Whimsical Worlds: Artists to Follow Now


From colorful journal pages to creatures made of salvaged materials, here’s a glimpse at the imaginative worlds of textile and multimedia artists on WordPress.com.

The Pale Rook

We discovered Glasgow-based textile artist Johanna Flanagan after stumbling upon her post, “Artist’s Statement: Part Two,” and were immediately pulled into her curious world of dolls that are hand-drawn, sewn, and embroidered. We love her delicate, narrow-waisted figures in cross-legged positions, many of which are created with recycled fabrics and threads she’s collected over the years.

"Odette," The Pale Rook, Johanna Flanagan

“Odette,” The Pale Rook, Johanna Flanagan

The free Sketch theme and built-in portfolio feature showcase Johanna’s characters in a simple yet sophisticated grid, which is separate from her blog posts. (You can enable a portfolio on a number of free and premium themes.)

Anouk de Groot

The world of Anouk de Groot, a folk artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland, is full of fantastic creatures — ones you’d encounter in fairy tales or eerie dreams. Think mermaids on jaw bones. A sheep skull with gold and black illustrations. A textured painting of a folk tale bride.

"Horned Mermaid Jaw Bone," Anouk de Groot

“Horned Mermaid Jaw Bone,” Anouk de Groot

Anouk’s imaginative world spans multiple sites: in addition to her website, she houses her label of textile and paper art dolls (Pantovola: Cabinet of Childhood) and a blog “where wild things are drawn” (Baba Yaga Land) both of WordPress.com. It’s important for artists to establish their brands online, so we like how the winged woman illustration on her website’s left sidebar transforms the premium Studio theme into her own, via Studio‘s custom logo feature.

Busy Mockingbird

Mica Angela Hendricks’ blog name says it all: she’s always busy working on art projects, from custom portraits to resin monster puppy dolls to her well-known series of collaborations with her young daughter. She often shares her own takes on characters in popular culture, too (check out her recent Mad Max illustrations).

"Collaborating with a 6-year old," Busy Mockingbird

“Collaborating with a 6-year old,” Busy Mockingbird, Mica Angela Hendricks

On her blog, Mica displays a custom background of select illustrations in circular frames. A custom background is a simple, immediate way to showcase your style (and it’s a free feature on many of our themes).

The Smallest Forest

“I feel compelled to articulate living and loving with my hands,” writes Nat at The Smallest Forest. The bookbinder and illustrator, who is currently exploring Venezuela with her husband, observes new places and cultures and translates them in vibrant ways, splashed across personal journal pages.

"Making Money in My Spare Time," The Smallest Forest (CC BY -NC 2.0)

“Making Money in My Spare Time,” The Smallest Forest (CC BY -NC 2.0)

Like Johanna at The Pale Rook, Nat uses the Sketch theme, but her front page displays her recent posts in a traditional blog format — so, you can see how this theme works in different ways. Nat also publishes photography of her wanderings, and Sketch‘s full-width template displays both her images and artwork beautifully.

Get inspired by more art in the Reader, and explore related tags like textile art or multimedia art.

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