Archives for category: illustration

Musical mashups often produce unexpectedly interesting results. The fusion of contrasting artists and genres can make for some pretty special compositions. Los Angeles-based artist (and United States Air Force Staff Sergeant) Corban Lundborg, also known as COLD, recently explored this concept visually after being commissioned to create artwork inspired by vinyl (hence the 12″ square design). Lundborg draws inspiration from both arresting and iconic vinyl logos, and his love of hip-hop. His series VINYL features hip-hop legends adorned with classic rock logos, and the result is terrific. But Lundborg doesn’t just haphazardly create these combos… his process seems much more thoughtful than that. Take “West Side of the Moon” for instance. Perhaps the strongest of the bunch, Lundborg places Pink Floyd’s famous Dark Side of the Moon logo over Tupac’s third eye, “inspired by his revolutionary message and social maturity. The refracting of light occurs when a wave enters a medium where its speed is different, and Tupac approached the music industry at an unmatched momentum.” Lundborg’s work, too, embodies a rebellious spirit that we really admire. His clear creative talent paired with his contemplative approach is a recipe for success. And we wish nothing but the best for this brilliant young artist’s future.

Via cold-studio.com

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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

British artist Nick Smith speaks the visual language of a true contemporary artist. His work is thoughtful, compelling and current. Seemingly inspired by 8-bit graphics of his youth, Smith recreates recognizable paintings from a variety of famous artists using little more than a brilliant sense of color and some custom Pantone Color Chips. Though the work he’s recreating employs broad ranges of color and is often very detailed, his pixelated reinterpretations are still remarkably recognizable. True to Smith’s attention to detail, he does not use standard Pantone chips, but rather customizes them with specific names that relate to the artwork they comprise, adding another layer of dimension to these already impressive works.

More pixelated work here and here and here.

Via smithandstuff.com and Instagram

Posters are some of our favorite, yet challenging, projects. Poster design is a marriage between visual aesthetic and the delivery of information, between textual and graphical elements… the very fundamentals of graphic design. It should come as no surprise, then, that an institution as important and influential as the New York Film Festival places great emphasis on this visual embodiment of its annual event. Festival organizers manage to recruit some truly respected artists and photographers year after year for its remarkable posters. Below is just a sampling, starting with this year’s by renowned sculptor Richard Serra.

Via nytimes.com

Having a close relationship with marketing at ESPN, we see (and create ourselves) lots of sports-related designs. We recently came across the work of a young Texas-based designer by the name of Nick Bascus. His growing portfolio as a whole has a very nice aesthetic, and he has a clear grasp of graphic design fundamentals like color and typography. But the work that really shines is Bascus’s series of low-polygon illustrations and posters featuring some current NBA stars. These killer designs hit all the right notes, from composition to color choices. Bascus could easily expand on this series with great success, and we honestly hope to see his work on the pages of ESPN The Magazine (nudge, nudge… @espnmag) someday soon.

Via nickbascus.com

Autumn is finally upon us, and time for all things pumpkin spice (don’t get us started), as well as corn mazes and such. Which got us thinking… have you ever seen rice paddy art? Originating in Japan, rice paddy art is achieved when people plant rice of various types and colors to create giant pictures in a paddy field. Inakadate, a Japanese village in the prefecture of Aomori is thought to be the birthplace of this fascinating art form that dates back not thousands of years, but to the early 1990s. As a way to revitalize their village, officials of Inakadate decided to cleverly capitalize on a natural resource of 2,000+ years as a way to boost tourism and celebrate their culture. Since then stunning aerial masterpieces have been created year after year, gaining Inakadate recognition not only through local tourism but also through astounded onlookers by way of the internet (much like yourself). Media company Great Big Story, with their uncanny ability to tell stories, recently produced a beautifully shot piece profiling Inakadate, which garnered their stunning landscape and ingenuity further attention.

Via greatbigstory.com and vill.inakadate.lg.jp

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

Melbourne, Australia-based contemporary artist Ben Frost has a pop art aesthetic with a subversive, confrontational spirit. In some of his most recent work, Frost essentially uses mainly (junk) food and pharmaceutical packaging as a canvas for his bold illustrations inspired by pop culture, Roy Lichtenstein, and manga. His mashups are not random, though… Frost exhibits his mastery of juxtaposition with these works in a way that can be truly provocative. Through his work, Frost continually pushes boundaries and challenges social norms while addressing our advertising-soaked, consumer-obsessed culture. In his own statement, Frost describes: “By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial.”

Via benfrostisdead.com

LEGO bricks are no longer just plastic construction toys, they have permeated all facets of pop culture lately… showing up on the silver screen, in video games, on clothing and even fine art. Classically trained Italian artist Stefano Bolcato has had such a penchant for the timeless toys since childhood that he began using them, and specifically the yellow minifigures, as subject matter for years. Recently, Bolcato took this a step further by reimagining classic paintings with LEGO figures in his series titled People. From Andy Warhol’s legendary Marilyn Diptych to Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird and Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferroniere), Bolcato’s oil paintings are fun and approachable. We’d love to see him expand on the series…. The possibilities are endless.

More LEGO art here and here and here.

Via stefanobolcato.com and Instagram

What do you get when you unite a talented, young, rebellious artist with discarded artwork? Renaissance paintings that demand a double-take, for one. French artist Blase, aka Blasepheme, has artistic skills rooted in time-honored techniques. But his subversive sense of humor will not allow him to simply restore flea market finds. Blase does much more than that… he scours sales and brings old paintings back to life with fresh concepts and often satirical touches. Some may question a lack of respect for artists who came before him, but Blase can rest easy knowing that he is in the business of resurrecting these otherwise unwanted works, and giving them relevance. Proved by this very post… we’re talking about said paintings from some 3,600 miles away over the internet in 2017! Blase’s work is nothing short of badass, and we applaud not only his artistic prowess but also his defiant spirit.

More artistic renegades here and here and here.

Via blasepheme.com

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