Archives for category: Drawing

Just as the title of this intriguing series (and cleverly named… “Alt Disney”) implies, UK artist/illustrator/designer Tom Ward brings some beloved Disney characters into an alternative view. Ward’s depictions are a bit askew, transporting familiar faces that have been with us for some 70 years into the present. We find it particularly interesting how the introduction of the ubiquitous smartphone changes everything in a few of these pieces. And even serves as social commentary, especially in the instance of Ward’s The Sword and the Stone piece where young Arthur has his nose in a phone, basically too engaged to be bothered with the sword. Really makes us think about our collective love affair with our phones, and about possible missed opportunities because of it. The point is, on the surface these pieces are fun, but there really is so much more. Hats off to Ward for striking that balance brilliantly.

More alternative Disney art here and here and here.

Via Instagram

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In honor of National Coffee Day, we thought it fitting to showcase an artist who (subtly) uses the magical brown elixir to make art. Maui-based mixed-media artist Alessandra Maria creates beautifully detailed, dark and delicate portraits using little more than a pencil, black ink and gold leaf on coffee-stained paper. Inspired by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, Maria’s haunting life-like portraits evoke fantasy and mystery with intricate details set on an eerily enigmatic surface achieved through the coffee’s dark brown grounds. There are even religious overtones in these thought-provoking masterpieces. Maria’s work is simply beautiful and poignant.

Via alessandramaria.com

We feature fan art (here and here and here) from time to time… we are all about equal opportunity, and certainly feel there’s a place for such creativity. While some in the art community discount fan art because it is based on someone else’s original content, we are from the camp that believes fan art, though not necessarily a complete original expression of the artist because it is derived from already existing content, is a creative expression nonetheless. Fan artists add their own individual style, which is intrinsically expressive and unique. One such case is that of Montreal-based artist Dada, who has a clear penchant for Disney stories in particular. She draws familiar Disney characters not necessarily to mimic them exactly, but to present them in new and distinctive ways. Dada’s latest series merges beloved Disney heroes with their often maligned counterparts. Her drawing skills are impressive, and we love the process videos she often posts on social media. This nod to a very open and unfettered process of art making is certainly in the spirit of Disney, and just reinforces the sense that we all share a love and admiration for their wondrous storytelling. What fun it is to see these clear juxtapositions of good versus evil. Well done.

Via Instagram

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On this Election Day, we bring you some of our favorite works inspired by this historic election season. In order: Boston-based artist and collage master Molly Scannell; Brooklyn-based artist and educator David Hollier; Nashville-based artist and sculptor Herb Williams (previous posts here and here); Brazilian artist Butcher Billy (previous post here); Nashville-based (Rochester-born) painter Kristin Llamas. Politics as the subject of art has never been more prevalent. Whether it be the polarizing nature of this particular presidential election, or the reach of social media (probably both, actually), talented artists from all over the country and world have been churning our artwork inspired by this moment in history. Let’s just hope everyone is as energized to vote. Go vote!

Via Instagram, Instagram, Flickr, Behance and kllamas.com

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When you think of 3D renderings, you immediately imagine some complex computer algorithm that miraculously adds a new dimension to something otherwise flat. With that notion in mind, the work of self-taught Serbian artist Nikola Čuljić will floor you. Not only is Čuljić an adept artist, mastering light and shadow with little more than colored pencils, markers and pastels, but he also has a computer-like mind for depth and dimension. Čuljić’s work is basically an optical illusion that confuses the viewer’s brain into thinking his drawings are somehow emerging from a flat paper surface, coming to life before one’s very eyes. Čuljić has smartly taken to social media with his unique work, racking up over 13K Facebook likes, nearly 16K Instagram followers and literally hundreds of thousands of YouTube views. Take a look for yourself… prepare to be amazed.

Via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

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Chalking has been growing in popularity for years, in part due to the increased visibility of incredible artists like Dana Tanamachi (here) and others (here and here). There seems to be a mini movement in Japan right now involving blackboards and chalk (more here). As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, blackboards, which are now being replaced with whiteboards, possess a sort of novelty these days. Hirotaka Hamasaki, aka Hamacream, is a Japanese art teacher with incredible skills and thousands of Instagram followers. His ability to recreate intricate familiar works of art (on a chalkboard, no less) is just stunning. Though the impermanence of this medium is a bit unnerving to us (we’d want to preserve these works for a long time), they are no less brilliantly executed for having been created with chalk. Truly inspiring.

Via Instagram and Twitter

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It’s no secret that we’re fascinated by “365 projects” and the dedication they reveal (previous posts here and here and here). Done well, these daily doses of artistry not only help develop a robust portfolio, but also serve as an exercise in on-demand creativity… a must in the field of graphic design, as we know all too well. And Nebraska-based designer/illustrator Ian Simmons tackled his serial project expertly. We are in awe of not only the diversity of his work, but the sheer quality of his typography. Clearly a movie buff at heart, Simmons masterfully depicted a wide variety of film quotes through illustration and typography, for 365 days straight (actually, 366)! Yes, an entire year. Just incredible. This is just a sampling of a few of our favorites, but be sure to check out his Instagram for the complete collection. He even sells select prints (here).

Via Instagram

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Transforming everyday objects into art holds a special place for us. It harkens back to childhood thoughts, when our minds wandered while staring out the car window at cloud formations that looked like other things. Or when we’d doodle with no purpose other than to document our own whimsical musings. These days, artists apply conceptual thinking to this cherished pastime, and the results are often special and surprising (here and here and here). Included among those artists is German-born, Australian-based Domenic Bahmann (aka Domfriday). What started as a personal exercise in creative thinking has since populated his Instagram page, which piques the interest of almost 60K followers. And, in turn, has even led to retail opportunities due to popular demand (here and here). In his own words, Bahmann explains: “In 2013 I started my own creative challenge called ‘Stop, Think, Make’. I had to come up with a new image or illustration at least once a week. Since then I try to see the world in the way I used to when I was a child. Staying playful and curious isn’t always easy in our busy modern world.”

Via Instagram

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Japanese artist and student Hikaru Cho seems to employ her stellar artistic skills with a single purpose: illusion. Whether it be illustration, body painting, or sculpture, Cho aims to woo viewers with deception… in a (usually) playful, lighthearted manner, of course. Her work can be a bit unnerving at times… adding extra eyes, misplacing ears, etc. On the other hand, she also likes to play with food, disguising one food as another, for example. No matter that subject matter, Cho’s work certainly intrigues. Her personality shines through, which is impressive considering her tremendous skill set. It’s hard to believe she’s still a student! Cho certainly has a bright future ahead… we’re going to keep an eye on her.

Via hikarucho.com

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Pop art is alive and well. Having materialized in the 1950s as an alternative to the traditions of fine art, the movement draws from popular culture and often relies on irony. As we’ve noted before, our highly connected, celebrity-obsessed culture is a breeding ground for such art, so it’s no surprise that it seems to be a particularly thriving art scene these days. And many artist have emerged as household names through the years, such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein. Though not quite that prominent (yet), Brazilian artist and designer known as Butcher Billy has a tremendous body of work that pushes pop art forward, while also paying tribute to the past. Butcher Billy is “known for his illustrations based on the contemporary pop art movement. His work has a strong vintage comic book and street art influence while also making use of pop cultural references in music, cinema, art, literature, games, history and politics.” This is just a small sample of his extensive, diverse portfolio. If you didn’t know Butcher Billy’s work, now you do. Killin’ it, indeed.

Via Behance and curioos.com

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