Tag Archives: Kid Made Modern Target

Charley Harper, you’re our guy.



Ahhh, Charley Harper! Charley Harper was a Cincinnati-based American artist who was best known for his highly stylized wildlife illustrations. His work has an amazing simplicity and charm—I just love it. And of course designer Todd Oldham loves him too. He and Charley developed a unique friendship and Oldham made it a passion of his to expose as many people as possible to his work. Since Charley’s passing in 2007, he has worked with the Harper estate to produce a ton of cool things. Like The Big Book of Charley (ok, ok, it’s really called Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life). This huge book (it’s gigantic) is a stunner. I don’t own it, but I’ve seen it and let’s just say you’ll need a big coffee table. (little tip, the book is a bit pricey, due to it’s large size, but it’s worth every penny! They re-issued it in a resized, smaller version that is much cheaper—$20— but I hear the quality isn’t quite as good. If you find a great deal on the book, make sure you check the size to see if you are buying the smaller version or the original!).

When Todd Oldham was at Old Navy (remember? he was the Creative Director for a while! I had totally forgotten about that…) he produced a really adorable kid’s collection, featuring Charley Harper artwork—board books, a memory game, a coloring book. We have them all and they are awesome.

In a style he called “minimal realism”, Charley Harper was able to capture the essence of his subjects as simply as possible. When asked to describe his art style, Harper replied,

“When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.” — Frame House Gallery excerpt, 1977

Isn’t it gorgeous?? Of course you’ve probably heard about the new Todd Oldham line for Target, Kid Made Modern. It’s REEEALLY cute stuff….like these Paint By Numbers!

And then I discovered these adorable wood figures—little birds and leaves that you and your kiddo can paint. Sweet! I can’t wait to do these with Wolfie! {there are a ton of  other non-Charley Harper goodies in this line, I posted a bunch of photos on instagram under my handle: @galexina. You can see them here. You can also see more of the line in Last Month’s Hootenanny. #8 over here!)

Do you love his work as much as I do?? And are you planning on hitting up Target to scoop up some Kid Made Modern goodies??