Lessons in Confidence

I decided to draw Iris Apfel after seeing the documentary “Iris” (on Netflix). Have you seen it? It was directed by Albert Maysles, who made Grey Gardens. Love this lady and her DGAF attitude, whether it’s regarding her sense of style, beauty standards, or other people’s expectations of her. That level of confidence is something many of us aspire to have, and it almost feels a little contagious as you watch her go about her day. I was often told that confidence comes with experience, but lately I’ve been thinking  that it’s something you have to fake or imitate until it becomes a true part of yourself. Maybe I’ll try that. Let’s pretend to be Iris for a day.

While I’m at it, here are some podcasts featuring a few other queens:

Not just a fashion girl thing: Stan Smith Adidas, illustrated

stan smith adidas illustration by littlekokomo.com

I’m on a huge Adidas kick lately, it’s all I’ve been wanting to draw and paint. Alright so maybe they were the must-have shoes of last summer, depending on how on-top of trends you are. But it looks as though the sneaker movement is here to stay for a while. And even though I’m late in the game, I’m getting on board.

Most fashion trends usually make life uncomfortable and difficult (hey, crop tops! no, I haven’t gotten around to doing those 8000 crunches yet…). But trainers actually make my everyday getting around easier. My closet is full of pairs of shoes that kill my feet, yet are too pretty to give away. I have Band-Aids floating around in all my purses, just in case my shoes actually cause me to draw blood. Needless to say, this was a long time coming.

Hey, if someone is gonna tell me it’s ok to wear sneakers with a long skirt or trousers, and that Kate Moss and Charlotte Gainsbourg are doing it, I’ll gladly follow suit. I win this round, blisters.

P.S.: See more of my illustrations here.

stan smith adidas illustration by littlekokomo.com

Stan Smiths in gold, also very tempting

Stan Smith Adidas illustration

The OG, drawn by yours truly

My favorite print shops on Etsy

little kokomo etsy favesI’ve been working on a gallery wall for the past few weeks, and it ended up being a little harder than it looks. I needed a few pieces to complete it, and turned to Etsy. While I love browsing through different artists’ shops on Etsy, it can sometimes be intimidating. There’s so much to choose from, where does one begin? Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorite shops. Are there any artists on Etsy you love? Please share!
1. Raymond Biesinger
Montreal-based artist Raymond Biesinger creates silkscreened art prints that sometimes have a historical or political context. One of my favorites, which I own, is this map of europe from 1919, which also functions as a RISK boardgame thanks to some cards he includes with the print.
2. Leigh Viner
Colourful and feminine, Leigh Viner’s work captures what I love most about fashion illustration. The soft colours contrasted with strong makeup are often combined with collage and pretty scribbles. The women featured look beautiful with a usual hint of sadness to them, which is what makes the images so captivating to me.
little kokomo etsy picks3. Clare Elsaesser
Clare Elsaesser paints timeless paintings of women and the sea, among other things. Textured brushstrokes capture the movement of the waves and the light that is uniquely found when one is at sea. I had a tough time choosing which one, as they all transported me to my own memories by the ocean.
4. House Grafton
If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you probably at least know a few. I purchased this piece from House Grafton, an artist who made his own rendition of the Sigils of the Houses of Westeros. little kokomo etsy faves

5. City Map Art
City Map Art offers prints of different city maps, but the best part is, you can choose between 48 different colours. Definitely makes things easier if you’re looking for that specific shade to match the colour pallet you are working with.
6. Linton Art
I love the natural effortless art that is found in nature. These tree ring stamps offer a geometric quality to any room as well as a reminder that simple beauty surrounds us in all living things. These prints are all original pieces, no copies were made, and the trees are true to size.

Illustration of the week: Body Loving

I drew the image above as a reaction to something that left a nagging feeling in the back of my head.

Last week, I was shopping at a bookstore downtown when I came across the print below.
MIN-K1B-GNA-007_A_APZWhile it is beautiful and quickly got my attention, I’m just tired of seeing the same body type over and over in fashion illustration, and fashion altogether. I am not into thin-shaming in any way, and I don’t discriminate against any size. It’s just that less than 5% of women have the body type that is constantly being shoved in our faces. I think I speak for all of us when I say we’ve seen enough thigh gaps for a lifetime. I’d like it if women of all shapes and ethnicities could be represented (and this is coming from a white woman who usually fits in a size small, not that it should matter). Show me the diversity that I see in the city everyday. Show me that women of all walks of life can be included in what we define as beautiful. Then maybe when we hear phrases like “Just love your body”, we can actually give it a try.

So many of us can be really critical of the way we look, trying to fit into someone else’s idea of beauty, even when it’s not physiologically possible.
Your body is amazing. It does so much for you, and the least you can do for it is to stop judging it. Be kind to yourself. (At least for today).

Have a lovely weekend, xoxo

PS: see more of my illustrations here.