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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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June 2, 2015

Japan and Mexico

I recently discovered the art of Monica Barengo when I came across some illustrations she did for the Australian Womankind magazine. These are drawings from two separate series on Mexico and Japan. The Mexican series revolves around bees and flowers, the Japanese one around cats and food. The drawings pull specific imagery from two very different cultures in mature and elegant forms, with whimsically surreal elements. The Japanese series made me so hungry, I’ll leave you to enjoy the thin lines and muted, earthy colors on your own.

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June 1, 2015

Character Studies

His new girlfriend loves wallpapers. And she told him that her last boyfriend did not even care. He has therefore set up a small workshop in the attic of his house. There he began to print floral wallpapers on his own - he wants to impress her. 

It's human nature to pay close attention to pictures and skip over text, but it feels incomplete to post these drawings without the description the artist writes for them. The endearingly quirky individuals are drawn by IVK Daily, an artist from Berlin who cares deeply about people’s private peculiarities. The rich inner life implied in these portraits makes me wonder if they are fictional characters with dreamt up oddities or examples pulled from real people the artist knows.

The black and white pictures are charismatic enough on their own to keep me captivated with the meticulous details in backgrounds and textures. I would still be asking myself burning questions about what their story could be, so it was a real treat for me to find that the artist includes a little teaser text about the subjects of their doodles. Just a little bit of info, but not too much—so I can still enjoy the strangeness and charm of these personal snapshots. I very VERY strongly suggest visiting ivkdaily’s blog and reading along, because the caption is half the story.

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May 31, 2015

Drawn Expressions on Wood

“A wooden expression” usually describes someone’s face as flat or stoic, but these wooden girls are expressing themselves much more shamelessly than that. Lantomo is an Italian artist with quite the collection of intriguing individuals populating her world of pencil and paint on wood. So many of these portraits look like a snapshot taken during a moment of strange emotion. Each girl almost appears animated, practically coming alive with her intense expressions. Lantomo says her drawings are “a diary of characters caught in the flat surface on which they are created, trying to get free.” Emotions are fleeting, so it feels special to see those split moments of raw feelings captured so evocatively.

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May 29, 2015

Ola Szpunar: Summer Sunlight

I recently returned from a trip to Texas where the days were unexpectedly filled with clouds, rain, and chilly temperatures. When I saw Ola Szpunar's "Summer" series, the images matched what I had thought my trip would look like: scenes of warm, sun-drenched indoor and outdoor settings. You cannot feel any other season besides summer when observing these pictures, not only from the sunny glow emanating from each scene. I see myself as the girl standing near the sink in a bikini top and black pants, coming in from the pool to take a break from the sun.

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May 22, 2015

Elena Chetverik: Hide and Seek

I have to let my emotions get the better of me on this post: I LOVE this series. I don’t understand everything that is going on in this game of hide and seek, I don’t know what happens when each character is found. Why are they wearing animal masks? In what kind of world does this take place? The viewer is left to either answer these questions, or leave them unanswered.

There’s a balance between beautifully illustrating a scene and telling a story. This series by Elena Chetverik allows the two to meet in the middle. The story exists but is not defined. The people are over-large, awkwardly positioned, the setting rough and unfinished and yet both have more character than had they been drawn down to the last detail. Elena’s style is so much her own: her shading haphazard, her lines imperfect. I love it all.

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