I think it’s pretty obvious why Malika Favre is one of my favorite illustrators. I was stoked to see she’d been commissioned by BAFTA to create art for each of the Best Film nominees for their program & poster designs this year. I always love the simplicity in her work, and the subtle hidden messages in these are especially cool.
My new favorite thing on the internet is The Monster Project. They recruit illustrators/artists to recreate monsters from children’s drawings. Such a cool idea!
From their website:
By collaborating with the students and finding inspiration from their imaginings, we hope to help them recognize the value of their ideas and make them feel excited about the potential of their own minds. Creativity comes in many forms, and we hope to encourage their exploration of their own unique perceptions of the world we share. And, while we’re at it, we want to introduce to them the notion of art as a legitimate career path.
Here are a few of my favorites. You can see all the art so far on The Monster Project website.
I’m extremely proud of my recent art exhibit at THE BOX in Traverse City!
My painting style is extremely time-intensive. Just finding the salvage lumber to use as canvases is a lot of work in itself, then the steps involved perfecting the curves of each line, experimenting with painting techniques, and fine-tuning until each piece becomes what it should can take weeks or even months.
So since I went back to full-time employement, and my wife started her second bachelor’s degree it has taken over two years to find enough inspired free time to complete just enough paintings for this little show.
This new series Ghosts and Figures explores the human body in a sort of self-therapy to address personal neurosis I’ve developed while coming-of-age in a fundamentalist Christian culture where the body (female in particular) was implied to be inherently evil.
The process and resulting work have honestly given me a new, healthier framework for understanding the complex connections between the physical body, sexuality, psyche and spirit.
Know someone inspiring? Tell me about them on Twitter!
Weezer’s newest release was off my radar for much of this year. Generally I stay abreast of upcoming music—especially from my favorite bands, but over the years Weezer and I have slowly shifted from blood-brothers to good old friends you rarely visit but feels like “yesterday” when you do. Even when I first heard rumors something new was coming from Weezer, I didn’t give it nearly the attention I might have fifteen, ten, or even five years ago.
Then I saw the Weezer cover art for Everything Will be Alright in the End.
Several years ago I was commissioned to create a series of posters for the Traverse City Film Festival in honor of John Hughes’ amazing body of work. Obviously I’m a huge fan of practically everything he ever created, so the project was incredibly fun, and was also a great opportunity for me as I was just finding my niche as an illustrator.
I have a handful of these left in my house and I want them gone!
Stumbled across this really fantastic portrait by Magnus Plessen.
Ihsan Abou Said
Wanted to take a minute to say thank you to Go Media. These great folks have shown me a ton of love over the past year!
Weapons of Mass Creation Fest 2013
I hoped to write some sort of concise and provocative thoughts on this year’s WMC Fest, but honestly I’m still a little giddy from the weekend and what little focus I can muster this week is invested in my day job.
So instead I’m just going to puke up a bunch of totally random thoughts.
Round 3 of Old & New Project came to a close today. It’s been another fantastic set of contributions from artists all over the globe.
Like any good parent, I don’t like to choose favorites among my offspring, but there were a handful in this round (all contributed by female artists by the way) that impacted me for one reason or another.
1. Gideon Meets the Lord by Ciara Panacchia (above)
This piece, though simple, has tons of emotion wrapped up in it without feeling melodramatic. That’s an extremely difficult thing to pull off for an illustrator, so the way Ciara does it here is truly impressive.
Another reason this image resonates so strongly with me personally is because I have a boy named Gideon in my family, and he—like his namesake—is up against all odds, yet consistently inspiring each of us with his capacity to do great things.
Sales from Ciara’s piece go to charity.
2. Jonah Thrown Overboard by Melanie Matthews
One of my early reservations about the Turning Points theme was that we’d be including more popular Bible stories than past rounds. Both Jim and I have always been drawn to and enjoy sharing more obscure passages with many who may have never realized they were contained in the Bible. So when it came to perhaps the most illustrated passage ever from the Old Testament, I couldn’t help but be a little nervous we’d be publishing more of the same old thing.
While writing the familiar story of Jonah, I tried to focus on what may have been his greatest Turning Point (he had several), and it seemed to me the moment he confesses his flight and volunteers to be thrown overboard is pretty critical to the whole tale.
When Melanie Matthews delivered this piece (all the way from Australia, no less), my fears were relieved. She somehow managed to demonstrate one of the most visually exploited stories in all history in a fresh, new and fabulous way. The look of relief on Jonah’s face as he watches the sun break through the clouds and the storm subside, totally unaware of the gaping jaws below is totally priceless, and should go down as one of the great “Jonah and the Big Fish” illustrations ever.
Sales from Melanie’s piece go to charity.
3. A Man of Unclean Lips by Sophia Foster-Dimino
Every once in a while, I’m so excited about one of our contributing artist’s agreeing to be part of the project, they can’t possibly live up to my expectations. After discovering Sophia this past year when her Bram Stoker “doodle” was featured on Google’s home page, I secretly thought there was no way she was going to create something as awesome as I hoped she would… but she did.
I honestly had to stop to catch my breath after seeing this for the first time, but what makes it even more fabulous is Sophia’s thoughts on her design process—which demonstrates so beautifully exactly why including athiests among all the other variety of faith backgrounds contributing art to Old & New Project has been so important to Jim and I since the beginning.
Sales from Sophia’s piece go to charity.
4. Samson by Alexandra Beguez
I have to admit, I faced a bit of a dilemma when Alexandra delivered this piece. The story I’d written on Samson was specifically about his spirit breaking in prison and reaching out to God in his first moment of real weakness. There was no mention of the lion carcass or honeycomb at all.
But this design was so awesome!
It was so good, in fact, I edited my story a bit to include a few phrases hinting at this lion-and-honey episode. I can’t say exactly what it is about Alexandra’s piece that moves me, but I love Samson as a “regular guy,” as opposed to the stereotypical Schwarzenegger-type, and her use of high-contrast reversed color is totally unique and surprising.
Sales from Alexandra’s piece go to charity.
4. Saved by a Harlot by Julie Frey
Rahab’s is one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible. Not only does it beg the provocative question, “what exactly were those spies doing in her house?” but I feel prostitutes are easily the most misunderstood and misrepresented biblical characters (particularly in the western church).
I was really excited to see how Julie handled Rahab’s story. She focused on the woman’s redemption in the scarlet cord, but made sure to include the more scandalous but important facts surrounding the story (however appropriately left in the shadows).
Sales from Julie’s piece go to charity.