It’s hump day, I’m in Milan, and honestly I have so few worries (except for how much my feet hurt from all this walking, first world problems). With that in mind I thought I’d post something that matches my current state of mind: chill.
Brian Lotti, for a great portion of his life, was known for being an exceptional technical street skater, meaning he could do tricks no one else had even thought of. But then a series of injuries came along and he decided to focus on the arts, like film-making, and for the purpose of this post, fine art.
What I love about his paintings is that they showcase the vibe of Southern California but in a beautifully abstract way. Washy swathes of greens and oranges become trees and murky greys and blues become the asphalt, the sky, the mountains.
Gemma Gené, an architect and visual artist from Barcelona, has created a stunning series of paintings and drawings with a simple conceit: objects wrapped in or made of metal. The effect is dazzling because of her next-level ability to render the highlights and shadows of the metal, as you can see from the incredible details in the pineapple above.
The two aspects of her work that I really enjoy are the wood panels she uses, which certainly bring a wonderful contrast to the overall composition, a balance of the natural and manufactured. I also appreciate the fact that she paints in the shadows and subtle reflections of the objects onto the wood panels, grounding the objects and giving them even more depth.
Beautifully executed, hopefully she continues to make more of these.
Gradients are quite “in” these days as they’re able to bring a feeling of movement and a depth of color that’s always attractive. How a gradient is applied is where things can get interesting, as is the case with the work of Zoe Gilbertson. Her medium is needlepoint which allows her to create abstract artwork that bridges the hand stitched with the digital.
If you’d like to get a piece for yourself, check out her shop.
When I think of the most talented people in lettering my list includes Louise Fili, Jessica Hische, Erik Marinovich, Gemma O’Brien, and of course the incredible Dana Tanamachi. It’s been a joy to watch her work grow and evolve on Instagram as she handles immense murals, covers for books and magazines, and so much more. Very recently she completed a stunning triptych for the Instagram HQ which speaks to the growth of the platform over the years.
“This triptych was created by hand-cutting adhesive stencils, meticulously placing them on the birch boards, then painting a gradient on top of everything, and finally peeling off the stencils to reveal the beautiful woodgrain below.”
This first design illustrates IG’s infancy—strengthening/connecting roots, giving voices, and cultivating simplicity. The flowers shown here are a mix of the earliest spring flowers and oak leaves/acorns. The latter of which are tiny things that have the potential to create entire forests.
This middle design illustrates IG’s adolescence—connecting voices, creating empathy (the stems intersect like two clasped hands), and bringing communities and cultures together. The flowers shown all bloom in midsummer.
This final design radiates from the center (expanding, growing, exploring) using a variety of wildflowers, symbolizing the the beauty and wild-ness a future full of possibilities holds.
Lovely work, as always.
One of my fondest memories of early design inspiration was receiving type catalogs from House Industries. In the mail. Like a physical object that I could admire, obsess over, and still to this day, maintain a collection of. I hope some of you readers remember these catalogs and/or still have some stored in your library, they were masterful examples of printing and typography.
Their work at this point is legendary so I’m thrilled to see they’re releasing a new book titled The Process is the Inspiration on May 30.
The Process is the Inspiration is a collection of helpful lessons, stories and case studies that demonstrate how you can transform obsessive curiosity into personally satisfying and successful work. If that’s not enough, there’s also plenty of over-intellectualized post-rationalization supported by hundreds of new images, our signature top-secret printing tricks, and thousands of Oxford commas. Most importantly, this book shows that there’s no sense in waiting for inspiration because inspiration is already waiting for you.
Couldn’t be more excited. This book almost feels overdue as they’ve been at this for over 25 years now and are still at the very top of their game with no signs of slowing down. Netflix needs to take note for their upcoming series Abstract, House Industries should obviously be a part of series 2!
You can pre-order The Process is the Inspiration by clicking here.
I’m a sucker for bright colors, plants, and strong women, which means Ayumi Takahashi’s work is right up my alley. She’s a well-travelled artist, being born in China, raised in Japan, moving to California to study at Art Center and then London at Central Saint Martin. She’s currently settled in New York, drawing, painting, and designing for clients like The New York Times, Paramount Pictures, Coca Cola China, and more.
What I love about her work specifically is the boldness and the cleanliness. I was totally sure that the images you see here were all digital. I was totally wrong, as they’re all done in acrylic, with all the edges finished so perfectly. Her color palette is extremely lovely as well, she does a great job of contrasting colors to give emphasis, it’s extremely well done.
If you dig her work you should check out her online shop. She has 16″ x 20″ prints available as well as smaller (and affordable) originals, one of which I happened to buy. Support artists you love!
Flowing gowns made of pink smoke. Haute couture hobbled together with blocks of wood. This is the idealized world Johanna Goodman is creating in her series The Catalouge of Imaginary Beings. Johanna describes the series as way to “explore a range of themes in popular culture – the role of the individual in fashion, history, the artistic imagination and the collective consciousness. The body of work draws its inspiration from Magical Realism, Surrealism and Symbolism and references such cultural artifacts as talismans, idols, and totems.”
The abstract nature of these feel playful and fun. Arms and legs jut out of tree stumps and the bits of background elements help to give each piece a bit of grounding, a sense of a world one could explore.
To see more from the series, visit here.