Flourishing power

A further look into the blossoming of these beauties. Right now they are young, but maturation will develop over time.




Drawing experience a line at a time

Recently, I’ve slowly tried to re-acquaint myself with the drawing fundamentals, more specifically gesture drawing. My hope is to infuse my final characters with more dynamism and depth. I know that there’s a right way and a wrong way, but since art is so open ended, what’s right could be wrong and vice versa.

As I see it, art is a very large umbrella. Art, be it through equations or delineation, is just another means of expression. Granted, we all have the ability to express ourselves, but the way in which we convey meaning lays an artist. I’m having a difficulty labeling myself an “artist” when what I express and my mode of communication can be emulated by many. Heck, I’m probably stealing from someone right now and I don’t even know it.

Let’s add some dynamism and depth I’m practicing with. So this past Tuesday I had an elderly women accuse me of trying to knife her while I was at work. Keep in mind, I’m at my place of employment that is equipped with cameras, plentiful employees and roaming customers, everywhere. To make a long story short, I was handing my box cutter to a fellow co-worker when the woman accused me of attempted murder. Luckily, the police mentioned that they’ve had to deal with this specific woman before, do to their mental illness, that I felt a little more at ease.

This has been a hot topic recently, but I’d never been subjected to such an acute situation. First off, it scared me. Was she serious or not? Secondly, who does she know who can do me harm? Thirdly, how do I respond? I realize now that my response to the situation was just adding aggravation to the unstable woman. Lastly, and I hoped against, was having to defend myself. I know, from a 5″2′, at most, woman aged around 55-65 years old. Come on, who wants to knock out their own grandma?

Surely this is not a dynamic gesture drawing, but I hope it illustrates a difficulty I’m finding in categorizing myself, amongst many well-deserved and honored people true to the title of artist. I’m not an artist, just someone who appreciates those who are.


Illustrated observational humor done by a cynic

In some ways, besides the sharp colours, clean illustrations and the sharp wit, I somewhat find some truth within these observations. Although it might not be Truth, it holds it’s weight during this generation. Eduardo Salles is an advertiser, designer, illustrator, writer and professor at the Miami Ad School and he is the one responsible for these illustrated observations. I’d like to say more, but I’ll refrain from trying to make what I think out of his idea. It boils down to anyone who appreciates a stylish and contemporary critique on modern life, assuming your modern life coincides with the content depicted. To see his work, click here.

Looking to laugh, look here

I wanted to add this into the mix because I felt it necessary to make my blog design oriented, yet not so stiff and serious. The artist of these illustrations, who by chances happens to be a  graphic designer, Glenn Jones, takes two similar or completely opposite subjects/topics, and grounds them in something relatable to each portrayed subject/topic, or to something experienced in everyday life. It’s a visual display of observational humor in some respect. Whatever you want to call it, it is pretty darn funny. The aesthetic, in my opinion, is slick, clean and crisp, much like that of the artists humor. Check out the link here and here. The first link is the initial showcase of this artists work on the website, Twisted Sifter, and the second link, well it’s the second mention of the artist.

Hand drawn type tells stories

I came across this book while browsing books under the subject: type. I was intrigued with the front cover, so I decide to investigate it further. Turns out it was half storybook and half designed hand drawn type. I like stories and I like type. So going off of the synopsis of the book, I decided to purchase this book. And was it well worth the price? My answer to that is, yes it was well worth it and let me explain why.

This book has an elegantly designed softcover and spans over 168-pages of beautifully hand rendered type. Each story, or theme, showcases itself in a visually unique and complex way from page to page. Making for each page to differ from one to the next. Sure, the style consists of a lot of line work, flourishes and hand rendered type, but the manner in which they are placed upon the page, as well as the visual hierarchy of what the author wants you to read first, is fantastic. As a learning student in the field of graphic design, this in not only a prefect book to have for its aesthetic purpose, but as something to study when one needs inspiration. The stark black and white colour palette, or lack there of, really showcases the inventiveness of the type and graphical backdrops in which house the stories atmosphere. Since there is so much going on on each page, to have the book put into colour would have been overwhelming.

Overall, I would recommend Hall of Best Knowledge to anyone who enjoys: witty and humorous observational stories/allegories, creative and inventive ways of displaying type, studying of art, reader of comics or all of the above. It is a well worth the investment because of the amount of visual complexity and creativity found from front to back.

Here is a short preview of the book, Hall of Best Knowledge.

Simply Drawn

John Arne Sæterøy, a Norwegian born cartoonist who goes by the moniker, Jason. Born May 16, 1965 in Molde Norway, he made his debut in 1981 in the Norwegian comics magazine KonK. In 1989, he studied graphic design and illustration at Norway’s National Academy of the Arts and graduated in 1994. He has won several awards, e.g. Eisner Awards, for his work and has had his work published in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

Jason’s work is drawn in a very clean and minimalist style with a colour palette that follows suit. His characters are anthropomorphic animals who, for the most part, rely on a gesticulatory form of communication due to Jason’s infrequent use of speech bubbles.

Why do I like Jason’s cartoons so much? Everything about his comics are great, but I’ll try my best to summarize the reasons why. Essentially, it’s the animals who have human-qualities, that sometimes, in completely wordless plots, are able to express complex ideas, and onto of that, are beautifully rendered in a sleek and minimalist style.

The following link is a showing of select book published Jason called Low Moon.

Glorious Monstrosity

It all began late one night when my bother and I were mindlessly channeling surfing. I was sitting in a chair while my brother laid on the couch. Click, click, click. There was just nothing on the TV that grabbed our attention. It was either because everything on TV was crap or that we lost all interest in what we were doing. Just then, I happened the land on channel 90, G4 TV. We sat up immediately and leaned forward with a curiosity normally reserved for more brain-building activities than watching TV.

Am I really seeing this? What’s going on – there’s so much happening? The colours, the fluid animation… and the blood! I couldn’t believe that something so disturbingly graphic – yet cleverly thought out– was being shown on the television.

So what is this Superjail? Man, it’s hard for me to fully explain what the hell it is. The animation style segues smoothly from scene to scene, with a train of thought and brutally gory violence like that of a hallucinatory drug (without side-effects.) The plot of each episode may not be overly complicated, but the opposite is true for the animation. The humor on the other hand is perverse and sometimes, if not a lot of the time, down-right appalling. The pace of Superjail is perfect; it has the right amount of manic battle scenes, mixed with steady rests allowing for a pleasing unraveling of the plot. Sure, you could watch the show’s hysterically deranged action for the full 11 minute run-time, but trust me: your eyes, and most definitely your mind, will need a break.

My brother and I were astounded to stumble upon this intergalactic freak show. Finding this quenching entertainment was like finding water in a desert of poor programming. It was like finding God – or at least several gods in the creators of the show bringing to life such a glorious monstrosity.

If you enjoy oddly maniacal trains of thought that jump tracks and that border on the absurd, and fantastical visuals with hallucinogenic qualities, then I urge you watch this sensory bending cartoon. If not… well, then stick to the Care Bears.

The cover of the Superjail Season 1 DVD

The type of humor to be found in Superjail