Can Cartoons Teach You a New Language?

Cartoons are an ancient art form, present throughout human existence—and in unique iterations throughout our lives. Their simplicity can communicate a story simply and powerfully, from the earliest cave paintings to modern-day versions, which is why they resonate with people around the world.

Today, cartoons are perhaps more popular than ever. Children worldwide enjoy animated films and TV shows; advertisements feature classic characters. Adults are attracted to them, too. Worldwide, large subcultures have formed around the cartoon. Take the rise of the manga comic in Japan, for example.

In Transit: The Daily Sketches From A Traveler’s Commute

What better way to practice your illustration skills than to sketch what’s right in front of you? Singapore-based artist Cherngzhi Lian does just that, then takes a photo to commemorate the reality of his sketches. From the passengers on his flights and public transportation to the natural landscapes, coffee shops, and restaurants, he gives us a glimpse into his everyday life as well as his travels. He is in the process of publishing a book called “In-Transit” which will be a compilation of his travel and commute drawings. Lian is an adjunct professor in the Film Media Studies department at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore.

That’s Amore! Famous Pop-Culture Couples Illustrated by Ale Giorgini

Whether it’s an upside down Spiderman kiss planted on Mary Jane Watson, or a warm nuzzle from Snoopy for Charlie Brown, it’s not hard to be nostalgic about pop-culture icons – but Italian illustrator Ale Giorgini makes it even easier. His brand of Jetson’s-esq line-work give any character or scene a delightfully retro flavor, and his new series ‘That’s Amore!’ is a tasty example.

Drawing on World Issues: Illustrations by Pawel Kuczynski Continue to Make Us Think

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There are few things more appropriate for satirical critique that world politics and issues. Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski continues to enlighten us with his colored pencils, shedding light on the more confusing and contradictory elements of the world we inhabit. Often his work revolves around the issues of poverty, war, political honesty and wage disparity, each illustration giving us a chance to pause and ponder.

The Monster of Mental Illness Illustrated as… Monsters!

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What if mental illness was caused by supernatural creatures that roam the world taunting their victims? Illustrator Toby Allen’s new series of drawings, called The Real Monsters, imagines such a place and puts a friendly face on what are often serious and debilitating conditions. Why create such a different series?

An Artistic Collaboration With a 4-Year Old

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Sometimes we complain about the way our collaborators work with us on a project – “Why won’t you just grow up!!” – but what if that helper was just a 4 year old child? When Mica Angela Hendricks, a professional illustrator, bought a new sketchbook, her young daughter ditched her own art supplies and wanted to contribute to her mothers work. The result is a charming combination of grown up perfection and youthful imagination.

Hidden Surprises in Garcia Lam’s Clever Illustrations

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With a passion aimed at reinventing “everyday objects and mundane environments” it’s surprising that these illustrations are so interesting… but look closely and each one has a rewarding surprise. Garcia Lam is the smart illustrator behind these smart illustrations, taking often quiet situations and breathing new life into them. Her recent illustrations for the Victoria Symphony’s 2013/2014 lineup (shown above) are just one outstanding example of how she often combines dissimilar objects to create something alive and new.

A Dreamy Digital Nature, Inspired by Childhood

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What if you stepped outside one day and the whole world had gone digital? That’s what it looks like from designer Robinsson Cravents’ new personal project, Nature Dreamy… a title that eludes to the chance we haven’t woken up at all. He’s created colorful 3D worlds atop neatly sliced rectangles of digital earth, featuring majestic and whimsical creatures from deer to squirrels. In one case we are treated to the presence of humans: a sky filled with hot air balloons.

The Wheeled “Characters” of Our Favorite Cult Films

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Every car has a character – from aggressive muscle cars to the family station wagon – but the cars with the most character are often found in the movies. Perfectly matched to the actor they accompany, these cars are often just as much a part of the cast as anyone else. Jesus Prudencio of Spain has been creating posters of these wheeled characters, and like our previous article on the movie Cars We Love, he’s been bringing each of the cars to life in superb fashion.

Visual Bits #461 > In Need Of Comic Relief: Illustrations

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