Inspired by retro vintage knee-hugger Christmas pixie elves made in Japan and glass indent ornaments from the 1950s and ’60s, this Christmas card illustration shows Santa’s helpers making the holidays sparkle.
Austin-based keyboardist Basil McJagger commissioned an original illustration for a CD cover for his musical act The Basil Trio, with him on the Hammond organ, a guitarist and a drummer. Like me, he appreciates Mid-Century Modern style, and he was looking for a retro-inspired image that would evoke the early 1960s and portray the groovy vibe and cool stylings of his music. I chose a harmonious color palette of verdigris and various sepia shades and subtly incorporated basil leaves in the admiring fan’s cocktail.
This design of a super-cool hipster soybean cartoon character celebrates healthy virtues with a whimsical Spanglish play on words. “Soy” means “I am” in Spanish and the word “cool,” obviously, transcends language, as does the fun retro styling we love so much. What’s more fun than a versatile vegetable with a Vespa?
Ah, the Mother Road. Nothing captures the imagination of Mid-Century motoring Americana like Route 66. These illustrations are part of a series inspired by the iconic American highway that stretched more than 2,000 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles and served as a thoroughfare to freedom for families, road warriors and dreamers alike from its opening in 1926 through its heyday in the 1940s through 1960s. Even though the U.S. federal highway system made the road largely obsolete by 1985, history buffs can still get their kicks on portions of the old road that deliver cityscapes, desertcapes and great escapes.
This year the Desert Gang is keeping their cool as they celebrate the fun and wintry holidays.
Autumn greetings from the Desert Gang, who wish you all the bounty of the season!
Jim Flora was a Mid-century illustrator who created numerous album covers for RCA Victor and Columbia Records as well as 17 popular children’s books. His style relied heavily on distorting dimensional perspectives as well as offering a skewed take (and coloring) on human facial features and other body parts. While some audiences found his work slightly unsettling, we like the jaunty, jazzy, irreverent feeling his fine art evokes.