"Superflat" artist Takashi Murakami writes about himself

Over at CNN, fantastically creative and influential Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is CNN Style's latest "guest editor." Along with commissioning a series of articles "exploring the theme of identity," he wrote his own insightful and inspiring essay about his life as an artist. From CNN:

As a child, looking at paintings was absolutely boring. One standout memory was when, around the age of 8, I had to wait in line for three hours with my family, just to see the Spanish artist Francisco Goya's painting at a museum in Tokyo. The work depicted Titan Cronus (or Saturn) eating his own children. The image was haunting and kept me up for many nights after. I think this profound experience, or trauma, formed the basis for my act of painting to this day. It taught me that if my work doesn't move people and induce a "wow!" then it's all for nothing.

Once I started grade school however, reading manga and watching TV anime became more important to me. No longer forced by my parents to go look at paintings, I became obsessed with "Ultraman," robot anime and sport-themed manga about boxing and baseball. I believe these experiences have a lot to do with how I now make films and animations, alongside paintings and sculptures....

In seventh grade, I fell into a hole in the ground and broke my skull and some bones in my right hand. I couldn't go to school for a month and subsequently failed to catch up academically.

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Goreytelling: Animations to go with Edward Gorey's narration of his life

In the 1990s, student filmmaker Christopher Seufert talked his way into Edward Gorey's life and convinced him to record a series of memoirs and tales from his life; the project blossomed into a documentary, only to be derailed when Gorey died. Read the rest

Design competition to create graphics to illustrate cybersecurity stories

Illustrating abstract articles is a pain in the ass, and in the age of social media, a post without an illustration is likely to disappear without attaining any kind of readership, which leaves those of us who cover the field endlessly remixing HAL9000 eyes using walls of code, Matrix text-waterfalls, or variations on hacker-in-a-hoodie. Read the rest

An illustrated guide to San Francisco's most unusual statues

Peter Glanting's illustrated guide to San Francisco's most unusual statues is an annotated delight, even if, despite its length, JWZ wrote, "They skipped a few of my favorites." Read the rest

Rob Israel's "They Live" meets "Distracted Boyfriend"

What could be more zeigeisty and revealing of our present moment than John Carpenter's 1988 sci-fi/horror flick They Live? How about Rob Israel's They Live, We Look Back illustration, a mashup with Distracted Boyfriend meme, which you can pre-order today as a 12x12 print? (via JWZ) Read the rest

The new Creative Commons search engine is out of beta, with more than 300 million images!

I am totally, utterly reliant on Creative Commons images for Boing Boing, and mostly I use Google Image's mediocre search tool for this purpose, but no more! Creative Commons's new search engine is out of beta, and contains more than 300,000,000 images, along with tools to make attribution easier! (via Kottke) Read the rest

Fantastic minimalist embroidery portraits of musicians, writers, and artists

My dear pal Barbara Rushkoff embroiders fantastic minimal portraits of musicians and other artists, writers, and thinkers whose work has inspired her over the years. I love the seeming simplicity of her illustrations that still beautifully convey the essence of her subjects! Also, the name of Barbara's Instagram account has me in, er, stitches: yr_resting_stitchface

Above: Robert Smith of The Cure. Below: Billie Eilish, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52's, Nilufer Yanya; Mark Hollis of Talk Talk; Joy Division's Ian Curtis; St. Vincent; Debbie Harry; and David Bowie.

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"Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase," a wonderful claymation from 1992

Joan C Gratz's animated short "Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase" is a lovely and trippy 2D claymation of iconic artworks transforming one into another. After spending a decade on the piece, Gratz won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Gratz called her animation technique "clay painting." From Educational Media Reviews Online:

“Clay-painting” is a unique process that blends film and painting, and an innovation that garnered Joan Gratz’s Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase a 1992 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. In this true landmark of animation, numerous famous and iconic paintings from 20th century art are “reproduced as exactly as possible but the transitions between these paintings [are] used to communicate the relationship of artistic movements” as Gratz has stated. “In the clay painting technique, which I began developing in 1966, I work by painting directly before the camera, making changes to a single painting, shooting a frame, repainting and shooting, etc. In the end there is one painting with the process recorded on film, the product is the process.”

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How to easily draw a fantastic optical illusion of a 3D city

As a high school student, I would have enjoyed learning to use ruled paper to draw anamorphic illusions instead of (not) taking notes. (via The Kid Should See This)

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Andrew Jackson becomes Rambo and other great moments in money art

Illustrator Boden Him makes fantastic money art, transforming US presidents into pop culture icons. See more here: Illegal Tender.

(via r/interestingasfuck) Read the rest

Zachary Knoles imagines video games as pulp novel covers

Artist Zachary Knoles created a wonderful series of illustrations that pay tribute to video games by imagining them as pulp novel covers, with the game writers' names in the by-line slots (a very nice touch indeed!). (via Gameraboy) Read the rest

童絵解万国噺: a wonderfully bizarre 19th century Japanese fanfic history of America

Japanese historian Nick Kapur unearthed "Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi" (童絵解万国噺), a wonderfully bizarre illustrated Japanese history of the USA from 1861, filled with fanciful depictions of allegedly great moments in US history, like "George Washington defending his wife 'Carol' from a British official named 'Asura' (same characters as the Buddhist deity)." Read the rest

Stock art for a new Gilded Age

From Spitalfields Life, a scanned set of "elegant cartoons of Regency bankers from 1824 by Richard Dighton in the archive at the Bishopsgate Institute testify," in the public domain and perfect for contemporary stock art for pieces about late-stage capitalism, clueless billionaires, the corrupting influence of wealth, and all those other zeitgeisty subjects. Read the rest

Kickstarting a gorgeous slipcased edition of Crime & Punishment, illustrated by Dave McKean

The next tranche of Beehive Books' Illuminated Editions are being crowdfunded now: three gorgeous, slipcased, deluxe illustrated hardcovers, including a new edition of Crime & Punishment, illustrated by Dave McKean, well-known for his work on Sandman (he also did the original cover for my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town); the books are $100 each, and are superb. The other two titles are The Blazing World, illustrated by Margaret Cavendish; and Peter Pan, illustrated by Brecht Evans. Read the rest

Sci-Fi Sundays: Analog, December 1962

2019 started off with a rather interesting tweet from Elon Musk. He was showing off the "Starship test flight rocket" from SpaceX. This thing evokes a strong bit of imagery that has been so deeply integrated into our culture through science fiction for so many years that it just feels... right. Read the rest

The new Neuromancer cover is amazing

Designed by Jon Gray and available for pre-order next week (ISBN: 9780441007462): Gibson loves it. Read the rest

Molly Crabapple's illustrated report from the immigration detention Gulags of Texas

The intrepid and brilliant artist and journalist Molly Crabapple (previously) traveled to the immigration detention centers of the Rio Grande and interviewed and sketched the people she met there. Read the rest

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