Lauren Tamaki is a Brooklyn based illustrator. She’s worked on some fantastic projects like drawing Rene Redzepi for GQ and making holiday cards for Bumble and bumble. She is very accomplished and has a very specific aesthetic.
One thing I like to do almost more than peruse a working artist’s completed work is to look at progress work, to see what work they do for fun or general “artistic practice.” These are usual found via sketchbook blogs and, thankfully, Tamaki has one of those. Her little online visual diary is a sweep through everything from New York life to fun food happenings to studying familiar forms, perhaps perfecting them for a story. They show off how talented she is, too.
Like most sketchbooks, there isn’t quite a rhyme or reason to what is being shared. One moment there is a study of an orange cat while another section are a few train riders dozing off. Tamaki fills her pages with slices of life that seem disconnected but all contribute to her life’s narrative. Her sketchbook works give you a glimpse of her commute and what she likes to do for fun and what she likes to eat even, all done in very simple line drawings done in pen (or, on occasion, are painted).
The best works of hers are when she dives into large worlds, creating “big” scenes. The two images directly above are great examples of this since they are two full and varied mini-universes of hairdids and goobers. I’d love to see her do something like a pattern or a wallpaper since her work often occupies a similar yet very different space (something like Ayumi Takahashi’s pattern series). You can peruse her sketchbook here and see completed works here.