photos weren’t the type to blow up for large format printing, she decided to try collaging four or five of the pictures together to digitally create one design and her style was born.
I live in beautiful Portland, Oregon with my husband and our silly little black cat. When I am not taking photos and working in my studio, you can find me riding my bike, eating at one of the various yummy food carts, hunting for great finds at thrift stores, spending time with friends and family and exploring the world.
OrangeBeautiful is a Chicago-based, boutique design firm founded by owner & principal designer, Emily Hamma Martin.
Rebecca Plotnick took an unconventional route into the world of photography. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied Apparel Merchandising at Indiana University, but couldn’t stay away from photography. Over the last 10 years, she has explored the two poles of the medium – the dark room and the digital world. Rebecca wants her photographs to encourage people to “linger over the beauty of life a little longer.” While much of her work has been based on scenes from her local farmer’s market in Chicago, she has been expanding her portfolio of travel photography with recent trips to Italy, England, Israel and most recently Paris.
There are infinite ways to communicate ideas and emotions, and being a visual artist, I have found that I can relate to people through my work more deeply than other of mode of communication. It’s not an attribute that I necessarily sought to discover; rather, spontaneously feeling the urge to create, it seems that art sought me out and thus brought me into the world, becoming something I now uniquely share with many people. Establishing a link to our unnamed feelings by mining my own various histories, I find that I can tune into a universal thread that connects me to my viewers using the process of destruction and reconstruction, all with the underlying goal of evoking feelings which people intentionally or unintentionally bury in the subconscious. When a successful connection is made – when the image most profoundly resonates with an individual – I find that these buried aspects of the self shake free and surface, iterating a more complete knowledge of ones own humanity. In the process, my own self-awareness has grown immeasurably. Conversations, dreams, music and the unconscious mind are influences that have become foundational material for me. My endeavors start at a personal level, in a solitude I have come to appreciate as the home of my art, yet I have begun to expand into the community, working with other professional establishments and organizations, building upon ideas via collaboration which enrich the scope of my visual vocabulary and increase its accessibility. The way I envision a room or environment has now become a part of the endless effort to change and create an engaging atmosphere, both internally and externally. I want to challenge myself to evoke the truths of human spirit while allowing others to transform and become emotionally absorbed within the beauty of unnamed feelings, perhaps eventually to be uncovered and named.
SoulTribe is a lifestyle brand that creates and celebrates a community of believers in Love, Healing & Mindfulness — sprouted by two friends, Malia Rae and Liz Meitus. SoulTribe is the expression of the community of beings that tune into your vibration, support your dreams, and always validate the growth road you’re on. We created SoulTribe to honor each other’s creativity, feed the world a few spoonfuls of gratitude, spread happiness, and dole out smiles. Life is good and we’re here to help reflect and remind us all of why we’re here. We’re the ones that hang on a little tighter, laugh a little louder, pay you many compliments, cheer you on when you feel lost… all in the hopes that our emotional reach is far and wide — effecting this and many generations to come
Since 1999, Jennifer Farrell has operated Starshaped Press in Chicago, with a focus on design and letterpress work that encompasses social stationery, music packaging and posters, as well as custom commissions and wholesale ephemera. All work in the studio is done with metal and wood type, making Starshaped one of the few presses in the country producing commercial work while preserving antique type and related print materials. Jennifer’s work has been repeatedly recognized both in print and design blogs, and has appeared in poster shows throughout the USA and Europe.
I love the way night transforms the urban environment. Instinctually we interpret our surroundings differently after dark. In this series of paintings I am trying to capture the unique mood and atmosphere created by night in the city of Chicago. I pick venues that attract this sensibility, some well known, others not. When I paint these images, I try to create a sense of stillness and urban isolation, as though the hour is late and the streets are devoid of people and traffic. The light reflections dance on the street and you can hear the echo on the sidewalk and the hum of the neon. Chicago with its unique neighborhoods and rich history offers up a multitude of possible locations as subject matter for this series. I find myself like a moth being drawn to the light emanating from corner diners, bars, bakeries, theaters, etc. With a background in traditional painting, I have adopted new technology and create these paintings digitally on an iPad, using my finger as a brush. I start with my own sketch and build each image just like I would with canvas and paint, its just that now I can do this digitally. There is a satisfying immediacy to the medium. Painting on a backlit surface is like painting with light itself. A digital file allows me to create large canvas giclées, archival prints on paper as well as mounted prints on wood. Even before I lived here, Chicago was a city that seduced me. Through these paintings I am sharing my vision of this complicated, captivating city.
Storm Print City
10 years ago I was standing on a corner in downtown Seattle and thought it would be a great idea to make a print from a manhole cover. I went to the store, bought supplies, and pulled my first print. Since then I've been traveling the country seeking out historic, symbolic, or ornate street metal and transforming it into unique art prints. I've collected over 300 prints on canvas from 60 cities across the country on a quest to pull at least one from every state. I currently reside in Chicago with over 20 pieces from the city.
StudioChris creates art that connects people with Chicago neighborhoods. Chris was born and raised on Chicago’s southwest side, in the Clearing neighborhood. He studied graphic design and advertising at Columbia College in South Loop, and graduated in 1991. For the past 20 years, his day job has been in creative and management roles at a Fortune 500 company where his work has received national and international recognition. In May 2011 Chris made a creative idea reality by merging his passions for art, architecture, and Chicago to create a series of posters celebrating Chicago’s neighborhoods. Each poster features an iconic image that represents the neighborhood’s uniqueness and history. The posters are screen printed on earth-friendly, recycled paper to give the prints a hand-crafted feel. StudioChris and his wife are happy to live in Old Irving Park.
Born in Chicago in the sort of January when you can't remember why you live in Chicago, I was handed a camera as a very small person to keep me occupied. My parents were kind enough to take disc film to Osco for developing even when the product was odd photos of stuffed animals and invisible friends, and selfies before selfies were a Thing. Since then, I became a theatre professional, and a sports aficionado, and a hopeless fan of hopeless causes. (The fact that Northwestern, the Blackhawks, and White Sox stopped being hopeless is some sort of karmic reward for being one of 13 people in the stands during their respective lean years.) I deeply care for Chicago, the Midwest, and the Arts. Tracy Letts said it best: "We say it to their faces."
The Little Illustrator
My name is Jen, and I am the illustrator and owner of The Little Illustrator. I have always had a love and passion for art, especially illustration and painting. I opened my shop back in 2008 with honestly not much direction or really any idea what I was doing. At that time, I was a hair stylist, and had a little girl to support, so I had pretty much put any ideas of having any kind of art career to the side. Almost 6 years and four babies later, I’m now a mom to five children, four of which are four years old and younger! My little business is better than I could have ever dreamed it would be. It gives me a creative outlet that I had missed so desperately before, and it allows me to be home with my babies. It’s my dream job for sure!! I LOVE that my art makes people smile and brightens their day. That alone is why I love what I do. Making the world a happier place one illustration and card at a time.
Tracey Capone Photography
I am intrigued by the dance between shadows and light, the angles and lines they create and how everything works together to create dimension. Understanding these elements, and how unique vantage points tweak your perspective, has allowed me to photograph my subjects at uncommon angles which allow people to see things they wouldn’t normally notice. Beyond my use of perspective, it is important to me to only photograph what I love, what intrigues me, not what I feel will be trendy or popular. Whether it’s Chicago, a sheep in Scotland, or a simple autumn leaf, being touched by the beauty of my subject makes me more invested in photographing it well. This lends itself towards a genuine emotion, both seen, and felt, in my work. The craftsmanship of my work is just as important to me, and, ultimately, I create for the sake of craftsmanship, as a way to share my talent with others. I believe art is something that should be enjoyed by many, and not a select few, and, for this reason, I am always deeply touched seeing my work off to new homes. All of my work is hand mounted, by me, in my Chicago studio, on high grade, finished, birch panels using a process I have developed over the last several years.