Ward-o-matic is oh-so-groovy

Ward Jenkins Speaking in Colour

This was supposed to be a review of Ward Jenkin’s groovy Etsy shop, chock full of fabulous prints but the guy is just so talented I have to tell you about his books and rubber stamps too.

Jenkins is a US based illustrator. His Etsy shop, Ward-o-matic, showcases his bright, unique style – his figures have a neat retro cartoon-like feel and this colour palette ranges from subtle and restrained to psychedelic. I like the psychedelic stuff, particularly the sensational Speaking in Colour print created because Jenkins knows that colour makes people happy – he decided to paint a little girl that could spread happiness to the world by speaking out against the dull and drab (shown above).

I also like the b-boy series, a tribute to the boogie boys of the Bronx, when hip-hop was in its early days and you would see guys doing headspins and the like on squares of cardboard on the footpath. It’s not often that you find original artwork suitable for the walls of tween-aged boys, but the b-boy series gets the thumbs up.

Ward Jenkins Day Trip

Jenkins has also created a sweet collection of Christmas themed stamps for Rubber Soul. Giving Christmas a cool, cartoon edge (his characters have a bit of The Incredibles about them) I’m fairly sure that craft enthusiasts will be placing their orders for sparkly tree and snow globe stamps early.

Lastly, Jenkins has illustrated two children’s books. One is to be released in 2011 and the first, How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals, is available through Amazon. It tells the ‘story’ of American swimmer Michael Phelps’ training schedule prior to the Beijing Olympics. Various analogies are used to describe the effort Phelps put in, such as “I got so strong from training that my legs could press 300 pounds 60 times. That’s 18,000 pounds total, or nine tons! I could leg-press a Tyrannosaurus Rex and 10 velociraptors!” The illustrations are perfect depictions of the somewhat abstract concepts.

Prints are available through the Ward-o-matic Etsy shop and begin at US$12. Stamps are available through Rubber Soul and begin at US$4.50 and his book is US$12.23 from Amazon.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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