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Scribble Artist Interview with Guy Laramée!

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Scribble Town (ST): We are constantly traveling on a journey.  It’s amazing how each part seems like a whole world of it’s own with all it’s intricacies and surprises. From books, to words, to feelings, all these experiences connect us, either to each other or to our surroundings.  That’s how I felt when I saw Guy Laramée’s work.  I found myself walking through his artworks, which are fantastical microcosms in the grand scheme of things.

Due to it’s uniqueness, I would rather not attempt to classify your art, but how would you describe it?

Guy Laramée (GL): People define me socially as an artist. I make art.

ST: What are you up to at the moment?

GL: Right now I’m doing exactly this : beginning what looks as an “Atlas of No-Mind”.

ST: Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine just how overflowing with indescribable findings this atlas will be!

Your artwork is very full, complex and interdisciplinary in a playful and magical way!  How do you combine music and art?  And what about words and art?  For example, your poem titled Rain has many oil paintings related to the text.  What came first?

Pour Calame (2010) Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm

Pour Calame (2010). Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm


GL:
I don’t combine music and visual art. They were different moments of my life. Maybe I’m more multi-disciplinary than interdisciplinary.

I have a love-hate relationship with words, that’s why I both love and destroy books. I find that words are beautiful, they open up entire worlds, but at the same time they fix things in a way that binds us.

Rain (pluie in French) came as a body of work first. But while I was doing the research and starting the actual paintings, I collected poems and texts to understand my feelings about rain, how rain is profoundly nostalgic, calming and beautiful. To translate these feelings on a more existential level, I wrote the poem.


RAIN

May it rain
May it rain on this troubled world
May this rain erase borders
May it mix colors, forms, and times.
May it rain upon me
May the sound of this rain
Wash myself from myself
May this rain dissolve me
Until I recognize myself in trees, mountains, and people.
May I keep hearing this rain
Through the clamour of ambitions.
May it rain
May it rain upon our confused minds
And (that) through this rain
May we return home.

-Guy Laramée, March 2010


ST:
 It’s a beautiful poem!  It lends itself to giving the reader images in their minds and context for your paintings. How have your studies in anthropology inspired your artwork?  What has been you artistic path?  I can see your interests run deep and wide with the range of mediums and concepts you use.

GL: Anthropology came as a way for me to understand that there exist different worldviews and that in their own world, they are all equally valid. They clash one with another, but all worldviews have some fascinating coherence. Thus my problem was/is : if truth – by definition – is unique, if truth can be equated to Oneness, then how come it manifests itself under so many guises, in so many forms? How can Truth encompass contradictions?

The variety of mediums I used only reflect the incapacity of each medium, of each piece, of each work to say it all. The incompletude (uncompletedness ?) of each art work keeps me on the move.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.


ST:
 The way you manipulate and use books as sculpture is amazing!  How did you start carving books?  Please let us know more about Les Livres-Lumier.  I would love to visit those mountain tops one day!

GL: I cannot really say how I’m doing it because I feel more and more that it is not me who is doing this. When I enter the process (often reluctantly…!) I am possessed by a force that is quite powerful and that “decides” so to speak how things are going to go this time, what tools will be used, etc. Tools and processes change all the time, sometime new tools have to be created. The only thing I know for sure is : since I invent tools, I’m not a monkey, thus I must be human (lol). Even that I don’t really know for sure. I’d rather see the artistic process as a process of Unknowing rather than a learning process.

DRAGON OVER THE CLOUDS. 2014.  Webster dictionary, inks,  pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.  18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches.  (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

Dragon Over the Clouds (2014). Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.
18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches. (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)


ST:
 Your work ranges from 2D to 3D.  Do you feel that some of your 3D works could also work at 2 dimensional pieces?  How do you decide what mediums and platforms to best portray your ideas?

GL: Once I showed an art magazine to a friend who happens to be a photographer. There was a piece in there that was quite ambiguous, like a painting stretched on a sculpture. I asked him ” “What do you think, is this a painting or a sculpture ?” I went for the sculpture. I shouted at him, laughing : “It’s neither ! It’s a photograph !!”

Think about it : 99 % of the art works you saw in your life, you know then only through photographs. Interesting, right ? So in a way you could say that the ‘essence’ of the work can make it into a translation, either photographical or textual; or you could say that for you, the real work is the photograph. If you were to be true to yourself, the work for you is a photo.

So of course my 3D work works very well in 2D, people buy it after seeing it on the internet…!

Guan Yin. Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter). 2011.

Guan Yin (2011). Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter).


ST:
 You’re absolutely right!  The transformations between mediums and documentations of those changes creates a whole new piece of it’s own every time.

When you come up with an idea what is usually your process for working it through?

GL: If I had found a recipe to make my work, I would SELL IT ! There’s no recipe. Like in love. The moment you fix it, it’s gone. That’s the beauty of it, that’s why also I’m always in a state of profound anxiety (half kidding : it is not easy to make insecurity your home…).

ST: Did anybody encourage your creativity when you were a child?

GL: Nobody encouraged me really. My parents gave me the usual painting boxes and tools, but when they saw that it was becoming serious, they did their very best to discourage me. I wish they had succeeded, really, because see in what mess I’m in now : don’t know where the next $$ are going to come from, don’t know what I’m going to do this morning, don’t know how I will ever come out of that terrible state of solitude that I ended up closing myself in, etc etc. Creativity is not a choice and thus it cannot even be fostered. Creativity is an imperative. It is the imperative of life itself. We chose nothing. We follow the current of life or resist it. Even to think that we decide to follow or resist is fallacious. The current of life is all there is.

ST: Guy, what would be some artful advice for our Scribble readers?

GL: Don’t fear solitude. That’s the only advice I can give. When you are alone, don’t try to escape it. Drop your cell phone in a pond. Put your TV to the trash bin. Stop losing your time on computer screens. These things suck your creativity.

Be alone as much as you can. Then the voices of the muses will take care of the rest. They will guide you.

ST: I understand what you mean. We are, in the end, our own best friend even though sometimes it can seem like we are our own enemy!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  You have given us all whole lot to chew on- from concepts to techniques.  Scribblers, for more inspiration please have a look at Guy’s website at http://www.guylaramee.com.

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How do you see The False Mirror?

In honor of the great surrealist René Magritte Scribble Town has made an coloring sheet for you, Scribblers! Your own version of ‘The False Mirror’ will be unique and dreamy, just like you are.

While you are filling the eye with color perhaps you can ponder, why are there clouds in the eye?  Is it a reflection?  Or is it a cloudy eye?  What does that mean for you?

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte's 'The False Eye'.

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte’s ‘The False Mirror’.

If you happen to be in Brussels, Belgium, you can visit The Magritte Museum.  Inspiration everywhere!

Scribble Artist Interview with Kelly Blake!

Big Eyed Cat by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Cat by Kelly Blake

Scribble Town (ST): We are so very happy to have the talented Kelly Blake with us! When I came across her artwork I could see how sensitive this person is to the world around us. From that, I just had to know more about her. What are you up to Kelly?

Kelly Blake (KB): Hi Scribble Town! I’m Kelly Blake and I live in the creative city of Bristol, United Kingdom. I’ve spent a long time studying throughout my life but I now feel I’m at the point where I have learned everything I felt necessary and I now feel confident enough to pursue the dream of producing my own art. I actually moved to London several years ago to complete a Masters in Production Design (movie art direction for anyone who is unsure) but after finishing and eventually moving back home I realised my true passion lies with illustration and creating my own individual artwork. So that’s what I’ve begun.

Normally when I produce some artwork there’s a reason why I’m producing it. The main factor behind all of my work is that I absolutely adore animals; it’s the common thread behind all art I create and I have a large array of artwork under my belt which (I hope) shows just how much I love all things fuzzy. At the moment I am focusing on publishing my very first adult colouring book called ‘Into the Wild’ and I’m working to raise the funds necessary to complete the project by producing my own Kickstarter campaign. If anyone is unsure of what Kickstarter is, it’s basically a crowd funding website where you launch a campaign and ask for the public to fund you. Imagine Dragon’s Den but will a billion different dragons! It’s going rather well at the moment so I’m doing everything possible to ensure I raise all the funds and so I’m able to complete the project successfully.

Please take a look at my Kickstarter campaign here so you can get a feel of the project.

ST: The concept is wonderful!  Is Into the Wild: A Coloring Book About Nature just for adults?  I think many people of all ages would enjoy seeing the pictures come to life.

KB: Thank you! I’ve initially created Into the Wild as a colouring book ideally for adults, but of course all ages are welcome to join in. The reason it’s for adults specifically is because the images are a little more detailed than perhaps some of the colouring books on the market today –even more detailed than most of the adult ones too! Each illustration is comprised of lots of different angular shapes/blocks and it’s only as you begin to colour each section that it reveals a hidden design within the image. Think of it as a slightly abstract and more challenging version of paint by numbers, but with the freedom to choose your own colour coding. It’s rather quite complicated when you get down to it so perhaps it might become a little too confusing for the younger audience; but of course they’re completely welcome to have a go!

Surreal 'Goddess' Illustration by Kelly Blake

Surreal ‘Goddess’ Illustration by Kelly Blake

I originally came up with the idea because I know a lot of people who are very artistic but are not able to draw even the simple stick figures. I have received a lot of compliments for my artwork in the past (especially my abstract pieces) and it led me to think about creating something that enables other enthusiasts to produce something that they’re also proud of without feeling like they’re lacking the talent to do so. It’s also been a proven fact that adult colouring books are being used as a way to de-stress and calm your mind so why not hit two birds with one stone!

ST: That is so thoughtful of you to create something that includes all ages! When and how did you start illustrating and drawing?  Is there a piece of art that always inspires you to create?

KB: When I think back to when I actually began drawing I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t being creative. I’ll always remember at my earliest of ages in Primary School one of my paintings was framed and featured on the wall inside reception as an example of a ‘good piece of art’. Of course, when I look back at it now all I can see are the dodgy eyes and weird shape of Henry VIII’s head, but I feel like I wouldn’t have come so far without all the support and positivity of the people around me. It’s the constant reassurance of ‘that’s great’ or ‘wow!’ that really drives me to produce more and more art and to get better and better. Granted, there’s always a few pieces that make people think ‘hmm, how odd’ but as long as I create something that I feel I’m proud of, then that’s what pushes me to continue with my work. Who cares if 90% of the population dislike it, what’s important is that the other 10% can appreciate it.

Eagle Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Eagle Woodcut by Kelly Blake

There will always come a time when I think to myself ‘I want to do an illustration!’ and the ideas just start flowing, but for those times when I can’t get myself into the mood or I can’t feel any inspiration coming then I start to check out illustrations online to get some creativity flowing. Even things such as typing phrases or keywords into google can help immensely. It’s amazing how much variety of different artwork there is out there and it’s surprising how much inspiration you can get from looking at other people’s work. Pieces that I personally love to flick through include modern and quirky works by artists such as Michael Godard and Fabio Napoleoni, but someone who I look up to as a huge inspiration for my work itself is the work by Canadian artist Nicholas Di Genova. I love the way he mixes processes such as freehand illustration and digitally enhanced methods to create something rather surreal and unique; but very, very special. It’s him who’s helped me develop a signature style myself and I do feel that a lot of my work has a thread of ‘Nicholas’ running through it.

Big Eyed Lemur by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Lemur by Kelly Blake

ST: What is the artistic process of your paintings?  For example, how did your Kinderschema series come about? Do you usually sketch first your idea?

KB: My Kinderschema Collection was originally inspired from an article which I read about cats. It basically went on to say that the reason we find cats big eyes and overly big features so adorable is because of what is genetically programmed into our heads at birth. This led me to research into the science of why the human brain naturally reacts to these traits and I came across a German term called Kinderschema. Kinderschema defines the 5 basic traits that lead us to believe an animal is adorable and these can include; a large head, a large forehead, large eyes, rounded cheeks, and soft body surfaces.  I then decided I wanted to explore some of these factors in my own work and I created an art collection of digital paintings showing us just how much we love all things cute.

When I have a rough idea in my mind of the art I want to produce, I normally go about creating a really quick drawing trying to communicate what’s inside my head. Sometimes this will turn out to be a really crude or basic sketch but I can normally see if the idea is going to work on paper. I’ll also look online and check out other artist’s work to see if this takes me into a different or more creative direction to ensure my idea will definitely look good on the page. I have found that with the majority of my illustrative art, I tend to keep working on a piece until I am 100% happy with it. My motto normally states, “the more ink on the page, the better” but there’s still a fine line between finishing and overworking a piece of art.

Lion Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Lion Woodcut by Kelly Blake

ST: What mediums and techniques do you work with?  Is there a method that speaks to you more than the others?  Why do you think that is?

KB: It’s funny because throughout all my growing years I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly which field of the creative world I wanted to merge into. This means I’ve studied everything ranging from photography to sculpture, and illustration to video editing and I’ve spent a very, very long time working hard to develop some extremely valuable skills. Due to engaging fully in many of these different fields I now feel that I can make a strong decision as to which route to progress into further. This has meant that my artwork created in the past includes a huge range of different styles but I believe this does make me stronger as an artist. It means I’m capable of merging materials and thinking outside the box. If in the future I decide to create a half illustration-half sculpture, then I know that I require the necessary skills to do so. This means that despite my love for illustrative art, I’m not tied down to producing everything in 2D.

For example, I have recently finished a collection of woodcut prints which involve intricately cutting away small sections from a wooden block. This block is then rolled with ink and printed onto a paper surface. This gives a beautifully rustic alternative to simply using paint brushed onto paper.  This method contrasts nicely to the hand drawn illustrations from some of my previous collections, or to the bold look of the lighting installations that I have formerly produced from recycled materials.

At the moment I am concentrating purely on producing this range of surrealist animal illustrations to publish into my first adult colouring book; but I love that if I choose to, I am able to stop and produce something completely different at any given time. How I feel is that if you don’t have to tie yourself down, then why do it.

ST: When you are not creating, what do you like to do?

Big Eyed Owl by Kelly Blake

Big Eyed Owl by Kelly Blake

KB: Well, it’s actually funny that you ask this because I was thinking about this myself the other day. I’m currently working from my own studio at home and so I find myself working on projects throughout the majority of each day; quite often from morning through to late into the evening. I’m very dedicated to my artwork and it’s lucky that I really love what I do otherwise I don’t think I could stay so dedicated to working this hard. All I strive for is being able to maintain a well-balanced and happy life whilst spending a career doing what I love. When I actually do decide to take time off I quite like to get away from home and stay somewhere peaceful as it gives me an excuse to stop working and to clear my head. I normally spend a few days down at the sea or in the countryside with good company, and I find the calm atmosphere refreshes myself and sets me back up for busy days when I return back home. Also, archery, who doesn’t love a bit of archery? I fancy myself the Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games when nobody is looking!

ST: From a person who seems to appreciate their surroundings, I wonder who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  Do you think being raised in the creative town of Bristol had an effect on you?

Cat Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Cat Woodcut by Kelly Blake

KB: To be honest, whilst growing up I’ve always considered myself a bit of a nerd. While there’s nothing wrong with being a nerd, it meant I perhaps didn’t get out as much as I should. Instead, I spent a lot of time studying and working hard throughout school and I always made sure I put everything into getting my grades as high as possible. Whilst this is obviously extremely important, it does mean I probably didn’t get as much creative influence from the city as I should have. Bristol is known as a hugely influential artistic city and I live amongst some huge pioneers of the art world. This means I was very self-dependant whilst studying and I would love to say that a certain someone was the reason for me producing art today but I don’t believe anyone really was. Sure, I had people who supported me and pushed me along but I feel confident in saying that I was the one in the driving seat of my own artistic career and hopefully this will continue for a long, long time.

ST: Any tips, advice, or ways of encouraging our scribblers? 

KB: My greatest piece of advice would be to create art that YOU love and do it for yourself and for nobody else. There’s been quite a few times in my life that I’ve produced something that the masses don’t like but the minority do. I could have succumbed to produce what most people out there would deem as ‘good art’ but then what’s the point in creating it if it’s not for yourself; then you become one of those people who have their passion turned into a chore and may become quite resentful. If I were given a penny each time someone called my work too-weird, odd, or simply had a lack of faith that it would be well received then I’d have a pretty full bank account by now. Don’t ever let someone tell you that something isn’t good enough because simply put, art is perspective and if you feel that something is to be proud of, then wave that proudness-flag up high and display your work for others to see! I guarantee you there are people out there who will absolutely adore it. Don’t give up and show those people just how creatively talented you are. 

If you wanted to check out some of my work that’s available on the market at the moment, please take a look at my website here at: dustlesssoul.wix.com/dustlesssoul

You can also purchase any artwork from my Etsy shop at: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DustlessSoulCreation

ST: Thank you, Kelly, for sharing so much valuable creative information with us! I’m sure your Kickstarter campaign will go great and your artwork will continue to inspire us!

Wolf Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Wolf Woodcut by Kelly Blake

Frida and Flowers for You

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán. Known for her self-portraits, which symbolically express her own pain and sexuality, these images extend beyond herself allowing us, the viewer, to ponder, reflect and raise inquiry.  Her vibrant colors were painted in a style influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism.

The New York Botanical Garden has curated an exhibition highlighting Kahlo’s love of nature.  Catch the show between May 16 — November 1, 2015. Read more about the exhibition here.

We have made a coloring page for you, Scribblers, based on Frida Kahlo’s great work titled Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.  Feel free to download and print. Watch the picture come to life as you fill in the spaces!

Scribble your own version of Frida Kahlo's elf-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Scribble your own version of Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

For teachers and art lovers I recommend you watch one of MoMA’s art education video, which delves into how to critically look at and discuss one of Frida Kahlo’s portraits. Enjoy!

All about Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci is a very well known Renaissance artist.  Throughout his life as an artist, Da Vinci was constantly inventing and coming up with one extravagant painting after another. Many are still talked about and adored to this day. One in particular, that is commonly seen hanging in the homes of Catholics or Christians is The Last Supper, created in 1498. Here he re-created the scene in which Christ and the apostles are gathered together for the Lord’s Supper, which is an Easter/Lenten tradition, celebrated on Holy Thursdays. The painting is set up in an extraordinary way that truly makes the meaning and significance of the scene come to life.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1498

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1498

The figures are seated at the table in a rectangular room. There are tapestries on either side of the table that hang on the walls. In the background, behind Christ and the apostles the audience is shown a beautiful landscape which consists of mountains and skies that are represented in tones of blue and gray. Da Vinci is using a very commonly used technique from the Renaissance in this area called aerial perspective. This is when an illusion of depth is created that depicts the landscape. You can also tell because the colors become gloomier here. Da Vinci also puts major thought into setting up the painting’s composition. As Christ is the most significant character in this painting, he centers him and places his apostles along side him. He also does this by using one-point linear perspective to create even more emphasis on Christ. This allows the audience to be drawn right into the painting, center stage. The apostles are then set up to be touching. Although their hands are not interlocked, they are loosely linked to portray their prominent roles in the scene that is taking place.

The Last Supper highlights two very significant early Renaissance traditions that were used by painters of this time, composition and perspective. Da Vinci does an excellent job in doing this and also adds much emotion and logic to the story behind it. His choice of different shadow colors also illustrates and sets the mood of the scene, which delivers great sensation to the piece.

Create your own Last Supper!  Print the coloring sheet below and see how you can create depth with color as well.
lastsupper

Published by Andi Thea, on April 27th, 2015 at 9:38 am. Filled under: Arts & Crafts,Drawing,Featured,Illustration Tags: , , , , , No Comments

A Lee Hodges Activity!

Make some characters from old toilet rolls, give each roll a white coat base first and then sketch out the shape, then fill it in with colour, this could be acrylic or poster paint. They could be animals or maybe a group of characters from a circus (imagine an acrobat troupe all on top of each other) or a jazz band. I’m going to make a Mariachi band!

Lee Hodges is full of amazing ideas!  Check out his website at http://www.leeho.co.uk!

Electro-swing-club2-724x1024

businesscard-85mmx55mm-h

Published by Andi Thea, on April 5th, 2015 at 9:06 am. Filled under: Arts & Crafts,classroom,Collage,Design,Drawing,Featured,Illustration,kids,Music Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Springy Pot Holders

Nothing is more refreshing and beautiful than that first pot of flowers you plant in the springtime. You’ve been waiting and waiting for this cold to disappear already to enjoy some fun flower planting! Don’t worry the warm weather will be here before you know it. In the meantime, you can start on a super fun craft.

Today I’m going to show you how to make your own potholder. This way you not only will be able to plant that beautiful flower you’ve been waiting for, but you will also be able to hang it up anywhere you’d like so that everyone can see it!

Materials:

– Sturdy rope. Depending on what size and how heavy your pot is will depend on the thickness and strength of your rope purchase, but you should try and stay away from flimsy rope.

You will need 6 separate strings. It is easier with 6 different colored strings so that the tying process doesn’t become too confusing, but it is your preference on the colors. You will want to cut the rope around 5 feet long, just in case you need extra.

Directions:

Tie the six strings together.
1Tie a knot with two strings about 3-5 inches down from original knot. Do this with all 6 strings, so you will have 3 new knots. Make sure your knots are the same distances, so each level is equal otherwise your pot may become lopsided. (Knots are circled for you.)

2For a second set of knots, go ahead and repeat step number 2. Knot each adjacent pair once again. Once you have finished this you will repeat this process once more for a set of three knots. (This image only shows 2.)

3

For example, the next step would be to knot the purple with the light blue, the green with the yellow, and the pink with the dark blue.

4For the final step, you will slide your pot into the 3 sets of knots. At the top of your pot you will tie all the strings together for closure. Make sure all knots are tight and feel free to hang wherever you want!

5

Send in pictures of your potholders to info@scribbletown.com and we’ll post it in our online gallery!

Published by Andi Thea, on March 26th, 2015 at 12:57 am. Filled under: adults,Arts & Crafts,Uncategorized Tags: , , , , No Comments

Scribble Artist Interview with Lee Hodges!

Goulash Disko festival - This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Goulash Disko festival – This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Scribble Town (ST): Here we have a beautiful collection of splashes of colors that speak to you in all sorts of sounds and languages! Lee Hodges knows how to make images fun and lively! He is an illustrator/artist, and as he so eloquently puts it is “based in the temperate climes of south west Uk.” Let’s see what he is up to these days.

Lee Hodges (LH):  I’m luckily very busy at the moment (so I hope it lasts!), I have been working at creating a series of posters for kids activities for the RHS gardens, a few editorials too. I have been creating a lot of gig posters for music nights (including my own) and album covers, plus some really big jobs which I can’t tell you about right now…just keep looking…all in all I absolutely love it.

ST: Nice!  Well, you are keeping me on my toes with all the good stuff that you are making!  Your illustrations are wonderful.  Your posters alone make me want to go to the events!  What’s the concept development process like for you when designing posters for these places?

Panama Cardoon - Hasta La Wiggle An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

Panama Cardoon – Hasta La Wiggle
An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

LH: Thanks, that’s very kind. It’s often the title or subject matter that gives me the ideas, for my own gigs I create my own title or subject matter, which is great fun. For other peoples gigs they usually have a subject and title which then inspires the imagery. For the Spring party poster that was inspired by the Jamaican ghosts called ‘Duppies’ and a particular editorial job I did recently about them, so I thought I’d channel the imagery and ideas into the Spring Party, which has a Tropical theme. I usually chuck on some great Tropical tunes to get in the mood as well!

ST: Ah that makes perfect sense- take inspiration from words to images and vice versa.  When designing your illustrations do you first sketch in pencil?  What is your artistic process?

LH: Yea, I generally squiggle in pencil and develop them from there, adding in colour as I go along, sometimes if the idea is really clear I just jump in and create a finished piece without sketching!

ST: Just go with your gut! Your images have a special feeling to them- like I want to touch them and I’ll find paint all over my hands!  What mediums do you create in?

Mexican-Night-of-the-dead-ball-2014

Day of the Dead Poster – This was for one of my own big nights which we do every year, this idea was to capture the music and feel of the festival and the night.

LH: Funnily enough, it’s predominantly digital, my aim however is too make it look as un-digital as possible, but I use a drawing tablet and try to create a screen – printed, warm feel to my images, that have a fun, vibrant edge to them. I am working more and more at applying these techniques out of the digital realm however, which is how I started.

ST: How did you get started with illustrating?  Was this what you had always set out to do?  So curious about your path!

LH: I have always drawn and been very creative, it was and is my first love. Being an artist is right at the very core of who I am, it’s just a question of channeling all that creativity in the right direction. I have been illustrating for the last few years but it’s only recently that I have decided to give it all of my focus and I’m loving it. I am a very curious person so I have tried and experimented with many different mediums over the years, including film design/animation. It’s important to try new things and experiment with your work, by doing that you are able to apply something unique to your work.

ST: So lovely to hear that art is your first love.  You two belong together!  Who are some artists that inspire you?  What about them do you like?

LH: I like lots of different artists for different reasons…I have always loved Picasso for his versatility and sheer output of images! I love street art, particularly Os Gemeos, when I was in Argentina and Chile, most of the pictures I took were of street art! I often go through phases of liking different artists or something I see of theirs jumps out at me and inspires me, I really like Eduardo Munoz Bachs the Cuban poster artist at the moment.

The-Bellman

The Bellman – This is one of my images from the Hunting of the Snark. I have tried to make this fun, colourful and intriguing…It is illustrating the line – “The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies – Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face! ”

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?  Any games you like to play?

LH: I like to take my imagination on long walks! Generally being anywhere near the sea, up and around the wilds of the South west, I love the raw energy of the coastline especially Cornwall, which is where I am from.
I love watching films too, weird and wonderful films, short ones, long ones. I also run a club/arts night which entails making props for the gigs, crazy interactive inventions and most importantly DJ-ing, I Dj quite a lot and run a Radio show every two weeks.

ST: I can hear the music in your illustrations too!  Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?

LH: Well, no-one really gave me direct encouragement, it was just something I did, loved and kept at, supported by words of encouragement when I had shown my work to my parents.

ST: Well, now you have a whole fan club supporting you! Scribble Town and beyond :).  How is your project of illustrating Hunting the Snark coming along?  You are right- Tove Jansson’s version is great!  What are you hoping to bring into your pictures?

The Jub Jub Bird - Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book - “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

The Jub Jub Bird – Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book – “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

LH: It’s a great and crazily surreal book, it’s almost an artists dream to illustrate! It’s a little on hold at the moment as I have been busy with other work, being a personal project it has been put to the back for a bit. I’m hoping that I am bringing  my own interpretation to it, imagining it with a colourful south american twist, almost like lost explorers discovering a strange land….

ST: I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future!  For now, any last minute tips for our Scribblers?

LH: Tips – Experiment, play – make a mess! Use your sketchbook as a scrapbook too, fill it with colour, ideas. I love to listen to music when I work, it really helps you get into the mood! Think out of the box…!

ST: Will do! The mess in on. Everybody, have a look at Lee Hodges website at http://www.leeho.co.uk.  Thanks so much Lee!

Tropical Pressure festival - A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Tropical Pressure festival – A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Scribble Artist Interview with Dan Reeder!

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Buddha and Jo by Dan Reeder

Scribble Town (ST): Always inventing, always creating, Dan Reeder makes the imaginable life size!  Dan says, “Around the Pacific Northwest I am known as Dan the Monster Man.”   He made my first dragon when he was twenty-two years old and that was quite a while ago. Dan, this career started when you were younger.  Do you see it coming?  Perhaps as a kid?

Dan Reeder (DR): I don’t recall thinking at all about careers.   I have always done art because I enjoyed it.  But I never dreamed of becoming an artist.  I was just busy being a kid.  (And that’s the way it should be I think!)
 
ST: Being a kid means to be in the moment! Can you remember the first time you saw a paper mache project? What inspired you to get involved with this technique? 

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

Bulldog by Dan Reeder

DR: I was teaching elementary school in 1972.  The budgets were being cut and the first thing to go was support for our “art specialist”.    So the kids only got art for 40 minutes every other week, not long enough to make anything that they were truly invested in.   Because I’ve always believed that art is important, I wanted an art project to do with my 5th graders that would a) take significant commitment, b) guarantee their success (that was “goof proof”) and c) that was fairly inexpensive.   A paper mache monster unit was the ideal solution.  I made my first monster in preparation for teaching that unit.  It ended up almost defining my career.  The popularity of that unit was beyond anything I could have imagined.

ST: Our paths are full of surprises! Paper mache is obviously your forte. Did you ever get involved in any other types of mediums before you discovered your passion for this one?
       
DR: I dabbled in several mediums growing up.  I worked with clay, but gave up after breaking some of my best pieces.  I loved using water color and pen and ink.   I resurrected some of that interest when I wrote (and illustrated) my children’s book, William’s Treasure.

ST: You are full of talent!  I see you’re very much into mythological creatures.  Any particular mythology you are fascinated with? What draws you towards them?

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

Sea Dragon by Dan Reeder

DR: I’m really not into mythological creatures. I’ve only made one I think, my Minotaur. I would like to make a Medusa and maybe and Hydra.  But I’m only interested in mythology in so far as there are interesting creatures to consider.
 
ST: Do you ever see yourself exploring and creating a different type of theme in the future?
       
DR: I just want to make dragons.  It’s what I love to make.  I force myself to make other non-dragon projects just to show my skill with the medium the versatility of paper mache.  But I have made many different kinds of projects over the years.
 
ST: Did you ever study art in school or was it more of a side hobby?  What has been your artistic path? 

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

Maleficent by Dan Reeder

DR: I didn’t have any formal art education other than my classes in high school.   Once I started doing paper mache I added my own innovations.   And I just haven’t been interested in other mediums since (with the exception of doing my children’s book).   If you want to do art I think it’s important to experiment for a while, but to eventually land on a medium that you can make your own.  I consider myself fortunate for having found a medium that I love.

ST: Many of your videos are shot in hyper-lapse. Around how long does it take you to complete one of your masterpieces?

DR:
I’ve tried to time how long it takes but have failed miserably.  Partly because there is drying time to consider and I’m always making more than one piece at a time.  And I’m usually taking video and photos which adds time to the project.   So I would guess that most are 40-80 hours of work.   But that is a guess.   btw.  The videos are actually in time-lapse.  They are fast because I shoot at only 1 frame per second. 

ST: Masterpieces don’t happen over night!  You are full of wise tips, anything else we should know?  

DR: I think you can do paper mache at any age, but you must obviously adapt the medium to the age you are teaching.   My only advice is to make something.  Don’t avoid the messy art.   Practice is key. 

ST: Practice and play with the medium. For sure!
 

DR: My best advice for someone wanting to learn my techniques would be to watch my videos and visit my blog.  I show many of my pieces being made, step-by-step on my blog, www.PaperMacheBlog.com.   Of course I also have how-to books on my website, www.GourmetPaperMache.com.

ST: We will definitely do that.  Thanks Dan and keep us posted on your artworks!

Naga by Dan Reeder

Naga by Dan Reeder

Getting Started with Paper Mache!

 Papier Mache Sculptures by Shirley Hintz


Papier Mache Sculptures
by Shirley Hintz

Are you feeling crafty? Well, of course you are! Why not make something fun and easy that will leave you wanting to create more and more? The good ol’ Paper Mache technique allows you to build your own creation and develop any form or shape you can imagine! Starting in 1725, paper mache as a craft was first experimented in Europe. It began as a low-cost alternative to creating sculptures. It has developed successfully to this day and continues to be one of the most popular creative methods to explore.

In essence, the process is quite simple. First you need a pile of newspaper. You can form the inner piece, or frame of your paper mache object by simply folding a bunch of newspaper together and taping it to develop the shape you want. The frame can also be made of wood or chicken wire. From here you rip up newspaper into strips. Next you must coat your pre-built object with the paper mache paste. There are several different ways you can create this paste. The way in which most people make it is by mixing water and glue together. Another way is by mixing flour and water together. Either way your paper mache will still come together, so it’s really your choice whether you want to choose the glue or flour!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Anglerfish-mask/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Anglerfish-mask/

After your paste is stirred and ready to go, you then dip each piece of ripped newspaper into the paste. You then begin to place these pieces of wet newspaper onto your object one by one, filling up all the spaces and building your masterpiece. Although it can get a bit sticky, paper mache is always worth the mess! It can take a while for paper mache to dry. Best thing to do is to wait 24 hours and continue working on it the following day before adding anything extra to it. Once your paper mache dries, you can paint it the way you want!

Dan Reeder is an artist that takes paper mache to the next level.  He is a paper mache artist from Seattle, Washington. He is known as “Dan the Monster” for his exquisite work and has been creating these pieces for over four decades. He was given this name because of the article written about him in 1982. Without him knowing, his mother sent his work to the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s “People” section of the Seattle newspaper. From the newspaper many heard of his amazing work and were astonished by what he was able to come up with. Here is also a 360 view of his artwork in his own studio! Click the link and click again on ‘Auto Rotation’ on the bottom right hand corner.

Check out this video about one his great paper mache dragon trophies. Enjoy!

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Published by Andi Thea, on January 29th, 2015 at 12:44 pm. Filled under: Arts & Crafts,Design,Paper Art,Uncategorized Tags: , , , No Comments