Feb 26, 2009

Inspiration: Chris Rainier and Ancient Marks

Chris Rainier

Photographer Chris Rainier has a portfolio of exquisite images any museum would envy. He is part of the National Geographic Society and documents indigenous cultures and social issues around the world. His latest book is a great display of tattoos and other skin adornments from endangered societies. Check out Ancient Marks.

Feb 25, 2009

Inspiration: Chaz Bojorquez

Chaz Skull

The artwork of Chaz Bojorquez is an inspiring combination of graffiti and traditional cultural styles. While being an exceptional painter, I mostly admire his unique street calligraphy. It is a summary of institutional and self-taught influences--Chicano, Chinese, Egyptian, and Mayan. You could view his bio on RTEA and the Chicano Collection Site.

Feb 24, 2009

Video: Dancing Yoda

The Dancing Yoda video is a little old, but I still love it. Aside from the cool-lookin' Storm Troopers, Yoda's freaktastic!

Feb 23, 2009

Featured: My Timeline/Lifestream on Bebo Homepage

I'm super duper excited about this! My photos and illustrations are featured on the Bebo.com Homepage (US/CA only) with their new Lifestream/ Photo Timeline launch. It's a cool feature where your photo albums are placed in a visual timeline--very interactive and clickable piece.

My feature will be up for a week. You'll have to refresh (F5) the page about 10 times, but I'm happy it's there! My Bebo Profile

A screenshot of my page is included in an article by Kara Swisher (covering tech issues for The Wall Street Journal and Boomtown) about the new innovations between AOL and Bebo here. It's also featured in Venture Beat, focusing on the lifestream service.

Feb 22, 2009

Photo: Snake Skin

Snake Skin
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
This was taken at the CA Academy of Sciences.

The emptiness of the snake eyes will be inspiration for a new gothic illustration, so stay tuned!

Photo: Red Sunrise

Ahh, the beauty that is San Francisco.

Feb 21, 2009

Artwork: Bruce Lee Quotation Shirt

Bruce Lee Shirt

Bruce Lee was not only a great cultural icon and martial artist, but a great thinker as well. I wanted to bring attention to his inspirational Jeet Kun Do philosophy through this shirt design: "Learn, Master, Achieve". View larger.

Photo: Self-Portrait


Self-Portrait was part of an experiment with my new remote control (and tripod) for the XTi digital camera. It's great to see instant results with the playback button, but it took about 40 frames to get something decent--with lots of running back and forth. There was major cropping and a little contrast adjustment.

Photo: Weapon of Choice & My Sketchbook

Weapon of Choice

This is by far my favorite pen and of course, weapon of choice for all the microscopic sketches and concept designs. View larger image here.

Feb 19, 2009

Video: MORE Short Film by Mark Osborne

I've seen "More" in 1999 and was unable to find it till now. (Whoohoo!) Created in stop-motion, "More" is a wonderful short film. You could find out more at HappyProduct.com.

Photo: Streaming Light

Streaming Light
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
I was exploring the office building and discovered this mysterious sight. It's urban and a little mundane, but there's a quiet beauty. . .

Photo: SF Symphony Hall

SF Symphony Hall
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
Just exploring a variation of shapes--architectural structures vs. human forms.

Feb 18, 2009

Photo: Billowing Smoke

Billowing Smoke
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
Another cloudy day in San Fran.

Feb 15, 2009

Shephard Fairey and Copyright Lawsuit

Shephard Fairey Obama Image

The MotionGrapher website posed an interesting poll about Shephard Fairey's infamous Obama poster and Milton Glaser's critical review. Another critique of Fairey's work is on artist Mark Vallen's blog. Earlier, the New York Times published an article, indicating that Fairey's suing the Associated Press to combat copyright infringement. "The suit asks the judge to declare that Mr. Fairey’s work is protected under fair-use exceptions to copyright law, which allow limited use of copyrighted materials for purposes like criticism or comment."

I think it depends upon the intention of the artist, whether or not the work is a commentary (falling under fine arts arena) or promotion/advertisement (commercial arts). Public figures are subject to scrutiny and critique--political cartoons and satire are evidence of this--but money always complicates matters. Andy Warhol displayed familiar faces and icons in his work--it was a social commentary on popular culture, but if you look at his commercial work, it was original. With Fairey's work, he started out in graffiti/street art. Much like the tattoo realm, street arts sometimes take artwork from their original context and places it into a different medium, with or without the original artist's consent. It's the nature of the beast and hard to control. From one point of view, it is plagiarism, but in another view, it's imitation and sometimes viewed as flattery. For fine arts, there shouldn't be a limitation on creation/expression as it's personal and an expression of one's self, but with commercial arts, there should be greater sensitivity to copyrights.

Inspiration: Coraline and Henry Selick

I've been a huge fan of Henry Selick without realizing it. He's the man behind (one of my all-time favs) "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "James and the Giant Peach." His latest creation Coraline has been a three-year project shot entirely in 3-D stop-motion animation. Linking up with heavy-hitter Neil Gaiman (fantasy writer who's film work includes Stardust and Beowolf), the film is as whimsical and endearing as his past work. It's a beautiful piece of artistry, produced by Oregon-based Laika.

Here are some articles on Henry Selick:
-Oregon Live
-Digital Media FX
-Film Monthly

Feb 14, 2009

Artwork: Valentine's Cupid

Valentines Cupid

Happy Valentine's Day, AKA Singles Awareness Day! I view it as a day of love and thoughtfulness, not necessarily about couples, so have fun!

This illustration was a creative refresh of a Cupid skin in Photoshop and Illustrator. View larger image here.

Artwork: Love-Inspired Shirts

One Love

Since Valentines is here, there's love in the air, so that was the theme to these designs. One Love is inspired by a phrase in Bob Marley's song, "One Love", but expanded to include the text "One Love, One Hope, One Voice." It's done in a grungy fashion, and incorporates my urban calligraphy. It's based on the inclusive attitude of the hip-hop and reggae musical communities. The shirts are available for men and women here.

Dying for Love

Dying for Love is a goofy visual pun. This design can also be found on Zazzle.

Love Monster

Inspired by the Cookie Monster and Valentines Day, the Love Monster eats hearts for breakfast. Indicative of the "Happy Insanity" t-shirt series, this design has a little bit of cynicism mixed with humor. He can be purchased here.

Resource: Fine Art Printing

MFA Talon Printing

I came across the print shop of MFA Talon Printing in my research for fine art printers. As an artist, this print shop offers great options: serigraph (silkscreen), giclee, and various techniques (gold leaf, UV coating, and metallics). They claim to be the "one of the first fine art printing studios in the country to produce Fine Art Books entirely in silkscreen" but be prepared to stash away some money as they retail for $5,000 to $7,000 for each portfolio book.

Feb 6, 2009

Artwork: Cartoon Girl with an Axe

. Posted by Sherrie Thai of Shaireproductions.com

Cartoon Girl with an Axe

Cartoon Girl with an Axe

Cartoon Girl with an Axe is a fun little project inspired by all those hours of watching animated characters frolic on the screen. Part of my Happy Insanity series, this is also inspired by Emily the Strange, Ruby Gloom, and Happy Tree Friends.

This was first conceptualized in my sketchbook, then went straight to the computer as I had a pretty clear vision--just pure vector shapes in Adobe Illustrator.

Inspiration: Scharffen Berger Design

Scharffen Berger Banner

Scharffen Berger is one of my FAV chocolates. It was unfortunate to hear the announcement that Hershey's, its parent company (since 2005), is closing down the original Berkeley plant. Even though times are tough, the design still shines. The site, packaging design, and food photography are all well done--simple elegance.

Feb 4, 2009

Inspiration: Shephard Fairey and Propaganda Artwork

Street (and gallery) artist Shephard Fairey talks about his philosophy on creating the propaganda-inspired pieces. His manifesto is amazing too.

Some conservatives write off Shephard Fairey and Banksy as mere vandals, but I believe that they're examples of how art is accessible to everyone and how important imagery could be. Visual artists speak to the senses and enough repetition of certain ones could influence the subconscious in some fashion. Fairey's Obama image has revolutionized street art, as the public attached their own view onto the image. All art (commercial and noncommercial) seems to be some form of propaganda--either from one's own agenda or another's--to inspire, think, or feel. . .

Video: Sobe 2009 Super Bowl Commercial

Sobe drink has a great logo and their Superbowl commercials are always entertaining. It also functions as a co-branded piece, highlighting characters from the upcoming Dreamworks movie, Monsters vs. Aliens.

Feb 3, 2009

Collaboration: Petticoat Swirls

Petticoat Swirls

Petticoat Swirls is a digital art piece by Kate Morse, combining one of my free textures from Flickr with a lovely original photo. Beautiful work!

Feb 2, 2009

Artwork: Typographic Bird

Typographic Bird

Typographic Bird is a shirt design based on typographic explorations of serif letters. The swoosh and wingding elements created an interesting graphic form. This is also available at Zazzle, where the shirt colors could be customized.

Artwork: Silver and Pearl Pendant Necklace

As a side hobby, I've been tinkering with jewelry design. This collage was created from old beads, chain, pearls, wires, and pliers. The large pendent was taken from an multi-layered earring piece.

I created 5 jewelry pieces that same day, but my arm paid the price. My carpal tunnel started acting up and I was unable to function properly for the next few days. Needless to say, I won't be doing too many jewelry projects for a while. . . but I'm happy how the pieces came out.

Feb 1, 2009

Collaboration: Blind Nation (Child Abuse Awareness Campaign)

Blind Nation

Blind Nation is a great project for Child Abuse awareness. Its cover is designed by Flickr member and designer Elli Mayhem. She incorporated one of my photo textures for the cover of the industrial music CD by several artists who have suffered. I'm very excited and pleased to be part of this campaign.