Archive for the ‘Random Art Bloggery’ Category

An artist I am feeling right now.

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

I will on occasion go on Pinterest because maybe I’m feeling too good about myself and I need to temper that, you know? I went there the other day and I saw a small tiger figurine that was adorable and had a galaxy pattern on it. I was intrigued. So I went down the wormhole that is Pinterest and finally found the source. It’s a young woman named Amba Jacobs from New Zealand and her work is The. Best. It is not uncommon for me to look at her work while clutching my face and shrieking because the cuteness, I cannot handle it.

I recommend you follow her on Instagram – she goes by the name @TheLittleMew. Her stuff sells out three seconds after she puts it online but just in case, here’s her Etsy page.

Thor and the 1980s Album Art!

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Actually it’s called Thor: Ragnarok but it clearly took 98% to 106% of its influence from those airbrushed hard rock and regular rock and heavy metal covers of the 1970s and 80s. Here, examples of what I mean:

Even Eddie from Iron Maiden is in there.

Plus so much Fifth Element influence, which I am perfectly fine with.

I’m going to summarize my thoughts and feelings about Thor: Ragnarok. All manner of spoilers below so if you haven’t seen the film yet maybe skip this until you have. Consider yourself warned, at least.

  • The first problem I had with this film was the opening scene. It’s an amazing fight scene between Thor and what appears to be the Balrog from Lord of the Rings (more on that later). It’s magnificent, in slow motion with “Immigrant Song” in the background. My problem is you’re starting at 10. Where do we go from there? We have, like, four more fights to go. All the other fights are great but by the time you get to the epic showdown at the end you don’t feel much because the awesomeness was all the way through.
  • Concerning the Balrog, I thought it looked familiar. As did the dragon, and the elfin doors, and a bunch of other things. Turns out they were all designed by Weta, the same New Zealand design company that did LOTR and The Hobbit. I honestly felt like they did some serious cutting and pasting from the J. R. R. Tolkien movies to this one. I understand that the director who is from New Zealand wanted to get his people in on this project but there’s got to be different approaches to elfin doors other that art nouveau plus celtic with a smattering of medieval. Lotta overlap.
  • Loved the Firefly vibes throughout. Still bitter that show was cancelled. Will be bitter forever.
  • Most notable Firefly-eque scenes were on the garbage planet. There’s a garbage planet where all the universe’s detritus ends up and boy do I want to visit there and sift through the debris. It looks like there’s a ton of fun stuff (and possible toxic and nuclear waste, but there’s always a cost) to discover.
  • REALLY loved Cate Blanchett’s drag queen eye makeup. And her voice. Has her voice always been that freakin’ deep and sexy? I need to pay more attention to her.
  • Thor has a shirtless scene and his side abs, they’re protuberant and they wrap around, I do not understand how his body works. I am confused when I look at him. He is strong and lumpy.
  • This is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where Thor doesn’t have his hammer and uses lightning that he generates within himself (in the most music video-looking way) to defeat his enemies which is nice. There’s even a line about it. Thor is sad because his hammer is busted and Odin says, “But … are you Thor, god of … hammers?”
  • When Cate Blanchett gets into asskicking mode, she runs her fingers through her hair and it magically turns into a dead tarantula on its back. Or maybe demon antlers. I call it “tarantlers.” Feel free to use that. You’re welcome.
  • Lovely cameo by Matt Damon and Sam Neill in the beginning bits. Nice touch, much appreciated.
  • Did I mention I love the garbage planet? I cannot mention that enough.
  • The director Taika Waititi has a cameo as Korg, a alien made of rocks who’s companion is an ant with knives for hands named Meek. Korg’s a great character. He might be my favorite in the film.
  • Is it just me or does the Asgardian castle look like a big ole church organ? I see that every time its on screen. I feel like Handel is going to start playing at any moment.
  • I have learned an incredibly important lesson from these films (and the Disney films as well) which is green and black equals evil. Loki rocks it, Cate Blanchett’s character rocks it, the disturbing zombies she brings back to life rock it, it’s a thing for sure.
  • There is a solid good death when the Japanese Asgardian gets thrust backwards and impaled through the chest on a stalagmite. Everyone in the audience gasped.

I give this movie a solid A- / B+. It’s a good one. Lots of quippy one-liners and fun interactions and shots like this which is awesome:

So I would check it out.

What a wonderful day for an exorcism. Or charts.

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

And, because I’m going to Vienna and Krakow in late February and Krakow is one of the last places that has wild European Bison, this pertinent chart:

Hungry.

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Based on the title of this post you will think it is about something it is not. It is a misleading title. I recently saw Bjork’s new album cover and thought, “Wow, that is something. Specifically something between an orchid and some otherworldly ladybits stuck to your face. Interesting choice. Never change, Bjork, never change.”

And then I probably went about my day looking at internet memes of corgies or whatever. However, scrolling through my Facebook feed I saw an article titled “Meet Bjork’s makeup artist,” clicked on it, and a whole new world of amazing art was revealed to me.

The makeup artist goes by the name Hungry and she is a member of the Berlin alternative / distorted drag scene. Hungry designs her own outfits and they’re really really good, but the makeup… I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.

ARE YOU SEEING THIS??? It’s amazing. I was blown away. She started doing drag work in 2014. That’s, like, three years. And she’s that good already. After staring at Hungry’s Instagram for two hours (https://www.instagram.com/isshehungry/?hl=en) I wanted to see if there were any videos. Bonus: she’s also really sweet and nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXpy-rURysY

I can’t wait to see what Hungry does in the years to come. She’s really filling the hole left in me when Alexander McQueen passed away.

Nick Cave again.

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

I’ve spoken about the artist Nick Cave numerous times (here, a little bit here and a little bit here). I’m big fan of his sound suits so when I heard that he had a full-room exhibition in MassMoca I knew I had to go. I’ve spent a goodly portion of my time avoiding MassMoca because it has modern art and modern art makes me hella-cranky. I don’t want to rehash my feelings on this but the tl;dr version is if it ain’t Jesus, ugly inbred royalty, a pudgy naked broad, a landscape or a still-life, I ain’t lookin’ at it. That excludes 98% of modern art ergo I don’t go to MassMoca. But for Nick Cave one can make exceptions and I was not disappointed.

The exhibition was called “Until.” The description from the MassMoca site:

For Cave’s MASS MoCA installation, Until — a play on the phrase “innocent until proven guilty,” or in this case “guilty until proven innocent” — he addresses issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations, and gender politics in America today. … The aim of this is pointed, questioning us to spark discussion about important issues in a space that is at once dazzling, provocative, and — ultimately — optimistic. Cave believes in humanity, celebrating possibility while also creating a forum for critical discussion that eventually provokes the question, “Is there racism in heaven?”

There are three sections. You walk into a big empty space, like a high school gymnasium, and you are greeted with tons of those metal garden spinners that twirl in the wind. Some of them are stationary but some have disco ball rotators at the top so they twirl very slowly. It gives the look of being a forest. A forest of metal spinnies, some of which are sweet and ethereal and some of which are silhouettes of guns.

After that is a floating island hanging from the ceiling surrounded by three sets of stairs. The bottom of the island is completely covered in plastic crystals hanging like icicles as well as real crystal chandeliers. I found a bunch of pictures that other people took that are far better than mine.

When you climbed the yellow stairs you could see what was on the top of the island. It was a collection of American bric-a-brac covering every inch of space. Some of it was harmless – a garden gnome, some cheesy beaded Christmas ornaments – but then there were black lawn jockeys (eesh) and some Aunt Jemima items (oof) and other racist items. It was tough to look at. Merkin history is not terribly pretty.

And finally there’s this massive webbing covering the far wall made with tons of plastic pony beads. I don’t know what that represented exactly but it looked very cool.

The best part: people could bring their dogs in to appreciate the art as well. Because art is for everyone.

Russia’s vice-like hold on the apex of crafting will crumble at my feet.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

So you may or may not know that I have a personal ongoing feud with the entire former Soviet Union because every time I am feeling good about my artistic talents some Slavic person pops up on my Pinterest and destroys my self-esteem with their superior skills. Every time. Like clockwork. I’ve mentioned it here:

http://design-newyork.com/blog/2013/10/08/two-artists-that-are-magnificent-and-humbling/

And here:

http://design-newyork.com/blog/2016/01/23/two-artists-that-might-make-me-not-scared-of-dolls-finally/

And here:

http://design-newyork.com/blog/2016/08/30/moooooooom-the-russians-are-being-better-at-crafts-again/

While we’re here, let’s add Julia Gorina to the list:

And Tatiana Verkhovskaya:

It never ends. But today is a new day. Today is the day I begin my climb to my rightful place as The Best At Crafts. I’ll take you through my journey.

I like jewelry. I like early 1900s fancy jewelry with enamel and plique a jour (enamel with no back, kind of like tiny stained glass) and diamonds and gold. Unfortunately I do not have the kind of money to buy all the things I want. So I’ve decided to figure out how to make it myself in far less expensive mediums like wire and resin and crystals. I made a folder of inspirational images to draw ideas from.

 

I started with this one:

I wanted a really simple shape with thicker and thinner parts where the diamond sizes are graded and the diamonds are on a dark background like tarnished silver. I only used stuff I already had in my apartment, so I wrapped some gold wire in some brown wire and soldered loops so it could hang and made sure all the shapes were closed because I intended to dip the shape into that plastic stuff that Sakae uses for her kanzashi.

I learned oh, oh so much during this process. Like if the wire is made of aluminum it does not want to be soldered. And if you have a big open space in the middle of your piece the plastic dip material will not go across it, you need little struts to break up the space. AND why people don’t have thick wires at in their plastic dip pieces is because of The Glop. More on that later. But I got it to a decent place. I wired, then I soldered, then I dipped, then I failed, then I picked off all the plastic, then I did it again, then I failed again, then I finally got it right, then I covered it in a thin layer of UV resin, then I painted delicate black calligraphic lines on the thicker edges, then I adhered graded flat-back crystals along the black paint. The final product looks like this.

With my hand for scale.

Here is The Glop situation I was describing.

Okay. Good start. Things I will do in the future:

  • Use raw copper wire with copper solder so it adheres more easily and the solder isn’t as noticeable (the solder I used was the standard silver-colored one and it’s REAL noticeable)
  • Spray it with a water / baking soda mixture to make it brown
  • If the “windows” are small I will use thinner wire to avoid The Glop
  • Try UV gel topcoat instead of UV resin because the resin is thick, prone to bubbles and has a yellowish cast
  • The black acrylic paint worked fine, that’s staying
  • Using UV resin with a paintbrush to attach the crystals also worked fine, that’s staying too

I’m psyched about where this is heading. I feel lots of growth and potential in this. Soon all of Siberia will be mine for the taking, craft-wise. Stay tuned for more on this as it happens.

Why graphic design is so, so very important.

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

I was watching the Rose Bowl the other day (not because I wanted to but because my employee is from Georgia and I was trying to be supportive) and I noticed something interesting. Did anyone look at the playoff semifinal logo? Anyone?

Because to me it looked like something else, something commonly expressed using parentheses in that way.

The best part is in researching “parentheses vaginas” I found this link. I am not alone in this thinking.

http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/college-football-playoff-logo-chosen

Please, if you’re designing an important logo or chart or website or presentation of any kind, I beg of you, consult your nearest designer to avoid catastrophes like this:

The bounty of the Internet is endless.

Monday, December 25th, 2017

1. There’s a guy named Keaton Patti who loves Photoshop. He fixes screengrabs from the PBS program Antiques Roadshow and makes them truthful and real and I certainly appreciate all his hard work.
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He has more of this and other stuff on his Tumblr.

 

2. Have you heard “Sweet Dreams” played on a collected of floppy disk readers? No? Well, I can fix that. (Thanks for introducing this to me, B.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGfkPCZYfFw

 

3. This is self-explanatory and I start ugly-laughing every time I read it.

17630058_1358297977549653_2443569579794525705_n Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 12.12.52 PM

 

4. I could watch this video all day.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/04/blooming-kinetic-sculptures-built-with-wire-by-casey-curran/

 

5. There’s a page on Reddit called Ambien thoughts. People go there after taking the popular sleeping pill and write down their thoughts. I find it HIGH-larious (see what I did there?). Some of the comments are fine and normal:

And then there’s all the rest of them. Hoo boy. Don’t do drugs, kids.

 

6. I love calligraphy. I love bugs and fruit and plants. Ergo, this is magnificent. I mean, those cherries. <3 <3 <3

http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-model-book-of-calligraphy-1561-1596/

 

7. And finally people, who apparently never freakin’ learn, made a poll so The Public could name seven new planets. The Public responded accordingly.

Additional item that reinforces my point that you should never let The Internet name anything ever:

 

Gifts for the holidays.

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

It’s getting close to the holidays but I still wanted to show some handmade options for gift-giving. I’ve found if you get someone something that they would adore, especially if the gift is hand-made, the receiver is okay with receiving it after December. Here are some of my stores to support.

1. Margarita Zimina. Margarita does dipped flowers in the style of the famous kanzashi designer Sakae. While it is straight-up impossible to buy Sakae’s work you can actually get Margarita’s work. I know that because I own two of her pieces and they are stunning. She’s lovely to communicate with and her pieces are incredibly beautiful in person. Big recommend from me.

 

2. LucysLittlePeople. Lucy makes tiny polymer charms of birds or your pet (if you send her a picture) and they are super-accurate and give me cuddly feelings in my heart. No surprise I want that pigeon. Honestly though, I would like any of her work, it’s so sweet.

 

3.  Bespoke Glass Tile. Lesley Green does predominantly geometric shapes (which are precise as hell, mad props to her, that is hard) but she also makes some organic items like the cactii. I could stare at her work all day as the sun moves across the sky. I love the layering and the use of three-dimensional space.

Y’all need some charts. Allow me to supply them for you.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

 

And The Most Useless Chart of All Time.