Intricate Oil Paintings of Gem Stones by Carly Waito

Carly Waito

Toronto based artist Carly Waito is well-known for her oil paintings of gemstones, having an uncanny knack for capturing the light and contrast with perfection. Her work immediately grasps your attention as you find yourself scouring the piece for clues to tell you whether or not these are painted or photos. She works at such a fine level of detail that it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the real and the imagined. In an interview with Carly from the Toronto Standard she nicely sums up the intentions of her work.

I don’t think anything man-made can ever really achieve the perfection of what exists in the natural world. I’ve always felt compelled to strive for that, even to the point of attempting to replicate natural objects in as much detail as I can manage, whether by sculpting pine cones in porcelain or painting images of mineral specimens. Nature has always inspired such awe and curiosity for me. Part of my motivation is that I want to capture a bit of that effect in the work I make.

We can’t do better than nature but we can certainly try.

Carly Waito

Carly Waito

Carly Waito

Bobby Solomon

July 30, 2014 / By

Life in Space as Azuma Makoto Captures Flowers in the Cosmos

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Japanese artist Azuma Makoto is taking his work to new heights, literally. His art project, titled Exobiotanica, pits plants high above their home, bursting in color and beauty against the backdrop of a glistening planet Earth and the infinities of space that surrounds it. The project is simple in concept, visually beautiful in execution, and says volumes about the planet we’ve come to inherit.

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Working out of Black Rock Desert, Nevada and alongside JP Aerospace, Makoto sent organic life to the borders of space, suspended by balloon. Bonsai trees, orchids, lilies, and other fauna or flora were subject to altitudes exceeding 30,000 meters and minus 50 degrees celsius. To the artist, exposing organic land-locked material beyond the confines of their earthly home transformed them into “exobiotanica,” or rather, extraterrestrial plant life.

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While Makoto’s intent is neat and its results hold true, I believe that there’s more being said here than simply sending life where there isn’t any. Jonathan Jones wrote on the Guardian, “these images dramatize the startling nature of planet Earth itself.” Makoto’s photographs beautifully put forth the mystery of life on Earth—something to be treasured, once realized.

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The fact of the matter is that our home, planet Earth, is the only known place in the entire universe to harbor life. We don’t know of any other planet that is alive as ours is. The richness of Earth’s organic matter is gorgeously apparent in Makoto’s arrangements, the brightly-colored flowers serve in stark contrast against the darkness of space that surrounds them.

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In talking about the importance of Makoto’s project, Jones references William Anders’ iconic photograph, Earthrise. Shot aboard Apollo 8 in 1968, the photograph was the first color image to look back upon ourselves from the outside. It has been declared “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken,” and helped spark the environmental movement. To me, this reference couldn’t be any more apt, as Makoto’s project entertains the same sentiment in aiding our appreciation for existing in a lifeless universe.

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While Makoto’s work might not be as historic as Earthrise, it’s certainly no less thought evoking. Projects such as these remind us that life on our planet is intertwined—Earth acting no more than a spaceship, nurturing its lively passengers. This concept has inherently been apart of our understanding for years, as demonstrated in the great landscapes of art’s past, such as Hokusai’s 35 views of Mount Fuji, which portrays the interlinking of sky and Earth.

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If you’re having a bad day or just want to feel enlightened, then look to pieces like Makoto’s Exobiotanica, Earthrise, or even Hokusai. You’ll quickly cherish the importance of this very special planet we’ve come to inhabit—it’s the only one orbiting amongst a vast sea of stars that’s bearing life and all its beautiful intricacies. Revel in the fact that you live here and are a part of it.

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Nick Partyka

July 29, 2014 / By

Absolutely Stunning Poster for ‘The Last of Us’, Designed by Olly Moss & Jay Shaw

Designer/artist/illustrator/nerd Olly Moss is an unstoppable creative force. Earlier this morning he shared an image he created for the video game The Last of Us, an incredible collage of a woman’s profile, flowers, and what I think are barnacles. The only way to get your hands on one of these is to visit the Mondo booth at SDCC. Good luck snagging one.

Editor’s Note: This was designed in partnership with Jay Shaw. My bad!

Stunning 'The Last Of Us' Poster Designed by Olly Moss

Bobby Solomon

July 25, 2014 / By

Designer Stephen Kelleher Meditates on Self-Realization and Self-Preservation

Mind Yourself by Stephen Kelleher

Stephen Kelleher is an Irish-born designer based in Brooklyn. For more than ten years he’s been honing his craft; building a portfolio that is packed full of exciting projects and great ideas. Chiefly working in illustration and motion, he has collaborated with clients such as Coca-Cola, Cartoon Network, Google and The New York Times. For me, he demonstrates a real gift for simplicity and I love his approach to both color and shape.

Mind Yourself by Stephen Kelleher

Recently he worked on a wonderful self-directed project called ‘Mind Yourself’. Made from wood and painted with acrylics, the series consists of three separate pieces. Stephen describes them as “meditations on self-realization and self-preservation”; each one acting as a reminder to take a moment to remember to take care of yourself. The work demonstrates a wonderful talent for simplicity and I love to see a designer step away from their computer and actually make something with their hands. The results are terrific.

Mind Yourself by Stephen Kelleher

More work from Stephen Kelleher can be viewed on his website.

Philip Kennedy

July 25, 2014 / By

Degas-Inspired Portraits of Sleeping Women by Andie Dinkin

'Sleeping Series'  by Andie Dinkin

It’s impossible to sleep beautifully, unless perhaps you’re in a film from the early 20th century. These paintings by Andie Dinkin remind me of that truth. There’s a soft, somber beauty to her work that draws you in, making you wonder what these slumbering women may be dreaming of.

The lighting and color palette seem to be influenced by Degas, with lots of under lighting as well as a wide range of neutrals punctuated by pops of color. Or at least that’s my interpretation.

'Sleeping Series'  by Andie Dinkin

'Sleeping Series'  by Andie Dinkin

'Sleeping Series'  by Andie Dinkin

'Sleeping Series'  by Andie Dinkin

You can see further work by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

July 23, 2014 / By

Frenetic, Abstract Artworks by Chyrum Lambert

Chyrum Lambert

Los Angeles based artist Chyrum Lambert turns art into art. What I mean is Chyrum uses ink, dye, stain, acrylic, wax, epoxy, and oil to create the pieces of his artwork, which he cuts up and layers into these fantastic pieces. Some of the artwork is more abstract while others have a semblance of figures or plant-life, familiar shapes slowly appearing.

Take a look at more of Chyrum’s work by clicking here.

Chyrum Lambert

Chyrum Lambert

Chyrum Lambert

Chyrum Lambert

Chyrum Lambert

Bobby Solomon

July 23, 2014 / By

A Food Art Project That Transforms Dough Into Colorful Bread Balloons

'Blow Dough' Transforms Bread Into Colorful Balloons

'Blow Dough' Transforms Bread Into Colorful Balloons

If I asked you to recreate the idea of bread, would you have any idea of what you’d try to create? If you asked Omer Polak, Michal Evyatar, and Erez Komorovsky, they’d tell you that they’d blow it up. Or at least that’s what they’ve done with their project Blow Dough which utilizes an industrial blower that bakes dough into bread balloons.

Each of the doughs is made with herbs as well juices like beet, carrot, and spinach, which gives each balloon a distinct color. What you can’t sense is that it also makes each room smell incredible, fully activating your sense of smell as well.

'Blow Dough' Transforms Dough Into Colorful Bread Balloons

Their process in making the dough is rather interesting as well.

The process included many experiments in the workshops kitchen. It was a great challenge to succeed in creating dough that is very flexible and can also come thin for baking and the eating experience. We worked almost like scientists, we wrote time, quantities, and temperature that we could produce the exact dough.

I find this whole project to be so entertaining. It’s such a great intersection between art, food, and science. Projects like this make the old adage “Don’t play with your food” completely obsolete.

Read and see more about this project on designboom.

Bobby Solomon

July 22, 2014 / By

Interview with Los Angeles Ceramacist and Designer Eric Roinestad

Eric Roinestad Ceramics

You know Eric Roinestad’s work but you might not know he was the man behind it. He’s worked at Capitol Records creating album covers and packaging for bands like The Beatles and Fiona Apple. Still, he had an itch to create things by hand again, eventually getting into ceramics. I came across his work at an exhibit he had at Mohawk General Store in Los Angeles. The show featured a number of beautiful desert inspired pieces that are some of the best I’ve seen in a long while. Thus I thought it would be interesting to ask Eric about his thoughts on his inspirations and future.

What spurred this collection? It makes me think of Palm Springs and the desert, which I love.
The desert and California landscape was the big inspiration on this collection of pieces; I’m glad that came across.

What’s your process for making the pieces? Do you sculpt all the pieces or are they cast?
Everything is either hand built, or thrown on the wheel with hand applied elements. The cans, however, are press molded. Most of what I do is pretty labor intensive, casting is very tempting but I would hate to lose the one of a kind quality my pieces have. I like seeing a creator’s hand in their work.

Eric Roinestad Ceramics

I’m a huge fan of ceramics and one day I’d love to start my own line. What started you down this path?
When I started out as a graphic designer computers were still new and I was doing most of my work by hand, pasting up layouts and hand drawing logos, I loved it. Then computers took over and I would sit in front of my screen all day, really missing working with my hands. Ceramics started out as an after work activity when I was at Capitol Records. A friend of mine and I would drive out to Monrovia Community Adult School for ceramics class one night a week, and it never stopped. About a year and a half ago I converted my studio space and devoted most of my time to ceramics; in November, Lawson Fenning asked to sell my stuff in their store.

Eric Roinestad Ceramics

Where are you drawing your inspirations from lately?
I’m always looking at nature for a lot of my inspiration. We have a large California native garden, so most of my inspiration is right outside my studio door. I’ve also been inspired by the shapes in Jean-Michel Frank’s work, as well as the bronze and plaster work that Diego and Alberto Giacometti did for him in the 1930′s. I’d love to interpret that 30′s French modernism in a California sort of way.

Eric Roinestad Ceramics

Anything coming up you’d like to talk about?
Since my show opened at Mohawk General Store some interesting new opportunities have appeared. I am excited about collaborations with other companies and designers. One project that I am eager to show are mirrors with ceramic tiles and tile tables I have been working on with a good friend, Christos Prevezanos, at Studio Preveza.

Eric Roinestad Ceramics

Bobby Solomon

July 21, 2014 / By

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