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Inspiration: Leonard Visits Space Picture Book

Today’s illustration inspiration comes from this awesome whimsical picture book originally published in 1965 and illustrated by Ric Hugo (1927–2003).

Unlike the previous inspiration examples we’ve posted to date (check out our post on a mid-century illustrated cookbook), a quick search of Mr. Hugo actually comes up with a bio—shocker! According to the Lambiek Comiclopedia, Ric Hugo also enjoyed a career as a comic strip creator and a courtroom sketch artist.

Leonard Visits Space is a beautiful example of the depth of storytelling you can get with reducing images to simple shapes and lines, with two simple ink colors, orange and a range of grayscale.

(Also, how much does the government official on p. 36 creepily look like Donald Trump? Now you can’t unsee it, either. You’re welcome.)


Inspiration: Vintage Piano Exercise Book Illustrations

whimsical illustrated piano book

Hey guys! Today we’re featuring a handful of whimsical illustrations from a beginner piano exercise book in our inspiration collection. This is one of those pieces that would have completely flown under the art radar during its time, but now is a fantastic resource in nearly 50 pages of spot illustrations and 1/4–1/2 page scenes. 

There’s no publication date in the book, but the student’s certificate is dated March 1970, so the credited illustrator Ernest Kurt Barth would have completed the work towards the end of the 60’s. There’s plenty of detail to admire in the ornamented cartoony execution, but look beyond the linework and you’ll notice some really pleasing, well-balanced shapes.

(By the way, she did finish the course and get her certificate. Go Kathy!)

More inspiration:

Vintage Disney Vinyl Album Cover