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June 18, 2015

Amliv Sotomayor: Women with Eyes Closed

Amliv is living and working among us here in Miami. The Cuban artist (who, according to her bio "eats her rice and beans regularly") creates delicate and ethereal imagery - it's hard to place the images within a city so much the opposite. Not only do I admire Amliv for her skill with graphite, but the imaginative nature of her images is also to be revered. As someone who at times relies heavily on source photographs, I'm in awe of the emotion and precision portrayed in these fantastical scenes.

I see Amliv's images and wonder about the story behind the characters and their interactions. What relationship does the artist see between these women and beasts? Almost all of Amliv's drawings of women show them with their eyes closed. I feel as if these women are completely engulfed in their personal experience, whether it be transformation, grandeur, dream, or sleep. It’s a beautiful and strange effect, and it is executed with such grace.

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June 17, 2015

Now Accepting Submissions
Showcase #22: Doodle Your Journey

For showcase challenge #22, we ask that you doodle your journey - your summer adventure - one that has happened, will happen, or that you dream of happening. So, get on it. Get to it. And go... Doodle wherever summer leads you.

And holy smokes! Did we mention? The winner of this challenge will win the meticulously-designed Aeronaut 30 ($270 value) travel bag made in the USA by Tom Bihn. Read on for complete details »


June 15, 2015

A Monochrome Moleskine

I am captivated by Vahid’s marvelous monochrome moleskine. It was no surprise for me to read that his illustration experience includes some projects in animation and cartooning, because the artist’s passion for it bleeds through into his sketchbook. My first impression of several drawings was that they seemed like paused frames in the middle of a movement. The boldness and simplicity of his illustrations, along with a story they seem to be suggesting, evoke ancient black-figure paintings with a modern spin. It’s a cool combination of sharp angles and soft curves creating fascinating figures that prove you don’t need color to breathe life into a sketch.

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June 12, 2015

Doodleshopped

Staring down at a blank sheet of paper can be intimidating to someone suffering from artist's block. Might I suggest taking a page out of Leanne Aranador's book? She rips, cuts, and pastes snippets from magazines into her sketchbook to create a starting point for her doodles, and what happens next is where it gets interesting. Her talented hands use the power of doodles to transform bland advertisements that look like every other page into a singular work of art and poetry. Aranador’s process seems chaotically therapeutic in its irreverence of polished print ads, and pleasantly similar to our own Doodlebomb! project. Try it sometime!

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June 9, 2015

Funny Doodles That Never Fall Flat

Simple black and white doodles with a twist... or should I say a fold? HuskMitNavn is an artist from Copenhagen who draws in three dimensions. His black and white characters have a comical and nostalgic style, reminiscent of those old-timey cartoons we all used to watch. What takes them to next the level is the way the artist folds, rolls, and tears the paper in many different directions to create a scene. The simplicity of these doodles infuses them with a playful energy that takes me back to the days in my childhood when I could amuse myself by making toys from nothing but paper and a pencil—dolls, planes, telescopes, whatever I happened to accidentally sculpt a sheet into! It’s a good source of inspiration for doodlers who want to start thinking outside of the box.

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June 6, 2015

James Roper: Double Exposure

James Roper has done a magnificent job in executing his goal in these graphite drawings. The description likens these portraits to headshots, "a must-have for any aspiring Hollywood actor" but the aim is to show the emotional depth of someone pursuing an acting career. Some may view this career path as a choice made by the vapid, the unrealistic, the dramatic and ridiculous. But my interpretation is that Roper shows how inaccurate this generalization can be by suggesting the form of a headshot with an unidentifiable pattern teeming beneath it, creating a double exposure effect.

Furthermore, this double exposure effect has beautiful results. The viewer is distracted by the intricacy and beauty of the pattern that they do not at first realize that the pattern is of nothing in particular. It has traces of architectural themes, feather-like line patterns, folds that could be fabric. We as viewers stare at the pattern, trying to find something that is, in fact, not there. It is ephemeral; it escapes us. It’s a reminder for us to stand back and enjoy the bigger picture.

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June 5, 2015

Coloring Book Interview Series, #16: Annette Fernando

If you love oldschool film noir, I've got an artist you should meet. Annette Fernando's page left an impression on me when I first saw it, and continues to have a similar impact every time I flip through our coloring book. Her style is dark, dramatic, romantic—all the best elements of old Hollywood glamour. Read my interview with Annette to learn some cool stuff about the artist, such as how she taught herself to draw by copying comic books and recreating film stills!

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