1. Píccolo at Artscape!

    It is described as “America’s Largest Free Arts Festival! And just mere weeks ago Píccolo was a part of it in Baltimore city!
    We were inside the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Brown Center as part of an art market there with MICA faculty and staff. (which was awesome because it was crazy hot outside. And when it was not hot outside it was pouring torrential, terrifying rain. So we were feeling pretty lucky!)

     We had a table right near the front entrance, and on that table were petite prints from our Kickstarter campaign, as well as our newest 'To Market' tote bags.

    Thanks so much to everyone who came up to us to say hello, bask in the glorious a/c of the building, look at our wares, and even buy something! It was a whirlwind 3 days, but it was totally amazing!

    All of our products can be found online at our new shop!


  2. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 9: Studio Visit with Nick Iluzada

    Our wonderful visit to Brooklyn was winding down, but we still had one more illustrator we wanted to meet. We were pretty stoked to visit Nick Iluzada and see his studio in the famed Pencil Factory. (Lots of great illustrators have studio spaces there!)

    Nick has been at the Pencil Factory for 1.5 years now. We talked about his love of zines and independent small presses.

    He co-runs a neat collective called Slow Youth. His work is bold, playful, and colorful.

    His definition of illustration is straightforward: Drawing pictures for money. He does not think the industry has really changed that much. It is mulch-faceted and linked with the design world.

    (the photocopier, where the zine magic happens!)

    This was a great way to end our trip! Check out Nick’s work here: http://nickiluzada.com/

  3. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 8: Craft Night with Jordan Sondler

    Jordan is a talented illustrator pal of our who recently relocated from Baltimore to Brooklyn. We joined her for a fun evening of chatting/crafting painting planter pots. 

    We used plain acrylic paint and got the pots from Ikea.
    We loved Jordan’s sketches for a plant pattern!

    Totally fun and easy to do! And it makes for a stylish upgrade for your plants! Lisa painted rabbits (typical) & Sara painted modern stripes. Here are the final results!
    See Jordan’s awesome work here: http://www.jordansondler.com

  4. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 7: Meeting the lovely Jen Mussari

    Jen Mussari is a hand letterer/illustrator/designer/amazing lady who invited us to see her space at Studiomates in Brooklyn.

    Studiomates houses many amazing creative people including the offices for Tattly (rad temporary tattoos!) We got to poke around and talk to Jen about life, the universe, and everything!

    Jen is a MICA grad who studied general fine art for the first 3.5 years of her college education before having an epiphany to switch to the illustration side. She was always interested in typography and drawing type. She thinks of it as basically drawing and rendering lettering which she does the old fashioned way, by hand! She says lettering is addictive for her, and commented on the battle between craving perfection in her work, but still wanting to maintain the natural looseness of her hand. 

    Jen’s best advice for budding creatives is to build a strong online presence. “Make the right piece and have it seen by the right person.” She thinks it is difficult to define illustration right now.

    Jen introduces herself as an illustrator but she does a million things! She explains that illustration needs to solve a problem and communicate personality for a client. Illustration is free in that it is not chained to a medium. She thinks it hasn’t really changed that much. 

    This is the view out her window! Jen Mussari’s dream project is to design the flag for a small nation. We thought that was a stellar answer! See more of Jen Mussari’s work here: http://jenmussari.com

  5. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 6: Sam Kalda Visit

    Sam Kalda is currently working on his MFA in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology and he very graciously welcomed us into his apartment and studio space.
    He explained that he is a big fan of Art History and often tries to pick a historical look for his pieces. He does a fair amount of research before getting into an illustration. Sam’s process is to work tonally and add color only at the end.

    We LOVED his project, “Splendid Objects,” that he started as an assignment around the theme of “collections.” He even showed us some of the real items his illustrations were based on! He was kind enough to give us a copy of the accordion book he made (which we cherish!) Sam is interested in creating playful picture books for adults.
    He confessed that he is still really trying to figure out what illustration is. (So are we!) He feels that it is communicating through images and that the field is different than it was 25 years ago. Now he thinks there is greater opportunity for authorship and generating your own content as an illustrator.
    Sam told us how he felt an illustrator needs to be self-motivated and entrepreneurial. We loved his phrase, “people are visual omnivores.”

    We had way too much fun chatting with Sam (and meeting his cat!) See more Sam here: http://www.samkalda.com/#


  6. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 5: Visiting with Gant Powell

    Gant Powell very warmly welcomed us into his apartment that doubles as a studio space on our most recent Píccolo field trip to NYC.

    We waxed poetics on the nature of finding yourself as a person and as a creative. (Lisa and Gant share a common affinity for having a lot of feelings.) He was very understanding and sensitive that all of this is a process and a journey. “Aren’t we all kind of trying to figure it out?” he asked. Gant felt he wasn’t quite finished as an illustrator when he left MICA so he decided to pursue a Masters at SVA to let his style develop and find his own voice. Sara had gone to college with Gant and noticed the evolution of his style.
    Gant likes to make illustrations in series because he feels like one image is not always enough to sum up an entire idea that he wants to keep exploring. He works primarily in watercolor and feels that it is a media that requires him to make decisions and he likes having a final, physical piece in real life.

    Gant does a lot of odd jobs to make ends meet. He says, “I want to be supported by my work and make work that impacts people in positive ways.” We thought that was really beautiful. He defines illustration as “narrative art.” He thinks of everything he does as illustration. It differs from graphic design in that it focuses on figurative images and pictures.

    We loved spending time with Gant, see more of his work here: http://www.gantpants.com/

  7. Some of our favorite Fuji Instax photos from our trip! From top to bottom:

    1. The Statue of Liberty, viewed from Red Hook in Brooklyn.

    2. 1/2 of Píccolo - Sara

    3. 1/2 of Píccolo - Lisa

    4. Jordan Sondler

    5. Daniel Fishel

    6. Jessica HJ Lee

    7. Gant Powell

    8. Sam Kalda

    9. Jen Mussari

    10. Nick Iluzada 


  8. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 4: Meeting Mr. Boddington

    Mr Boddington is the dapper persona behind a lovely NYC-based stationary and paper goods boutique. If you are unfamiliar, Mr. Boddington’s Studio is best known for creating designs for beauteous letter-pressed wedding invitations (we were ogling a large book of samples they had.) The work is charming, nuanced, and sophisticated, but totally accessible. As a budding creative small business we were thrilled to get an inside look at their studio space.

    We sat down with Jessie Pickren, the president of the company, who very generously agreed to meet with us, indulge our many questions, and be generally awesome. The office featured a velvet sofa, wooden bookshelves, and a framed likeness of Mr. Boddington himself!

    Every detail was carefully considered to reflect the brand. Jessie explained the importance of staying on brand and having good collaborators to maintain one consistent voice (which is something they do exceptionally well!) They want to stay true to paper products but be open minded to other opportunities as well. She assured us that the best thing a small business can do is research and just contact people and companies with questions. People will grow to trust your brand and be loyal to it with time.

    Jessie reminded us that running a small business can be very hard and very rewarding. This experience was definitely a highlight of our trip, get more Boddington here: http://www.mrboddington.com/


  9. Píccolo Field Trip Chapter 3: Jessica H.J. Lee Studio Visit


    We were totally giddy to meet Jessica, one of our  ‘To Market’ illustrators. We had first seen her work at the Brooklyn Comic Fest last November and were totally captivated by her intricate line work and strange subject matter. (Jessica has an ongoing personal project where she makes zines reinterpreting classic fairy tales from a feminist and macabre perspective!)



    Jessica is originally from Korea, but has been living in New York for a while, going to Parsons for undergrad to study Graphic Design and then SVA for a master’s in illustration. She creates her illustrations traditionally with pencil, and then changes the colors digitally. She showed us beautiful examples of different projects she has worked on, including some children’s product design and gallery shows. We discussed that she uses different styles for different projects. Jessica explained that she enjoys using her gory style, but sometimes likes to try something else.


    We asked her about her ‘To Market’ design which features charming anthropomorphic food items (we love the pickle dude!) densely arranged like a pattern. It also features her hand lettering skills. Jessica said she loves drawing food and was picturing everything she would see at the market. She has embraced her love of complicated designs.


    Jessica feels that illustration is a form of art used to tell a story, and it has the capacity to be very personal. At the end of the day, it does have to communicate something. She has noticed a shift toward more gallery work for illustrators.


    See more of Jessica H.J. Lee’s work here: http://www.jessica-hj-lee.com/


  10. Pìccolo Field Trip Chapter 2: Studio Visit with Daniel Fishel

    We decided to depart from our home base in Baltimore, MD to spend an exciting and jam-packed week in New York City. Our bus left at the unreasonable hour of 5:30AM. (Which we ended up regretting and probably won’t repeat.) We arrived safely in Brooklyn and settled in to a charmingly miniature apartment. Our first endeavor was to visit Daniel Fishel’s studio in Queens.

    We had been following Daniel on Twitter and were really impressed by his super human Twitter skills and networking abilities. It felt like we already knew him! So we asked him about it. He said that it is important to be really genuine, and to just treat people like people. He gave an example of sending them funny photos of your cat because it makes you more relatable and real. (We agreed, since we notoriously share photos of our furry friends.)  

    Daniel has an undergraduate degree from University of the Arts and a Master’s from SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay program. He combines traditional and digital media, often scanning in ink drawings and applying color digitally. This was something that he started in graduate school; it was an experimental materials class that challenged him to work differently. And now, it is the primary way he creates illustrations. He was nice enough to show us some super neat, newly fished book covers he’s been working on, as well as several paintings from different gallery shows. 

    Meeting Daniel was pretty great! See more of his work at http://www.o-fishel.com/ and follow his excellent twitter account: @o_fishel

    Stay tuned for our visits with Jessica H.J. Lee, Gant Powell, and Sam Kalda!


  11. Pìccolo Field Trip: Chapter 1

    We (Sara and Lisa) are pretty delighted to have Píccolo participate in Artscape this summer! If you have never experienced the majesty that is Artscape we will attempt to paint you a picture with our words. It is America’s largest free arts festival that takes place in Baltimore every summer. This year it is Friday, July 19 - Sunday, July 21. We will have a table in MICA’s Brown Center (come say hi!)

    We were mulling over an appropriate Píccolo project to debut at Artscape and both agreed that tote bags put the ‘fun’ in functional and are great summer accessories. We had pretty dreams of taking them along to outdoor farmer’s markets or bringing them to the beach this summer. The two of us love and use tote bags ourselves for everything from moving to food shopping, and we appreciate that they are reusable and eco-friendly. So we contacted 5 very awesome illustrators to design an illustration around the theme ‘to market.’ We are so excited to say that we are working with Tuesday Bassen, Karolin Schnoor, Caleb Luke Lin, Lesley Barnes, and Jessica H.J. Lee for this project.
    Here they are! We are very pleased.

  12. our pop up tent with festive bunting!
    this way to Píccolo!
    don't forget the snacks!
    we gave our Kickstarter rewards to local backers while they made thaumatropes.

    Píccolo Exhibition // Paper Fun for Everyone Worksop and Backer’s Bash!

    (Source: heypiccolo.co)

  13. Píccolo is on exhibition! Check us out at the MICA Studio Center now until April 14th!

  14. Don’t forget to join us this saturday from 2-4pm! We will be making amazing thaumatropes, giving out Kickstarter rewards and partying with treats! Not to be missed!

  15. Want to make your very own illustrated small thing? We will be making thaumatropes - a Victorian paper toy that mimics animation- that you can take home!

    Also if you are a local backer of our Kickstarter campaign you can pick up your rewards at this event! And there will be treats!

    So join us Saturday, March 30, between 2-4 pm! See the flyer for more details.