The Nursery Art We Can't Resist
We're suckers for the cuddly critters in Junko Van Norman's prints.
A winsome beret-capped bunny in a sailor-stripe sweater. A baby bear with bees buzzing around its ears. A tiny duckling waddling in a pair of too-big shoes. Cuteness overload alert: Junko Van Norman's irresistible art prints are technically meant for the (very) junior set, but I can attest to their overwhelming multigenerational appeal. In fact, they've become something of a workplace guilty pleasure—if I'm having a particularly stressful afternoon, one glance at Van Norman's Etsy boutique is all it takes to bring me back to my happy place.
Clearly, the San Francisco artist nurtures a strong connection to animals, and her bio confirms that. ("I was often left home alone with my pet hamsters and birds while my mother was working until late at night," she recalls. "I was also a shy little girl who loved art... Often times I would spend hours doodling my dream world on pieces of paper and decorate my room with them.") The sweetly old-fashioned nature of Van Norman's style—she reproduces her original oil paintings on matte paper or cotton canvas—is wholly refreshing in an age of hipster typography. Excellent nursery art, to be sure; but in my next home, they might just be given pride of place in my living room.