This month, we’re putting together a series of feminist gift guides. They're a way to highlight fun stuff we love and creators we're excited to support.
For my gift guide, I put together a little tribute to some of my art crushes. As Bitch’s art director and as a college design/illustration educator at Pacific Northwest College of Art, I get the opportunity to get to know so many great illustrators and comics artists. I’m lucky to not only see awesome work, but to develop relationships with many of these lovely humans and get to hear who inspires them. Here’s a collection of gifts from some of my personal art crushes--who you may have seen in the pages of Bitch--and art crushes of some of Bitch’s recent illustrators.
In her illustrations, Molly Mendoza is interested in exploring stories of how place builds people. A friend of Bitch since she was a student of mine at PNCA, Molly Mendoza has done illustrations for our sci-fi podcast and our Blood and Guts issue. She also made an amazing poster and sticker for us this year. You can buy some recent (and ridiculously affordable!) prints of her work at Portland’s Land Gallery and through Buy Olympia.
Matty Newton illustrated a story for our (Re)Vision issue about I Dream of Jeannie, and his personal work explores pop culture, social commentary, and frivolity. I love that his work is super fun and celebratory, but doesn’t shy away from the dark side of his characters.
Alexx Dovelin, who is Bitch Media’s in-house graphic designer and also a talented illustrator, pointed me toward artist Camille Chew. Chew’s work examines mythology and fantasy in a modern, graphic way. I love her prints, including this from her astrology series and this mythology-inspired huntress.
Shannon Wright, who illustrated a piece in our Nerds issue, is a huge art crush of mine. Though Shannon doesn’t have an online store, she pointed me in the direction of Catherine Virginia, whose print visualizing the romantic affair between Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker is lovely, warm, and intimate.
Melody Newcomb illustrated a thoughtful piece for our Gray issue and sells prints of this psychedelic-colored tribute to feminist icons.
Eleni Kalorkoti’s shape-based illustrations are iconic, sweet, and powerful all at the same time. In 2016, I want to transform into the rock star or swimmer from her Blue issue illustration for us. But barring that miracle, any of her prints would make a perfect gift for me. (HINT.)
Mari Naomi’s Eisner-nominated graphic novel Dragon’s Breath is a compassionate, honest, and down-to-earth memoir, but I also love her suggestive little book Dirty Produce. It has specially hand-drawn additions to each page in gel pen and scented inks, making for a fun, sensory experience.
And last but not least, for your friend who needs a little holiday self-care, Yumi Sakugawa’s newest book There’s No Right Way to Meditate is a delight. It offers ways to root yourself in the midst of chaos, while still enhancing your creative spark.