Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mike Rea

Mike Rea is an artist/sculptor featured in the latest issue of Hi Fructose. I thought these images of his work were too good to keep to myself. The time and craftsmanship that go into these pieces must be off the chart. His website divides his work into the categories space, aquatic, rock & roll, war. Be sure to watch the video in the "rock & roll" section. It appears that the instruments are actually functional but after reading his artist statement (which is attached below because it's too good not to share) I think they are just putting on a good show. Genius and hilarious at the same time.
Mike Rea Artist Statement
Standing on the shoulders of other people's dreams could perhaps be the most pathetic of all dreams. The intent of my work is to create something short of its outcome. My goal is to create the idea of an object that remains a dream. The objects I create are based on fictions, rather than realities. I have always been interested in the ephemeral worlds established in film, or even in popular culture. Fictions or established hearsay allow for a flawed interpretation, which leads to a flawed result. The sublime is unattainable, and not an option. I further amplify this experience by only using my memory to construct my images. Failure is imminent. I find humor allows me to enjoy this experience, and I in turn build humor into the worlds established by my work. I have chosen to depict these states with unfinished wood, and other materials which convey a sense of the temporal. I find the beauty in life lies in between moments. My work offers a sense of what could be and what could never be simultaneously.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dr. Seuss for President

I've been reading a little about the late Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, and wow... he's definitely an original. Seuss claimed that he used nonsense to "awaken the brain cells". His work is fantastic, imaginary and a little on the odd side, which is perfect in my book.

In the early 1930's, he began making his own taxidermy collection. I've attached some images and info about this particular project:
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.

After looking up his taxidermy collection online I discovered that his work had many social and political themes that the average children's book reader would be oblivious to. For instance, the website states that The Lorax was written as an argument for corporate responsibility and resource conservation. Yertle the Turtle was an argument against discrimination. Horton Hears a Who was a parable on democracy. The Butter Battle Book was a visionary tale on nuclear proliferation and even The Cat in the Hat was written as a statement against illiteracy and conformity. Interesting. I think I'll look into reading a Seuss biography.

And on a side note, how cute is this Turtle-Necked Sea-Turtle sculpture?

Julie West Illustration

She has a website and a shop with numbered prints. Unfortunately, about half of them are already sold out - including the boy with the antlers :(

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vinyl Decor

I'm thinking of buying a vinyl wall graphic for my apartment. Basically these are like a giant sticker that you put on your wall. They're relatively inexpensive too considering the amount of space they cover. According to the sellers on etsy they're easy to stick and can be repositioned if needed. You can pick from about 20 different colors too. I think I'll get this bird cage one by Single Stone Studios but ShaNickers also has some good designs...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Samia Says

Samia Saleem, currently in exile from L’isle d’Orleans, resides in the borough of Brooklyn, a mere train-ride from the belly of the beast. She is a visual designer with focus on web and interactive projects and has worked for companies large and small across the globe. Samia was spotlighted in the Jan/Feb 2008 Communication Arts’ Fresh section. Her work has also been featured in Beautiful Decay’s Anthology, Curvy and Design is Kinky. In 2007 she self-published a post-Katrina postcard anthology entitled Degrees of Separation (shown above).

Her website is well designed with a large amount of selections from her portfolio. Phenomenal style! To me, it has a slightly feminine feel but with a definite edge. Very diverse portfolio as well.


Iconique is an online fashion magazine since 2000 providing visually stimulating fashion and art animations. It's worth taking a few minutes to explore their website just for the fashion photography alone. I've posted a sample to give you a glimpse of the quality of imagery they bring to light. The integration between flash animations, photographs, and music is very well done too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Audrey in Boho

I just picked up a copy of the new Boho Magazine at Borders and I'm pretty impressed with it's overall design and content. Boho is a green fashion magazine dedicated to the eco-conscious woman. It's made out of 100% post-consumer waste and printed on matte paper with a natural soy ink. Green chic!

The last page features a poem written by Audrey Hepburn to share per personal "beauty tips". It's simple, yet has a beautiful message.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed,
revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Bride&Wolfe Silhouettes

These silhouettes are an interesting alternative to the usual home decor. The vivid colors and animal themes would be perfect for a child’s room. Bride&Wolfe pieces are graphic in form and have a sculptural quality yet still hang flat against walls, ceilings, doorways, and windows.

The company was founded by Miranda Moreira, an Australian who was inspired by six years of living in Paris and by a tiny timber Hansel and Gretel silhouette she discovered in a local shop. The beautiful fairytale imagery motivated her to began crafting her own timber cut-outs after her return to Melbourne.

Bride&Wolfe Inspirations:
• Chinese PapercuttingFossicked Embroidery and Fabrics
• European Folklore • Vintage Disney Films

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Be Inspired

Love this.

The Butler’s Annual National Juried Show

Annual National Juried Show: 72nd National Midyear Exhibition Now through Aug 24, 2008

This annual juried exhibition is open to artists over 18 years of age who reside within the United States and/or its territories. One hundred works were selected by this year's juror, New York painter Don Eddy.

I'm hoping to see this show before the closing date. I had no luck finding a photo from the exhibition so I’ve attached an image featured in the permanent collection, “Green Pom-Pom” by Walk Kuhn.

About the Butler Institute of American Art
The Butler collection includes works from four centuries, and is assembled in Butler galleries in chronological order according to the history of America.

The Butler Institute is the first museum of American art. The original structure, dedicated in 1919, is a McKim, Mead and White architectural masterpiece listed on the National Register of Historic places. The museum's mission is to preserve and collect works of art in all media created by citizens of our country. The Institute's holdings now exceed 20,000 individual works, and the Butler is known worldwide as "America's Museum."

The Beecher Center, housed in the south wing of the Butler's Youngstown location, is the first museum addition dedicated solely to new media and electronic art. The facility regularly displays works of art that utilize - computers, holography, lasers and other digital media. The Beecher Center houses the Zona Auditorium, a digital media theater designed for performance art and high-definition film presentations.

Visit the Butler Institute of American Art
The Beecher Center
524 Wick Avenue
Youngstown, Ohio 44502
330-743-1107 Ext. 123

11am to 4pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday • Noon to 4pm Sunday
11am to 8pm Wednesday Closed Monday & major holidays. No admission fee. Donations accepted.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Since it’s Back to School Season...

Based in New York City, Built offers an award winning line of more than 100 well designed products ranging from totes for bottles, to laptop cases, to these super-cute lunchboxes for the kiddies. This “Munchler” series is only $10 a pop for the bag and $15 a pop for the tote. Benny & Boo Munchler are shown above...if you want to see Meadow and Lefty Munchler then you’ll have to visit

Built products are durable and help to protect and help transport your goodies, but then flatten down to nothing when needed. Perfect to fit in your little one’s locker or backpack. For adults, I recommend the hoody camera case in Dot #7 or Soho Stripe.

depthCORE :: Digital to the Core

International Digital Art & Design Group

depthCORE is an international art collective focused on modern and abstract art, incorporating design, photography, animation and audio. Established by Justin Maller and Kevin Stacey in 2002, our membership is comprised of artists of all ages from all locations around the world and all walks of life, united by their love for art, and their passion for innovation. The group was established to provide a showcase for the best in modern craftsmanship, with the primary goals of breaking design conventions and pushing the boundaries of artwork created or enhanced digitally. In a medium inundated with repetition we aim to bring something unique and innovative with every release we put forth, as we illustrate, orchestrate and visually represent the thoughts, hopes and dreams of all corners of the globe.

All images shown are property of the owner and depthCORE, LLC. Above: "Idio" by Phil Dune and "Let Go" by Mike Harrison.

My Veer Birthday Wish List

So my birthday is only 14 days away and I have to admit I am tough to buy for. This is probably due to my impulse control problem when it comes to shopping. I buy almost everything I want for myself, but these veer products are on the small list of things I’ve managed to control myself from purchasing. I especially want the CMYK hoodie. As the description says, I’d look great in 95-0-85-25. There’s also a red version too but that would clash with my hair. I think if I could get the green CMYK and the Extra Black Hoodie for days when I’m feeling a little down in the dumps I’d be set!

Oh and I also want the “Creatives Understand” mousepad and one of these paper deer heads. Fred or Fred Jr. will do. If I was a man, I’d totally want the Fancy or Swash Belt Buckles but for now I’ll settle for the more unisex items.

On a side note, what is up with all the dark design terms? Bleed, gutter, rag, dagger, orphan, grotesque, shadow, widow, extra black and depressing. Sigh. As if working a 8 to 5 everyday isn’t depressing enough.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chris Judge

This is "Weighing Scales for Angry Design" by Chris Judge, an illustrator and painter based in Dublin, Ireland. Instead of getting a number when you weigh yourself you get one of these strange but cute monsters. So if you get something like an orange hippopotamus or a hot pink woolly mammoth, you need to lay off the Cheetos.

Interesting blog on his website too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This site is dedicated to the artists, designers and musicians who create amazing gig posters to advertise shows and events. The art of gig posters, flyers, and handbills showcases the talent of many designers who see little to no profit for creating gig posters.

View a huge amount of posters from contributors dedicated to promoting the music scene. Search by band, designer, venue, and city. Show above: Bjork by Annie Ulku, Architecture in Helsinki by Dkng, Fleet Foxes by Florafauna, and Modest Mouse by The Decoder Ring Design Concern. Beautiful and inspiring work!


These are just hilarious. He's looking a little pale in the drawing but I still think I may have to purchase some Barackas!

For those of you who might need a little more motivation the site lists the top 10 reasons to buy Barackas. My fave being "Put a little raucous in your caucus".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pixelgirl Desktops

In my opinion, the best desktops on the web. Search by category, resolution, or artist. Dual images are even available for those who prefer to work on two monitors. The site also features, iPhone wallpapers, tutorials, and both MAC & PC icons.

Catalina Estrada

"Born and raised in Colombia, and living in Barcelona since 1999, Catalina brings all the colors and power of Latin-American folklore and refines it with a subtle touch of European sophistication. Her ability for creating fascinating illusive worlds, full of colors, nature, and enchanting characters, bursts in all of her works: art, graphic design and illustration.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to push the boundaries of package design to a whole new level? Of course no one would want to pay extra for merchandise to cover the cost of printing but in a perfect world...

Catalina Estrada's artwork is so fun and happy with amazing color and detail. As some of you may already know, I have a slight obsession with fairy tales and images of deer and antlers so a couple of these images make me a very happy girl. I also have a slight obsession with Robert DeNiro circa Taxi Driver but that’s a whole other story ;)

Catalina Estrada is represented in U.S.A by MAGNET REPS- Chrystal Falcioni - Phone: +1.866.390.5656

Why Art Education?

The lack of interest in art education in schools is something that irks me to this day. I find it bizarre that American children (and adults for that matter) know all about the shenanigans of annoying celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, yet most probably couldn't name one great American artist. Sad.

The National Art Education Association has this essay posted online. Please read it!

What does art education do for the individual and for society? Why do we teach art? How does art contribute to education at all levels? There are many good answers to these questions, but three stand out as crucial in today’s social and economic climate. We believe that art—and therefore art education—means three things that everyone wants and needs.

Art Means Work
Beyond the qualities of creativity, self-expression, and communication, art is a type of work. This is what art has been from the beginning. This is what art is from childhood to old age. Through art, our students learn the meaning of joy of work—work done to the best of one’s ability, for its own sake, for the satisfaction of a job well done. There is a desperate need in our society for a revival of the idea of good work: work for personal fulfillment; work for social recognition; work for economic development. Work is one of the noblest expressions of the human spirit, and art is the visible evidence of work carried to the highest possible level. Today we hear much about productivity and workmanship. Both of these ideals are strengthened each time we commit ourselves to the endeavor of art. We are dedicated to the idea that art is the best way for every young person to learn the value of work.

Art Means Language
Art is a language of visual images that everyone must learn to read. In art classes, we make visual images, and we study images. Increasingly, these images affect our needs, our daily behavior, our hopes, our opinions, and our ultimate ideals. That is why the individual who cannot understand or read images is incompletely educated. Complete literacy includes the ability to understand, respond to, and talk about visual images. Therefore, to carry out its total mission, art education stimulates language—spoken and written—about visual images. As art teachers we work continuously on the development of critical skills. This is our way of encouraging linguistic skills. By teaching pupils to describe, analyze, and interpret visual images, we enhance their powers of verbal expression. That is no educational frill.

Art Means Values
You cannot touch art without touching values: values about home and family, work and play, the individual and society, nature and the environment, war and peace, beauty and ugliness, violence and love. The great art of the past and the present deals with these durable human concerns. As art teachers we do not indoctrinate. But when we study the art of many lands and peoples, we expose our students to the expression of a wide range of human values and concerns. We sensitize students to the fact that values shape all human efforts, and that visual images can affect their personal value choices. All of them should be given the opportunity to see how art can express the highest aspirations of the human spirit. From that foundation we believe they will be in a better position to choose what is right and good.

If you are interested in further information about these publications or about membership in the NAEA, subscriptions, orders, or information about art education, contact:

The National Art Education Association
1916 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1590
(703) 860-8000
Fax (703)860-2960

Blue Q & Rainbows

“Blue Q is the proud manufacturer of all these life-improving, joy-bringing, mind-altering, universally praised products since 1988.”

Blue Q adds humor and creativity to common products like candy, air fresheners, banks, magnets, bags, etc. I find the “I’m not gay I just love rainbows” merchandise amusing. Apparently, Roy G. Bib’s sexuality should be questioned. Seriously though, isn’t it amazing how a symbol can become such a powerful representation of an idea? Supposedly, the diversity symbolism of the rainbow has been around since myths and stories related to gender and sexuality issues in Greek, Native American, African, and other cultures.

Visit for a full catalog of merchandise.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ryan McGinness

I first discovered American artist Ryan McGinness a few years ago when his book Flatnessisgod was featured in Surface magazine. Amazing artist and designer! His work is a must see. Both the indoor and outdoor installation pieces he's done are insane.

McGinness has created a semantics of symbolic icons that bluntly explicates the common chaos in the vernacular that's thrown at us in advertising, signage, and elsewhere every day.• Village Voice

By subverting corporate iconography, former skater punk Ryan McGinness has built a reputation as a Warhol for the 21st century. • Black Book

Hands to Work, Hearts to God

26th Annual Shaker Woods Festival
Columbiana, Ohio.

Dates: August 9-10, 16-17, 23-24

Shaker Woods is one of my favorite arts & crafts shows. It features more than 200 of the best juried craftspeople in the country. Frankly, I could do without the period clothing but the vibe is relaxed and the variety of vendors and quality of handmade arts & crafts are worth the trip to Columbiana.

My personal favorite vendor is probably Victor Bocchinelli Pottery but this year I’m on the hunt for something new. I don't know if I can possibly fit any more ceramic pieces in my tiny apartment. And of course there will be kettle corn...yum!

A helpful tip for the Shaker Woods virgins out there... the paths are covered with tiny rocks so don’t wear sandals!

General admission tickets are $6.50 and will be on sale at the gate. Admission for children under the age of 12 is FREE and so is parking.

For more info: Phone: 330.482.0214 •

Alice on MundoGominola's Etsy

I love almost anything related to Alice in Wonderland. This version of the Mad Hatter & Alice by Spanish Illustrator Claudia Moya is a unique interpretation of a classic at a very reasonable price ($25).

There is a huge amount of Alice in Wonderland artwork that I absolutely adore, but I think prefer a darker version of Alice. The blonde hair/blue eyes thing is pretty boring.

All artwork shown is under copyright licenses. © Claudia Moya

To view and purchase Claudia Moya’s work:

Design 101

A successful design must be directly related to the problem at hand. The interaction between type and images is crucial. Pushing this interaction beyond mere co-existence is important in creating interesting design.

Synergy by the integration of language, typography, and imagery can create a powerful effect. Language pulls the audience in. Creative typography produces a mood throughout the piece. Design can be done not only with clarity and efficiency but also with originality.

Even though we may not realize it, we are constantly surrounded by design. From the grocery store isle, to the billboard you pass every morning, our modern society is saturated with visual images.

Of course, some of these visual images are more successful than others. With this blog, I hope to share some of the work I find to be successful and inspiring in the field of design and beyond. I also encourage you to support artists locally and wordwide by purchasing fine art and handmade items.

Keep in mind art is very subjective. Not everyone will agree with my opinions, but this is part of the wonderful diversity of the human race and the diversity found in the arts.