How to draw robots - excellent instructional book

I frequently refer to my copy of Robots! Draw Your Own Androids, Cyborgs & Fighting Bots, by well known animation designer and comic book cartoonist Jay Stephens. It's only 64 pages, but it's packed with tips and examples of whimsical robots, with lots of examples of limbs, bodies, heads, control panels, sensors, etc.

Stephens has two similar books: Monsters!: Draw Your Own Mutants, Freaks & Creeps and Heroes!: Draw Your Own Superheroes, Gadget Geeks & Other Do-Gooders. I have all three. Read the rest

The incredible optical illusion muralist of Odeith

Odeith is an artist in Portugal who paints ultra realistic murals. His portfolio has many examples of his work.

His Instagram account also has lots of photos of his paintings.

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A post shared by ODEITH (@odeith) on Oct 14, 2019 at 9:36am PDT

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All hail The Crap Hound Big Book of Unhappiness by Sean Tejaratchi

The Crap Hound Big Book of Unhappiness is a 544-page compendium of vintage ads and archival ephemera  selected and arranged by designer Sean Tejaratchi, publisher of the Crap Hound zine. I've been a huge fan of Sean's work for many years, and have every issue of Crap Hound. I made the video above to give you a taste of just how astounding this book is - it will provide a lifetime of browsing enjoyment.

Sean and the publisher Feral House, kindly gave me permission to several spreads from the book.

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My new fave Instagram account: miniature models of old Tokyo storefronts

Christopher Robin is a Stockholm designer who makes realistic miniature models of aged Tokyo storefronts. He's got an Instagram account with photos of his work.


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Panic working here, lots of stuff left to do and aprox one week left until deadline. Working on the vending machine, added the glass and did some weathering. A real mental workout to figure out how to build this one in the best way, and I can only blame my self since it is I who designed the kit... Also been working on adding more wiring and electric stuff. Also did the roof. Used a very fine grit sandpaper cut into strips and glued and folder. Think it worked out ok. These flat roofs are tricky to get interesting. Now back to work. Stay tuned. #artwork #art #artist #sculpture #mini #miniature #miniartmodels #tokyo #tokyohouse #japanhouse #instaart #pic #picoftheday #progress #scratchbuild #scalemodel #modelhouse #modelhouses #aircondition #rust #hobby #workshop #handmade #handtool #weatheredmodels #weathering

A post shared by TokyoBuild (@tokyobuild) on Sep 29, 2019 at 8:14am PDT

[via Nag on the Lake] Read the rest

Look at this incredibly over-the-top unveiling for Staples new logo

They unbent the staple.

As one YouTuber put it, "Geez you would think a cure to all cancer was just unveiled."

Stick around for the executive's statement that reveals the deep meaning behind this earth-shattering new logo. Read the rest

Volkswagen upgrades its logo

Volkswagen upgraded its logo, which previously looked like a shiny button made of chromed plastic coated with a thin layer of diesel exhaust. The new logo sports a stripped-down simplicity that resembles earlier designs. Wisely, the designers didn't include the swastika incorporated into the original logo. Read the rest

After a kid was bullied for his homemade University of Tennessee T-shirt, his logo became official

An elementary school student showed up to school wearing an orange T-shirt with a hand-drawn logo representing the University of Tennessee Volunteers and was bullied by the other students for it. When the university found out, they used his logo on an official T-shirt. ABC News reports that "demand for the product is so high that it crashed the school’s website."

The University of Tennessee decided that they would take the boy’s design and make it an official school shirt with a portion of the proceeds being donated to STOMP Out Bullying, a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to eradicating bullying of all forms. “Thank you Vol Nation! Currently, our website has crashed due to the overwhelming support,” the online store tweeted. “We are working on the problem. Once the server restarts, we anticipate the issue to be resolved. #GoVols #EverywhereUT.”

Image: Laura Snyder/Facebook Read the rest

Art opening for a new show by painter Ryan Heshka: Freeeks

Here's what artist Ryan Heshka says about his show that opens tomorrow (August 10, 2019) at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles:

"The overall theme that weaves all the work together is the celebration of individuality, and celebrating our individual weirdness, quirks, the things that make us who we are. The political climate, the actual climate, and questions about privacy and reality have been heavy on my mind this year. I didn’t necessarily want to do a show that literally explored these themes, but rather have these themes drive my exploration of individual freedom and the evolution and shift of our relationships with each other as we continue to race forward. The show itself is split three ways: a) the original art from Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn, b) the debut of my new comic book, Frog Wife (with a new print and a large oil painting and art from the comic book), and c) a series of new paintings. The narratives in all these works varies, but there is a thread of rebellion, of flipped or evolved stereotypes, and turning figures inside out to reveal an inner self. The show started as an excuse to exhibit my comic book art, but soon took on a life of its own."

He adds, "The show is heavy on the comic book art (close to 60 spreads, or 120 pages), which I have never shown before. There are also two large oil paintings, one of the Mean Girls Club, and one of Frog Wife.

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Short documentary about the early art of bulletin board systems

The Art of Warez by Oliver Payne, celebrates the rise and fall of ANSI art in the 1980s and early 90s. ANSI graphics were made from small rectangles. There were 256 rectangles to choose from - 4 density patterns and 16 colors per pattern.

Image: The Art of Warez/Vimeo Read the rest

Upcoming exhibition by Latvian artist Jana Brike

Cory Helford Gallery in Los Angeles is exhibiting paintings by Jana Brike. The show is called Soulsearching and it runs from August 10 to September 14, 2019.

Mostly using the traditional medium of oil painting on canvas, Brike's art focuses on the internal space and state of a human soul - dreams, longing, love, pain, the vast range of emotions that the human condition offers and the transcendence of them all, the growing up and self-discovery. Her work is her poetic visual autobiography

Growing up under Soviet occupation had a profound effect on everything from Brike's work ethic to her subject matter and aesthetic sensibilities. A self-described "reclusive and dreamy child," Brike showed burgeoning talent at a very young age. By 15 years old she was participating in international exhibitions, later going on to receive her Master of Arts degree from the Art Academy of Latvia in 2005.

Brike's surreal and haunting imagery is informed by everything from Russian Realism and Soviet animation to her Grandmother's religious postcards featuring biblical works of the European masters. Her subject matter is culled from folklore, fairytales and children's book illustrations. The subjects of her oil paintings embody a fantastical quality, illustrating what Brike viewed as the "forbidden...imagery of Western pop culture" which took on a "mystical, almost religious tone for Soviet children."

Over the past 15 years, Brike has created 13 solo exhibitions and been part of nearly 100 other projects and group exhibitions in established and emerging galleries in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Finland, Belorussia, Switzerland, Australia and several parts of the United States.

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Mary Blair Embroidery Patterns

Mary Blair was an artist who did a lot of work for Disney, including concept art for animation and Disneyland (It's a Small World After All is her great work, if you ask me). My friend Jenny Hart, who is a wonderful embroidery artist and who makes and sells embroidery pattern kits, has a new Mary Blair embroidery pattern kit with some of Blair's non-Disney work. You can see the patterns here.  You can by the patterns as a hardcopy with iron ons, or as a PDF file.

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Video of a cute bubble car from 1942

My friend Steve passed along this video of the L'Œuf électrique ("electric egg") concept car from 1942, designed by Paul Arzens in France during the Nazi occupation. I'm sure everyone is in agreement that they should have stopped making any other kind of car after this little electric runabout was invented 77 years ago.

From Car Design News:

The whole ensemble was amazingly lightweight. The body was only 60 kilograms, weight increasing to 90 kilograms with the electric motor. With batteries added, the whole car weighed only 350 kilograms – about the same as a pre-war cycle car.The interior was minimalist in the extreme – a simple bench seat over a wicker frame, a steering wheel, and no gauges or instrument panel. All other interior fittings were also omitted to save weight.Only an engineer like Arzens could have scrounged the materials for the Egg during the privations of wartime Paris. However, the value and scarcity of aluminum and Plexiglas meant that only one prototype could be built. Nonetheless, Arzens received quite a bit of attention for the Egg, which he claimed could travel some 100 km at 70 km/hr, or at 60 km/hr with two people in the car.

By Andrew Eland - Cité de l'Automobile, MulhouseUploaded by Edelseider, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link Read the rest

Animated version of Fritz Kahn's 1926 "human machine" illustration

Fritz Kahn was a German physician and writer. In 1926 he created Der Mensch als Industriepalast ("Man as Industrial Palace"), an iconic illustration of the human body as a kind of industrial chemical plant.  German animator Henning M Lederer did a fantastic job turning Kahn's illustration into a 3-minute animated video (with slightly gross sound effects).

[via Aeon] Read the rest

Great 10-minute video about the history of movie poster design

James Verdesoto is the movie poster designer responsible for some of the more memorable posters of recent decades, including Pulp Fiction, Girl, Interrupted, and Training Day. In this short video, he gives a terrific presentation about the design aesthetics of movie posters from the 1930s to present day. I learned a lot from this; it was 10 minutes well-spent.

Image: Movie Poster Remakes vs. Originals, Explained | Vanity Fair YouTube video Read the rest

Kickstarter for the blackest black paint in the world

You may have heard that artist Anish Kapoor has an exclusive license to produce art using Vantablack, a pigment made from carbon nanotubes that absorbs up to 99.96% of visible light. Covering an object with Vantablack makes it look like the object, and everything behind it, has been removed from the universe.

Artists who are not Anish Kapoor are understandably upset that Kapoor has a lock on Vantablack. Many people have tried to create pigments as dark as Vantablack, and the person with the most success so far is Stuart Semple. He created Black 2.0 a few years ago, and now he is Kickstarted a new formulation, Black 3.0, which absorbs between 98 and 99% of visible light.

The Kickstarter includes the following caution: "By backing this project you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not backing this on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this material will not make its way into the hands of Anish Kapoor."

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Archive of 15,000+ Golden Age Comics

The Digital Comics Museum has over 15,000 Golden Age comic books (all in the public domain). It's a treasure trove of clip art and inspiration for designers and artists.

[via Open Culture] Read the rest

Archive of old Japanese fireworks catalogs

These old Japanese fireworks catalog scans from the Yokohama City Library are a treat for design lovers.

[via Present and Correct] Read the rest

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