Front Row Society x Carly Larsson

Last September I was commissioned by Berlin-based Front Row Society to design and illustrate a fall/winter collection of 10 scarves. When I got the job, I had been spending a lot of time drawing in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Japanese Hill and Pond Garden. I was feeling really inspired by Japanese art & culture. So I started researching winter activities in Japan. I found out about these amazing ice festivals they have, where massive, intricate ice sculptures are carved and illuminated with multi-colored lights. I decided this would be the theme for my collection. The colored lights inspired the color palette, while the sculptures of symbolic animals informed each design. Here are some of my early thumbnails:

© Carly Larsson 2014.

© Carly Larsson 2014.

Below is the crab design in its final form.  Click here to view the final illustrations + lookbook (shot by Grey Stanton), and here shop the collection.

© Grey Stanton 2015

© Grey Stanton 2015

 

 

Halloween 313's Nightmare on Clinton Avenue

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Halloween 313 performances on Clinton Avenue. Coinciding with the Society for Clinton Hill's Annual Halloween Walk, every year on Halloween crowds gather outside 313 Clinton Avenue (home of Janna Kennedy, "the Halloween Lady") for free live performances. The performances are put together by an incredibly talented and dedicated group of volunteers including professional actors, producers, designers and artists from around Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. This year I was invited to draw inside the spooky parlor and also had the opportunity to draw the performances. 

Decorations inside the parlor of Halloween 313 

Decorations inside the parlor of Halloween 313 

The set of Halloween 313's 2014 performance "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue"

The set of Halloween 313's 2014 performance "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue"

This year's performance was entitled "Nightmare on Clinton Avenue," and is set in "Clinton Hell." Two neighbors, Kat and Thomas wander by the spooky old mansion discussing rumors that it used to be an insane asylum for axe murderers. Legend has it that the proprietor of the house forces the inmates to perform variety shows every year on Halloween.  Thomas dismisses the rumors as hearsay just as the warden of the asylum, Anesthesia Hangbody, appears and kidnaps him.

Kat and Thomas encounter Anesthesia Hangbody © Carly Larsson 2014

Kat and Thomas encounter Anesthesia Hangbody © Carly Larsson 2014

Kat approaches some police officers seeking help in rescuing her fiancée Thomas from Ms. Hangbody, but they report that no one has lived in that old house for years, and are utterly useless in helping her.

The police are useless in helping Kat © Carly Larsson 2014

The police are useless in helping Kat © Carly Larsson 2014

With nowhere else to turn, Kat seeks help from a haunted painting of a man Anesthesia Hangbody formerly abducted.

Eventually, Kat takes matters into her own hands and fights off Anesthesia Hangbody with a little help from the asylum inmates and the talking painting, all of whom are tired of Ms. Hangbody's abuse.

Kat engages in hand-to-hand combat with Anesthesia Hangbody.

Kat engages in hand-to-hand combat with Anesthesia Hangbody.

Some of the asylum inmates. 

Some of the asylum inmates. 

More asylum inmates, and Thomas in the back.

More asylum inmates, and Thomas in the back.

With a fiery pyrotechnic show, the haunted painting and the inmates finish off Anesthesia Hangbody once and for all. Then Thomas, Kat and the inmates celebrate as the former Ms. Hangbody's portrait is added to the wall.  

A pyrotechnics show signifies that the inmates are tired of Anesthesia Hangbody's mistreatment

A pyrotechnics show signifies that the inmates are tired of Anesthesia Hangbody's mistreatment

Charlotta Janssen puts the finishing touches on the painting of Anesthesia Hangbody while the inmates applaud.

Charlotta Janssen puts the finishing touches on the painting of Anesthesia Hangbody while the inmates applaud.

After the portrait of the newly deceased Anesthesia Hangbody has been added to the wall

After the portrait of the newly deceased Anesthesia Hangbody has been added to the wall

It was a great show and such a privilege to hang out with the incredibly talented cast and crew afterward! There are a few more drawings I decided to rework a bit after scanning, so stay tuned for more drawings from Halloween 313.

Subway Portraits

Yesterday I took the subway to meet a friend in Queens. It was rush hour, so there were plenty of great characters to surreptitiously draw. 

A very serious man reading the newspaper on the G train © Carly Larsson 2014

A very serious man reading the newspaper on the G train © Carly Larsson 2014

Some men on the G train. I was inadvertently gracious to the guy in the front - he was about 20 years older than I drew him, but he moved so I had to fudge it a little ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Some men on the G train. I was inadvertently gracious to the guy in the front - he was about 20 years older than I drew him, but he moved so I had to fudge it a little ;) © Carly Larsson 2014

Man on the 7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Man on the 7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Girl on the 7 train. Loved her puffy jacket and floral handbag. © Carly Larsson 2014

Girl on the 7 train. Loved her puffy jacket and floral handbag. © Carly Larsson 2014

Drawing on the train really makes the ride fly by. There have been times I missed my stop because I was so focused (luckily that didn't happen this time!)

When I showed my friend Siyeon the drawings later on, she knew exactly what train I saw each person on without me telling her. I thought that was pretty funny - It's so true that there are different types of characters that frequent each subway line! 

This cute little guy on the G kept peeking out at me. So cute in his little Converse sneaks. © Carly Larsson 2014

This cute little guy on the G kept peeking out at me. So cute in his little Converse sneaks. © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

7 train © Carly Larsson 2014

Chic ponytail lady, G train © Carly Larsson

Chic ponytail lady, G train © Carly Larsson

I loved the shape of this guy on the 7 train - so round! © Carly Larsson 2014

I loved the shape of this guy on the 7 train - so round! © Carly Larsson 2014

I must admit, I drew this kid out of aggravation. He was playing his soccer game with the volume on full blast. 7 train. © Carly Larsson 2014

I must admit, I drew this kid out of aggravation. He was playing his soccer game with the volume on full blast. 7 train. © Carly Larsson 2014

Portland's Most Popular Hairstyle

ICON8006.jpg

I visited Portland Oregon in July for the ICON8 Illustration Conference. One of the things I noticed over and over again in Portland was this hairstyle - shaved on the sides, long on top (sometimes combed over, other times in a bun). Approximately 99% of the male population was sporting it (Fact).

Brooklyn Bridge Park

One of my favorite places to go draw lately has been Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. It's a short train ride from my apartment, there are great views of the bridges and the city, there's a carousel, lots of people, etc. etc. Here are a couple of drawings from one of the first times I drew there in August.

The Manhattan Bridge as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The Manhattan Bridge as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The Brooklyn Bridge with the Freedom Tower in the back, as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

The Brooklyn Bridge with the Freedom Tower in the back, as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014.

Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. © Carly Larsson 2014.

Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. © Carly Larsson 2014.

This is Jane's Carousel, formerly known as the Idora Park Merry-Go-Round, created in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and originally installed in Youngstown Ohio. The carousel features 3 rows of 48 hand-carved and painted wooden horses as well as 2 chariots. When Idora Park closed in 1984 the carousel was sold at auction and brought to Brooklyn for restoration. It opened at its new location on the East River in Brooklyn September 16, 2011.

Houseplants

Some studies of my parents' houseplants from a rainy Labor Day - soon to be a new pattern! I'm so drawn to houseplants (no pun intended), probably because I can't have any of my own (our cat eats them). I'd be more specific about the types of plants these are, but to be honest I have no idea. When I texted my mom to ask, her response was: "I'm not good with plants. That one is already dead. Very happy you captured it in its prime." Haha! 

DUMBO Arts Festival

This past weekend was the annual DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn. After 4 years living in Brooklyn and never having gone, I decided it was due time to check it out. 

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

There was so much to look at and so many people everywhere that it was a bit overwhelming at first, and I must admit I spent more time wandering around with my mouth hanging open than actually drawing. One of the first things I stopped to see was "Circle Circus" by Saul Schisler, an interactive sculpture consisting of an oversized spirograph accompanied by giant pencils. Both kids and adults were having a blast trying to operate the mechanism, and I heard a few people say they had a difficult time using the giant pencil. 

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

"Circle Circus" an interactive sculpture by Saul Schisler. © Carly Larsson 2014

While I was drawing one guy told me he'd be more impressed if I was using a giant pencil. Unfortunately, I didn't have a large enough sketchbook for that (and also, random man, this may be shocking- but I was not there to impress you). 

The Eat Morris food truck on Water Street, DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014

The Eat Morris food truck on Water Street, DUMBO. © Carly Larsson 2014

After watching and drawing the Circle Circus for a while, my friend Betsy was hungry so we decided to check out the many food trucks lining Water Street. The lines were pretty long, so instead of waiting I snacked on some almonds and drew. The drawing above is of the Eat Morris truck which serves fancy grilled cheese. It smelled awesome and I learned later that they do gluten-free too.

Jumbo DUMBO Puppy sculpture by Shinji Murakami. © Carly Larsson 2014

Jumbo DUMBO Puppy sculpture by Shinji Murakami. © Carly Larsson 2014

Next stop was the Jumbo DUMBO Puppy, a huge sculpture by Shinji Murakami made out of cardboard boxes! To be perfectly honest, I wasn't 100% sold on going to the festival until I saw the Jumbo DUMBO Puppy online. It just seemed so goofy, and how can you NOT want to go draw an enormous puppy made out of cardboard boxes!? I was very tempted to draw on it, but alas it was not an interactive sculpture and I figured that would be frowned upon. 

Reflection / Kolonihavehus by Tom Fruin and CoreAct. © Carly Larsson 2014

Reflection / Kolonihavehus by Tom Fruin and CoreAct. © Carly Larsson 2014

Last stop was Reflection / Kolonihavehus by Tom Fruin and CoreAct. This one could be experienced both as a sculpture and a piece of performance art; there were 5 performances inside of it. The audience was invited to wander in and out of the piece as they liked. It drew a lot of attention as it was right on the main walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Overall it was a good time - of all places I've drawn in public, I seemed to attract the least weird looks at the DUMBO Arts Festival :P Can't wait to go back next year!