richard scarry + mid century mod = little lionel jones

2 Oct

Little Lionel Jones, bandleader of the 18 Karats

I am so excited to feature this artist on RFYO; Rob Bridges embodies everything I love about design and fits my aesthetic to a T.  And, even better, Rob’s an up-and-coming artist whose prints (and awesome back story) are available for anyone to buy on Etsy.

The story begins with Lionel Tiberius Jones, “or as he is better known, “Little Lionel Jones,” who cites Django Reinhardt as a major influence.  Little Lionel and his band the 18 Karats has four members, a fox bassist named Tricksy Mingo, Buddy Hambones (a piglet) on the trumpet, and a toucan percussionist named Chico LaRoca.

Tricksy Mingo

Buddy Hambones

Chico LaRoca

Lionel, as Rob writes, “hails from the small fishing hamlet of Rutabaga Island, just a hairs throw off of the coast of greater Maine. The runt of the litter, his mother gave him his moniker as the result of her oft “stymie-ifcation” due to the youths herring sandwiches and sprung guitar chords piled in forgotten lumps on his bedroom floor.

Lionel first met up with The 18 Karats because of an ad in the Atomic Music Review classifieds, placed by Tricksy Mingo and Buddy Hambones who were looking for a competent jazz player that knew how to play more than the “Triangle” and didn’t say “Daddy-O!” ad nauseam. (That was Tricksy’s bag…)”

Rob sells his painted illustrations here on Etsy for $40 each or $120 for the set.

But this isn’t the only work from Rob.  Of course I love the Richard Scarry influence and clever use of Eames and Saarinen references, but Rob’s got a broader range of work that’s equally lovely.

image from A Trip to the Moon

His gouache-on-paper works are incredible, and perfect for children’s books.  In fact, this is a sample from a book he’s planning, called A Trip to the Moon.  And here’s another: Summer and the Red Banjo, a bit more traditional in vein.

Summer and the Red Banjo

If you’re curious to learn more, read Rob’s posts here on Neatorama (a great website, btw) or Juxtapoz.  A graduate from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, he’s now based in Lexington, KY where he lives with his family.   Check out the listing on Etsy, or visit his website – he’ll be glad to hear from you.


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