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Forests and Fairy Tales: The Work of Amy Sol

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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The works of Amy Sol conjure up the sweet beauty and magic of childhood. Soft muted colors against the warmth of wood grain give the works the sepia tones of faded storybooks. Her swirly-haired princesses explore forests, filled with flowers, clouds and leaves, animals and dreams.

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Monumental Hybrids: The Work of James Jean

Art, Inspiration

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James Jean is an artist with an exceptionally diverse body of work. His style ranges between extremes of surrealism, abstract expressionism, classical painting and fantasy illustration. This bizarre cocktail of anything and everything is mixed effortlessly into painting that range from explosive and monumental to delicate and fragile. This extreme artist flexibility defines James Jean’s work, as different styles and influences are blended into a unique artistic vision.

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Images of War: Meiji Era Ukiyo-e Prints

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan, Traditional Japan

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The Meiji Era was a period of intense societal change and rapid modernization. It was also a period of aggressive militarism. Japan was involved in both the first  Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War as Japan, as the country attempted to expand its borders to repel foreign incursion.

Japanese artists were exposed to Western art and photography, and this is evident in stylistic changes within the print medium. The traditional flattened perspective and stylized features of earlier ukiyo-e prints are less evident. The result is strangely reminiscent of American comics, and clearly shows the infancy of contemporary manga.

Images via the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Cabinet of Curiosities: The Work of Dan Hillier

Art, Inspiration

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Dan Hillier‘s work combines vintage illustrations into strange new creations. Victorian etchings are treated as found objects, and their meaning and history is subsumed into Hillier’s new work. They are transformed; elegant ladies are re-imagined as tentacled monstrosities, and sitters of stately portraiture are transformed in chimeras, a mix of animal, mineral and bird. The result is part fairy-tale illustration and part cabinet of curiosity; beautiful, bizarre and surreal.

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Minamalist Landscapes by Greg Eason

Art, Inspiration

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Greg Eason’s works present meticulously rendered people and objects hanging suspended in empty space.  Figures stare out at unseen landscapes, while objects like eggs and skulls are symbols; full of meaning, but meaningless without context. The result is works that are open-ended, but defy easy analysis and in this way remain forever enigmatic.

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Candy Overload: The Work of Tatsumi

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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The work of Japanese artist Tatsumi is enough to cause diabetes. Chocolate, candy, deserts and junk food overwhelm her starry-eyed shoujo heroines in a deluge of sweetness. Are these sugar-saturated schoolgirls a metaphor for Japan’s over-consumption of cute?
Or just that enough is never enough?

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Depth of Field Paintings by Kazuki Takamatsu

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Inspiration, Japan

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Kazuki Takamatsu’s depth of field paintings combine computer imaging with traditional techniques. The result is eerie, empty landscapes are a dreamlike stage for virtual beauties. These anime-styled heroines seem more suited to video games than fine-arts, and come with an assortment of accessories: cute costumes and weaponry. But his figures are like mannequins, simultaneously life-like and lifeless. It’s as if Takamatsu has stripped popular culture of its color, and revealed something surprisingly somber and profound.

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Halloween Eye Candy: El Dia de los Muertos Pin-ups by Sylvia Ji

Art, Inspiration

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Themes of beauty and death merge in the work of Sylvia Ji, whose skull-faced femme fatales are adorned with nightshade and black widows. Her macabre images are both provocative and alluring, a reflections of life’s binaries; beauty and decay, love and lust and danger and desire.

Trick or treat.

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Halloween Eye Candy: Black & White Drawings by Mizna Wada

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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For Halloween fun here’s Mizna Wada‘s ink drawings from her exhibition “Yummy Haunts”. There’s nothing serious here, and Wada has fun with the creepy-candy theme. The girls are bobble-headed and wide-eyed and there’s nothing too scary to be cute. In fact it might be sweet enough to give you a toothache .

You can also check out: Mizna Wada’s Spooky ABC, and Sweet & Creepy Plushies by Mizna Wada.

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