Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Deborah Ballinger Illustrations

Most definitely the one to watch-out for in the shop for the coming spring & summer months (I use 'spring' and 'summer' with a pinch of salt- judging by the dreary days March has so far brought us!). Deborah Ballinger (formerly known as Raccoon Press) is an amazingly talented freelance- illustrator who creates all manner of things floral, intricate, inventive and simply beautiful.

We originally began to stock Deborah's work because of how well it works alongside that of
The Aviary and their recent exhibition we've had on display in store. But Deborah is a talented artist in her own right, whose unusual work makes her distinctive from a lot of other contemporary illustrators; you only have to pay her website a visit to notice how broad her body of work is, from a fantastic wordpress blog to personal commissions & custom patterns.


Having explored Deborah's web pages, I have become obsessed with her collaboration with a professional shirt maker, Victoria Eames-Fernandez and their brilliant idea of combining two different modes of art to create something extra special for more-than-appreciative individuals. As someone very much into their tailored, well made clothing, I think I may have to be placing an order in for one of these. Here's an example of this collaboration from Deborah's website, by far my favourite!

Whilst we don't have any of Deborah's apparel in Landbaby, we do have (and keep an eye out for more upcoming stuff!) various other stunning creations by her. A really popular item in the shop has been the patterned origami writing set. Available in two different patterns, each pack contains excellent quality writing paper, envelopes, stickers and sheets of origami instructions to turn your love letters, hate mail & general correspondence into a blooming paper flower. These sets make excellent gifts, look lovely on the edge of a book shelf and are a brilliant modern twist on the old favourite of letter writing.

If you're a Landbaby regular, you'll know that we do love a good tote bag and Deborah doesn't disappoint: using her original designs, she has created an excellent range of totes with designs that are simple and clean in their lines but are coloured beautifully with various pastel shades (like the wonderful origami writing sets, these have been a very popular with you lovely shoppers)
Admiring Deborah's work, it really reminds of traditional tattooing and how that similarly uses thicker, bolder outlines, clean-cut lines and builds upon this with colour and ingenuity regarding style and design- this is what attracted me to the pieces created by Deborah, both in Landbaby, and also when browsing her website and
facebook; how she doesn't seem to shy away from bold, unusual prints but more so, how there's a definite rethinking in how to 'create' in the current independent scene- creating naturalistic graphics but making them into temporary tattoos, illustrating using the conventional pencil, but creating some of the most stunning, macabre images I've seen, such as the 'Howl' piece on her website.

So, next time you're in store, have a good look at all of Deborah's work which we have in stock (and stay tuned on our facebook for when we have more of her stunning items in). Her work compliments the shop and other current designers we hold perfectly, yet still remains unique; Deborah's floral patterns and designs are refreshing to see- a brilliant alternative to seeing Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater etc prints everywhere you turn and this is what I love about independent artists and businesses- the ingenuity and hard work that goes into their creations and how it sets them aside from the high street and chain stores. Something which Deborah Ballinger Illustrations more than succeeds in doing!

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