Art on Ice in Minneapolis

Every two years, Minnesota artists build a temporary village on a frozen lake near Minneapolis, crafting colorful, creative parodies of traditional ice fishing shanties that are open to the public for four weekends. The event is juried. Dozens of groups submit proposals for shanties, but only 20 are chosen. Each shanty has a theme, and each theme comes with some kind of interactive programming — whether scheduled events or stuff to do in the shanty as you wander through. In 2012, 20,000 people visited the shanties at Medicine Lake. (That year, I followed some Minneapolis makers as they built and launched their monster-themed shanty.)

The 2014 Art Shanty Project opened last weekend on White Bear Lake, north of St. Paul, and my husband I took our daughter and went to see what we could see.

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"The Toy" by Ray and Charles Eames

Socks Studio has a short article and a bunch of photos of "The Toy."

“The Toy” was a self-assembly project made in 1951 by Charles and Ray Eames and sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. This construction kit for children sums up the simplicity and playfulness of most of the Eames’ works. It comprised dowels with pierced ends, pipe cleaners and brightly colored panels (four square and four triangles) of plastic-coated resistant stiff paper. The pieces of “the Toy” came packed in a hexagonal tube and could be used to produce multiple structures, playhouses, theatres and shelters.

"The Toy" by Charles and Ray Eames (Via This Isn't Happiness)

Adventure Time characters carved from crayons are a bargain at $35/each

Hoang Tran hails from Sunnyvale CA, where he carves beloved characters from crayons. Look how he used a regular-sized crayon to carve BMO and large crayons to carve Finn, Jake and the others! (Via TIH)

UPDATE: Cory wrote about Hoang last year, and bought one of his works!

Drew Friedman's "Old Jewish Comedians" art on exhibit

Drew Friedman is one of the best portrait artists alive. I once had the opportunity to see a few pieces of his original art and was surprised to see how small they were. The originals are smaller than the printed version. This is the opposite of how most illustrators work. The usual route is to create work that's larger than it appears in print. I don't know how Drew is able to include so much detail in his drawings. He must have excellent eyesight and a steady hand.

So, if you are going to see Drew's Old Jewish Comedians exhibit at The Society of Illustrators in New York (March 05, 2014 - May 03, 2014), bring a pair of strong reading glasses. That way you'll be able to appreciate every one of Drew's lovingly applied liver spots. If you can't make it to the show, I highly recommend Drew's three Old Jewish Comedians books, published by Fantagraphics.

Drew Friedman: Old Jewish Comedians

8-bit version of Hopper's Nighthawks

Best viewed while listening to Kind of Bloop.

Nightpix, by BJ Heinley

X: Where Google designs self-driving cars, Glass, and stratospheric Internet balloons

Project Loon's consumer-side antenna — i.e. the thing that bolts onto users' houses to receive an Internet signal from balloons in the stratosphere

Working at Google X is a dream job for makers and designers. It's the "moonshot factory" where the self-driving car, Glass, Project Loon, and other futuristic technologies are being developed. Mason Currey of Core77 got an invitation to visit X and he reported on what he learned there.

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How to paint realistic creature fur

Artist Nate Hallinan has a good tutorial on painting creature fur in Photoshop.

Fuzzy bunnies, big-eyed girls, meat, magic, and mystery: Mark Ryden's carnival of curiosities


Artist Marion Peck and her husband, Mark Ryden at Pixit book signing at the Taschen bookstore in the Los Angeles Farmers' Market on 21 December 2013 (Photo: Mark Frauenfelder).

"Fuzzy bunnies, big-eyed girls, meat, magic, and mystery." That's Taschen Books' capsule description of the things that artist Mark Ryden often includes in his surreal, cotton-candy-colored paintings. They did't include "Abraham Lincoln, snow, and candy," but that's OK. You'll figure that out on your own when you see the masterfully-rendered paintings in the pages of his latest book, Pinxit, which came out in April.

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Beautiful X-Ray art

Arie van't Riet was an x-ray physicist who worked in hospitals in the Netherlands. A few years ago, he turned his skill with x-rays to art, creating some really beautiful and far-out images of animals, insects, and flowers. You can see some of his art at the My Modern Met blog, and watch van't Riet explain how he creates these images in a TEDx talk.

Original Ballantine book cover concept art for J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings on eBay

Tolkien, perhaps rightly in marketing terms, though with the insistent literalism that makes writers writers (which is to say: not artists), demanded, of Barbara Remington's cover art for Lord of the Rings, "What has it got to do with the story? Where is this place? Why a Lion and emus? And what is the thing in the foreground with the pink bulbs?"

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Danny Hellman draws three scenes from Cosplay Apocalypse

Here's one of three Cosplay Apocalypse scenes drawn by bOING bOING illustrator Danny Hellman. See the other two on Danny's blog.

Gweek 112: Chip Kidd, rockstar of graphic design


Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My guest today Chip Kidd. For more 26 years Kidd has designed over 1000 iconic award-winning book covers that have revolutionized and inspired jacket design. He’s the author of The Cheese Monkeys, The Learners, the graphic novel Batman: Death by Design, and many other books about comics and design. Hailed by USA Today as "the closest thing to a rock star" in graphic design you can find him online at ChipKidd.com.

I talked to Chip about his new design principles book for children aged 10 and up called, GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design.

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The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 17: Cave Wimp

Fantagraphics posted a bunch of photos from the pages of the new printing of The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 17: Cave Wimp. Above, the first page to Crumb's 1989 love letter to MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman.

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Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Datebook Volume One 10th anniversary edition

Drawn & Quarterly has reprinted cartoonist Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Datebook Volume One, which came out in 2003. It's a terrific look at the "loose" work of one of the world's best living illustrators.

Acclaimed cartoonist Chris Ware (Building Stories) reveals the outtakes of his genius in these intimate, imaginative, and whimsical sketches collected from the years during which he completed his award-winning graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (Pantheon). Acme Datebook Volume One is as much a companion volume to Jimmy Corrigan as a tremendous art collection from of one of America’s most interesting and popular graphic artists. Chris Ware has a passion for drawing that is infectiously wide-ranging in style and subject. Acme Datebook Volume One surprises the reader on every page with its spontaneity, its mordant humor, and its excellent draftsmanship. Architectural drawings from Chicago and interplanetary robot comics collide with cruelly doodled human figures, quietly troubling figure studies, and innumerable notes to self detailing artistic doubts and ideas.

Acme Novelty Datebook Volume One (And they've reprinted Volume Two, too!)

How an amateur astronomer mapped the Moon 59 years before Apollo 11

In 1910, Walter Goodacre published a map of the Moon, created over the course of several decades using nothing more high-tech than a good quality backyard telescope. Goodacre was an amateur astronomer. He didn't have access to top-of-the-line observatory. But he did have a knack for detail and willingness to painstakingly record his observations of the Moon with pen and paper, eventually producing a map that's accurate to a few kilometers. (In contrast, the high-definition images that we get today from lunar orbiters show details at a scale of a few meters.)

University College London has an explorable version of Goodacre's map on their website, along with scans from his 1910 book that broke the map up into sections. (As art, the sections are almost more intriguing than the full, stitched-together image.) It's all part of a larger collection of historic space images, photos from the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.