Who | Annie Herzig

What | illustrator, designer & artist | | @annieherzig

Annie Herzig started drawing when she was “teeny tiny and always loved it.” She says, “My mom used to sit me down on the sidewalk with a Tupperware full of water and a paintbrush, and I would create pictures that would quickly fade away. I wanted to be a Disney animator a little later on, around ten years old, and would teach myself how to draw characters like Simba or the Genie.”

As an adult, experimenting with different media and creating art for various outlets led her down an interesting path. “Working in a corporate environment trained me to produce work for other people, letting go of my own desires for what I create, and simply meeting the company’s needs to sell a product,” explains Herzig.

She finds inspiration through an abundance of outlets—family, food, traveling, other illustrators, like Maurice Sendak and Mercer Mayer, and more. “I’m influenced by animals, plants, science, and nature. By kids and their art. And of course, by John Denver,” she adds.

“I’d say my style is semi-realistic but simplistic, playful, and whimsical. I love simple lines, and I especially love the sort of wild nature of watercolor. It seems to have a life of its own, so I find myself using it a lot.”

Her advice for budding artists: “Don’t stand still. Keep moving and making, that’s when living and growing happens.”

“Lately I’ve been enjoying doing a lot of portraiture and food illustration. I’ve also been making strides in the direction of writing and illustrating books, so this year will have a big focus on getting that off the ground. And of course, I will embrace any other exciting ventures that pop up along the way!”

Who | Brian Fouhy

What | creator, art director and author of Collecting Words — Very (Short) Visual (Stories) | | @fouhy

While in grad school five years ago at Boulder Digital Works, Brian Fouhy joined Instagram, a visually creative online platform, and began following different people he found inspiring.

“One of which was @josecabaco who photographs a lot of words, which influenced me to begin noticing the words that are all around us and #collectingwords was born,” says Fouhy.

Fouhy began capturing photographs of those words he came across as he wandered through life, on street signs, graffitied walls, etc.

“I had amassed a fairly large collection of words and had always had this thought for a book in the back of my mind. However, rather than just feature the words individually, I had the thought to arrange what I had found into stories, in a refrigerator magnet style, where the words in the images came together to tell a bigger story and also allow the images and words to be interpreted in new ways. In all, there are 43 original visual short stories, some fun, some romantic, ultimately showcasing how poetic the world around us can be,” explains Fouhy.

He adds that his strongest source of inspiration often comes from just drifting through streets.

“Some of the best words I have found, I have found by not trying to find them but by wandering and being aware of what surrounds me.”

“I like to think my work is personal, not only for me but of whoever views it. I feel like anyone can look at one of my photos and relate it back to their own life and a memory they have that the word or photo evokes.”

Who | Christina Graziano

What | owner of Blade & Knoll | @bladeandknoll

Christina Graziano has been a maker since childhood: forts, jewelry, paintings and more. In college, she started creating more conceptual sculptural objects. Now she’s the creator behind Blade & Knoll, handmade jewelry and household goods made with a modern, abstract and minimalistic twist.

“My focus has become making quality handmade jewelry and other household goods with my ever-changing 3D inspiration and artistic aesthetic. Through this exploration, I am constantly creating new jewelry, cutting boards, shelves, wall hangings, mobiles, sculptures and other household goods.”

She says pieces are usually dark, organic (almost root-like) in shape and leans toward traditional materials, such as bronze, steel, hardwood, wire, horse hair and dyes.

“As a jewelry designer, you are making objects for the body, so personal style is key. I would say that my artwork can be described as sculptural explorations of personal tensions through heavily ornamented forms,” says Graziano.

She finds inspiration through viewing other artists’ work. “Lately I have been rediscovering my love for Victor Passmore and Alexander Calder. I have also been pulling a lot of inspiration from mathematical and programming diagrams.”

“Every time I learned a new technique, such as welding, casting, brazing, woodworking, forming, working with different materials, etc., the more I evolve and see how those techniques relate to my work, expand my work or change my conceptions.”