I am a huge fan of the whimsical cartoon style of Toc De Groc, a three-piece female design team from Barcelona. Whilst charming and very cute their designs aren't childish- they contain plenty of intricate detail and themes that appeal to adult colourists. TDG's first book, Hidden Nature, featured everyday objects illustrated in beautiful florals to combine the natural world with man-made items and machinery we see in daily life.
Frame Fantasia might have the exact same illustrative style as Hidden Nature, but the themes and purpose of this book are totally different. The 45 pages are designed to be displayed as well as coloured, with blank shapes specifically intended to act as photo frames or mounts for your own artwork. In fact the book has many uses- you could put special dates in the 'photo' area, song lyrics or quotes you love- it's totally up to the individual.
The frames themselves are mostly themed. These include seaside/holiday, garden, baking, sewing, summer, weddings, afternoon tea, writing, princesses, capital city snaps, Halloween and Christmas. Some are full of florals and sweet animals with no particular subject, making them ideal as gifts to- well- anyone! Here's a selection of pages from the book:
The book also includes two pages of flowery lettering for you to trace and create your own beautiful lettering, which you could then colour and frame as a personalised gift.
Not only does Frame Fantasia contain beautiful illustrations, but the production quality is fantastic too. The binding lays totally flat so you can get right into the spine at any point in the book, and has a special glued centre which allows you to easily remove each page with a simple tug. The paper is really thick too with a smooth surface ideal for all media, and is printed one-sided so you have the choice to use wet materials if you wish.
The cover is made from a thick white cardstock which has patterns lightly embossed into its surface, and a removable title slip. The back of each page has a white printed pattern on peach background, often relating to the theme of the page.
Overall I'm blown away by the quality of both the book itself and its illustrations. There are so many websites which allow you to place photographs in pre-designed frames, and whilst lovely they don't have the personal touch that these do. You can colour them and frame as gifts to loved ones, including a sentimental photo that they will really appreciate and treasure.
Here is my finished page with two different photographs. I coloured the page with Sharpies then scanned it into an app which allowed me to remove the blank inner shell and replace it with the photos, but you could just as easily cut around a photo and stick it on or cut out the blank area and place your photo behind.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can find it on Amazon here:
Frame Fantasia by Toc De Groc