Getting to Know the Locals: Cassie Genc

the last traveler portrait

I had the great opportunity of talking with Cassie Genc, a local Milwaukee illustrator living in the Bayview area. Her work is full of whimsy, wonder, and robots. I have looked up to Cassie as an artist for many years and have always appreciated her use of vibrant colors and attention to detail. The pieces she creates transport to magical other worlds that leave you thirsting for further exploration into her work.
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The making of a mural, in chalk

Day 1: Setting the scene
One of my first assignments at Composure was to create a wall mural. It was the largest piece of artwork I’ve ever done. It was slightly intimidating at first, but I was ready to take on the challenge. Here’s a behind the scenes look at creating my first chalk wall mural!

First, you must do the research. Pulling inspiration pieces is not only a great way to get your creative juices flowing, but helps create a starting point for what will become the finished work. As an inspiration point, I began to gather pieces from past projects, a wide mix of different works. I wanted to incorporate designs from all different clients and find a way to integrate them all together.

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Creating a cohesive layout is like solving a puzzle. You start out with individual pieces and begin to find which pieces fit together, which pieces don’t.

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Our Kids: Childlike Creativity

Anyone that knows me will tell you I talk about my two daughters—a lot. In my defense, it’s pretty much “Dad Law” that I have to brag about them whenever I get the chance and think everything they do is amazing.

All joking aside, my kids’ imaginations never cease to amaze me. Whether they are creating incredibly detailed plots for stories while playing with their toys or making up random lyrics to songs, I find myself often times just watching and smiling.

What I am most in awe of, however, is the way I can give them a stack of paper and just watch them create page after page of drawings. They’ve spent entire afternoons with nothing but their imaginations, a binder of loose-leaf paper and crayons—so many crayons.

Layla bear

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Cast of Characters

Portraits have always been about more than ink and paint to me. Part of what sparked my interest in them was finding ways to show the idiosyncrasies of the people around me. Things like the curve of a nose or how someone’s chin sits against their cheek, or in this instance, how much they really do look like their pet.

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Illustrators

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Jim Madsen

http://www.shannonassociates.com/artist/jimmadsen

Madson has been illustrating for the past 15 years, and has 75 illustrated books to show for it! His work has a soft, dreamlike quality. He uses subtle humor which brings charm to a lot of his pieces. There’s warmth through his color palette that helps create a sort of comfort to the characters he constructs. I really enjoy his work, and he is fantastic to work with.

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A Few of our Favorite Things: LL’s Illustrated Children’s Books

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The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

Described by Oliver Jeffers as “A thrilling tale of mystery, crime, alibis, paper planes, and a bear who wanted to win.” This book is illustrated beautifully through humor, Jeffers ‘childlike’ type and lovable characters. I love the animals stick figure legs and the sky always changing bold colors. It was nearly impossible for me to choose a favorite among Jeffers books-so I must cheat my “3” favorites list here and mention two more titles by Jeffers, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and This Moose Belongs to Me. Though lets be honest, they are all great!

Purchase here!

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Must Follow Instagram Accounts

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https://instagram.com/annariflebond/

@annariflebondhttps://instagram.com/annariflebond/

Anna Bond, owner (along with her husband) and creative director for the stationery and gift brand Rifle Paper Co. is one of my favorites to follow on Instagram. And, I am not alone. With over 281k followers, Anna is no stranger to Instagram. Her account is upbeat, beautiful, and inspiring with a balance in posts across work, product, and home life. Her work at Rifle Paper Co. is known for beautiful hand painted floral prints and has been expanding from paper goods to clothing lines, home goods, and wall paper. (Seriously, I want to cover my house in her wallpaper.) Follow her and take a look at Rifle Paper Co.’s website too! Continue reading “A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Must Follow Instagram Accounts”

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How I became an illustrator

Welcome CG favorite illustrator Christiane Engel as she talks about how she got started as an illustrator…

CE: I get asked this a lot….here’s the long version of the answer. :)

When I was studying arts in Germany, I tried everything from painting, printing, photography, typography, graphic design, animation and some filming, it was that kind of school were you were left free to explore all mediums and encouraged to find your own voice through creative play rather than by doing exams.

I stuck with illustration and animation and found out I had the most fun when I could tell stories and apply my art to something.

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A Few of our Favorite Things: LL’s Design Blogs

The book cover archive
http://bookcoverarchive.com

Our own Kristin Resch, CG Production Manager, found and shared this site with all of us here at Composure. I might be stealing from her list here (sorry Kristin!), but I love surfing through this endless grid of beautifully designed book covers. Full of impactful type, strong photography, beautiful illustration, and well thought out color and layout, its a quick go-to when you need a boost of creativity (or possibly a new reading recommendation)!

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A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Etsy Illustrators

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Searching, Chasm, House With Ladder by Jeremy Miranda https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeremymiranda

Jeremy Miranda, https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeremymiranda

LOVE his work, it has a series surrealist quality, which I am known to gravitate towards. I also love the loose style brushwork and the fact that you can have a feeling of a narrative in each piece. I think he sort of plays with the juxtaposition of the home and where or how it resides in nature. He also brings to light how we view it, through a window, computer screen, or under water. His color palette is darker; however, he often adds a pop of bright green/teal or blue. Definitely an artist to check out, and exciting that he has prints available on Etsy (as I could never afford his real deal canvas pieces available on his website!)  Continue reading “A Few of Our Favorite Things: LL’s Etsy Illustrators”

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