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Came across a piece over on Medium by Kevin Ashton which I thought made a pretty great point: Creatives know the power of no.
Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say “no?” A sketch? A stanza? A paragraph? An experiment? Twenty lines of code? The answer is always the same: “yes” makes less. We do not have enough time as it is. There are groceries to buy, gas tanks to fill, families to love and day jobs to do.
Learning to say no to the right and wrong things takes time, as does learning the true value of your time, but once you do life gets remarkably better. Personally I’d add my favorite word to the bucket: Why? As a creative director I spend most of my day asking people pointed, specific questions. Why that color? Is that the best way to lay this out? What’s the value of doing something at all? Those two words combined have served me well, allowing my team to focus on better projects and make higher quality work. Hopefully it these words do the same for you.
Though it was a short week for many of us, I’m quite glad it’s already Friday and that the weekend is here. Easing me into the weekend is this incredible DJ set from Tycho, which he recorded while at the Burning Man festival last week. The set, which started at 5:40am, contains many of my favorite artists like Boards of Canada, White Denim, Atoms for Peace, Manitoba and many more. It runs a little over 2 hours so you’ll have plenty of mellow music to keep you going over the next few days.
Named almost consecutively (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014) as the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine, Noma is something beyond a restaurant. They’re best known for using locally foraged foods as well as their experimentation with food, using science and research to create startling dishes unlike anything you’ve seen before. To this end, Noma now has a “science bunker”, a series of refrigerated shipping containers which allows them to conduct experiments to discover new flavors. Scientist and research manager at Noma Arielle Johnson sums up the objective of the space quite well.
“It’s at some midway point between a test kitchen and a ‘lab’ lab,” she says. “Hopefully [the Bunker is] more like a kitchen. But we’re not actually producing dishes, we’re producing knowledge. In that sense it’s like a lab, but it’s a different discipline than a chem lab would have, it’s very much informed by the test kitchen and the service kitchen.”
You can read the full feature over on Eater.
A few months back I came across Adrián Zorzano and his work and was immediately impressed. An indomitable designer, the range of work he creates spans from print design to posters to digital and photography. His eye for offbeat layouts and compositions is stunning which leads to a quirkiness overall. Looking at his portfolio you get a sense that he might get bored fairly often.
This week he’s created a neo-Memphis looking wallpaper that has a dreamy, avant-garde feeling to it. I love the colors, the detail in the marbling, and the overall composition is quite striking. Adrián describes his wallpaper as an interplay between physical and digital.
The main idea of the project is the combination of something that it´s not a photography by itself, its more the result of a process made by hand and then captured. This is also combined with random and colourful digital forms trying to figure out the relationship between something that it´s been made digitally with something real, and then seeing how do they coexist together.
I’m pretty novice when it comes to museums and galleries in New York. I’ve been to the big ones like MoMA and The Armory, but it wasn’t until recently that I read there was a museum in Queens dedicated to the work of Isamu Noguchi. The Noguchi Museum opened in 1985, the museum is truly unique because Noguchi himself designed and curated the space, the only one artist created space like this in the U.S.
Writer Daniel Waite Penn recently visited the museum for Cereal Magazine, penning a lovely piece that explains the mystique of the Noguchi’s works and the space they permanently inhabit.
Polished sections and geometric slices are cut into the remaining swathes of their rough, unaltered surfaces, dubbed by Noguchi the ‘skin’ of the stone. Crowbar chips and dynamite holes are evidence of the quarrying process, embracing found qualities alongside a determination to shape the raw material into art. This juxtaposition of deliberate geometry with natural and accidental irregularity gives these works a powerful formal tension, showing Noguchi at the height of his creative powers. He was a veteran artist by the time he made them, and they evince his lack of interest in notions of perfection – a theme he had pursued diligently in earlier phases of his career.
The next time I’m in New York I’m definitely making a special trip out there to visit.
The spoon. It’s a ubiquitous tool that perhaps most of take for granted. I looked up the definition of a spoon (because when was the last you did that?) which states it is “an implement consisting of a small, shallow oval or round bowl on a long handle, used for eating, stirring, and serving food.” And if there’s anyone who’s testing this definition it’s probably Stian Korntved Ruud, an Oslo School of Architecture grad and former intern at Tom Dixon. He has a wonderful ongoing project simply titled Daily Spoon, where obviously he creates a unique looking spoon every day for one year straight.
By repeating the production of a spoon every day for a longer period of time (365 days), the goal is to challenge and explore a spoons aesthetic and functional qualities. I make all the spoons in a traditional way with only hand tools. The point of this is to actively cooperate with the material, in this case wood. In a modern industrial production the machines overwrites the wooden structures and natural growth pattern. When using manual hand tools my hand collaborates with the wood structure during the forming process. This underpins all the spoons unique qualities.
Stian has made big spoons and small spoons, wide spoons and knobby spoons. There are spoons with spikes and spoons with holes. His creations, although all quite beautiful and considered, begin to feel Seuss-ian in their variety. It’s incredibly impressive that he’s been able to create such a diverse number of shapes where I think a lot of people would have given up after doing 50 or so.
If you’re interested in following Stian’s progress you should visit his Instagram where he posts spoons daily, or on his website.
I came across this old piece by Banksy the other day and it reminded me of how funny the guy is. If you haven’t visited his site lately you should take a minute and see what he’s been up to. I found a bunch of new street pieces I hadn’t seen before.