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Art + Design

Happy 2011! I hope everyone had a great start to the new year. Just wanted to show two type treatments I’m really loving…

I like the thread texture treatment they did with the font Balearic Thread. Very energetic and modern.

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This font is called OTTO and it gives me the feeling of sexy, futuristic stilettos and an adventurous night ahead. Very elegant. Created by design studio Non-Format.

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So… big news for me… After working as an art director and graphic designer at my current company for almost five years, I put in my two weeks notice on Friday. It is time for new challenges and adventures; I am pursuing freelance design. I am really excited about future prospects and already have some interesting projects in the works. The next couple of weeks few months will be crazy as I transition into a new chapter of my life and may disappear for a moment. But I’m hoping one of the things I can get back to is working on my blog; this site needs a redesign!

Here’s a toast to making career moves and aiming for creative and personal fulfillment. Gotta be true to self. I’m ecstatic about this new change in my life; the possibilities are endless… Ready, set, GO!!

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Part of shonshon8 blog’s mission is to profile artists and designers whose work I admire. That said, I’d like to introduce to you to illustrator/typographer/designer Ana Benaroya!

Recently, I collaborated with Ana on a special project for the New York Press. What drew me to Ana’s work is her hand-drawn typography, charming illustration style and vibrant use of colors. There’s something about her art that gives off a fun, energetic vibe and her type drawings visually describe the word or phrase she’s rendering to a T.

Let’s learn more about the artist behind the work; here’s a Q&A I did with Ana:

1. How long have you been drawing and creating art? When was the pivotal moment when you decided you wanted to do this professionally?

I’ve been drawing and making artwork since I was a little baby (cliche, I know, but it’s true!).  There was never really a pivotal moment when I decided I wanted to pursue this professionally; it just kinda was! I guess I’m lucky I always knew what I wanted to do. So the struggle was (and still is) making that a reality.

2. I noticed that you do a lot of illustrations involving hair, which I love! How did this style evolve?

A long time ago (well, not too long), I was very much into cross-hatching, obsessively so. Eventually I fell out of that and my desire to draw lots of little lines started expressing itself in hair. I enjoy that I can render hair and create movement and excitement in a composition, all with just a bunch of lines. I think hair can define the personality and character of an individual—and I enjoy experimenting with new hair styles. Also, I secretly wish I could grow facial hair… I would have so much fun experimenting with different sorts of beards and mustaches.

3. What is the most unusual project you’ve done so far? Can you describe your experience?  

The most unusual project I’ve done so far was design a pair of socks. It was an amazing experience because I love socks and own a wide variety. I tried to think of the design in a sculptural way, since it would eventually wrap around someone’s foot. And (not surprisingly), I ended up designing what I call “beard socks.” Each sock has the head of a man with an extraordinarily long beard, which made up most of the body of the sock.

4. Who and what inspires you? 

The strange and bizarre inspire me, whether it’s a funny old man I pass on the street or a terrible commercial for a law firm on daytime television. I enjoy seeing the ridiculousness of life, finding humor in everyday things and I try to translate that into my work. Of course, I also look at other artists’ work—some of my favorites include: Michelangelo, Jillian Tamaki, Ray Fenwick, Seripop and Tom of Finland.

5. What advice can you give to aspiring artists on how to make it professionally as an illustrator?  

Hmmm, well all I can say is you are your own best agent! No one will work harder than you to promote yourself and put your work out there. I am still learning many things, but the one thing I know for sure is this job is not for the lazy!

6. Tell us an interesting, random fact about you!

I am obsessed with muscular men, but not attracted to them.

It’s Ana!
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For the New York Press Best of Manhattan and Beyond 2010 issue, Ana was asked to create a cover that embodies a celebratory city vibe, plus come up with four interior illustrations that describe these categories: City Living, City Services, Eats & Drinks and Arts and Entertainment. Here are the wondrous results:

All featured artwork by Ana Benaroya. To see more of Ana Benaroya’s work, go to http://anabenaroya.com.

For fall/winter, a few leather items I’m lusting after… (L to R): Kelsi Dagger Eva1 ankle boot, Absolut Vodka Rock Edition (a collaboration with Natalia Brilli) and Pour La Victoire Kerry lace-up boot.

Since I’ve burned a big hole in my wallet, the boots will have to wait, but perhaps I could treat myself to the vodka. 😉

I’ll keep this post short; just returned from a whirlwind trip to China for my brother’s wedding, so I’m still shaking off jet lag and catching up on work. However, I’ll post soon with photos from my travels and amazing shopping finds from Hangzhou and Shanghai. Check back!

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