Featured Artist: Nick Deakin

Nick Deakin is an illustrator and artist extraordinaire killing it on the art scene in Sheffield, England. His young, fun style stands out with clean linework and simple, detailed shapes. His attention to detail is spot on and can layer with colors like a demon. Check out his workspace on one of my favorite blogs, Share Some Candy or see more of his work on his site.

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Featured Artist: Mike Stilkey

Mike Stilkey. His work is such a treat. I find the book arts is a bit of a lost art. He embraces materials that may be overlooked to use, such as book covers and vintage book pages. From installations to paintings his work has the ability to absorb the viewer. His images tell stories and his work is full of beautiful mixed media texture with an undertone of whimsical melancholy, longing, and despair. His work is  flooded with depth and mystery that entices the viewer to get to know his ambiguous characters and wonder about their lives in their unusual settings.

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Get to know Mike here.
Visit his website here.

Featured Artist: Cedric Smith

cedricI came across Cedric Smith in a magazine that was in my hotel room in Paris. I was so taken with his work that I carried the magazine around with for the rest of my trip because I had to look this guy up when I got home. Cedric is an amazing and accomplished artist, born in Philadelphia and currently resides in both Atlanta and Savannah, GA. He recently opened a show in Paris at the Galerie Nordine Zidoun. A self proclaimed artist and photographer, he likes collecting things such as old photos, vintage signs and antiques. His color choices and medium couldn’t be more perfect and I love how you can really tell what influences him through his work. Keep up with Cedric’s day to day thoughts on his blog. My favorite is the “Carrot Cake.” (upper right)

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Featured Artist: Andy Howell

kv5i0203Growing up in Southern California I have a huge love of the skate culture. One of my  favorite artists epitomizes this lifestyle through his super expressive and colorful art;  Andy Howell. I stumbled upon Andy’s work when I was in high school and have been a huge fan ever since. Andy prefers mixed media, “anything fast, glue, gel mediums, tape, acrylic, aerosol enamels, pen and ink, anything loose and fast.” This pro-skater/artist transplant has revolutionized the skate industry.

His extensive resume includes numerous gallery showings worldwide, magazine covers, major campaigns from big brands like Coca-Cola to DC Shoes, created extensive clothing and branding lines, featured in periodical publications such as Juxtapoz, Print, HOW, Create and Communication Arts. The guy introduced the first baggy jeans designed specially for the boardsports industry. Wow. This man has done some serious things!

Andy is the founding father of the street/skate/art movement and has continuously evolved with this ever changing culture. Can’t wait to see what comes next from Mr. Howell.

Read the complete bio about Andy on his zazzle store, where you can pick up some really sweet items he designed for next to nothing.

Just a few of my favorites:

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Check out his new book: Art, Skateboarding, and Life. It’s a sweet 304 page hardcover book with 2 DVD set with tons of interviews and videos of Andy and other artists and skateboarders. I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

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Enjoy!

Featured Artist: Kent Rogowski

bear1I stumbled upon this artist named Kent Rogowski and his “Bears” project. I have had his tab up in my firefox all week and haven’t been able to close the window. I find his creations haunting, charming, adorable and disturbing rolled into a ball unusual and familiar at the same time. Terrifying, strange and delightfully absurd have been some reviews describing Rogowski’s work.

These little creatures are so oddly cute and cuddly. I would love to have a print in the office or my apartment. I wonder what people think when they see Kent’s work. At first I was like WTF? and after looking at each image I started making up my own stories about each character in his collection. His scope for the project is quite good and worth a read:

“Bears, is a series of portraits of the most unusual sort: ordinary teddy bears that have been turned inside out and restuffed. Each animal’s appearance is determined by the necessities of the manufacturing process. Simple patterns and devices never meant to be seen are now prominent physical characteristics, giving each one a distinctly quirky personality: their fasteners become eyes, their seams become scars, and their stuffing creeps out in the most unexpected places. Together these images form a topology of strange yet oddly familiar creatures. They are at once hideous yet cuddly, disturbing yet endearing, absurd yet adorable, while offering a metaphor for us all to consider. These bears, which have lived and loved and lost as much as their owners, have suffered and endured through it all. It is by virtue of revealing their inner core might we better understand our own.”

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Buy his book on amazon.

Creative reads: “How to be an explorer of the world”

howtoI love creative books and periodicals but can’t afford to purchase them on a regular basis for my collection. Luckily, I received two great books for Christmas this year: “How to be an Explorer of the world: portable art/life museum” by Keri Smith and “Living the Creative Life: ideas and inspirations form working artists” by Rice Freeman-Zachery. I was so intrigued by the Explorer of the World book, that I decided to investigate the artist responsible for this gem.

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Keri Smith is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artists. She is the author of several bestselling books about creativity including “Wreck this Journal” (which I can’t wait to get my hands on) and “The Guerilla Art Kit” to name a few. If you tend to get in creative slumps all you need to do is read Keri’s blog the Wish Jar. On the right hand side she has a list of ideas to help get you inspired.

Here are a few of my favorites: ideas 1. Go for a walk. Draw or list things you find on the the sidewalk. 2. Write a letter to yourself in the future. 3. Buy something inexpensive as a symbol for your need to create, (new pen, a tea cup, journal). Use it everyday. 4. Draw your dinner. 5. Find a piece of poetry you respond to. Rewrite it and glue it into your journal. 6. Glue an envelope into your journal. For one week collect items you find on the street.

Her illustrations are clever, playful and completly original.kerismith

Featured Artist: Beck Wheeler

Originally from Germany, transplanted to Australia, Beck Wheeler works mostly with pen and ink. Her beautiful illustrations have dawned the pages of Penguin Books, Feet Theatre and Cornerstine Promotions just to name a few. She is inspired by public transport, reggae, Scrabble and crockery and prefers juice to cordial. She recently finished writing and illustrating her first childrens’ book, How Absurd! published by Lothian Books in Australia and is currently working on book of illustrated short stories.

These are just a few of my favs:

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I am inspired by her simplistic, charastamic and charming characters and her ability to add the perfect touch of color. Bravo. Check out more of Beck’s work here.