First off, I couldn't pick my favorite designs, so here are some links to her pages: Instagram Twitter Website
This year I have become increasingly interested in tattoo design, because a friend of mine asked me to design a tattoo for him. I ended up sort of abandoning that idea, but in the process I followed many tattoo artists online and discovered what type of design I really like. One such artist is Mio Im, also known as cochlea1313 on Twitter and Instagram. Her tattoo designs are done in a fairly realistic style, and frequently contain snakes, feminine figures, flowers, and skeletons. She only uses black and red ink, with occasional white ink. On her “About” page, she says that she “has explored the border between real and surreal world” and that her artistic goal is “showing a horror scene without horror, sharing weirdness in ordinary way.” I feel that she accomplishes these goals. Many of her snake designs wrap around wrists or ankles, or show the snakes in eerie patterns. The people she illustrates usually have some monstrous feature, like wings, a tail, animal skulls, multiple limbs, etc., or are portrayed in unsettling situations (next to a giant beetle, surrounded by witches, pierced by arrows, etc.) Almost all the figures are facing away from the viewer, which contributes to the subtle creepiness. The feeling of the work really appeals to me, as does the style.
The almost lanky way she draws figures is something I really like, and strive to emulate in some of my doodles. Her tattoos manage to maintain an illustrative appearance even on the skin, like a print from a book rather than a design traced onto a person. I think the horror of her work can help inspire me to come up with more “weird” or unique ideas for my art, and interesting ways to portray certain feelings. I would say she is objectively my favorite tattoo artist.
I used a new approach here, painting on a wall tracing a projected sketch (idea courtesy of Grace.) I also drew in a style I usually keep just to my doodles. I liked this style but I did not like painting.
I added birds to the sketch, inked everything, and cut out the circle. I then cut out the slivers of background behind the bird's in the boy's chest, and put a piece of black paper behind them.
I struggled initially to figure out a connection between these two articles, as there was much more material to comment on in the socialist realism one. However, after reading over a quote that I had written down when I first read them, I noticed the weird connection. McCarty said “’I’ve grown more angry and more outraged not at the theft but at the corruption of the message.’” In this article, there was art taken and transformed into propaganda, wrongfully given a message separate from the intention. In the second, there was propaganda taken and transformed into art, stripped of its message and separated from the intention. I did find it interesting that McCarty found this disruption of content more distressing than the theft of his work. I wonder if he would have still felt this drastic about the superimposed message if the message of the original work was not so directly contrasting it—if his work hadn’t been about experiences of war and promoting peace, but something separate from war, would he have had the same reaction?
Regretfully, we cannot see how the socialist realist artists feel about their work being put into these galleries, as (as far as I could tell from the article) they are no longer living. (That may not be true for every artist, but there was no mention of a living artist.) The article brought up the question of whether socialist realism is valuable art that came about in a time when it couldn’t be appreciated as art, or just propaganda that’s only worth its message. This was indirectly brought up again later, by collector Ananyev and critic Read. Ananyev, who grew up exposed to socialist realism, believes it is the way that art should be, because it shows emotion. (He argues that abstract art is “overintellectualized” and hyperrealism is soulless.) Then, Read argues that “’socialist realism is nothing but an attempt to stuff intellectual […] objectives into art’” which directly contradicts what Ananyev said about socialist realism being valuable because it is not overintellectualized. Read’s statement struck me oddly as I don’t understand how he would rather the art exist—does he feel that art should be unintellectual and that it is not academic at all? It’s just weird to me that someone should view intellectuality as something completely unrelated to art, and something that doesn’t belong in it. It’s also weird to me that Ananyev said “’Real art doesn’t require explanation’” when Read claims Ananyev’s beloved art is too intellectual. There were some weird contradictions in this section.
The final thing I would like to comment on is the changing perspective on the style of socialist realism. After its relevant era, it was seen as kitsch and useless, but now the work is expensive and displayed in big exhibitions in famous museums, both in and out of Russia. One reason suggested for its value is its nostalgic effect – I believe that people may see these idealized paintings of familiar times and be incited to purchase the art. Seeing your childhood through the lens of “Visiting my Grandmother” by Alexander Laktionov causes you to remember it in a more positive light, turning your memories into something more closely resembling the painting. That’s just my guess, but I think it makes sense for why the art has gained popularity amongst Russian audiences. For foreign audiences, the technical skill, individual style, and thoughtful compositions are intriguing. The article was careful to mention that socialist realism paintings are not just mechanical stale propaganda. Instead, the art is being separated from its message and being increasingly appreciated for its visual value.
On Wednesday I worked on the sketch, taking it from a loose sketch to a more refined one that I can trace with ink later. I have to think extensively about how I will go about cutting this one - it's more complex than the last in terms of its layers.
Today we went on a field trip to the VMFA in my English class. While looking around the museum for art that reminded us of the literature we had read, I noticed pieces that were artistically appealing to me. We passed by a wedding being set up and WOW it was so beautiful!!!!! There were pink rosy lights all along the floors lighting up the walls and ceiling from below. I tried to take photos but my phone camera isn't very good with capturing colors so none of the photos look very pretty.
Also, the light in the galleries is not ideal for phone cameras. The first thing I saw that caught my eye was a Faberge Calendar that was small and decorative. I just thought it was pretty. The white band at the bottom had "August" written in French on it, but due to the lighting I only got a bad picture. Another Faberge that I liked was the gold and glass Frame. Though it's 3D I thought of how interesting it would look if I were able to replicate it on a 2D surface - surely it would look boring simply as lines, but if I used gold ink or otherwise added the variations that the gold provides, I think it could look cool.
In the room of Chinese art, I saw these small flower sculptures that just looked pretty. Lately I’ve been doodling long grass-like leaves such as the ones on these flowers, so seeing them reminded me of that.
There was a room dedicated to Steinlen’s cats, and I saw three pages of short little stories. These caught my eye because they had no frames around each shot of the story. Usually I see it the other way around – there may be frames but no sequential story within them (like I talked about in my awareness post of ikedda) but here there was a sequential story all within the same space, with no separation by frames. I found that interesting.
I saw one simple piece of a bird perched on a leafy branch that also reminded me of my doodles.
At the very end I had only limited time (as in, about one minute) to go in the Art Deco and Art Nouveau area, so I only saw two pieces that caught my eye but I documented them nonetheless. I really think this is an area for me to look into for inspiration for my work (like Mucha.) It seems Georges de Feure is a good artist for me to explore.
Honestly my favorite part was the beautiful lighting and architecture around the wedding area. I will see if I can get some photos from Grace that better show how pretty it was. Maybe I’ll use pink in my next piece. I just loved how beautiful it looked in there wow!!!!
Wow. This artist creates just absolutely beautiful watercolor work. I remember the night I found him on instagram I watched his 2017 watercolor sketchbook flip-through video several times over because I was just in awe. He is an artist from Melbourne, Australia who does both watercolor and digital art. I am a big fan of the watercolor pieces.
He inspired me to play around with watercolor one night (I posted the results on my art instagram @owlinne) and I really hope to draw inspiration from his compositions. Much like the other artist I looked at this quarter, he uses the technique of breaking the character out from shapes.
One particularly unique aspect of his art is his use of negative space *within* a character. In a few of the drawings I included in this post, he used a whole blank shape for the shirt/body of the character instead of drawing in the folds and divides. I had actually played around with this idea before finding him, so maybe I can refine it further with inspiration from his work.
He makes me really want to learn how to use watercolor, so maybe I will continue to play around with it, but I know it is difficult to master so I'm hesitant to try (I am afraid that I'll get too discouraged too quickly.) Overall, I hope to draw inspiration from his compositions and use of geometry, as well as maybe trying out a new medium for me.
(for the images, I decided to just keep them as screenshots rather than crop them and rewrite the captions, since they already have captions and often the date on them.)
This is yet another artist I found on instagram. Since I tend to draw most of my inspiration from browsing instagram artists, I like exploring and trying to find more. From the fact that their bio says "I live in nowhere," this artist seems to be very private so I don't really have any information about who they are, all I have is their art. They do have various Japanese words in their bio and have Japanese and English captions on their posts, so I can assume they are Japanese or live in Japan.
All of their art is done in a journal, a nice minimalistic page layout with three boxes for weather and seven boxes for the weekday at the top left, and a blank for "Memo number" and the date on the right. I find it interesting that they work on this paper rather than in a sketchbook, due to the lines across the page, but in some of their pieces you actually don't notice the lines at first due to the color or detail of the illustration. However, they participated in the beginning of Inktober on unlined paper and I really like some of the entries (included in slideshow.)
One of the things I noticed about their art is that they use that nonsequential storytelling that I used a few times last year. I have thought about doing it again this year but haven't had a good idea for it yet. Another thing they do that I really like is breaking geometric borders - I've been doing a lot of that this year, by putting boxes and circles behind my characters and having them break out of them somehow. I hope to get more inspiration for that from this artist. Finally, a lot of their work has that quiet, gentle, floating feeling that I used to strive for with my work. I just really like their work overall for its simplicity in feeling and effectiveness of techniques I try to employ.
On the first Monday (not pictured) I drew thumbnail images in my sketchbook and on my phone to figure out a plan and composition. From that Monday, I worked on this project from November 27 until December 12.
Kristin Hines - Student artist at Maggie L. Walker Governor's School